Monday, April 25, 2005

New Comments Policy

Untill now, I have resisted instituting anything like a "comments policy." In general, I let it just happen. There have been some good dialogues, some clarifications, good questions, etc. One of the things I appreciate about the blogosphere is that, in distinction from the mainstream media, the readers actually have a voice. If the blogger gets his facts wrong, makes a bad argument, is unfair, etc., he can be called on the carpet immediately and publicly. I appreciate, therefore, everyone who has taken the time to weigh in.

This weekend I read a blog post by a noted evangelical mocking another evangelical's scholarly work as Sunday-school material. I was sorely tempted to leave a comment on the site--anonymously--giving the author a piece of my mind. This reveals two weaknesses of mine: (1) a desire to respond too quickly; and (2) a desire to use my harshest rhetoric when I can have electronic anonymity.

This, combined with the wise counsel from a friend, leads me to institute a new policy for this blog: no anonymous commenting. I would like to see this blog be a forum whereby, as Paul says, we can have "an open statement of the truth" (2 Cor. 4:2). If your comment is of such a nature that you are uncomfortable signing your name to it, then don't make the comment.

My final exhortation--and I certainly include myself in this!--is to recognize that the beauty of the blogosphere is also its bane, namely, its instantaneity. But the lesson I am learning is that it is usually wise, before commenting, to reread the post or comment, make sure you understand precisely what it is and is not saying, and then consider whether it is wise and edifying for you to respond.!