The buzz around GodBlogCon is growing and concerns about the name have followed. Check out Jeff Jarvis of buzzmachine.com on MSNBC’s new show Connected: Coast to Coast. (HT: Matt Margolis). After you’ve watched that, read this concern by Margolis and this even-handed response by Robin Burk, who writes:
“It’s not hard to find Catholic and Jewish believers who supported Bush/Cheney after 9/11 and who share a lot of the same concerns that many evangelicals have about legal and moral issues in our country. Whatever the value of this upcoming blogger convention, evangelicals would be wise I think to make sure they reach out to – or at least don’t alienate – those political allies. Pride, it is written, goeth before a fall.”
The warning is duly noted, as are the other concerns about the name. However, I have a tough time seeing how an explicitly Christian convention aimed at improving the Christian blogosphere (in it’s various instantiations or manifestations) would offend or alienate our politically like-minded friends who are Jewish, , Mormon, etc. Rather, it seems we can continue to be divided along theological grounds while united in our moral/political agenda–I have a tough time understanding how a Christian blogging conference would jeopardize that, but I am open to being persuaded.
However, it does get on the (rather tricky!) issue of demarcation lines–how do you determine who can come and who can’t? The original post on Dr. Jackson’s site (which I cannot find anymore) read: We invite all Protestant, Orthodox and Roman Catholic christian bloggers. GodBlogCon is a Christian convention which is rooted in the historic Biblical faith and creeds.
Clearly, GodBlogCon is intended to be an ecumenical affair. How does this account for the preponderance of evangelical bloggers listed? On January 10th, Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost inaugrated the “evangelical blogroll.” At 8:40 am PST on Januray 22nd, Hugh Hewitt posted these words:
And Rick Warren or some other far seeing pastor with a big facility and conference organizing experience ought to convene a conference on blogging and the Church, and invite all the God bloggers and interested pastors and parachurch workers to meet and confer on the new communication platform. If someone throws that party, I’ll endlessly promote it. But I hope that organizer invites some secular bloggers so that the Godblogcon I isn’t as hopelessly narrow in scope as the Harvard gathering.
My hunch is that the newly organizing evangelicals swarmed around the conference and Dr. Jackson’s site, giving it the appearance that it is an evangelical affair. However, this was more accident of timing than conscious decision.