A YEAR AGO, WHEN I FIRST BEGAN my slow foray into the world of blogging, I thought this would be little more than an online diary; a means of slogging through my reflections and possibly having the opportunity to engage similar minds who would, in turn, expand my own. What I discovered was something remarkably different.
The blogosphere is its own subtle community. Those who write blogs also read blogs. Those who read blogs also comment on blogs. Those who comment on blogs become part of the conversation in those blogs. Those who become part of the conversation take bits of that conversation back to their own blog, and initiate a conversation there. Bloggers connect; blogs grow; ideas kindle; communities are formed.
Since I began blogging, I have grown into a merciless consumer of other blogs. The fact is – there are some profound writers and thinkers out there in the digital world of Christian publication. Unfortunately, these gems often go unnoticed.
This is sad.
So I’ve decided to do something about that. On the one hand, this blog actively promotes the increased exposure of other authors through the publication of guest articles (if you wish to submit a guest article, please read our guidelines and then feel free to contact me). On the other hand, I want to similarly reveal the great content floating around in the online ether. So, every Saturday, I am going to try (note: TRY) to publish a “weekly roundup” of five of the best articles I have read this week.
Some of these are from small blogs with very little following; others are from mighty titans within the blogging field. All have something of value that I found in them. And so, without further ado, this week’s roundup:
- The Great Evangelical Recession – This article comes to us from Trevin Wax of The Gospel Coalition. In it, he interviews John Dickerson, pastor and author of The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors That Will Crash The American Church… And How To Prepare. It is a great discussion that wrestles with the alarming trend of the decline of evangelical Christianity in the global west. It helps to identify some of the problems and, hopefully, a few ideas towards a solution. Definitely worth a read.
- Is Christianity In America Really Going Extinct? – Ironically, the same week that Trevin Wax and John Dickerson published their article detailing the decline of Western Christianity, journalist Billy Hallowell interviewed Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief of the religious research organization ‘Gallup’ (best known for their ‘Gallup poll’) and author of God Is Alive And Well: The Future Of Religion In America. Newport and Howell argue that, rather than showing a decline in American Christianity, the data actually displays a growth of “unbranded religion.” Additionally, the rate of increase of this group (listing their religious affiliation as ‘none’ on the polls) is declining rapidly, with virtually no growth at all between 2011 and 2012. If you read The Great Evangelical Recession, you need to read this too. The former challenges us to live faithfully; the latter encourages us to live hopefully.
- Five More Myths About Bible Translations And The Transmission Of The Text – If you don’t know who Daniel B Wallace is, you need to. Arguably one of the most preeminent scholars of New Testament manuscript evidence, Wallace has stood in debates against the likes of Bart Ehrman and pulled out ahead. When I studied Greek in seminary, the grammatical analysis we used as the golden standard was penned by this man. In this article, he picks apart five of the most commonly heard myths regarding the supposed inaccuracy of the New Testament. This article was actually printed last week, but it is too important to leave off this list. A must read.
- The Ugly Beauty Of The Kingdom Of God – This article comes to us from Kurt Willems of the Pangea blog. Every now and then, someone will come out with an article that capture the emotion of what it is to be human, and still be able to wrestle with difficult issues in ways that make them beautifully coherent. Here, Kurt manages to marry the dark underbelly of Christian history with the parallel beauty of the Christian hope. It is real, it is raw, and it is inspiring. This is a great article to share with your friends.
- How ‘Modest Is Hottest’ Is Hurting Christian Women – Sharon Miller has an amazingly astute mind for engaging culture theologically. She blogs for Christian women over at Her.Meneutics (what a great name!), but I quite often find her articles a solid read for men as well. In this article she criticizes a trend I see far too often in Christian cultural responses: we adopt a different behavior than the surrounding culture, but for all the wrong reasons. Here, she engages the ‘modest is hottest’ trend, charging that it fails to truly promote modest humility, and instead simply redefines sexuality. Insightful and challenging, there are principles embedded here that every Christian should read.
So that’s the top five for this week! I hope you take some time to pay them a visit and check them out! Be sure to leave them a comment, and let them know that the ‘Of Dust And Kings’ blog sent you.
Did you like any of these? Share with us your favorite article!
Image Credit: Red Car Gurl