The first thing I noticed about the 25 Christian Blogs You Should Be Reading (Reader’s Choice 2013) list is that I’m the only person of color on the list. Apparently, the thousands of people who voted in this poll don’t read the challenging, insightful and prophetic blog posts that people of color generate on a regular basis.
The results of this poll are unsurprising and definitely not a fluke. Rather, they are indicative of the larger problem of privilege within American Christianity. Incidentally, I wrote about this very issue just last month:
There’s so much talk of a “new evangelicalism” that is younger, more diverse, less rigid and more open to different viewpoints than the old evangelicalism. But I can’t help but notice that the largest, more influential platforms within this so-called new evangelicalism typically give voice to people who have long had a voice. Representatives from the same group of privileged people who dominated conversations in the 20th century continue to dominate the conversations about current issues such as modesty culture, immigration reform, relevancy in culturally-diverse America, gender issues, and more. Privileged folks – whites, males, the educated/upwardly-mobile, and others who benefit from living in a society that accommodates rather than alienates them – continue to stand front and center in pulpits, on blogs and at conferences. Meanwhile, the stories and voices of the disenfranchised, people of color, the informally educated, and the undocumented are woefully underrepresented. The new evangelicalism looks eerily similarly to the old one.
By participating in an evangelical world that mirrors the inequitable power structures of mainstream America, we undermine our Christian witness. More to the point, the fact that privileged folks continue to enjoy the largest voice in evangelical Christianity directly contradicts the example of Jesus, who masterfully used his privileged voice to draw attention to and give voice to the oppressed voices of his day. Jesus used his platform to create space for the bleeding woman to share her story, for the little children to come swap stories with him, and for alienated ethnic minorities to talk about their experiences and perspectives on faith.
In order to reverse this pattern of excluding, ignoring and silencing minority voices, privileged readers must read and promote diverse people. And privileged bloggers (those who enjoy a large platform) must read and promote diverse people. In that vein, I especially encourage my fellow “top 25-ers” to devote the next year to promoting diverse voices. This is how we steward our (powerful) voices. This is how we emulate Jesus.
So, for your consideration (and in no particular order) —
25 CHRISTIAN BLOGS (WRITTEN BY PEOPLE OF COLOR) YOU SHOULD BE READING
I’m not a mom, but Osheta’s “mommy” blog is so insightful, spiritually-challenging and relevant — even to me, an unmarried, professional woman who was fired as a volunteer nursery worker at church. Read it and laugh, cry and grow. (Um, and her kids are adorable).
AYG is the beautiful black woman who curates this blog which is a mixture of pop culture commentary, historical perspective, and social justice teaching. I especially appreciate the way AYG frames issues in Christ-like grace and truth and as well as the way that she celebrates people who are working for good in our society. Plus, she has impeccable style.
Julie is one of my new favorite bloggers! She’s a professor of education who studies how race and religion affect diversity. Her blog is a busy information highway of great articles, videos and visuals on the intersection of race, religion and society.
Drew seriously takes Jesus seriously. Whenever you head over there, be prepared to think and be challenged. Even though he often writes about hardcore issues of injustice and real discipleship, he always frames the discussion with hope and peace (like the good Anabaptist that he is).
Alyssa seeks truth with strength and sass. I especially appreciate how she uncovers the subtle but powerful ways that society affects our perceptions of gender. She also mixes in a lot of other diverse topics in a way that keeps you intrigued and wondering what she’s going to blog about next.
Pastor Thabiti writes about a wide variety of theological issues – and usually with great thoughtfulness and care. As a longtime pastor of an extremely diverse church in the Cayman Islands, I appreciate the wisdom and maturity around issues of diversity that he often brings to his blog.
I appreciate Peter because he tackles challenging, emotionally-charged issues with emotional care and intellectual rigor. Though I don’t know him personally, he seems like the kind of person who can disagree agreeably and we need more people like that in our world.
Efrem’s blog is so money! This is a guy who knows a thing or two about navigating tough issues in our multicultural world. He often provides pop culture commentary, insightful theological analysis and hip-hop love.
Grace is one of the most honest and transparent bloggers I read. She covers a wide variety of spiritual and relational issues – and always with such wisdom and approachableness. I always want to get a cup of coffee with her after I read her posts!
10. Eugene Cho
A list like this wouldn’t be complete without Eugene Cho – who’s been a strong voice for justice, compassion, diversity, and community development for years. He’s strong, he’s funny and he’s wise.
Austin is full of grace and truth. She possesses a wealth of knowledge about ushering monocultural organizations into the realities of our 21st century multicultural world. I’ve been especially loving her recent series on Acts 10-11 and true multicultural ministry!
12. Yo Soy Kristy
At Yo Soy Kristy, it’s all about quality over quantity. Even though she doesn’t blog as often as others do, I’m always impressed by the quality of her posts. She often calls people in lay or vocational ministry to deeper discipleship and servanthood.
Natasha is a sista with a huge heart for mentoring women. Her blog is full of encouragement, invitation and challenge. I especially love her “coffee talk” posts on Thursdays!
Peter is one of the most observant bloggers I know. He writes a lot about multilingual/multicultural worship and always offers little insights that typically go unnoticed by the average church-goer.
Who doesn’t want to read a blog that integrates politics, race, theology and comics? Rod’s posts are hard-hitting and thoughtful.
Robyn is a wonderful educator of justice, reconciliation and multiethnicity. I especially appreciate the insights she brings along the lines of multicultural adoption.
Robert is passionate, passionate, passionate! But he backs up his passion with hard facts. As a pastor and professor of Chicana/o studies and Asian-American studies at UCLA, he deftly weaves social justice, race and Christianity. Check out his information-packed posts!
This blog features a variety of voices, but it consistently presents thoughtful cultural and theological analysis.
19. Enuma Okoro
Enuma is all about embracing an authentic identity. Her posts are reflective, counterintuitive and infused with her own multicultural narrative.
20. Urban Faith
A collective of voices highlighting the intersection of faith and society.
21. Crystal Lewis
Crystal writes about theology, interfaith perspectives and current events. I so appreciate the way that she challenges the boundaries of orthodoxy and invites readers to reconsider long-held assumptions about faith.
This blog features a variety of rich perspectives from around the globe.
23. Bruce Reyes-Chow
Bruce’s diverse blog covers faith, Presbyterianism, race and social media. Count on him to provide smart commentary on current events and links to challenging posts on race.
Sean writes about Christian growth/discipleship, doing church well and reconciliation. I appreciate that he consistently addresses issues with a fresh take that makes you think twice about how you perceive faith and the world around you.
Brian is DEEP. He will throw all kinds of theology and history at you — and you will love him for it.
This list is FAR from complete – please add links to more blogs below!