Bigger than Ben Hur: some final comments on the Top 100 Theology Blogs Review Series

by Anna Blanch on March 1, 2009

Reviewing’s Top 100 Theology Blogs list has ended up being a mammoth exercise. A huge exercise, and took way more time than i was really prepared for. In saying that, it was a valuable exercise – I visited lots of new blogs and discovered some gems.

However, I need to say this. I don’t think Top 100 theology blogs is aptly named. 100 Theology blogs (well, maybe not even that….not all of them are theology blogs) is better. The authority of this list (if my reviews help at all) is under serious question. There are some great blogs here but this list fdoesn’t deserve the adjective “top”. I’m sorry to those named, though I’m not sure many of you would disagree with me. If this is really just a vanity exercise then you can have at it, but i really don’t think has any sense of quality in their inclusions nor in their category divisions. The latter are arbitrary at best, and plain ludicrous at worst.I saw many different designs, and began to work why I was attracted to or repelled by particular designs. I read many thousands of words of posts and gained a sense of how one approaches a blog on first read.

Goannatree Top 100 Theology Blogs List Reviews
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – General Theology (Post 1)
Part 3 – General Theology (Post 2)
Part 4 – General Theology (Post 3)
Part 5 – General Theology (Post 4)
Part 6 – Criticism
Part 7 – Politics
Part 8 – History
Part 9 – Academic (Part 1)
Part 10 – Academic (Part 2)
Part 11 – Clergy
Part 12 – Writings (Part 1)
Part 13 – Writings (Part 2)
Part 14 – Society and Culture

Goannatree under the microscope
Steadily some of the blogs that are subject to review in the series have responded with a review of my review. Some are positive (usually because they received good marks), some took it with good grace and humor and respond to the well meant constructive criticism, and others took issue with my grades and responded with words that were a little personal in their attack. You can read some of the reviews of the reviews here….

Tarugman (Chris Brady) – Blog Review and (semi-)Hidden identity
Rightly Dividing the Word (Nick Norelli) – Making the Grade
Exploring our Matrix (James McGrath) – Anna M. Blanch Combats Grade Inflation
Notes from Off-Center (Drew Tatsuko) – Notes from Off-Center Reviewed
Shuck and Jive (John Shuck) – (Three separate times) A C-Minus?!?, March Newsletter and Still Brooding, and most recently, Vitamin C Minus.

I guess the range in responses is to be expected.

What’s Next?
Now, i need to put my opinions to the test. I am going to embark on a redesign of my own – clarifying my own scope and methodology better, giving more information about myself as an author and scholar (so people can better judge whether they think i am credible), and redesigning the blog itself. I will be shortly moving across to once the redesign is complete.

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