Say What!? Bloggers that Question the Status Quo

Blogs are a great way to engage in vibrant dialog about hot-button issues with Christians who have different points of view than your own. Below we have highlighted several popular blogs written by evangelically minded Christians who are exploring the intersection of faith and contemporary culture and even questioning some evangelical assumptions. While you probably will not agree with these bloggers about everything, you are sure to find their posts engaging and challenging. So, grab a cup of coffee. Read, comment and join the conversation!

The Simple Way
Shane Claiborne is a leader in the new monasticism movement, a movement that reinterprets the simplicity of monastic life in a contemporary context. Claiborne lives with and serves the homeless as a member of the Philadelphia community The Simple Way. He has traveled around the world promoting non-violence and caring for the poor. Claiborne’s bestselling books include, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical.
On his blog, The Simple Way (huffingtonpost.com/shane-claiborne), Claiborne challenges the Christian right on political and social issues like gun control, homelessness, immigration and health care. He calls for a radical shift away from “pop-Christianity” towards missional Christianity that is focused on a relationship with God and others. Claiborne posts about social justice issues and regularly responds to headlines about politics.

Beyond Evangelical
Frank Viola is a leader in the organic church movement who advocates for reform in the structure of the church based on New Testament principles. He places emphasis on the headship of Christ and the priesthood of all believers. Viola speaks and writes about missional organic church life and contemporary theology. His most recent book is Jesus: A Theography.
On his blog, Beyond Evangelical (frankviola.org), Viola explores practical ways the church can return to its biblical roots. He fearlessly exposes the pagan roots of many church practices and regularly writes posts “rethinking” elements of evangelical Christianity. Viola also writes extensively on theology, the historical Jesus, and deeper Christian living. He also posts book reviews and interviews with Christian thinkers and authors.
Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans calls herself “a skeptic, a creative and follower of Jesus.” In her book, Evolving in Monkey Town, she shares how she came to question some of the tenets of evangelical Christianity. Her highly controversial bestseller, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, chronicles her experiment in living according to the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible. Evans is also a well-known feminist evangelical voice championing the egalitarian view of marriage, which says men and women are equal partners in marriage.
On her self-titled blog (rachelheldevans.com), Evans challenges evangelical assumptions, particularly regarding the role of women in church and marriage. She regularly weighs in on the creation-evolution debate and explores the historical roots of fundamentalism and its outworking in Christianity. Evans hosts online discussions she calls “book studies.”

Rethinking Biblical Christianity
Peter Enns is an evangelical Bible scholar and former Senior Fellow for Biologos. Enns recently challenged the cornerstone of evangelical apologetics, inerrancy—the concept that the Bible is without error—in his book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. While Enns affirms divine inspiration, he also contends that there are serious issues with the contemporary definition of inerrancy. He offers an alternative model that accepts the Bible as, just like Jesus, both fully inspired and fully human.
On his blog, Rethinking Biblical Christianity (patheos.com/blogs/peterenns), Enns advocates for intellectual honesty in biblical scholarship and interpretation. He writes extensively about creation, theistic evolution, the historical Adam, and what Genesis does and does not say about the origins of man. He also tackles difficult topics like the violence found in the Old Testament. He regularly explores evangelical presuppositions and grapples with what it really means to be a “biblical Christian.”

Crumbs from the Communion Table
Justin Lee is the executive director of the Gay Christian Network (GCN). In his recent book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christian Debate, Lee shares how he personally reconciled his sexuality and faith. As an evangelical insider who is gay (which Lee carefully defines as someone with same-sex attraction, who may or may not be pursuing same-sex relationships) he is working to advance the dialogue between the gay community and the Christian community.

On his blog, Crumbs from the Communion Table (gcnjustin.tumblr.com), Lee posts about faith, sexual orientation and contemporary culture. He offers practical advice to Christians with gay children and friends. He also suggests ways churches, regardless of their theological beliefs about homosexuality, can better relate to and support gay people. He comments regularly on the ex-gay movement with compassion—not vilifying it, but characterizing it as a movement of well meaning people who are spreading misinformation and false hope. Lee also weighs in on cultural news and issues.

While you may find points of disagreement when perusing the information these blogs serve up, it is both healthy and helpful to your own growth to hear the voices of those with points of view that differ from your own. The greatest minds throughout history have been those who have kept an open dialogue with people dissimilar to themselves. In the midst of the differences you are sure to be challenged and provoked to thought about what you believe and why you believe it.
Look for other thought provoking Christian bloggers on channels like Patheos, Her.menutics, Red Letter Christians, the Huffington Post and Religion Dispatches.

Keri is a freelance writer. She blogs regularly at keriwilliams.wordpress.com.

 

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