This is my last extended reflection on why blogging is a valuable endeavor. (Such a prolegomena could go on infinitum and ad nauseum, so we will conclude with these final remarks).
For the joy of contending for, expounding, and simply telling others about God’s goodness and truth. John writes: “And we write these things so that our joy may be complete” (1John 1:4). Let me unpack this verse with three questions, and than one point of application as it pertains to Via Emmaus.
First, who is the “we”? Contextually, without any proper names, it seems like it is the band of witnesses who heard, saw, and touched the risen Lord (v. 1). This would include all those listed in 1 Cor. 15, but more particularly it seems to be those, like John, who lived to tell the gospel message of Christ. For John says in verse 2, that “we” who have seen it, “testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life.” Moreover, since these these witnesses are testifying to Christ’s bodily resurrection and His promise of eternal life, it seems logical that it would be the first century apostles and prophets (i.e. Eph. 4:11).
Second, what are “these things”? Again, going only from the context, it seems to be the content of what he is describing in verses 1-3: the reality of Christ’s resurrection, that which he saw, heard, and touched. Moreover, it is the eternal life himself, Jesus Christ, who “was with the Father and was made manifest to us” (v. 2). This is what John proclaimed, “so that you too may have fellowship with us” (v. 3) — fellowship that was with God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the assembly of believers (cf. v. 3). These two things–the reality of Christ’s resurrection and the promise of eternal life–clearly indicate why this beloved disciple is joyful, but they also lead us to a final question.
Third, how is his joy made complete? John’s joy is found in sharing “Christ”ian fellowship with others. John loved expanding the boundaries of the community of faith. He loved telling others of the gospel, describing all that he had seen, heard, and touched. He delighted in recounting the gospel of Jesus Christ, with its exclusive promise of eternal life; and when he shared this good news with others, his joy was made complete. In other words, his joy is expanded in the sharing of his joy. (Oh, that we might all share this joyful spirit).
Let me illustrate this point. Last night my wife and I found a great little Middle-Eastern restaurant. The food was great– authentic falafel and shawarmas. What could be better? Well, one thing: sharing the good news with others. For in sharing the experience of these Lebanese delicacies we would not only enjoy the pleasures of the food, but even greater, we would share the joy of seeing others enjoy the same appetizing foods. How much more with the bread of life that brings eternal life! (For more on this idea, John Piper has masterfully explained it in Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.)
So it is with blogging. While it is a joy to consider gospel truths in isolation, it is a far greater joy to share God’s daily mercies with others. For only in this sharing are our joys fully experienced. While I would contend that it is best to do this in person (particularly in the framework of a local church), the vehicle of blogging is a viable platform for highlighting God’s goodness, truth, and beauty–in his Word and in his world. Such intentional testimony has the incredible prospect of building faith, fueling hope, and/or purifying love. Certainly, not all (Christian) blogging is done in this spirit, but what if it was? It ought to be the conscious effort of every Christian to be a means of grace in all that they say or blog. Prayerfully, that will be the aim of this fallible blogger.
Let me again refer to the beloved apostle and close by answering the question, “Why blog?” with his words: “that our joy [in Jesus Christ] might be made complete.”
Sola dei gloria, dss