Winter 2009

Biola Takes Christian Blogging to Sin City

By Brett McCracken

GodBlogCon 1

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but for those who attended this September’s GodBlogCon (God Blog Conference) at the Las Vegas Convention Center, nothing could be further from the truth.

Throughout the three-day Biola-sponsored event — now in its fourth year — attendees were treated to a practical lineup of panel discussions, seminars and plenary talks on various aspects of “Christian blogging,” offering attendees advice on everything from the ethics of editing to strategies for increasing the civility of online discussion.

Speakers included everyone from Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio, who spoke on the impact of technologies on human identity, to Wade Tonkin of Christian Affiliate Marketers, who spoke about how to financially support a blog (without “losing your soul”).

The original GodBlogCon convened in October of 2005 on Biola’s campus. About 135 Christian bloggers attended the event to discuss blogging’s potential for Christianity as a major emerging communication form. The conference moved to Las Vegas in 2007 and returned there this past Sept. 20-21 as a “mini conference” within the larger Blog World Expo, the world’s largest blogging trade show. This year’s GodBlogCon included about 80 participants, while the larger expo had more than 2,000 registered attendees.

Housed in a makeshift “theater” in the midst of the Blog World convention floor, GodBlogCon offered sessions that were less “how to” than they were “think well,” said Dustin Steeve (’08), senior director of GodBlogCon.

“The goal is to get people thinking about blogging from a Christian perspective,” he said. “What are the challenges? Opportunities? Questions we should ask?”

A major theme at this year’s GodBlogCon was the shared feeling that blogging is undergoing a transition. Whereas in the early years of blogging’s existence it was viewed as a singular pursuit — a sort of online diary where one could pontificate about any and every topic — it now seems that those types of blogs are on the decline, while online communities and collectives focused on particular issues or interests are on the rise.

Several such sites were represented at the 2008 GodBlogCon. One successful “collective of bloggers” is the Scriptorium Daily, where faculty members of Biola’s Torrey Honors Institute offer daily posts on a variety of issues from philosophy to politics. The Scriptorium’s most regular contributor, John Mark Reynolds, founder and director of the Torrey Honors Institute, spoke on “The Art of Online Conversation” at the closing session of the conference.

Even if the initial novelty of blogging has worn off, it is still a significant form of cultural activity. A Spring 2008 survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that 33 percent of Internet users say they read blogs, with 11 percent of Internet users doing so on a typical day. Approximately 12 percent of Internet users say they have at some point created a blog.

The GodBlogCon is put together entirely by Biola students from the Torrey Honors Institute. Sophomore philosophy major Barak Wright was a member of the student staff, and although he considers himself a consumer rather than practitioner of web media, he has interesting thoughts on the value of an event like GodBlogCon.

“It can be easy for the incarnational, physical elements of Christianity to be lost in the digital world of blog communication,” he said. “This conference is about adding a physical place to come together and meet people.”

Ultimately, GodBlogCon was about creating and enriching a Christian community of blogging that has the potential to stand out in the increasingly overcrowded chorus of Web voices.

“Everything we do, we hope is God-breathed,” Reynolds said in his closing remarks. “We hope that we can learn from one another and be charitable.”

Biola Bloggers

A sampling of Biola faculty and alumni who are active bloggers

 

Share

Subscribe to Comments

Comments

  • steve finnell July 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    IS YOUR NAME WRITTEN IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE?

    Who will be allowed to enter the great city, the holy Jerusalem, when time will no longer exist?

    Revelation 21:9-27..... 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city , the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God........27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.(NKJV)

    That narrows it down. You do not have to speculate about that which defiles. You do not have to wonder what or who causes an abomination or a lie. If your name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life you are the guilty one.

    Philippians 4:3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life.(NKJV)

    Whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life? All of those whose sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb have their names written in the Book of Life.

    How do men get their sins washed away?
    1. Faith: John 3:16
    2. Repentance: Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38
    3. Confession:Romans 10:9
    4. Water Baptism: Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Ephesians 5:25-27

    Having you name written on the membership role of your local church does not guarantee that your name will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

    Your name might be written in the book at the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church, the Mosque, the Catholic Church, the Temple of Freemasonry, the Methodist church, the Elks Lodge, the Salvation Army, the Mormon Church, the Buddhist Temple, the Community Church, the Christian Church, the Synagogue, etc., however, if your name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life you will not be allowed into the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

    Revelation 3:1-5......."He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and His angels.(NKJV)

    Yes, your name can be erased from the Book of Like.

    Revelation 13:4-8 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast.....8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.(NKJV)

    At the end times all who do not not have their names written in the Book of Life will worship the beast.

    There are men today who worship false gods. There are men, even now, who worship the Pope, the Virgin Mary and other dead saints by praying to them.


    Is your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life? If not, you will not be entering the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. You may follow by a google search, steve finnell a christian view.



Post a comment

Your email will not be published as part of your comment.

Issue Highlights

Back to Winter 2009 Home

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000