When I first started getting interested in blogging about 10 years ago I started following as many popular religion blogs as I could. I still follow a fair number of them, but the following three Christian blogs are the ones I’ve found most interesting, challenging, and informative over the years.
Rod Dreher at the American Conservative
Rod Dreher blogs for the American Conservative magazine on religion, culture, and his own life from a culturally conservative (and religiously Eastern Orthodox) perspective. Most recently his major focus has been on “the Benedict Option” – essentially the need for Christians to find their identity in a robust Christianity rather than in modern culture – which I blogged about here.
Rod is at his best when he’s grappling with issues he doesn’t have a clear answer to and when writing about his own life, but his strongly-worded opinion pieces are well worth reading too. I often agree with him. I often disagree with him. But his perspective is always unique and challenging.
The very best thing about Rod’s blog, though, might be the comments. He runs a tight ship, working behind the scenes to weed out inappropriate comments, and the result is one of the best comments sections on the web. You’ll find a wide array of voices, from the ultra-liberal to the fringe right, all engaging with each other and arguing with respect and intelligence. It’s the best.
Jesus Creed (Scot McKnight)Scot McKnight is an evangelical New Testament scholar and the author of a number of popular books, including The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, The King Jesus Gospel, and The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible. He blogs here at Patheos on the Jesus Creed blog. The “Jesus creed” of the blog’s title refers to the Two Great Commandments – love God, love your neighbor – that McKnight says are at the heart of Jesus’ ministry.
What I like about McKnight’s blog is that he engages with the best of current Biblical scholarship and presents it in an engaging, readable way. His blog was a gateway for me into the “new perspective on Paul” (a perspective much more closely aligned with the Swedenborgian reading of Paul than the classical Protestant perspective is), and I’ve found a number of my favorite authors, bloggers, and podcasters through his blog.
Jesus Creed also features a number of guest bloggers offering more pastoral perspectives; there have been useful blog posts on ministry, as well as excellent and inspiring sermons. All in all, it’s the best “biblioblog” (Bible studies blog) that know of.
Experimental Theology (Richard Beck)
Richard Beck’s day job is as a professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University, but on his Experimental Theology blog he writes about theology from a progressive Christian perspective. Beck’s profession as a psychologist rather than theologian gives him a unique perspective, and he often brings insights from psychology into his theological reflections. His personal volunteer work as a Bible study leader at a local prison adds a very down-to-earth, gritty look at more abstract theories.
What I most appreciate about Beck’s writing is that he intentionally avoids lazy groupthink. He is certainly a progressive, and he calls out conservative Christians for what he sees as un-Christian behavior, but he also calls out his own “tribe” when he sees progressive behavior that is at odds with genuine Christianity. For short, though-provoking posts from a unique viewpoint, Richard Beck’s blog is the best.
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