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2019: The Year of the Blog

2019: The Year of the Blog January 1, 2019

My name is David Cramer, and I’m starting a blog.

In 2019.

LG enV touch
Dan Fuhry / Wikimedia Commons
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t blogging a bit more 2009 than 2019?

Perhaps. But I’m not the one to ask. I still use an LG Cosmos keyboard phone. It’s so antiquated it’s become a conversation starter every time I use it in company.

Which I kind of enjoy.

I don’t refuse to upgrade to a smartphone simply because I’m a Luddite—though I may, indeed, be one. Rather, I’ve simply discerned that limiting the amount of technology at my fingertips is a good thing.

Discernment about technology is one of the historical characteristics of a group of people called Anabaptists. Some Anabaptists, like the Old Order Amish who live around me in Northern Indiana, still use horses and buggies and forego electricity in their homes. Others, like the more modernized Mennonites in the area, are just as tech savvy as your average Millennial.

But at their best, Anabaptists came to use (or not use) technology not because the technology was available but because they discerned the technology to be beneficial.

When I was a grad student at Baylor University, I ran across an article in Baylor’s journal Christian Reflection with the intriguing title, “Technological Prudence: What the Amish Can Teach Us.”

In the article, Kevin D. Miller, a communications professor at Huntington University, offers a historical survey of telephone usage among Old Order Amish. What he finds is that “telephone usage among the Amish demonstrates that a plastic rather than rigid posture toward innovations allowed these groups to successfully leverage the telephone as a tool for maintaining community rather than ripping its fabric apart.”

In other words, the Amish don’t eschew technology based on some kind of “rigid dogmatism” or romantic idealism. Instead, they collectively discern which technologies will best foster community and which will most likely destroy it.

And they opt for the former over the latter.

Which brings me back to this blog. My hope is that it will foster community among those interested in Anabaptism—whether evangelicals, Mennonites, or the occasional Amish.

So here’s to 2019: the year of the blog!

About David C. Cramer
David C. Cramer is teaching pastor at Keller Park Church in South Bend, Indiana, and managing editor at the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. You can read more about the author here.
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