Writing That's Worth Reading

Posted on by Jeremy Daggett

Greg McKinzie has been tearing it up on Scripture and Mission in the few months between his family's move back to the U.S. of A. and starting his doctoral studies in Pasadena.

I’m linking to a great post of his from the beginning of May. It’s exemplary of the type of post you’ll often see on Scripture and Mission, where Greg not only presents original material but also walks his audience through the process of how he got there. I love it.

Of course I enjoy and benefit from Greg’s interaction with the actual material. But more than anything I love his introductory comments (or, in this case, introductory sections). Those who minimize Greg’s contributions because he uses big words and dissects difficult subjects miss an important point. Greg is using his site to teach. He’s not just doing the talking himself, he’s teaching readers how to read the Bible for themselves and draw their own, informed conclusions. In math terms he’s showing his work, which is harder than just persuasively presenting your own position.

Incidentally, Greg is also raising the standard for what is published on “blogs” (the term “blog” for me devalues content, which is why I like to say “website” instead of “blog,” and talk about “writing” instead of “blogging”). In a day and age of cheap information, lists of 27 things (of which YOU WON’T BELIEVE NUMBER 14), and easy solutions, I want to support thoughtful publishing online.

There’s a reason that Greg’s homepage only displays one post at a time. He writes standalone articles. A single post might even have 28 footnotes.

If Greg’s writing is difficult for you to read all the way through, here are a few tips:

  • Set aside 15-30 minutes. This isn’t the Internet equivalent of a fun-sized Snickers bar—it’s more like an Argentine steak with a side order of Peruvian potatoes.
  • Be ready to learn something. Pull up your dictionary app, or, even easier, make it a habit to 3-finger tap the words you don’t know (this works on OS X. On iOS, you have to highlight the word and tap “Define”).
  • Read.
  • Then, summarize what you’ve learned in your own words. Consider joining the conversation (on your own site, not Facebook) with a nuanced response.

Good writing is worth reading.

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