I’ve agonized quite a bit while assembling this list. As is the case with anything like this, some great resources and people will be left out. Still, as I reflect on the 25 voices I’ve collected here, I’d argue it’s one amazing roster of practitioners, thinkers, writers and artists.
In order to help winnow this down to a manageable list of candidates, I used a few criteria for selecting candidates:
- First, I didn’t select anyone already on the Readers’ Choice List. Though some of my favorites are on there, I wanted to give some props to other folks who I think deserve to be celebrated and engaged with.
- Second, they had to be “active” bloggers, meaning that, if I went to their site and there was little or nothing new in the last couple of months, I left them off, no matter how much I love them.
- Third, I used the term “blog” loosely, as there are collectives, columnists and other iterations that I felt compelled to share that didn’t quite fit the typical blogger mold.
- Fourth, these are resources I personally use and enjoy. It’s an entirely subjective list, so you can complain about me leaving “X-Y-Z” blog off, but it won’t do any good. Sorry.
- Finally, I randomized my list of 25 so that I would not end up having to rank my friends and folks I admire. Yes, I have numbers preceding each entry, but that’s really just a point of reference, and is no reflection on how they measure up against one another.
The Raven Foundation – This is a relatively recent discovery for me, but a very important resource on faithful nonviolent engagement. Raven explores Rene Girard’s theories in application not only to Biblical texts and theological concepts, but they also hold them up against current events, in an effort to help people better understand what a life of Christ-inspired nonviolence really looks like in our world.
Darkwood Brew /Eric Elnes – Eric and his team have one of the most innovative web-based faith communities I’ve ever come across. He’s also very passionate about putting faith values into action, and most recently, he’s talking a lot about a new concept he calls “Convergence Christianity.” All well worth spending some time with.
Momastery/Glennon Doyle Melton – Glennon’s candor, humor and beautiful spirit are inspiring to me. Rarely will you see a Christian be so transparent about her own brokenness and return to grace. Momastery takes on so many important and challenging subjects, from body imagery to addiction, and from postmodern family dynamics to sexuality. There’s a reason her followers number in the tens of thousands.
Leroy Barber/Mission Year – Leroy is one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard. But he’s also the Director of Mission Year, a project committed to helping place young people in the global mission field to explore their faith in action and service to others. I consider this a model that should be replicated for nearly all young adults, and I’m always impressed with Leroy’s mind and heart.
Carol Howard Merritt – Carol has gone from studying at Moody Bible College to being one of the most thoughtful voices in the emerging Christian movement. Carol’s as funny as she is brilliant, and she always gives me new perspectives on how broad and diverse the faith conversation within the Presbyterian Church is.
Peter Rollins – One of my favorite theologians ever. Pete is on the forefront of “Radical Theology” thought. Rollins’ writing takes some time to process, but if you want to know what postmodern theology will look like as it matures, listen to Pete.
Kimberly Knight – I love Kimberly’s perspective on being Christian and gay in America today. This is one of the most important areas of growth for the church today, and Kimberly engages tough issues with grace, vulnerability and, above all else, hope.
Mark Scandrette – Mark is a true Christian renaissance man. He’s a poet, artist, intentional living, far-out kind of guy who has a mind that will not quit. His recent work on practical ways to simplify our lives, free ourselves from debt and break our cycles of addiction to consumption are spot-on and urgently relevant in the life of most Christians right now.
William Barber – Head of the North Carolina NAACP, Berber is one of the minds behind the new Moral Mondays phenomenon. Don’t know what that is? All the more reason to check out his blog and got on this train.
Lisa Sharon Harper – Technically, Lisa writes for Sojourners, which is on the Readers’ Choice list. But I wanted to highlight her specifically, as she is one of the most beautifully faithful people I know. We don;t always agree on all theological matters, but the way she lives out her Christian faith is consistently inspiring.
Sarah Over the Moon – Sarah Moon’s writing is generally broader than what would traditionally fit within a “Christian” mold. But her quirky, unaffected voice always helps me feel like I’m not alone as a half-assed, half-blind seeker of truth in a muddled, noisy world.
Frank Schaeffer – Frank is one of the best writers alive. Period. He writes nonfiction, novels, and articles that never cease to make me pause and breathe more deeply. Frank’s commitment to family and engaging the arts are particularly favorite themes of mine, but he’s also funny and provocative as hell. Imagine me, liking that!
The Burnsider – Sometimes you just need something a little more fun to read, and the Burnsider fills that need. It’s a team effort, but the content is consistently whimsical, relevant and funny, while still being rooted in a Christian tradition that offers a rootedness in genuine faith.
Naked Pastor/David Hayward – I had to include at least one graphic artist on my list, and David is the best Christian cartoonist I know of. I love how he uses the time-tested medium of comics and concise humor to reveal deeper truth. And in a world that is increasingly distracted, his bite-size theology is something that will stick with you all day long, even if you only have a few seconds to hit his blog.
Wild Goose Festival – I have big hopes for the future of the Goose and its role in furthering the Christian conversation. Though the event itself is only once a year, the substance of what the festival is about weaves a thread through the website and blog all year.
Her.meneutics (Christianity Today) – Wondering where some of the finest female Christian minds gather to explore their faith? This is one of the best places to discover feminine wisdom with equal measures of intellect and heart.
The Everyday Awakening/ Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove – Jonathan is a brilliant writer. He is deeply invested in awakening people to a revival of hope n their lives, which he sees all around them. In a blogosphere with so many snarky wise-asses like me, he’s a refreshing and welcome alternative.
Ellen Painter Dollar – Ministering to and with people and families with disabilities is an often-experienced but under-explored area of the Christian faith. Ellen helps readers get past their hangups and stereotypes, and invites them into deeper covenant with people who have so much to learn about God from one another.
The Crooked Mouth/Andy Campbell – Andy is an actor, seminary educator, home brewer and a generally brilliant mind. While he comes from an evangelical background like many of my friends and readers, he prefers to dance along the thin edges between the Christian left and right in a way that really does bring people into more productive common thought and conversation.
AlterBlog/The Work of the People – Chris Heuertz and his tribe at TWotP is fantastic, both from an artistic and a theological perspective. They combine substantive theology and meaningful mission with high-quality production and visual aesthetic that helps remind us: Rob Bell ain’t the only one bringing emerging Christianity and arts/media together.
Irreverin/Erin Smallwood Wathen – Erin’s casual style can betray her powerful voice and razor intellect if you’re not paying attention. Often times I’ll have a “damn” moment by the time I reach the end of her posts, and after so many reads, I’ve still not stopped being pleasantly surprised by her.
Bruce Reyes-Chow – Bruce combines pop culture and humor is a way that really cuts down to the root of truth. Though he’s certainly willing to grapple with touch subject matter, his disarming tone makes room for a variety of perspectives, without drawing unnecessary ideological lines.
Sarah Thebarge – Sarah is a beautiful person, through and through. The fact that she’s been though all she has and still has any semblance of faith intact is miraculous. That she can share it in a way that helps people laugh and cry through their own struggles is a real gift.
The Amish Jihadist/ Tripp York – The blog title pretty much says it all. Sometimes we need those writers who makes us stop and say, “what the…” Tripp fills that role and then some. Don’t read the Amish Jihadist unless you’re ready to get honest about some of the real work we have yet to do as a faith and a culture. But he’ll get you laughing at yourself while you’re getting honest.
Love Wins Ministries (Hugh Hollowell) – What does ministering to the “least of these” look like? REad Hugh’s reflections on his Love Wins Ministries blog and find out. From broader political and social advocacy to practical everyday ministry with those who live outside, Hugh’s work is both inspiring and compelling.