It’s that time of year again, the time when the prestigious Kouyanet blog of the year prize is awarded. Before we get onto the nominations, let’s remind ourselves of the rules.
- They must post regularly
- They must be consistently interesting
- I must like them more than other blogs for whatever subjective reasons I choose.
These criteria are strictly applied; especially the last one.
Blogs come and blogs go. However, there are a number of stalwarts that keep churning good stuff out but who do not post regularly or frequently enough to win the top spot. I can safely cut and paste a slice from last year’s award.
- Antony Billington’s blog continues to be the place to look for news about new journals and books. I mention this blog every year, but the lack of regular posts means that it is unlikely to actually get into the top spot. But it is still excellent.
- Rob Bradshaw’s site BiblicalStudies.org.uk, while not a blog as such, is a wonderful resource for online journals and serious theology.
- Simon Cozens‘ blog is always a good read, with thoughtful posts on mission and culture. However, he posts too rarely to merit the blog of the year award. That being said, what he lacks in quantity, he makes up in quality!
- Rollin Grams is another mission scholar with an excellent blog. His posts are few and far between, but they are always excellent. More like extended essays than short posts.
- The Beaker Folk of Husbourne Crawley were a recent winner of this award (in 2012) and continue to produce more (and funnier) posts than any other blog I have met.
Last year, I awarded Archbishop Cranmer the blog of the year award. This blog has continued to produce excellent material over the last year, but I’ve tended to shy away from giving the award to the same blog two year’s running, so I’m afraid that the His Grace will have to be content with honourable mention.
Last year, while writing about the good Archbishop, I happened to bemoan the lack of good Christian left-wing blogs. This year, I want to mention two blogs which post the occasional thoughtful piece from a left-wing perspective.
Baptist theologian Steve Holmes runs an excellent blog which is well worth following. Sadly, he doesn’t post regularly enough to receive the blog of the year award. It’s hard to categorise what Steve writes about, there is a mixture of theology, labour-party politics, and some rather obscure (but always fascinating) reflections on Christian practice. I would particularly commend his open letter to Franklin Graham as a worthwhile read.
Another good theological blog which sometimes dips into thoughtful Labour party support is Psephizo by Anglican Theologian Ian Paul. Ian blogs regularly and thoughtfully and it’s well worth keeping an eye open for what he has to say. However, Psephizo is almost entirely given over to looking at the Anglican Church in the UK; which is fair enough given that Ian is an Anglican Clergyman. However, for a free-Evangelical with a primary interest in overseas mission, this (otherwise excellent) blog does lack something that would allow me to name it as the blog of the year.
So this year, I’m afraid that I won’t be naming a blog of the year (yet again). All of the blogs I’ve mentioned above are excellent, but for one reason or another they don’t meet the criteria. It could be that there are a few blogs that I really should be reading, but that I’m not aware of; please feel free to mention them in the comments.
Twit of the Year
My tweeter of the year is my friend David Haywood-Smith. In the early days of twitter he grabbed the twitter handle @dhs, before the United States Department of Homeland Security could do so. This means that he gets regular tweets complaining about various aspects of US policy. The dry way that he bats these comments away is a source of great amusement to me. He also tweets some interesting stuff on philanthropy and start-up companies which are of interest to anyone working in the charitable sector.