When pastor Mark Roberts started his blog, he envisioned a small outreach to his community and parishioners at Irvine Presbyterian Church in Irvine, Calif.
When pastor Mark Roberts started his blog, he
envisioned a small outreach to his community and parishioners at Irvine
Presbyterian Church in Irvine, Calif.
But little more than a year later, the blog at
markdroberts.com draws 1,500 visitors daily – 2,000 on weekends.
“I have readers literally all over the world,” said
Roberts, pastor to a 750-member congregation. His review of Mel
Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” has drawn more than 25,000
visitors and continues to draw readers by the hundreds.
It is but one small example of the growing reach of
Christian bloggers going online to evangelize, mobilize and
occasionally demonize. They marvel at the way blogs give them an
opportunity to engage with a lively and diverse audience they could
never attract on their own.
The term “blog” is short for Web log and refers to
the online journals that have given a public voice to anyone with an
Internet connection. Bloggers helped insulate President George Bush
last fall from doubts about his military service by calling into
question a CBS report on the subject, and they have given Americans an
unprecedented view of war, as described by the soldiers in the Middle
Evangelicals also used blogs to get voters to the polls in November.
But many Christians see a deeper opportunity in
blogging, said Hugh Hewitt, author of “Blog: Understanding the
Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World,” released in
“The Great Commission is communications-oriented,”
Hewitt noted. “And so, pastors now … have a brand-new platform to use
responsibly and effectively to achieve the Great Commission.”
Hewitt said Christians have embraced blogging
because they have felt sidelined by mainstream media. “It’s rewiring
completely how the world gets its information,” he said. “That barrier
and those distortions are now gone. … The ability to reach everyone
is now here, and good Christian bloggers have to flood the zone.”
Their number is blossoming.
“It’s clear that there’s an enormous upsurge in the
number of blogs and their influence,” said Albert Mohler, president of
the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., whose
blog is at crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/mohler.
He said Christians are “literally flooding to Web
sites and to … bloggers that deal responsibly with issues.”
Mohler said he is impressed by the cross-section of
visitors to his blog, which offers his religious response to issues in
the news. He cited one essay he posted that criticized persons who
marry with no intention to have children. A Web site arguing an
opposing stance was linked to the essay, and he was flooded with
“That’s a part of the energy of what they’re calling
the blogosphere, …” Mohler said. “You can very quickly get a broad
spectrum of opinion and analysis not only in the Christian world but
Roberts said he enjoys the broad dialogue that
blogging offers and believes it will grow because it is easy to do.
“This will be really popular – until the next thing comes along,” he