ChristianColleges.com’s Top 100 Theology Blogs Part 10: Academic (part 2)

by Anna Blanch on February 19, 2009

Post #10 of a review series on Christiancolleges.com’s Top 100 Theology Blogs list. For details about the list, please see Post # 1 and Post # 2 in the series. Links to all the posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post. Please feel free to offer your assessment or suggest other lists and blogs I should review/annotate.

As I mentioned in the first post (#9) on the Academic section, I was looking forward to reviewing the blogs of fellow scholar-bloggers.

Singing in the Reign: Singing In The Reign is the blog of Michael Barber and Brant Pitre. The blog states that Barber is Professor of Theology, Scripture and Catholic Thought at John Paul the Great Catholic University, in San Diego, CA. He is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Theology at Fuller in Pasadena, CA. Brant Pitre received his Ph.D. from Notre Dame, specializing in New Testament and ancient Judaism. He is the Donum Dei Professor of Word and Sacrament at Our Lady Holy Cross in New Orleans. A clear scholar-blog, Singing in the Reign contains posts on theological and biblical topics, as well as links to scholarly articles and other scholar-blogs and biblio-blogs. This blog is in conversation with Goodacre’s NT Gateway Weblog . Singing in the Reign was also ranked as the #12 biblioblog for the month of January 2009, described by N.T. Wrong as among “one of the big shakers and movers.”
Making the Grade:
Scope – B (Scope is not made clear but the posts seem to be conherent)
Quality
– A-
Theological Leanings – Catholic

Biblia Theologica: Authored by Ardel Caneday, Professor of New Testament Studies & Biblical Theology, Northwestern College, Saint Paul, Minnesota. This Academic and professional blog discusses issues pertinent to academics in the field of Biblical studies, scholarly articles, and conversations going on in his field. The layout and design are somewhat confusing, and white on black is quite hard on the eyes after a while.

Making the Grade:
Scope – B- (The layout gives rise to questions about structure and scope)
Quality
– B+
Theological LeaningsEvangelical Protestant

Higgaion: Chris Heard, Associate Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University is the author of Higgaion. He also describes himself as “a Star Trek fan, Anachronism player and volunteer, Macintosh partisan, and all-around nice guy”. this blog straddles the line between scholar blog and personal blog, with an emphasis on the personal.

Making the Grade:
Scope – B (if this is a personal blog then the scope is a little clearer. I am unsure that this blog really should be in this category)
Quality
– B (It is still a good read if you share an interest in any of the topics Heard is interested in.
Theological Leanings – Churches of Christ

Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology: the blog of Dane Ortlund, student at Wheaton College. Ortlund suggests that “This site exists to remind those of us in theological training and church leadership that our doctrinal knowledge of God is meant to fuel, not outgrow, our doxological knowledge of him.” The blog primarily consists of reviews of books Ortlund is reading. While the prose is generally erudite and Ortlund is generally scholarly in approach, the design is offputting: White and Red text on a black background means it is hard to look at the posts long enough to get through any of the ‘more than one page in length’ posts.
Making the Grade:
Scope – A- (Clear scope – though i wonder if he could not spend more time on thinking through his own methodology).
Quality
– B
Theological LeaningsPresbyterian

Leithart : Now this is what i am talking about! This is a true Scholar-blog on theology. Dr. Peter Leithart (PhD (Cambridge)). He has taught Theology and Literature at New Saint Andrews College since 1998, and since 2003 has served as pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow. Check his blog out for a comprehensive biography. Leithart makes good use of design principles like “continue reading…” to break up his otherwise long posts, even though the aesthetics could do with some work – especially the boxy nature of this design!
Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– A
Theological LeaningsReformed

Notes from Off-Center: Andrew Tatusko, of Mount Aloysius College (Th.M (Princeton)), writes about philosophical theology, philosophy of education, and postmodern theory. Tatusko describes himself as writing on “society and theology from the view of a Christian pragmatist.”Helpfully, he details his scope here. I would be more likely to substitute “polemicist” for pragmatist as Tatusko seems to enjoy picking a fight. Some of his recent posts have been about Prop 8, a critique of mainline chrisitianity, the emergent church, Roald Dahl, Sean Hannity. This is one of a number of blogs hosted by Christian Century. I’ve been reading this one for a little while now – I rarely agree with Tatusko but he gives me something to think about!
Making the Grade:
Scope – A- (clearly defined (as mud))
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings?

Judy’s Research Blog: Judy studies and shares information about the Gospel of Thomas. Judy Redman, author of Judy’s Research Blog, is yet another Australian blogger included on the list. I am not critical of the number of Australians on the list I just wonder whether we (because i too am Australian) are overrepresented? Judy is a Chaplain at University of New England, Armidale, and is a PhD candidate in Religion. This blog focuses on her PhD research on the Gospel of Thomas, along with biblical studies, and hermeneutics. One recent post included last month’s Biblical Studies Carnival (a impressive list of links relating to bibloblogs primarily and hosted by a different blogger each month).
Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– B
Theological LeaningsUniting (Australian denomination)

Helm’s Deep: Phil Helm, Professor of Theology, Highland Theological College, discusses philosophical theology on Helm’s Deep. Approximately two posts are put up each month, a draft of a paper relating to some aspect of philisopical theology and a polemical piece, “taking the line,” on some topic.
Making the Grade:
Scope – A- (quite clear but i wouldn’t mind a clear and concise statement about the scope!)
Quality

Theological Leanings

Shored Fragments: Steve Holmes is a lecturer in Theology at St. Mary’s College, St Andrew’s, Scotland. His blog offers “fragments of theology,” that is to say:

This is a place where I record ideas that seem interesting enough to share, but are so minor, so undeveloped, or so exploratory, that they do not belong in any more formal published format.

This is a helpful caution to a reader who may expect more developed thought. He also develops his ideas on what it means to be a theologian. This blog has generally good designthough i wouldn’t mind seeing use of the “read more” feature as the posts can be a little long.

Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– A
Theological LeaningsBaptist

NT Gateway Weblog: Associate Professor Mark Goodacre, Duke University, offers a gatweay to NT resources.

The New Testament Gateway is a comprehensive directory of academic internet resources related to the New Testament. It is divided into several sub-directories and dozens of pages, each relating to a specific topic. Every link is annotated. The annotations help users to pinpoint the information for which they are looking. The New Testament Gateway focuses on resources that will be of interest to both scholars and students of the New Testament.

This is a great resource but it is more a hub and list of links to other resources and so technically isn’t a scholar-blog. Mark Goodacre’s NTWeblog is probably more appropriately include on this list
Making the Grade:
Scope – A+ (Not applicable for this list)
Quality
– A+ (Not applicable for this list
Theological LeaningsNot Applicable

Professor of Old Testament: Dr. Claude Mariottini, professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary writes about the study of the Old Testament, OT related history, and Hebrew texts.
Making the Grade:
Scope – B-
Quality
– B+
Theological Leanings – Baptist
Related Posts in the Review Series
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
Summary and Wrap up

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