What message is this medium giving you?

The medium is the message” according to Marshall McLuhan. I haven’t read any of his publications myself, but recently listened to an audiobook of The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies in which he discusses this concept.

In a nutshell, the idea is that every medium of communication carries with it inherent constraints which determine how the content carried by that medium will be created, transmitted and received. So the way in which we receive a message is partly determined by the medium through which we receive it (i.e., text versus TV, or blog versus Bible).

My musing over this stems from a concern over whether I might be unwisely using my time writing a blog? I tend to justify it to myself with two reasons:

  1. Writing these posts gets me thinking more deeply about ‘God-stuff’ than I would do otherwise.
  2. It serves the Body of Christ to have God-glorifying content on the internet.

However, I cannot say with absolute certainty that God has ‘called’ me to blog. I could write in my own notebook in order to think deeply about God without inflicting my musings upon the world. I am not even certain that what I write is of any benefit to the Body of Christ.

So I have two questions:

  1. Is it possible to truly honour God with the medium of a blog?
  2. What is the best way to use a blog to glorify God?

Question 1 is basically a yes/no question. Question 2 may require some explanation: the format of a blog determines how the message is received. Some of the ways in which the format affects the message is that readers of web pages tend to skim rather than ponder; many blogs are entertainment so this colours how people read all blogs; there are technical constraints on how a web page can be displayed, limiting how it can look; a blog must always be viewed through a gadget (computer, ipad, phone); and so on.

3 thoughts on “What message is this medium giving you?

  1. Mike, I think that if your purpose in blogging is to glorify God, and you execute that purpose in a way that praises God, then your blog glorifies God. One thing I have noticed about your blog is that you edify and uplift. It is difficult to read your blog and not come away seeing your love for God and your earnestness about making it about him. many times we blog and the blog turns out to be more about us than about him. It also has the affect of causing your readers to think more deeply about God’s affect on their lives as you share his affect on yours. By the way, I did read the “The Medium is a the Mesage,” in a high school class called Symbology. (It was the seventies what can I say?) I thought it was all flash and no substance, it would have been better as a video.


  2. Hi, Mike.

    I’ve been meaning to come back and leave some comments on your blog.

    I agree with Chris’s comments. Your blog is worthwhile. I’ve only been reading for a short while, and already I feel I’ve benefited from it.

    Of course, it’s good to check our motives, and to consider whether what we’re doing really is what God wants us to be doing, but sometimes I think we over think things—I certainly do!

    To answer your questions:

    1) Yes, I definitely think it’s possible to honour God with a blog. Almost anything in life (that isn’t inherently sinful) can be used to honour him.

    2) I’m not sure there’s any one answer to this, but the best way to honour God with a blog is probably the one that comes most naturally and joyfully to you, where you feel his pleasure in doing it; and, of course, that has a real love for Christ behind it. That leaves a lot of scope for approach, I think.


    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks for the encouragement. I think you are right about honouring God by using what we have in the most natural and joyful way we are able. It seems that the key element really is motives as you say and this is something I have to pray God will help me to monitor in myself and be open to Him using others to keep me honest!

      The interesting thing I have found since writing this post is that I have intentionally been holding the blog less tightly and have felt more freedom to continue writing in doing that and the ideas for new things to write have come readily also (what I lack now it time to write!).


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