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Jonathan Edwards’ Advice on How to Blog about Controversy

Kevin DeYoung has given us a good list of 10 commandments to avoid on Twitter, and Aaron Armstrong has shared a few things he wishes bloggers would do differently in the new year.

I thought I’d add a contribution, with a word from Jonathan Edwards on the importance of gentleness in polemics:

He may reprove his neighbor; but if he does, it will be with politeness and without bitterness, which still shows the design to be only to exasperate.

It may be with strength of reason and argument and serious expostulation, but without angry reflections or contemptuous language.

He may show a dislike of what is done, but it will not be with an appearance of high resentment; but

as a man would reprove another that has fallen into sin against God, rather than against him; and

as lamenting his calamity more than resenting his injury, and

as seeking his good rather than his hurt;

more to deliver him from the calamity into which he has fallen than to be even with him for the injury he has brought on him.

Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, ed. Kyle Strobel (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 98.

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