Thursday, January 3, 2008

Blog-Level Ecumenism

Per Christum has some interesting analysis of the phenomena of “blog-level ecumenism,” which is well worth reading (HT: ThinkChristian). David argues that the rise of the blog has fostered a broad-based (though mostly unconscious) ecumenical movement which holds great potential for mutual understanding and cooperation among diverse Christian denominations. Though I rather doubt this will ever result in an institutional unification of Christianity, it is certainly capable of building bridges at an individual level. Indeed, my own awareness and appreciation of the diversity of Christianity has been vastly enlarged as a result of the time I have spent blogging, and I know I am not alone.

Though it is rather embarrassing to admit, not that many years ago I was a stereotypical fundamentalist Protestant, convinced that all Catholics and “liberal” Protestants were far from the truth and thoroughly lost. Though four years of college did a great deal to widen my perspective, it wasn’t until I began blogging that I ever really interacted with people from outside my tradition, nor realized how deeply my misconceptions went. That today I can enthusiastically link to a Catholic, writing on ecumenism, is supremely ironic considering where I started, and this change is largely due to the people I have met online. Indeed, my very blog-title is another irony; I had never even heard of Chesterton (a Catholic) until someone mentioned him on a blog. Such was my sheltered youth.

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