What I love about blogging: the conversation.
I love the variety of voices. I love writing my little pieces and hearing so many different responses. I love reading what others write, and sometimes responding to them as well. I love that I am not limited in my knowledge and understanding of the world to those whose views make the pages of The Cleveland Plain Dealer and The New York Times, to those who write for America and The Christian Century. I love that I have little blogging communities: what's left of the AOL gang, the RevGals, the Ignatian folks, the Presbies, the other moms whose hearts have been shattered by loss. I love that I have readers and people whom I read who fall into none of those categories.
This afternoon, I'm thinking about all of these voices in the context of books. I've been introduced to a LOT of books and authors by bloggings friends. Tomorrow, I'll be participating in a blogging book tour of Carolyn Custis James' book, Half the Church. And some days ago, one of my Karen friends reviewed the controversial new Rob Bell book, Love Wins. I haven't read Love Wins yet, but I will go so far as to say that I missed the Life Instructions on Hell's Occupants, and so the clamor over the book is something of a mystery to me. However, I am guessing that Karen's view (and she likes parts of the book) is something of an unusual one, at least this portion of it:
"The most personally offensive to me? Rob's discussion of life and death as the cycle through which all good things come. His reasoning is that life and death are a cycle since creation, and therefore part of God's great plan. He uses the example that the plant has to die to give us life; the firefighter has to die to save someone else's life. I had a hard time with his shallow thinking on this topic. Having lived through the death of someone essential to my life, I don't see death in general as the mechanism that God uses to restore the earth. He used One Death, Christ's death, to make sure that death died and He tells us that death is the last enemy that will die. Death is an enemy, not a friend. An aberration, not the original plan. It is a result of fallenness, a consequence with which we are forced to live, not a blessing to the planet. How did he miss this great fundamental truth in seminary?"
Karen and I both have sons who have died, and her words made me think of Nick Wolterstorff's in Lament for a Son: "Don't say it's not really so bad. Because it is. Death is awful, demonic."
And that's what I love about blogging most of all. Everyone can be heard!