July 26 - July 29, 2002
Monday 29th July, 2002
Martin Roth posts:
Now Open for Business - blogs4God
The rapidly expanding Christian BlogList, launched on this
site in April, has now moved to its new home, at
blogs4God. This is a portal site, supervised by several
moderators, that gives visitors the ability to search for blogs from a range
of categories. It is an exciting development.
Here is an excerpt from a message on the new site:
As of today, we offer 8 categories
containing a total of 243 web logs. We anticipate rapid growth as word
spreads around the web. We think our quest for technical excellence will
assist and inspire the Christian blogosphere around the world.
You have an opportunity to read blogs
from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, Argentina, the
Philippines, Europe, Canada and the United States of America. Bloggers are
Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant whose practice of Christianity is
consistent with statements of faith such as the Nicene Creed, Apostles
Creed, Westminster Confession and the Baptist Faith and Message.
I shall keep the list on my site a while
longer, but as I shall no longer be updating it, it will quickly get out of
date (recently I have been adding half-a-dozen new blogs each week, and as
word spreads about the new portal site it is likely that this number will
Thank you to all the many people who have
been coming to this site for the BlogList. I hope my writing will continue
to attract you.
-posted 2:05pm, by Martin Roth
Saturday 27th July, 2002
Martin Roth posts:
End of an Era
Well, hardly an era
– it only lasted three months. But significant changes are coming to this
The first is that
regular contributor Bene Diction is leaving the site. Bad news. But the good
news is that he blogs on at his own website
I want to pay
tribute to Bene Diction (actually a respected Canadian broadcast journalist
who chooses to blog in anonymity).
His initial email to
me was different from anything else I had received in the relatively short
time I’d been operating my blog. It was witty and warm and wise and very
encouraging, and for perhaps the first time made me think that I wasn’t
wasting my time as a blogger.
It arrived after
midnight, just as I was switching off my computer, and I recall that I was
so moved and excited that I went and woke my wife: “There's a Canadian
journalist who really likes my website and has all these suggestions for
making it better.” (“Congratulations,” she said, and went back to sleep.)
After an exchange of
emails it became clear that he could make a major contribution to the site.
His first proposal was for a regular trans-Pacific (I’m in Australia) debate
on issues of the day. I wasn’t keen on that, and suggested he write a series
of essays on issues of faith. That wasn’t appealing. We settled on a regular
blog plus a blog watch.
Bene Diction was a
prolific and highly reliable contributor, at a crucial time when pressure of
other work meant my own blogging was faltering. But more than that, he took
intense interest in promoting the site. He registered me with places I’d
never heard of like Blogdex, and he sent out emails to people we wrote about
to tell them to read us, and he made all kinds of suggestions to me about
how to improve the site.
I’ll miss Bene
Diction, though I’m kind of proud that he got his blogging start on my site,
because I reckon his own blog will be a hit.
some highly suitable quote from the Bible that I should be citing now to
farewell him, or something in Latin or French, but I can’t think of it. So
I’ll just say a simple, “Thanks, mate.”
The other big change
is that the Christian bloglist, which I launched in April, is moving to its
own dedicated website, with all kinds of enhanced tools that will allow
users to sort through the rapidly growing number of blogs to find those that
most appeal. It’ll be at www.blogs4God.com (though if you try to go there
right now you’ll be redirected to my own site). Stay tuned for further
announcements, probably early next week.
-posted 10:35am, by Martin Roth
Bene Diction posts:
A Personal Note
Pardon me. I have a wee lump in my throat. Since July 1st
I’ve known my final post as the encamped Canuck at MartinRothOnline.com was
coming. This is it.
When Martin and I decided on this northern-southern
hemisphere Aussie-Canuck team blog we set clear goals. I’m very pleased to
report we’ve reached them. It is time for me to go.
I do have my own blog named
Bene Diction Blogs On. I expect you all to stop by and say g’day and
bonjour, eh? Until then, blog on!
What a productive time this has been. The Australian
Jesus blogger has been the most gracious of hosts. Merci beaucoup, mon ami.
I leave with a last word that means I commend you to God.
-posted 10:30am, by Bene Diction
Friday 26th July, 2002
Martin Roth Christian Commentary
The Top Ten
The list of Christian
blogs which I launched on this site in April is moving soon to its own new
site, managed by some Christian computer geeks who will enhance it with all
kinds of cool functions. It’s an appropriate time to do some more writing
about Christian blogs.
Which blogs are the most popular? Without
an independent monitoring service, or without access to each site’s traffic
counter, we can’t really know. So the best alternative is the
Leaderboard ranking system compiled by the
Thinking Out Loud blog, and based on the number of links each Christian
blog receives on the front pages of all the other Christian blogs.
Here’s a brief introduction to the top
10, as of July 20th, when the list was last updated. If you are thinking
about starting a blog, or simply wonder what blogging is all about, check
Sacra Doctrina – A very worthy winner. Joel Garver is an adjunct
professor of philosophy and his extremely attractive blog (on a Blogger
template!) is heavy on theology and philosophy, yet is lightly written with
a strong personal touch. A recent posting is on the five books everyone
really should read. The Christian blogosphere can take pride that it offers
2. My own blog. I’m
under no illusions about my ranking: it’s because so many other blogs link
to my bloglist. Once the list moves to its own site I’ll watch with interest
and trepidation my movement on the Leaderboard.
Fool’s Folly – Emily Stimpson’s presents lively and sometimes
provocative commentary on a wide range of Catholic issues.
Beautiful Feet – Online diary of Rick Capezza, a Presbyterian graduate
Ladydusk – Another online diary.
In Between Naps – As one of the best writers in the Christian
blogosphere, Amy Welborn attracts considerable attention for her
commentaries and other writings. They’re lightly written and often witty,
yet deep and provocative. She also has her radar attuned to what’s happening
elsewhere on the web. She’s a linker and a thinker. Here’s the start of a
I think a lot about faith. Why people
believe, why they don't.
And I have to say that after years of
pondering these questions and observing the world and the Church, I
sympathize with the unbelievers.
Why? I simply think that the Church today
doesn't even try to answer the questions people are asking, either in words
or actions. It's not grappling with the issues intellectually, and it's not
answering them with compelling witness. For the most part. Of course, there
are pockets here and there, and there are many saints walking among us. But
as a Body, the Church isn't quite getting it these days.
It’s seems almost off
the cuff, but it makes compelling reading. In Between Naps is the very model
of a Christian blog.
Presbytermark – This high-quality blog comes from Presbyterian pastor
Mark Horne. It is a mix of theology, personal reflection,
daily diary and links to pertinent material (often written by Mark himself).
His July 9 musing on pastoring - excerpt: “People
say that a church should be a community, but community can also be the
biggest threat to a church actually functioning as a church. Nothing
disrupts a community more than new people.” – is classic stuff that deserves
far wider distribution than just his blog.
A Catholic Blog for Lovers – The title of Gerard Serafin’s blog probably
says it all. If that’s not enough, the sub-title reads: “A
celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and
perhaps a little nastiness.” Photos and artworks makes this an extremely
Andrew Sullivan – The king of the bloggers attracts a huge audience
(41,000 visitors yesterday) for his Daily Dish of commentary, wit and
opinion, spanning politics, religion, sexuality, culture and much more.
KataJohn – Pastor John Barach comments with flair on a wide variety of
Christian concerns, from a Reformed perspective.