People I Read: Lawyers, Guns, and Money

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is everyone at Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

I try to stay non-partisan on this site, but the fact is that I’m pretty far to the left on most policy issues. I mean, I’m in favor of a universal basic income. Odds are I didn’t vote for Donald Trump.

I read a handful of political sites. One of my absolute favorites is Lawyers, Guns, and Money. As far as I can tell, this is one of the original blogs of the political left. And I’ve been reading it long enough that I can’t remember when I started. A brilliant group of authors – including artists, historians, political scientists, and lawyers – writes about politics, culture, law school, and dozens of other topics.

If you’re on the political left or interested in short, quippy political analysis (and longer analyses of other topics), go and read.

People I Read: Morgan Guyton

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Morgan Guyton at Mercy Not Sacrifice.

Morgan is the co-director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. At Mercy Not Sacrifice, he brings progressive evangelicalism, campus ministry, politics, and cultural criticism together in a way that’s both engaging and thoughtful. Primarily focused on critiques of toxic Christianity and the evangelical right, Morgan charts a path of inclusive orthodoxy, arguing for a more spiritually generous United Methodist Church.

Morgan is the author of How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity.

People I Read: Games

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

Christmas is almost upon us! I’m too caught up in the holidays (and end of year fundraising tasks) to put together a proper post at the moment. So instead of the usual People I Read post, let me indulge in some geekery.

I play roleplaying games. I’ve played them on and off since high school and got back into them a year or two ago. About once a week, some friends and I get together, drink some beer, and roll some dice. It’s a great experience of fellowship and collective storytelling.

So, in honor of that little hobby, here are a couple of roleplaying game blogs that I read:

Go Make Me a Sandwich is a great blog about gaming and accessibility, meaning the degree to which roleplaying games are accessible and enjoyable to women, people of color, people with mental illnesses, and so on. It’s an insightful look at the ways that the roleplaying industry and culture are exclusive… and how we could change to be inclusive.

Mythcreants is an all-around roleplaying and storytelling blog. If you’re looking to become a better storyteller, this blog is for you.

People I Read: Randal Rauser

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Randal Rauser at The Tentative Apologist.

I’m not sure when I first ran across Randal Rauser, a professor of historical theology at Taylor Seminary and, as he would put it, “a systematic and analytic theologian of evangelical persuasion.” What I do know is that I’ve been following his blog ever since I first read it. While the posts are often short, Rauser is a thorough thinker and, importantly, an author who is happy to engage in discussion – and learn from – people who disagree with him. It is always edifying to read his conversations with atheistic thinkers like Justin Schreiber and John Loftus (even if I tend to come down on one side of the debate).

He has also published more books than I have any desire to list here.

People I Read: Comics

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

Today, I’m doing something a little different. Since it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d simply list some blogs I read that cover a more fun topic: comics.

Buttersafe

The Oatmeal

Comics I Don’t Understand

Garfield Minus Garfield

Outcast

Questionable Content

XKCD

People I Read: Eric Reitan

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Eric Reitan at The Piety That Lies Between.

I first found Eric Reitan’s work through the book he wrote in response to the New Atheist movement: Is God A Delusion?: A Reply to Religion’s Cultured Despisers. That book was a vigorous response to Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and so on, as well as an excellent introduction of philosophy of religion (and Friedrich Schleiermacher). Reitan is thorough, clear, and – just as importantly – readable.

At The Piety That Lies Between, Reitan offers philosophical and Christ-centered reflections on a variety of topics, including politics, current events, universalism, and human sexuality. His reflections are often long – a factor that might discourage some readers – but the cost in time is well worth the price. Reitan doesn’t write his posts lightly, but provides deeply considered arguments. He is easily one of the best progressive Christian philosophers active in the blogosphere.

People I Read: Maeve Strathy

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Maeve Strathy (and the other folks) at What Gives???.

I’m writing about Maeve Strathy this week partly because I was critical of a post of hers early last week. The fact is that I like most of the content at What Gives???. Strathy and the other writers there provide rock solid advice on fundraising. And it’s advice that I think is particularly useful for small shops because it’s advice that often cuts to the quick of fundraising challenges. It’s advice that helps me do my work even when I don’t have a lot of resources – funding, staff, etc. – to put behind it.

Moreover, and importantly, Strathy is willing to question her own assumptions and statements. She loves the idea of ‘donor love’. She’s also willing to say that it has its limits. She likes the idea of talking about beneficiaries as assets. She’s also willing to admit that she may not have communicated her idea as well as she would have liked. That’s something that I respect a lot, especially in an era when criticism tends to cause us to dig in deeper.

So go read the folks at What Gives???. Especially if you’re looking to be an effective fundraiser in a small shop.

People I Read: Nicole Havelka

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Nicole Havelka at Defy the Trend (who, I should point out, I know from Chicago Theological Seminary).

Rev. Havelka is a deeply creative minister; consultant with the Center for Progressive Renewal; Minister for Networking, Resourcing, and Creativity with the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ; and Curator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries with the national setting of the United Church of Christ. Defy the Trend covers a lot of topics, but the ideas that I see Rev. Halvelka return to most often are social justice, faith formation, and – maybe most importantly – the role of social justice in faith formation.

Here are two paragraphs from a single post that speak to this theme:

Those who profess to follow Jesus must recognize that God speaks to us through the lens of time; always calling us to greater love of ourselves, our neighbors, even those we perceive to be enemies. We are called to live this first in our homes and our daily lives. This practice will likely inspire greater and greater integration of faith into life. Integrated faith lives means that people will feel compelled to do something about racial injustice.

Family ministry can and will change the world. One Family at A Time. Maybe it will even prevent the racial violence that tore Michael Brown’s family apart.

Faith formation is about the integration of faith in Christ into our daily lives. That includes – at its very core – diakonia: the work of justice and righteousness that finds its clearest expression in serving the poor and oppressed. Rev. Havelka and Defy the Trend provide a vision of the church as a community that moves beyond the comfortable familiarity of our brokenness into the unfamiliar places where we can do what matters.

People I Read: Emily C. Heath

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Emily C. Heath.

Rev. Heath is a progressive evangelical pastor in the United Church of Christ, a writer, and a public theologian. The easiest way to give you a picture of Heath’s biography and style is just to provide the bio on Heath’s website:

Christ-follower, displaced Southerner, binary-smasher, PhD dropout, former religious “none”, ambivert, fly-fishing enthusiast, progressive evangelical, fountain pen devotee, gender non-conformer, heavy lifter, recovery believer, Sox fan, Trinitarian, bow tie aficionado, marriage equality advocate, LEGO lover, prepster not hipster, blogger, Reformed theologian, fantasy football fanatic, 13th generation New Hampshirite, church lover, and spouse of an amazing woman.

Heath’s blog includes sermons, commentary on public events, and critiques of the mainline church – especially the United Church of Church – from the position of a progressive evangelical firmly embedded in the mainline church. As someone who was born and bred in the United Church of Christ, it’s Heath’s writings on this last topic that I find both most challenging and most enlightening. If you’re seeking a truly progressive evangelical voice that recognized both the successes and the challenges of the progressive mainline, Heath is the read for you.

Heath also has a book out, Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity.

People I Read: Rachel Held Evans

In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.

But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.

This post’s person I read is Rachel Held Evans.

Because of course I read Rachel Held Evans. Held Evans is a popular progressive evangelical author, memoirist, and speaker. Much of her work focuses on her own (sometimes complicated) faith journey and the role of women in the church. It is, of course, impossible to capture everything that she touches on here, and I recommend not only reading her most recent posts, but taking a stroll through the archives. She provides an accessible and compassionate view on theological and pastoral issues that are often fraught with tension.

She’s also written three books: