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Weblog Archive 


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I shall keep the list on my site a while longer, but as I shall no longer be updating it, it will quickly get out of date (recently I have been adding half-a-dozen new blogs each week, and as word spreads about the new portal site it is likely that this number will grow).

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 website.


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 here.


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.


There’s probably 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 (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 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.


A dieu.


-posted 10:30am, by Bene Diction



Friday 26th July, 2002


Martin Roth Christian Commentary


The Top Ten Christian Blogs

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 these out.


1. 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 such sites.


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.


3. Fool’s Folly – Emily Stimpson’s presents lively and sometimes provocative commentary on a wide range of Catholic issues.


4. Beautiful Feet – Online diary of Rick Capezza, a Presbyterian graduate student.


5. Ladydusk – Another online diary.


6. 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 recent posting:


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.


7. 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.


8. 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 attractive site.


9. 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.


10. KataJohn – Pastor John Barach comments with flair on a wide variety of Christian concerns, from a Reformed perspective.