If you haven’t noticed, there is a burgeoning industry of fake blogs written by celebrities. Steve Jobs has a fake blog. Soes Lindsey Lohan.
Apparently, so does D.A. Carson. Never heard of him? He’s a careful theologian who, well, isn’t exactly famous.
But he has a fake blog all the same. And apparently, the administrators at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (and ostensibly Carson himself!) want it shut down.
As Joe points out, this raises interesting questions for Christian bloggers.
Many of us enjoy celebrity-based internet memes like Chuck Norris Facts (Sample: “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.”) or the Fred Thompson Facts (Sample: “Not only does Fred Thompson cut taxes, he cuts tax collectors.”). Such public figures expect this sort of notoriety and tend to take in good humor. But are “celebrities of the Church”, particularly respected leaders, off-limits? Should we refrain from making them the targets for such frivolity? Does it diminish their role or offend their reputation?
I sincerely hope Christian celebs are not off limits. At least, not any more off limits than anyone else. To claim that they should enjoy a special status above the rest of us would be to place them in the dangerous position of Ted Haggard, who seemed to suffer from “Christian celebrityism.” We shouldn’t reinforce the notion of “Christian celebrityism” by protecting them from (attempted) humor.
That, of course, doesn’t mean such blogs should exist at all within Christianity. I will leave that question to more holy, wise and pastoral minds than my own.
I will point out, however, that if a writer like Chesterton were alive today, there would be no room for a parody blog. He was too busy making fun of himself to leave anyone else enough material to work with. In this regard, there may be room for such blogs on the grounds of “division of labour.” If I ever become famous enough to have a “Fake Matt” blog, I’ll provide the author more access to parody me, not less (I reserve the right to change my mind should someone ever propose one).
Update: Scot McKnight has weighed in with this thought: “A steady diet of satire is soul-destroying, especially when one remains anonymous and especially when it goes on indefinitely about the same person.”