I started reading N.T. Wright’s new book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, today. I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I heard it was coming out, and in fact I was almost giddy to start it. I hope to offer a full review of it once I am finished. But as I read the introduction, I came across this paragraph, and I think it is very applicable to what goes on here.
Test this out. Go to the blogsites, if you dare. It really is high time we developed a Christian ethic of blogging. Bad temper is bad temper even in the apparent privacy of your own hard drive, and harsh and unjust words, when released into the wild, rampage around and do real damage. And as for the practice of saying mean and untrue thing while hiding behind a pseudonym – well if I get a letter like that it goes straight in the bin. But the cyberspace equivalents of road rage don’t happen by accident. People who type, vicious, angry, slanderous and inaccurate accusations do so because they feel their worldview to be under attack. Yes, I have a pastoral concern for such people. (And, for that matter, a pastoral concern for anyone who spends more than a few minutes a day taking part in blogsite discussions, especially when they all use code names: was it for this that the creator God made human beings?) But sometimes worldviews have to be shaken. They may become idolatrous and self-serving. And I fear that that has happened, and continues to happen, even in well-regulated, shiny Christian contexts – including, of course, my own. John Piper** writes, he tells us, as a pastor. So do I.
**Wright’s book is largely in response to John Piper’s book, The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright