Warning Flattery Ahead: Canadian Reformed Bloggers
The Bible is very clear about flattery. Don’t do it. Flattery is different than a compliment. A compliment is a passing and polite expression of praise or admiration. Flattery on the other hand is excessive and insincere praise, especially that given to further one’s own interests or that seeks to harm the one being flattered. I have been the recipient of both. I admit that sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between the two, because my itching ears like to hear good things about myself, sincere or not. But if you are discerning, you can tell the difference. A compliment is sincere, usually a “thank you for that post,” and that is it. Flattery is done with an agenda. The, “I need him for some reason, and if he thinks I like him maybe he will be on my side,” kind of syrupy praise. Maybe you desire to use my little soapbox to support your idea or product…this happens fairly often. People have even rained down excessive praise on me to get me to pick sides in battles, from doctrinal debates to picking sides in martial disputes.
Looking back, I have been guilty of flattery as well. And for for that reason I have hesitated to post this article about blogs I read. I do desire to get into seminary and having a bunch of pastors on my side is a good thing, so I have to be careful of flattery for that reason.
Soon it will be time to announce this years winners of the Titus 2:1 awards for doctrinally sound blogs. With this award I simply want to compliment those writers, but I am always concerned about being guilty of flattery. Is putting an award on cyberspace “passing” or is it “excessive?” I have been going through my blog reader to see who will win it this year, and there are a number of good blogs out there that I would like to share with you. For that reason I have decided to write a post on Canadian Reformed Bloggers (Canreffers for short).
Warning: Possible Flattery ahead.
The Jedi and the Padawan.
Many Pastors in the Canadian Reformed Churches have a blog. Some blog frequently, some less so. I follow a lot of them, but I would like to point out 3 in particular… and one likely soon to be pastor.
Yinkahdinay by Dr. Wes Bredenhof.
He was the first winner of the Titus 2:1 award for doctrinally sound blogs. I could probably change the award to the “Yinkahdinay Award.” He has been unofficially dubbed (by yours truly) as the Cyber Warden of Reformed Orthodoxy. The ferocity in which he guards the truth of the Reformed faith as set out in the Three Forms of Unity is second to none. The topics he tackles are varied – from church history to book reviews, to commentary on current events. What I like best about his blog, is that while he is a scholar, he often writes at a level that the average layman can understand. He is only going to be a “Canreffer” for a short while longer as he has accepted a call to be a pastor in the Free Reformed Churches of Australia. For this reason I have rescinded all titles and the flattery you just read. 🙂
Life on The Mission Field by Rev. Jim Witteveen
Rev. Witteveen, affectionately known as “Pastor Jim” to his congregation and the City of Prince George where he is a missionary, has been blogging for quite a while about his experiences as a missionary in Northern BC. Always down to earth, scripturally sound, and easy to read, he occasionally likes to use scripture to reprimand me when no one is looking…I mean…what? …Seriously though, with a passion for reformed orthodoxy and focus on evangelism and missions (who knew the two coexisted? They do here! ) this blog is one of my “must reads.”
He is the only one of the four who have not received the Titus 2:1 award…that may change this year…but that is not flattery. Update: Pastor Jim did win the award last year…I need a better tracking system for this award. 🙂
Vanpopta.ca by Rev. George Van Popta
A former winner of the Titus 2:1 award, this is the least active of the 4 blogs, but he is my favourite story teller of the 4. Much like the introverted genius at the board meeting, when he speaks everyone ought to listen. But saying that would be flattery, so I won’t.
Sixteen Seasons by Jeremy Dehaan.
A former winner of the Titus 2:1, you may have guessed that Jeremy is the Padawan and the first three are the Jedi. And if you don’t know what a Jedi or Padawan is just Google it 🙂 I am geek. Yes. Get over it. Jeremy is a student at the Canadian Reformed Seminary in Hamilton and writes with a passion that is superseded only by God’s love for him. I admit that I often envy his style. He has such a way with using words to evoke images in your mind, like a Picasso with a word processor. He tends to write as a seminary student however, and that can make his articles a little more difficult to read for the average lay person. But it is still worth the effort, so grab a dictionary and a coffee and dig in. I just realized that it is pointless to flatter a mere seminarian, so please disregard what I just wrote.
There are many Canreffers in the blogosphere, some start blogs and never come back, and there are tons of “family blogs” which I do read, but won’t highlight here since they are usually private-ish. I would like to spotlight two of the newest ones that I am enjoying.
Teresa’s Daughter by Natasha Fennema
Natasha was born
a Christian to nominal Christian parents, who had her baptised as an infant, and as such God entered into a covenant relationship with her. A covenant has two parts, a promise and an obligation. However her parents neglected the vows they swore at her baptism by leaving the church and raising her outside of it, however God is faithful where we are faithless. She came back as an adult and has once again, by God’s grace, believed his promises to her at her baptism which are contained in the gospel. She is a single mom of 3 kids, struggles with depression, has a ferocious love for Jesus, and started a blog. I have never met her, and there is no point for me to flatter her, but you should check it out.
Rose Luiten by Rose Luiten
Rose was born and raised in the Canadian Reformed Church. We were both members of the same congregation in Surrey, and I worked with her for two weeks at Two EE’s farm market in Surrey. Both being intense introverts I think we said a total of 10 words to each other, all consisting of the words “hi,” and/or “hey.” Her dad was my elder for a while, but since we are no longer members in that congregation there is no point to flatter either of them. This blog is a place where Rose posts her poetry, which I like. Please check it out.
If you know of any other Canreffers out in the blogosphere, please post them in the comments, I would like to check them out.