The Art of the Unintended Consequence

The answer to angry discerning bloggers isn’t to minimize truth.

Discernment ministry was once done well—or at least better. Blogging was helpful in fighting against a shallow Christianity which could never survive the days ahead. But discernment quickly turned into rage. A culture of fear, suspicion, oppression, and infighting soon emerged. Everybody but our own little section of the internet became rank heretics. 


It doesn’t really matter which side of the horse the drunk guy falls off of, does it? He’s muddy and miserable regardless. Likewise, our enemy doesn’t really care which side of error we fall into—so long as we fall.

I appreciate these words of Os Guinness. Speaking as an operative trying to destroy Christianity he says this:

What happens when one strand of reality is singled out and stretched too far is hardly surprising. Wider reality springs back and has the last laugh. Pressed too far, for example, reason becomes rationalism and rebounds into mysticism; or freedom becomes anarchy and rebounds into authoritarianism. We thus become masters of irony, connoisseurs of the art of the unintended consequence. Reality rebounds, and things turn out the opposite of what they seem and what people expect. Strength becomes weakness, love pornography, pleasure boredom and so on. (Guinness, 22)

Those words were written in 1983. And they are, in my opinion, quite prophetic. “Connoisseurs of the art of the unintended consequence.” Is that what we bloggers have become? I’ve been blogging for over a decade now and I’ve watched this spring bounce back and forth.

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