Thinking Out Loud

February 24, 2013

5 Years of Blogging: What Really Matters

Blog AnniversarySo what have we learned so far? I can’t speak for “we” but I can speak for “me.”

First of all, God has a very large, very diverse family here. Even the most prominent are but a very tiny piece of much larger puzzle. And we can be puzzling at times. We have to learn to see those who believe differently on peripheral issues not in terms of the differences, but in the light of our agreement on the core principles of our faith.

Second — and this is related — only a few of us ever attract attention. Some make the headlines for good reasons, and some for activities not so God-honoring. But the great majority of those of you (us) who follow Christ do so “in your small corner, and I in mine.” We quietly work out what it means to be kingdom people. We try not to be star-struck.

Third, our best hope of kingdom living, our best desire to do what The Book says we should do is constantly under threat both from the larger culture and from the church culture. The broader culture wants to bring us down to their level of depravity, the church culture wants to take our simple faith and make it into religious observance.

Fourth, the western church is totally corrupted by materialism and success. Even the poorest of the poor in developed countries enjoys a level of comfort unknown in the two-thirds world.

Fifth, for the most part, even the most vile and uncharitable people love their children. There are some elements that are just part of the human experience we have in common. God sees the redemptive potential in even the worst person, and so also should we.

Sixth, for the Christian, text matters. Far too much — including what you’re reading right now — is being written that doesn’t start with scripture or isn’t rooted in Bible text. (The daily hunting and gathering for C201 reminds me each day how few bloggers actually begin with text.) Scripture memory is generally on the decline, and many — men especially — aren’t reading Christian literature at all.

Seventh, each one of us needs to be developing a personal, systematic theology so that we can respond when asked what we believe. We should know the ways of God; truly know what Jesus would do. But we should write our theology in pencil, not pen; remaining open to the possibility that what we see as through frosted glass will become clearer over time and therefore subject to change.

Eighth, we need to travel lightly. This is an area where I have failed. We have too much stuff. But people who have their suitcase packed are free to follow God’s leading. This may seem to lend itself more to single people, but I’ve heard of families who followed God’s leading to simply pack up and go.

Ninth, we need to stop always characterizing behavior in terms of right and wrong, and recognize that in many cases, missing the mark means missing God’s best. While sin is sin with God — He has no gradients — we need to think in terms of: good, better, best. Then we should work to promote and practice the best but not alienate those currently settling for the good (or less).

Tenth, we need to do what Henry Blackaby calls ‘coming alongside areas where the Holy Spirit is at work.’ We need to celebrate and join hands with people and organizations who are spreading the kingdom by traditional means or by reinventing the wheel. We need to focus on what and who we admire, the people and institutions that are excellent and praiseworthy. That’s part of the purpose of Thinking Out Loud.

~Paul Wilkinson



  1. This links to a C201 post that links back here!!!

    Pingback by Treasure in Jars of Clay | Christianity 201 — February 24, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

  2. Great points. Sometimes I wonder at the time spent here, especially with my slow connection, and I often think of giving up, but each time I do, the Lord graciously gives me a definite prompt and assurance that He has put me here and here I stay.

    On the sixth point, I must admit I never START with a Scripture text. I never want to hide the fact that my blog is a Christian site, but I DO want to attract non-believers to the site and therefore start with something designed to attract curiosity or interest. Of course, it isn’t long before they see the message – and the Scripture – and hopefully Holy Spirit can use it to challenge and convict the unbeliever.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — February 27, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

    • What you do at Meeting in the Clouds is amazing. I think the first time in the paragraph, I said “start in scripture or is rooted in scripture.” In terms of the composition of what you write, I would venture to say that you have the key verse or verses in mind from the time you begin to type.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 27, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

      • Yes, pretty much. The Lord gives me the opening story and I usually have a verse in mind as I prepare, but sometimes He turns it and by the time I’ve typed the story, He gives a different lesson from the one I had in mind. Oh well – it is HIS ministry, so I just do as He says.

        Comment by meetingintheclouds — March 1, 2013 @ 4:33 am

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