Why Experiences?

If you haven’t noticed, I try to center my posts around experiences. I think if I’m planning on continuing that trend, I should justify it.

Experiences:

  1. help limit me
  2. make the post more “kosher”
  3. are appropriate for a blog

But before I discuss the benefits of experiences, I should defend them and address their faults. You see, I used to be highly skeptical about experiences- I viewed them as subjective and unreliable. They are subjective, but that doesn’t mean they are devoid of truth. Look at the Bible: it is mainly stories. It contains poetry, parables, genealogies, records, epistles (letters), and a couple other literary genres, but it is mainly stories. I think there is something significant about that- that the mode of communication that God chose to communicate himself to us was primarily through stories with subjective, human experiences.

Now on to defending my use of experiences:

1: General topics tend to inflate to a level where I cannot control it- infinite rabbit trails find their way into my writing. In school, I always tended to over-write. I’m never happy with my writing when it gets out of hand like that, and that always happens whenever I try to write about general christian topics like wisdom or salvation. I’d rather write about my own salvation specifically. It’s convenient that I can constrain myself in this way. So I title and center my posts around experiences.

2: Now, I want to be careful with this next point. I said “it helps me keep the post ‘kosher’.” What I mean is if I centered my posts on doctrine, it would become exclusive in a way I don’t want it to be. I hope to do what I do in real life: fellowship with people who love the Lord under the common title “Christian.” If I focus too much on dogma, the fellowship takes on an unsettling atmosphere of dissonance. Thankfully, you can’t deny an experience. If I tell you my arm is hurting, you can’t refuse that or tell me I’m wrong. It’s subjective. I’d love to talk about doctrinal truth, but on this blog I’d rather focus on the truths that my experience has given voice to.

3: Finally, stories are appropriate for a blog. I haven’t been a big “blog person” in the past. I read a couple over the years, a good example is Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Her blog is a lot of stories, too. They are mainly funny stories. I value the idea of keeping the post interesting. On a christian blog though, I do try to limit myself to stories where I feel I primarily learned something about the Lord; I’m not trying to write attention-getter anecdotes. Christ should be the attractive aspect.

I also thought about doing verse-studies on this blog: looking at a particular verse and centering the post around that, but… guys, I’m only a young adult (barely) and I’ve only read about two-thirds of the Bible so far. As I learn about scripture, it speaks to me more and more, and if I did a scripture-centered post, I’d constantly be going back to it to edit it, correcting my old misconceptions, fine-tuning my verbiage… my knowledge of the truth and of the Lord is always evolving, but my experience is fixed in time. I prefer to incorporate scripture by inserting references, but not to center an entire post on one scripture. It’s a lot more practical to post in that way.

I will be discussing doctrine from time to time, and I will be talking about all of those other things, but I will try to center my posts on experiences. I think I’ll stick to experiences of scripture, specifically: not mere stories or a verse-study, but a mixture of the two.

The bottom line is that my experiences of scripture are all I have that I can confidently write about.

Essays will be too long and boring.

Doctrine will be imperfect and frustrating.

And I may be no expert on doctrine, but i’m the expert on my life experiences; I may be no scholar on the Bible, but I’ve studied my own life and found answers in the Word; and I may be no magnificent source of essays, but there’s a magnificent author living within me, and he is writing the story of my life.

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