Quick Poll (please weigh in with full honesty)

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : January 10, 2007

Do you think I should tone down the theology-nerd jargon on my blog? This blog is only secondarily about self-expression (it is primarily about communicating ideas to people), so I’m willing to change my approach if enough folks think it would be worthwhile.

You see, I’m getting mixed messages.  One the one hand you have folks saying things like this:

I didn’t really start reading it regularly until October of this past year, but I have always enjoyed each entry I have met.  As an adjunct professor who teaches a course on applied ecclesiology, he combines rich theology with practical experience.  I have enjoyed many great posts on his blog.

Those sort of comments seem to appreciate the intellectual tone of my blog.  And indeed, one of the goals of this blog is to bridge theological inquiry with embodied missional experience.

On the other hand, some folks say things like this:

I am not super smarty enough to understand your lingo sometimes, so I tend not to comment. But - I try to keep coming back, because I know that every once in a while, I understand what you are saying, and it’s good food to chew on.

I hear things like this all the time.  And I completely get it.  I am grateful that anyone reads my blog.  But it does make me feel a bit sad that it is an elitist blog (in some ways) because I often use academic language.

I’m not sure if I’m able to tone down the lingo…after all, the language I use on this blog flows naturally.  But I’m willing to give it a shot if enough of you weigh in and ask me to tone it down.

for further reading . . .

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7 Responses to “Quick Poll (please weigh in with full honesty)”

  1. JVD on January 10th, 2007 12:06 pm

    Be yourself Mark - you are a good communicator, judge it post to post. Doesn’t it depend on the message? JVD

  2. christy on January 10th, 2007 1:06 pm

    Don’t change! I’m not a super smarty pants either - I think I exchanged a portion of my brain for the diaper bag and minivan. Blogs that make me think and use big words give me a momentary escape from the joy of motherhood!

  3. graham on January 10th, 2007 5:30 pm

    In all honesty, I think you should tone it down a little. It’s not that your theological posts are too hard to understand, but sometimes they come a bit thick and fast.

    I don’t think I can ever claim to be high-brow, but it does seem that if I’m blogging on weightier topics then I have to space them out a bit, or slow them down.

  4. markvans on January 10th, 2007 6:38 pm

    By “thick and fast” do you mean that I sometimes cram too much into one post? So your suggestion is that I tackle a single idea or two per post instead of doing too much in a single post?

  5. fargo john on January 10th, 2007 7:58 pm

    as a non-seminary educated person with very little formal theology… i do find some of your posts a little heavy. but i have found myself learning a great deal, especially when you do a great job linking some of the difficult terms to a definition. you also do a great job supplementing your posts with sites outside your own that have provided me with additional reading. your blog is certainly an educational one for me, but knowing you personally, i also find your blog entertaining and a good way to keep track of my long-lost brother. much love.

  6. Brother Dan on January 11th, 2007 12:52 am

    I think it is fine “as it.” The question is do you want to reach a broader audience, then you might need to tone it down. Do you want to be exceedingly clear to those who know the jargon, than use more. By the very fact that you are getting both kinds of comments suggests to me that you might be doing a good job of striking a balance.

  7. espiritu paz on January 11th, 2007 7:25 pm

    What theology-nerd jargon?…

    I suppose that tells you which category I fall into.

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