I consider it a joy and an honor that anyone would take the time to pen a letter to the editor. It’s a double blessing to be able to share some of them with you. Be sure to give these ones a read, as I think you’ll benefit from them.
Tim, I have been reading you for a long time and love your heart, your thinking, your consistency. So thankful for your role in my life. Got another theory for you on the decline of bloggers in general and Christian bloggers specifically. I am a business guy and recently have been watching a series of presentations from a pretty high end strategic investment conference on the global economy. One of the most interesting was about the real dynamics of the networked economy. The presumption was the the internet would create mass democratization all on fronts, and initially it did. (The early flood of bloggers is one example; sellers on Ebay; 14 million published songs last year; websites for everyone, etc.)
But what has happened instead is that the dark reality of network dynamics and economics is the rapid acceleration to winner-take-all monopolies. Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify all prove the point. The local retailer can no longer serve her neighbor because Amazon can still wipe her out. Likewise, the platform that was supposed to give every blogger an audience has instead given the precious few a faster path to suck all of the oxygen out of the room for everyone else. So, can you easily start a blog and not worry about a book publisher green-lighting your project? Absolutely. Can you build a sustainable audience? Less likely. I wish I could send you his presentation because the societal implications are stark and chilling. Part of what is going on down here as tech giants get called to the Principal’s office in Washington is this dynamic playing out, but no one has a clue as to how this genie gets put back in the bottle.
For all the great things you have given me to think about over the years, maybe this is one small return of the favor.
—Tim C, Denver, CO
I have noticed some of the same things that you comment on in this article. I have followed a number of blogs and have found them mostly helpful for my life and ministry. But many of them no longer exist now, and I thought your list was good. Perhaps I would add two things. 1) I think that negative feedback has discouraged people from blogging. Perhaps there once was discussion, but now there doesn’t seem to be the “grace” shown in feedback. 2) I also think that in the earlier days many bloggers wanted to take on so many diverse subjects and passages that I don’t see today. Perhaps there was a feeling that we have exhausted some of those things and need to move on? Just my take.
—Andrew S, Sackville, NB
I enjoyed your article today on Christian Blogs. I half-heartedly began writing a little over a year ago for our new church website. I quickly fell in love with writing and felt like it was a great tool to teach our people. I began a WordPress blog and write each week and also share links each week (similiar to A La Carte).
Your blog was helpful because sometimes I wonder if I’m wasting my time writing. I love it, but wonder if that time could be better spent elsewhere because it does seem there are several good blogs already out there. The thing that keeps me going, other than my love for writing, is that I can be a voice in the small community that I’m in. I’ve pastored here five years now, so relationships are deepening and trust is developing more and more. That provides me with a voice. While there might be more well-written blogs on a subject, our people will read something I write because they trust me and know I care for them. I hope they’ll read others too (that’s why I share links). In a town of 6000, I keep thinking that soon they’ll stop reading, but that hasn’t happened yet!
Your post didn’t speak to that specifically, but it was an encouragement to me to keep writing! Thank you for all you do!
—James W, Atlanta, TX
Letters on The Next Frontier in Pornography
My first experience with computers was a class with punch cards in college. I’ve been around. I’m a programmer. I’ve watched porn take advantage of every computer breakthrough. It’s fascinating and disturbing. They drove toward realism at every turn. A similar thing happened in movies. The industry’s technology tried to make the color and sound as realistic as possible. Then some time in the 90s, the experience in the theater was more realistic than reality. Avalon seems like the turning point.
People will probably only work to pay for their VR life experience. The sexual aspect, as you state, will only be part of the VR world. VR could have some incredible ways to right a brain that’s been warped by some past experience. PTSD would be a grand application. But the good, in the case of VR, may far outweigh the good.
Couple this with the soon-to-be-available ability to custom design your children and things will be very interesting. It makes you wonder when God will say, “OK, that’s enough.”
—Keith K, Buford, GA
Letters on The Thing About Sex
Thanks for this article. We better get the emotional and spiritual things about sex figured out because desire, the physical aspect often wanes over the years. In fact, my husband often look at each and say let’s go get together not because there is this huge desire factor in either or both of us pushing us to the bedroom, but rather that this an important connection. Along with a strong parader life, sexual intimacy fuels our oneness, naked and not ashamed. So don’t wait until you desire it, choose it!
—Cheryl S, Ormond Beach, Florida