It’s a total fluke that I’m at #6 on a top Christian blogs list. I kind of feel like that couple that gate-crashed the White House party in 2009. Of course my “success” is probably only due to the fact that I’m loser enough to take something like this seriously and rally the troops. Anyway, because I don’t deserve to be there, I thought the least I could do is give some shout-outs to 25 other bloggers who deserve it a lot more than I do so that you can check out their blogs and vote them up to the top. I know I missed some awesome people, so if I missed yours, then please forgive me and give yourself a shout-out in the comment section!
Derek Rishmawy who writes Reformedish is the best friend I’ve ever had who I’ve never met in person. We discovered each other in an argument on a facebook thread 2 years ago (I think) and now he’s probably my most important conversation partner as a moderately conservative Calvinist who God put in my life to keep me honest. I think the reason he’s so much smarter than I am is because he reads so many freaking books. Vote for Derek!
Larry Garcia is another dude who I only know from online for 2 years or so, but he’s like a brother to me. He planted a church called Academia Church where he preaches the most scholarly sermons I’ve ever encountered and practices radical hospitality with the homeless of Phoenix, AZ. His analysis of Pauline theology in particular is very helpful. He’s so freaking smart. He goes to academic conferences even though he doesn’t have a Ph.D. and kicks it with bogs like Michael Bird and N.T. Wright. He’s also an amazing salsa dancer. Vote for Larry!
Renewing Your Mind is the blog of Kelly Youngblood. I can’t remember how long I’ve known Kelly. Probably about a year and a half. She is part of the visioning core of the Despised Ones. She is one of the gentlest spirits that I know. She makes me think of the heroines of Charles Dickens novels. Her blog is very thoughtful; she deals with controversial issues with compassion and nuance. Vote for Kelly!
Suzannah Paul calls it like she sees it. She’s part of the visioning core of our Despised Ones blogger community. She names things that need to be named, but with humility and a recognition of her own complicity in the dehumanizing forces of our world. Vote for Susannah!
Jason Micheli is another United Methodist pastor whom I’ve actually known since we were in First Year Fellowship together at the University of Virginia in 1996. He has a wonderfully dry sense of humor. He loves Karl Barth and Taize, France. He’s a damn good preacher. Vote for Jason!
Osheta and T.C. Moore are an Evangelical Covenant church-planting couple living in Boston. They are part of the visioning core of our Despised Ones blogger collective, which was actually founded as the result of a rant that T.C. put on facebook that started a thread between me, him, and Zach Hoag, which then evolved into a facebook group of 114 bloggers and will soon hopefully become an online journal. Vote for Osheta and T.C.!
It’s weird how you can sit down and have a bison burger with somebody you met for the first time after a Missio Alliance conference, and then he’s your homie for life. Zach and I had been retweeting each other for a good year before that. He’s a co-founder of the Despised Ones and a fellow man-feminist who’s trying to figure out how to crucify his privilege. He recently wrote a book called Nothing But the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter that I promise I’m going to review soon! Vote for Zach!
If you can handle a challenge, you need to read Rod the Rogue Demon Hunter’s blog Political Jesus. He takes the white progressive Christian community to task for our covert racism and white supremacy. It’s tough to swallow sometimes but it’s legit. Rod is also a patristics scholar and a very very smart dude. Vote for Rod!
Rebecca Trotter keeps it real. Sometimes she even cusses. She’s the kind of Christian friend who I feel safe around.She’s got a bunch of kids. She’s a great storyteller. She’s also written a book called The Upside Down World that you should check out. Vote for Rebecca!
Caris Adel is a fellow Despised One and fellow recovering evangelical. She calls out the platitudes that Christians say to one another and challenges us to really wrestle with real-world questions like “Is taking a lower salary or living in Sec. 8 housing ever an option for middle-class people when they talk about God’s plan?” That’s deep, yo. Vote for Caris!
Justin Hanvey is brand new on the blog scene. He just launched this summer. He writes about a lot of topics in the radical Christian milieu. One piece that I really appreciated was a really poignant post about his father’s suicide in the wake of all the drama around Hugo Schwyzer, the sexist anti-sexist gender studies professor. Justin is someone you will be hearing a lot more about in the future. Vote for Justin!
Stephanie Drury is probably the most brilliant satirist of fundamentalist Christian culture out there. She’s a fellow Despised One and a champion of people who don’t fit in the “normal” categories of gendered heterosexual identity. Underneath the satire and dry sense of humor, she also has a huge heart and a fierce love for people who have been abused by the church. Vote for Stephanie!
I’ve never met Justin Lee, but he is one of the most gracious Christians you’ll ever come across and he’s gay. He is very compassionate about and sympathetic to the concerns of Christians who think that his identity is a sin, often trying to explain their perspective to other people in the gay community. I have read few people who exuded Christ as much as Justin does. I hope to meet him one day. Vote for Justin!
Living in the Tension belongs to my buddy Luke Harms who is a fellow Despised One and a Christian anarchist living down in Charlottesville, Virginia (where I wish I was too!). Luke attacks white male privilege, Christian complicity with capitalist empire, and similar topics. Vote for Luke!
Joy in this Journey is the story of Joy Bennett, a fellow Despised One and recovering evangelical who started blogging as a means of processing the death of her child. She’s getting feistier and more radical all the time. She has a great sense of humor and many different writing projects going on simultaneously. Vote for Joy!
Emily Maynard is another Despised One and recovering evangelical. She’s written a lot about her recovery from modesty culture and living as a Christian single. Particularly important have been her reflections on cross-gender friendships, which of course are frowned upon in the puritanical world of modesty culture. Emily’s writing gets into a lot of places including Prodigal Magazine and Deeper Story. Vote for Emily!
This is a new one I just recently discovered by a guy named Graham who lives in Abingdon, Scotland. He’s been doing a lot of open wrestling around the homosexuality issue, reconciling science and faith. some recent titles include “God, Morgan Freeman, and Please Don’t Make Me Build An Ark, “A Heretic Saved My Faith,” and “Violence, Atheism, and Yes, Religion is a Problem.” Vote for Graham!
I kind of had a run-in with Dianna before we were formally introduced. I had commented on another feminist Christian’s blog about modesty culture and said a little too much about my own personal struggles with lust. Well, Dianna posted my comment as a quote on her blog and then deconstructed it. It’s all good. She’s someone I find it important to be challenged by. Vote for Dianna!
I really love the title of this blog. And the writing is very beautiful and thoughtful. It’s by a woman named Samantha who grew up fundamentalist and like so many of us in the recovering evangelical community has been going through an awakening in the past couple of years. Vote for Samantha!
Ryan Kuramitsu is a former Campus Crusade for Christ member who writes about his recovery from their spiritual abuse and fundamentalism. He has a powerful testimony which I shared on this blog. Vote for Ryan!
Becca Rose is someone I discovered in the midst of the evangelical feminist uprising this spring. She is a humble, compassionate woman who has been wounded by the church, though it hasn’t stopped her from going to church. She writes with honesty and nuance and a keen storytelling sensibility. Vote for Becca!
This is the blog of my good friend Sarah Wastella who is a fellow United Methodist pastor. She’s wicked funny, but she also has a deep sense of the holy. She doesn’t write about the trendy bandwagon topics so much, but what she writes is solid and full of good spiritual meat. Vote for Sarah!
Last but absolutely not least, I had to share one of my favorite podcast preachers Brian Zahnd who wrote one of the most amazing books I’ve read, Beauty will Save the World. My other two main podcast preachers, Jonathan Martin and Greg Boyd, are a little higher in the list. Brian is a leader in what I would call the neo-sacramental Pentecostal movement, Pentecostals who have taken a turn toward ancient church practices like weekly communion and liturgical prayer. It’s been very exciting to witness. Much of my preaching has been shaped by Brian. Vote for Brian!