Evangelical Blog Awards

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The Evangelical Blog Awards are here, hosted by Evangelical Underground. I have reservations about the very idea of it, but I got nominated in the apologetics category, so I guess I need to promote it now. A few categories are rather low in the nominations at this point, so go ahead and suggest some if you can help fill it out.


Sorry about that...I'm the culprit of the nomination unless someone beat me out to it. Mind telling me why you have reservations? If you wish you can email me instead.

I don't have reservations about being nominated. I'm wondering why we need evangelical blog awards. Bloggers have been complaining a lot lately about the evangelical blog ghetto, expressing wishes that we break out of it. I don't think there was ever a time when I was in it, because a large number of my readers are philosophers who aren't even Christians, never mind evangelicals, but I do think a number of bloggers who are evangelicals tend to emphasize this notion that the blogs that are evangelical are this distinct group, which leads to an idea of separateness rather than interaction. I don't think there's a strong sense of separateness, at least from the higher-profile sites, but it's there with many sites.

It's not as bad as the overall evangelical ghetto in American culture, with a Christian version of every item in American pop culture, including things that I don't think Christians have any business trying to do. Even the innocent things lead to a sense of separateness where it shouldn't be. Rather than simply doing what we do well, we do it for Christians so they can have their Christian version of it.

One thing most evangelicals, even ones opposed to the ghetto mindset, don't realize is that this conflicts with some fundamental values they themselves express at other ghetto mindsets. Many evangelicals oppose the ghetto mindset created at universities when racial groups stick together to form some group identity, usually based in a sense of victimhood, often exaggerated at least a bit. Evangelicals tend to do the same thing, and it's a battle just to fight the victimology mindset, never mind to avoid being a Christian ghetto on campus.

The same thing happens in the real world beyond/outside college, as Christians often will have friends who are Christian, activities to do with other Christians, and so on. I don't think there's anything wrong in principle with Evangelical Blog Awards. I don't think there's anything wrong in principle with the Dove Awards or the fact that Christians have their own music labels and book publishers to organize products that are supposedly coming from a Christian perspective so that they have something friendlier to that perspective within those who control production of such media. It's not any particular thing that I'm wary of (though there are particular Christian products that I don't think represent Christian views very well). It's the idea of the Christian ghetto. My sense is that this might even have been intended to avoid that or help people break out of it, but I can think of reasons why, even if it does have that consequence, it might help further the ghetto mindset or effect instead.

I never even looked at most of these award shows and circles in that way--and I'm left in my seat with a mental pause. It's almost like a philosophical step back from Jesus' "Go ye into the world". It can have unintentional consequencs--very good point indeed.


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