Tuesday, July 13, 2004

How do we go deep?

We live in a very surface culture. The blog world is instant. There is huge pressure to produce. Maggi Dawn touched on this in a recent post. Yesterdays post is old news. There is a constant thirst for new technology.

A few weeks ago I got some space to write. I should have been listening to a conference. But I took my laptop, found a good view, plugged in my music, and wrote a journal article; “Co-authoring Christianity.” Immersed, I suddenly realised I was deeply, deeply happy. “When I write, I feel God’s pleasure

Yesterday, I was preparing for a paper. I was deep in a commentary, exploring Genesis 18. Immersed, I suddenly realised I was deeply, deeply, happy. “When I research, I feel God’s pleasure

Now, researching and writing don’t make for instant blogging. It takes time for ideas to emerge. It takes time to do the research. It takes time to publish.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my blog. It is the place where you can skim across my surface, see the worship result of a week of wrestle and struggle with a text or an idea. Yet I know that for me, the pressure to produce, the blogging surface, needs to be matched by the time to go deep.

There is a breathless, headlong feeding rush in the emerging church. What drives this? Desire for another new toy to play with? Boredom with the hard yards of the here and now? Missionary excitement?

How do we go deep in our surface world? Am I alone in this?

Posted by steve at 02:27 PM


  1. No you’re not alone…I’m always talking about spiritual, emotional, and relational deep in a largely superficial culture

    Comment by Paul Fromont — July 13, 2004 @ 6:17 pm

  2. You are not alone in wanting depth, we need this and often we are deluged with so much information that we cannot process. I need time and space to digest things for it to have some effect in my life. I want space to connect up the dots and see what picture emerges and view how this impacts my heart and life. I want something of substance….

    Comment by gary manders — July 13, 2004 @ 6:36 pm

  3. the breathless excitement for the next new thing, is, ironically, a typically modernist characteristic…

    Comment by maggi — July 13, 2004 @ 6:37 pm

  4. I have found that as I try to go deeper in a time of prayer or after reading the bible, sometimes I stall. Lately I’ve been picking up my pen and writing and realising that my mind doesn’t necessarily register that I’m there but what flows out on the paper surely show it.

    Comment by Andrew — July 14, 2004 @ 8:46 am

  5. I’ve always felt the same way. The pressure to create new post so that “readers” won’t get bored always bothered me.

    I just decided awhile back that I write to get my thoughts out however rapidly they come, and at whatever length. So I just make peace with myself that I’ll only post once or twice a week, and if they tend to be longer than the average attention spam, then I guess people won’t read my blog.

    it’s my way of trying not to play the fame game.

    Comment by Geoff Holsclaw — July 14, 2004 @ 11:12 am

  6. No, I feel the same way. I often wish that instead of :-
    • tackling one issue in a creative and explorative way in each service at moot

    we could:-
    • explore stuff over a period of time, in a deeper way, get to read around, here some alternative views in their complexity and fullness

    I think your right about the feeding rush – but in the rush we are in danger of skimming the surface rather than diving down deep.

    I know in the future I don’t want to live in the the big smoke (london), when I am in a constant state of flux, never having more then 5 minutes of time for anything and feeling pretty knackered most days.

    Where I would go I don’t know. But definately somewhere that affords me the time to compute stuff, add stuff up, and finally allow some clear thoughts to emerge.

    Comment by gareth — July 14, 2004 @ 8:18 pm

  7. I don’t think you’re alone at all but sadly I think one of the biggest limitations on a Christian who wants to “go deeper” is the Christians around them – they’ll walk with you for a while but sooner or later they wind up saying (in not so few words) “Ok, come on now – don’t you think thats far enough?”

    Comment by Randall — July 15, 2004 @ 3:59 pm

  8. I don’t think its production (creativity) versus reception (consumption) but rather – a rhythm – the way of the trinity – a 3 way dance of:


    the 3 universal ways we share of ‘being’ human …

    jesus was brill – at this!
    look at him in the gospels… the healthiest artist – the most human human…. weaving away there… not being obsessive about any 1 – of these 3 ways …
    otherwise production/shining would become – elistism/burn out

    open hearted receiving would be reduced to a shrivelled anaemic addictive/consumption

    resistance that is comic/dignity building distorted into violence

    Jesus – coached us on how to go for all 3 – and get humanized – s’all good!

    Comment by paul T — July 17, 2004 @ 11:05 pm

  9. Depth in blogging

    Following up on several of recent Steve’s postings on How do we go deep? here’s a crowd that claim to have recognised the lack of depth in the general media and blogging. Their alternative is to produce detail 5-20 page…

    Comment by Greenflame — July 25, 2004 @ 4:59 pm

  10. Virtual Theology

    There have been various threads of discussion recently in the blogosphere about the depth of blogging and its role as a medium for doing theology. (See Maggi (1) & (2), Steve (1) & (2), Dan and me (1) & (2)….

    Comment by Greenflame — August 13, 2004 @ 10:44 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.