Clarifications from Larry Hurtado on Jesus-Devotion and Blogging

Larry Hurtado has posted some brief remarks clarifying some points about his understanding of Jesus-devotion in early Christianity.

But the best quote is perhaps not related specifically to that topic, but to how his blog readers and commenters approach it:

Those who can’t be bothered to read books and articles and who insist on engaging complex matters simply in frenzied blog-comments will find me and the issues frustrating. No apologies. They’ll either have to move on in the blogosphere or give the issues the time and care that they require and deserve.

Indeed! Having scholars blogging is a good way of promoting the spread of reliable information, but ideally it is an entry point to reading the longer and more detailed discussions and analyses of which our blog posts are but a pale reflection.

Any thoughts on how to use a blog to bring scholarly discussion into the public sphere, without getting frustrated by those who seem interested to know what your views are in more detail – as long as you are willing to type them out again on the blog rather than merely direct them to an article or book you’ve already written? I’m sure Larry would value your comments and words of encouragement!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13483419817200339955 Paul D.

    "Any thoughts on how to use a blog to bring scholarly discussion into the public sphere…?"As a layman who posts frenzied blog-comments on occasion, I'd like to see more bibliographic information posted along with blog entries that delve into scholarly material.

  • Chris Taylor

    Any thoughts on how to use a blog to bring scholarly discussion into the public sphere, without getting frustrated by those who seem interested to know what your views are in more detail – as long as you are willing to type them out again on the blog rather than merely direct them to an article or book you've already written?Dr. McGrath,Interesting question. As a layman who enjoys reading a lot of theo and biblio blogs, I wanted to offer some thoughts.Frustration (I think) always stems from expectations. When expectations aren't met, we get frustrated. To keep from getting frustrated, perhaps you could adjust expectations? :) I do NOT mean your expectations are unrealistic, just that if you don't want to be frustrated, adjust them downward :)I (as a layperson) really appreciate what you guys do, and the information you make available. But I think you need to keep in mind that there are a lot of us out there that are searching for a lot of answers to a lot of questions and based on the traditions we come from, we may be more (or less) cautious of the person behind those views. For example, I grew up in a conservative, rural, Southern Baptist tradition. This tradition has framed my mentality when it comes to approaching scripture and those who expound on it. Part of this tradition is a skepticism of the person and the message if it isn't what you're used to.So, I think you're always going to have people hitting your blog from different areas and hitting different posts who are going to want to know more about the person behind the post and whether or not they (and their message) is trustworthy. Hope that helps?Chris

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Paul, that's a good idea – it may be that when we blog we don't actually provide enough links or pointers to our longer treatments of the subject.Chris, that's helpful, although what I understood Larry to be referring to is when someone keeps asking questions or objecting to short summaries that have been provided, even when links to a more detailed treatment have been provided. In those cases, the commenter seems to want the book or article to be typed or pasted in as a comment for their benefit.

  • Chris Taylor

    Ah..thank you for the clarification.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16947798364523082547 Rich Griese

    I would say, have the religion professional industry folks, stop babbling about their views of movies, and evolution, and simply makes entries to their blogs any time they have a professional publication. Then simply attach that publication as a PDF to a blog article. That would reduce the noise factor.There is too much noise on the internet already.I don't care about say Bart Ehrman's view on the NY Giants, or the latest book by Stephen King, But… I would love to know that he has published some new paper in a history journal, and get a copy of it as PDF from him.I am a retired analyst, if anyone is interested in discussing some of the problems with the current path the religion professionals blogs is taking, feel free to email me.Cheer! RichGriese@gmail.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18436448315505182664 Thom Stark

    I want to know what McGrath thinks about sci-fi and sports. Well, not sports, but sci-fi anyway. And if Ehrman has something to say about the Giants, I'll want to be informed about that too.


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