There are pros and cons to anonymity. Regretfully, a lot of people are more vicious while anonymous. Sorry, guys, anonymous sin is still sin. In serious writing, anonymity also limits the ability to respond and clarify. It inhibits any amount of face-to-face anything between writer and audience. And what if false teaching is involved?

It separates the piece from any known education or expertise to rely on an appeal to the masses. Although, frankly, maybe some things call for that.

Part of me is smitten with the romantic past of people allowing text to speak for itself. Think of the anonymous hymns we have sung for a thousand years. Think of the first catechisms, brought together in devotion to Christ’s teaching, which established educational patterns for (hopefully) forever! (Crafting words isn’t always original–I think organization of information can very much belong to writing.) Think of nursery rhymes!

For us, think of potential writers for the church writing without having to think about yourself, other than your need for God and His gifts as given in Jesus Christ? Simply crafting and then offering it to the church, letting others doctrinally review and disseminate it, and then letting the words stand as long as people read, speak, or remember them.

Couldn’t anonymity help keep writing focused outward rather than inward?


Filed under As Theological Writers

2 Responses to Anonymous

  1. Myrtle Bernice Adams

    I use my nickname in my online activities primarily for safety reasons. However, were I a full-time writer, I would still prefer to publish under a pseudonym. However, I have been surprised at the backlash against anonymity.

    For example, when I created booklet on how to read the Book of Concord based primarily on previously published remarks by a well known editor, I wanted it to be free of use/download and hosted it on a website that has the whois information hidden (a prudent practice in domain management). When others, glad for the resource, posted it on their blogs, commenters went to town on the fact that the whois information is blocked and thus anonymous. None of the criticism was actually over the resource itself. However, I am not sure you can separate out the backlash over anonymity and the general tenancy of commenters to tear others down over seemingly little or nothing.

    That said, I wish more folk would write and share ideas and resources. And if encouraging anonymity fosters that activity, then I am all for it.

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