I thought it was hard to come up with my 5 Favorite Albums of 2011. That was easy compared to this. There are some tremendous blogs out there. So picking just a few is almost impossible.
But I’m going to do it anyway.
Of course, the absolute best blog is the world is…mine. Was there really any doubt? It has all the required elements:
- Thought-provoking posts
- Interesting (and often random) links
- A good mix of posts on Bible, theology, history, and ministry
- Funny pictures and videos
- Anti-cat rhetoric
But I’m not including my blog in this roundup. (That wouldn’t be fair to all the other blogs out there.) Instead, I want to focus on a few blogs that I think have done a particularly good job in 2011. It’s hard to create and manage a good blog. But when it’s done well, it’s an amazing resource to us all. So hats off to the following outstanding blogs.
Best Theology Blog: Parchment and Pen (Michael Patton)
Michael Patton does a great job of generating interesting conversations about important issues. Even when I don’t agree, his posts give me the opportunity to think about how I would have addressed the issue. There are weightier theology blogs out there, but Patton’s is an excellent resource of engaging theological issues through the conversational medium that a blog provides.
Best Bible Blog: Faith Improvised (Tim Gombis)
Tim is a newcomer to the blogging scene, but you wouldn’t know it from the posts that he has put out this year. Much to my chagrin, I’ve been too busy this year to engage posts very often. But they’re consistently thoughtful and engaging. If you’re not already following this one, you should start.
Best Resource Blog: Kingdom People (Trevin Wax)
I appreciate blogs that set themselves up as a resource to the broader online community. And, although several do this well, I’ve really appreciated Trevin’s blog this year. His daily “Worth a Look” posts along with his weekly “Trevin’s Seven” are my favorite regular roundups. Short and interesting, Trevin consistently points us to some of the best posts out there. And he also manages to slip in some really good posts on theology and ministry while he’s at it.
Most Fun Blog: 22 Words
I’ve had more fun this year with 22 Words that any other blog out there. Many of the images for my Flotsam and Jetsam roundups come from 22 Words, along with quite a few images and videos that I never get around to using.
(Honorable Mention: Exploring Our Matrix)
Best-Written Blog: Jeff Goins (Jeff Goins)
Many bloggers view blogging as a kind of online journal, the kind of thing you can express yourself in without too much concern for how well it is written. For others, blogging is just another way of honing your craft. I like well-written blogs, and this year I’ve really enjoyed Jeff’s blog. He works hard to present posts that are both interesting and well-crafted. If you’re interested in writing, this is one to keep an eye on.
Best Integrative Blog: Scriptorium Daily (group)
I needed a category for that rare blog that manages to connect high-quality theological thinking to life and culture today. And Scriptorium Daily does that better than anyone else. The writers at The Scriptorium Daily will take on the Trinity and Disney princesses, they’ll discuss Shakespeare and the Muppets, and they’ll dialog with John Wesley and Katy Perry. That’s my kind of blog.
Best New Blog: Transformed
Okay, I’ll admit to being just a little biased here. Transformed is the blog that I run for “the faculty and friends of Western Seminary.” It’s a very young blog (just over a month now), but I think we’ve put together a great lineup so far: with posts on Bible, theology, church history, ministry, leadership, discipleship, and culture. We’re just starting to pull our guest authors in, but the ones that we’ve had so far have done a great job. Thanks to everyone who has worked on and promoted this project.
So here’s a big “thank you” to everyone involved in all of these blogs. Even if you’re in the “honorable mention” category, that still means that you’ve been a real blessing to me (and others!) in 2011, and I really appreciate it. Thank you.