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Theology Blogging Pet Peeve

Ok, one thing I seriously can’t stand among theology bloggers is when the blog consists of virtually nothing other than of notifications about the author’s most recently published books, articles, or reviews.

Admittedly there aren’t tons of blogs that perpetrate this, but there are plenty where such announcements take up far too large a percentage of the posts on a blog. Not that theology blogs shouldn’t include this, its just that if you’re going to be serious about calling it a theology blog and not simply a self-promotion web device, you need to be sporting some content and discussion.

These are my feelings on this matter.


  1. dan wrote:

    My pet peeve is people posting quotations (with little or no significant commentary) just to keep a high level of blog activity (and a high level of readers or ratings?).

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:


    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  3. erin wrote:

    Don’t be. It provides me with more exposure to authors I might never otherwise get the chance to read. It does the same for folk in my church. Of course, we are not as academically bent as the intended audience, I’m sure, but post away!

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  4. Halden wrote:

    Truth is, I do it more for myself than anything else. Sometimes I want to be able to grab quotes easily from stuff I’ve read in the past, so I just throw them on here.

    They actually don’t do much in the way of generating more activity or traffic, though. Simply quote posts get almost no attention.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  5. Adam Kotsko wrote:

    I just published an article on exactly this problem — you can visit my blog if you want more details.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink
  6. Halden wrote:


    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  7. Nathan Smith wrote:

    Indulge me a meta-discussion: just what does everyone understand by “theological blogging” or theoblogging? Does it include biblical studies and commentaries? What about Christian political blogging? Christian prose and poetry?

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  8. dan wrote:

    You’re not as bad as most. At least you produce a(n insanely) high amount of other material.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  9. Robert Minto wrote:

    Is there a certain inherent tension between being a good blogger and being a good self-effacing theologian? But then that would apply to anyone bothering to unveil their theologizing to others in any form…

    I’m always interested in bloggers’ self-perceptions, and I feel like for some (maybe some of the bloggers that irritate you) blogs are basically just a content management system—so you can’t really fault the dudes for accidentally being bloggers who are just trying to establish a web-presence for their books and articles. Personally, I dig your style of blogging because it accepts and uses the blog as a distinct genre of writing deserving of its own philosophy.

    We’ll just have to hope the gospel of proper blogging spreads apace.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  10. Cornelius wrote:

    Huh? A protocol for theology blogging? Good try.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  11. Evan wrote:


    And Robert Minto brings up some good points… I don’t talk about my own publications much (mostly because I don’t churn them out often enough!), but I do appreciate this focus if that’s what a blogger wants to do. I try to offer good resources for research on my blog, and I think part of that is discussing what folks are doing. Far from being against this practice, I’d mention the notifications of others if I feel like it’s worth getting the word out about a good article/book/etc. that will be useful to people.

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
  12. Bobby Grow wrote:

    What if the particular publications involve the development of substantive theological themes; I don’t know how pointing folks to that would negate the nature of someone’s blog from being a theo-blog — in fact just the opposite (there is one blog, in particular, that you have in your blogroll, that I have benefited from immensely; and much of his ‘posts’ involve exactly what you seem to detest — but to each his own).

    And it seems to me that blogs are inherently self-promoting; since each of us who have them ‘promote’ our own thoughts and beliefs per whatever ‘we’ feel like writing on at that particular moment.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 12:06 am | Permalink
  13. Bobby Grow wrote:


    What happen to your blog? Did you delete it?

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  14. Evan wrote:

    Sorry, the link was bad. The link for this post should work.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:18 am | Permalink
  15. Chris Donato wrote:

    My pet peeve in general is that the majority of what is found on “theoblogs” has not been vetted. One guy/gal sitting alone in the dark snacking on m&ms and jellybeans, typing furiously in histrionic madness. Words mean something. Theology even more. And the latter is not (ought not be) an individual exercise…

    Of course, if the material produced is consistently good (loosely defined as “helpful to the church”) to read, then the theoblogger gets a pass or two.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:41 am | Permalink
  16. Nathan Smith wrote:

    Isn’t blogging in itself the best vetting process? I type something, someone comments (“you’re wrong”), I revise my ideas or delete the post.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 7:05 am | Permalink
  17. Chris Donato wrote:

    Yes and no. Many readers just aren’t up to that challenge. And the one’s that are, are usually too busy with their own stuff to be of any significant help. Moreover, the blog post is already “out there,” despite the few (like yourself) who revise and/or delete accordingly.

    I’m expressing a weird kind of tension here; I enjoy many theoblogs that are apparently un-vetted. But I also see many wasting and wasteful. Maybe I see blogging (or want to see it) as less of a journal where thoughts are simply vomited out on the page and more of a respectable process where helpful ideas are bounced off others and then promulgated? Maybe we just need both, and the fact is we have far too much of the former and not enough of the latter?

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  18. Nathan wrote:

    Well, to be honest, I have restricted my blog to the topic of biblical studies because of the half-baked nature of my thoughts on theology and politics. In other words, I understand your position. So if a public posting on the internet is not the best vetting process, perhaps other technologies (email, private blogs, etc.) can still leverage the wisdom of others before publishing.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  19. Bobby Grow wrote:

    My pet-peeve is that ‘theo-bloggers’ tend to take themselves way too seriously . . . it’s a blog for goodness sake!

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  20. Halden wrote:

    Mine is when people take my blog too seriously.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  21. Bobby Grow wrote:

    ;-) . . . your too humble!

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  22. Nathan wrote:

    Don’t worry, nobody has taken you seriously since the bacolicious post. :-)

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  23. Is it I, Lord?

    Friday, May 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

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