Blogging's a funny old thing. In the early days it's simple: you write what you think and others read it. Then you have the bright idea to let people comment on your posts.
That's a great stage, I think. (I can never understand it when I see blogs without comments. Is that a blog or is it just a collection of short pontifications?!) Now there's an interactivity to the blog and it becomes a dialogue. It's now no longer just a place to rant and rave, but a two-way learning experience.
Some of these commentators have their own blogs and they let you know the URL. So, you visit them and something you see warrants a reference in your next blog entry. Then you find that you are so frequently visiting certain blogs and mentioning them that it makes sense to add a list of your favourites to a side-column on your blog. Enter the BLogroll. This is where the fun starts.
So this is where I am now at: I visit a blog and I comment. I come back to see that someone has made a comment on my blog. I read it, respond and visit their blog and possibly comment there. The first blog I visited responds to my comment and I notice that in doing so they quote/link-to another blog, which I visit. I comment on this latest blog as they seem to be coming from a completely different angle to me. Then I go back to my blog and see that someone has responded to my response to their comment...
And before you know it, I'm lost! I visited a blog the other day and was looking for an old entry when I noticed that someone had replied to a comment I made months ago - which I obviously had failed to respond to. I've now got this fear that there are 101 blogs out there that I'm meant to be responding to and people think that I'm just being rude. But worse than the fear of being rude is the idea that someone somewhere thinks that I backed down from an argument and conceded the point! Aaaaaarrrrgghhh!!! If you're reading this and you think that, please be assured that I am far too pig-headed and arrogant to concede a point - even when I know I'm wrong! And I did mean to respond to your comment, I just got lost in a great big net somewhere.
And talking of Blogrolls, they give me such a feeling of pressure. I noticed a few months back that I had a link from quite a big blog (big as in one of the well-known "Names") and was quietly chuffed. But imagine my horror a few weeks ago when I saw that I'd been taken off their blog roll! What did I say?! Do I now go back through my archives and find that one comment that might have offended them or turned them off? Or, maybe it wasn't so much what I said, as what I didn't say? Should I tell more jokes, or be less sarcastic? Would you like to see more poetry? It's the lack of online quiz results, isn't it? I know, you want to know which character from LOTR I am most like.
But, never fear, because I still occasionally know that strange joy of surfing aimlessly and ending up at some blog somewhere only to find that it has Leaving Münster on its blogroll. And, most of the time, that's cool.
This was all a roundabout way to say that I got a mention on a Unitarian Universalist's blog. I wanted to reciprocate the favour. Why was I mentioned? Who knows? I'm certainly not a Unitarian. I am reading Tom Talbott's (et al) Universal Salvation? and I guess that all annihilationists are kinda (eventual) universalists. I do genuinely believe that the day will come when God will be all in all and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But, I'm not really a universalist in that sense. (Having said that, there's a great Karl Barth quote where he says something to the effect that he is not a universalist, but he thinks that God might be.)
Anyway, go visit boy in the bands. It's a well designed blog and covers an interesting spectrum of topics. And if you genuinely believe that universalism is wrong, at least do them the courtesy of hearing what they actually say for themselves. It's funny that he quotes some of the same people that I do and is obviously keeping half an eye on the emerging church discussions. He also seems to be invovled in church planting.