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.

Right now, there is a movement in churches and nonprofits arguing that charity is toxic, that helping hurts, and that the entire nonprofit sector needs to be reformed to truly lift people out of poverty. These charity skeptics are telling Christians that traditional charity deepens dependency, fosters a sense of entitlement, and erodes the work ethic of people who receive it. Charity skepticism is increasingly popular; and it is almost certainly wrong.

Now available from Wipf and Stock’s Cascade Books imprint, Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) weaves together research and scholarship on topics as diverse as biblical scholarship, Christian history, economics, and behavioral psychology to tell a different story. In this story, charity is the heart of Christianity and one of the most effective ways that we can help people who are living in poverty. Charity—giving to people experiencing poverty without any expectation of return or reformation—can save the world and help make God’s vision for the church a reality.

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