Archive for the ‘David Anderson’ Category

Internet Anonymity Series

June 6, 2008

David Anderson at More than Words has provided an interesting series on Internet anonymity. While I don’t fully agree with him (otherwise I wouldn’t post pseudonymously) he has a number of thought-provoking posts on the issue:

Ultimately, my own commentary on this issue is as follows: if you are posting anonymously, pseudonymously, or even simply un-disciplinably, consider your motivations. I believe that there can be proper motivations for doing so, but there can also be very improper motivations for doing so.

A few critical observations:

* Paul’s example is all very well, but Paul was also – at another time – let down by a basket from the city walls.

* I strongly object to the claim, “Anonymity removes the messenger from the message, which is a move without any Biblical approval.” There are plenty of anonymous books of the Bible. While it is clear there that the underlying author is God, a properly motivated anonymous or pseudonymous Christian seeks to point the reader to the Word of God, not the message of man.

* People can be pseudonymous and still be accountable to their family, friends, and elders.

* Anonymous and Pseudonymous dialog has an important purpose, especially in a society in which Christian behaviors such as proselytizing, spanking one’s children, and denouncing sin are prohibited, restricted, or at risk of being prohibited or restricted.

* Anonymity/Pseudonymity can provide a layer of prudential protection to Christian evangelists. I cannot think of any good reason, for example, to insist that a Chinese evangelist would have to give everyone his full name and the name of his elders, and their mailing address, in order to satisfy any kind of Christian obligation.

Thus, on the whole, I believe that Mr. Anderson’s posts are interesting and thought-provoking, but ultimately not persuasive (at least not for this pseudonymous blogger).



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