Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Thinking Blogger Award

Kerry of Subversive Christianity  has tagged me with a “Thinking Blogger” award.  I will proudly display the award logo as soon as someone gives me directions for doing that on WordPress. It is not as easy to add html code to WordPress as to Blogger (although WordPress is MUCH more stable and less “buggy” than Blogger).  In the meantime, thanks very much, Kerry, for saying that I write a blog that makes you think.  Blogging is time consuming (I have books to write!), but I think the practice of blogging has sharpened my own thinking. When you are about to put your views out for all the world to see and folks are going to take you to task for sloppy thinking (and much faster than with published books), you tend to work harder. Especially if, as in my case, you don’t blog just to vent or “rant” (though I’m guilty of some of that) or to post pictures of your beautiful spouse and children (which I have) or of your pets (which I HAVEN’T and don’t plan on doing), but are actually trying to have serious conversations about issues that matter.  That even one person, Kerry, thinks I have had a modicum of success in that regard is very gratifying.

Okay, here are the rules which go with the award:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to five blogs that make you think.
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to
    the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold
    doesn’t fit your blog).

As I said, I’ll display that award just as soon as I figure out how. I am not the biggest techno-geek in the blogosphere by a LOOONG shot!

Now, for five blogs (out of SOO many more!) that regularly make me think. I will try to choose different types of blogs, rather than all my favorite theology blogs, biblio-blogs, etc. If you get left off, it doesn’t mean your blog doesn’t ALSO make me think.:

  • Faith and Theology run by Ben Myers of the University of Queensland in Australia. I have said this several times: This is the best theology blog out there, both for Ben’s own stuff, the always provocative guest posts (especially those by Kim Fabricius), and the links to other theology blogs and very important theology resources on the web. Before I found Ben’s blog, I didn’t know that theology blogs existed and finding his also opened up many others to me. This served as the catalyst for transforming my blog from just “religious social criticism” (though I still have much of that) to also blogging on biblical and theological topics.
  • Euangelion . I don’t always agree with either Michael Bird or Joel Willetts, but I almost always learn something important every time I visit their blog. And when I disagree, I have to think hard about why.  They have a great New Testament blog from a center-left evangelical perspective.
  • Melissa Rogers’ blog. She is attorney who used to work for the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty. Her blog focuses on church-state/religious liberty issues in the U.S. context.  As a Baptist (we were born fighting for religious liberty–though many in one particular Baptist denomination, the SBC, seem to have forgotten this), an anti-Constantinian pacifist, and a U.S. citizen, these issues are never far from my thoughts.  Melissa keeps me abreast of what is happening and her own perspective is always worth reading, too–even when we disagree, such as about religious chaplains in the military which I believe both violates the First Amendment and the integrity of Christian ministry. She raises good challenges to that perspective in terms of outreach to military personnel.
  • Nothing New Under the Sun  by Byron Smith.  Another extremely thoughtful theology blog from an Aussie.  Byron’s posts on why the Rule of God and the new/renewed heavens and earth are the point of salvation (not “heaven when you die”) should be mandatory for most churches. His posts on peak oil and the end of suburbia are not only informed by excellent environmental science, but a firm theological environmental ethic and a deep Christian care.  Plus, he puts these cool pictures up from all over the world and asks folk to guess where the pics are from. It gives his blog a really different look and feel.
  • Dr. Platypus the blog of my old friend, Darrell Pursifal. Darrell is a New Testament scholar and an editor in a publishing house, but his blog covers not only biblical studies, but patristics, thoughts on theology and liturgy, pastoral insights, and even the occasional political comment.  It’s also usually quite a bit of fun.

Okay, it killed me to only list 5. Those are the five tagged. But other blogs that make me think include these from my blogroll, A Paynehollow Visit by my friend, Dan Trabue, who got me into blogging; The Fire and the Rose by David (D.W.) Congdon; the Quakers’ Colonel; Mined Splatterings; Jim West’s blog with the changing name and constantly changing look; Chris Tilling (Chrisendom) and, heck, all the ones listed on my blogroll, really.  Most of the bloggers from the Christian Peace Bloggers make me think constantly and so do many from the Baptist Bloggers.  I need to give special mention to those who challenge me from more conservative positions theologically than mine, including Guy Davies (the Exiled Preacher), Peter Lumpkins (SBC Tomorrow–which keeps me from giving up altogether on my former denomination), Bryan Peters (the Young Evangelical), Jonathan Marlowe (the Ivy Bush), etc.  They keep me in touch with the evangelical dimension to my identity.  The numbers of folks who are more theologically liberal than I am who challenge me would be far too numerous to mention.

I try not to waste my time with blogs that DON’T make think, I guess. I visit blogs across the theological and political spectra, but if I don’t find much of substance, I don’t read them regularly. Life is too short.  So, whether or not I deserve to be called a “thinking blogger,” everyone on my blogroll, whether or not I mentioned or tagged them, are bloggers who help me to think.


April 29, 2007 - Posted by | blogs


  1. […] Michael Westmoreland-White thinks I’m a Thinking Blogger. Where in blazes did he get that idea?! But seriously, I’m honored to receive the award. The nature of this blog is intentionally eclectic and not everything rises to the level of anything approaching deep thought. I do hope, however, that when I offer a more thoughtful piece, it makes people think. […]

    Pingback by Dr. Platypus » Blog Archive » Thinking Blogger | April 30, 2007

  2. Michael,

    I’m humbled by your comments, my brother. I really think there remains hope for the SBC, if we can learn to honestly disagree without poking the other fellow’s eyes out. Personally, I think you and I stand demonstrative that that is more than a bare possibility.

    Grace. With that, I am…


    Comment by peter | April 30, 2007

  3. Well, Peter, I don’t know how much I have to do with any future, good or bad, for the SBC. I, and the church I belong to, left the SBC in 1992 and are now part of the Alliance of Baptists. I also have strong ties with the CBF and the American Baptists–just about every kind of Baptist but Southern Baptists these days. But I hope a new generation will bring new leadership and the horrific infighting I saw in the ’80s and ’90s disappears, along with today’s scholastic Calvinism.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | April 30, 2007

  4. Michael, thank you for this honor. Your blog and comments certainly make me think. We are former SBC Baptists of about the same age, so I feel a special kinship with you. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

    Comment by Melissa Rogers | April 30, 2007

  5. Thanks, Melissa. I feel that connection, too. (No one reading this read anything funny into that, ‘kay? Besides, my wife, Kate, doesn’t get jealous even when it would do my ego some good–so don’t bother. 🙂 )I’m glad your career didn’t suffer from the SBC implosion the way mine has and I’m glad you take time out from your busy schedule for your excellent blog.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | April 30, 2007

  6. Thanks for your kind words, Michael!

    Comment by Ben Myers | May 1, 2007

  7. Hello

    I am Lucy, I have found your website while searching for some info at Google. Your site has helped me in a big way.


    Comment by rogotenin | July 5, 2007

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