A general principal of this blog is to actively avoid hot takes. Responses to contemporary writings usually show up here about a month after the initial publication. And most commentary on current events has a roughly one year moratorium. The idea being that a response is better than a reaction. A post may be written soon after but it won’t be published until it has had a goodly amount of time to sit and be reviewed and reworked if need be.
The upside of this policy is A. I am not competing in a screaming match for attention, and B. I am forced to think through better my conclusion, what ever it is. The downside is by the time a post is published most of the world has moved on and is uninterested on another angle of whatever it was that was so interesting. But more so the downside is summed up in the frustration with having nothing to write.
Hot takes and reaction pieces are fun. You get to vent your spleen in the moment, and since it is on something that has immediately happened or been written, and new things are always happening and being written. There is rarely a lack of material to pound out an opinion on. But they are rarely accurate and sometimes advance a narrative that proves to be false. In our increasingly speedy times patience is no longer a virtue but a setback. The last shall remain the last.
A real pickle to be sure. Unless… The discipline of writing is exactly that, a discipline. Having nothing to write, and/or doing hot takes only requires laziness. If all is to the glory of God, then the audience size matters not. If writing about an eternal and infinitely interesting Lord is the goal then thought that is repetitive or in the minutia is par for the course. As Dr. Johnson was fond of saying, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”
The Puritans were like jewelers of doctrine. When they finished with one facet of a theological diamond they would rotate the jewel and start all over again.* A following on the blogosphere may be fun, but I’d rather be a twenty-first century Puritan.
*I think this metaphor came from Leland Ryken’s most excellent book Worldly Saints.