As a campus minister, my fall semesters are quite busy. So I haven’t had the opportunity to write as much for this blog as I’d like. I think after this week, I can return to a regular schedule of posting at least once a week.
Until then, I wanted to give you a post or two to give you some reading material. In this post, let me write about five blogs that I enjoy. I’ve specifically chosen these blogs because you might not have heard of them. They are not unpopular, but they are not famous.
I keep up with my blogs through Feedly on my phone, and I have a few dozens blogs I scan through. If your are familiar with the Christian blogosphere landscape, you probably know some of the blogs on that skim (e.g. Justin Taylor’s blog and Scot McKnight’s blog).
But there are a few blogs that I look forward to new posts. I might not read every post from these blogs. But I look forward to their new posts.
I know the title of this blog probably doesn’t appeal to many of my readers. It sounds like a blog on how to study better, and that is how the blog began. (If you are a student, you would do yourself well to read through Cal Newport’s archives and learn from his advice.)
But Cal Newport now writes on habits and approaches to success. He covers time management, goal setting, learning how to master the skills relevant to your work, etc. If you find these topics at all useful, then you’ll find Cal Newport’s blog the best on the internet on these subjects.
(If you don’t find these topics interesting, go to the blog and read several posts. That’ll give you a better description of what he writes about.)
Cal Newport’s blog is the only blog that I read every post he writes, and I’ve been doing that for years. That’s how much I enjoy his work.
As my readers know, I have my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in philosophy, so I follow a few philosophy blogs. The author of the Maverick Philosopher blog, Bill Vallicella, is a retired professor of philosophy. He writes about a variety of topics, including spirituality, philosophy, politics, the pursuit of wisdom, etc. His writing is enjoyable and informative, and I think you would think so even if your backgroud is not in philosophy.
The Scriptorium Daily is the blog of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. It’s tagline is: *Providing a Biblically rooted, evangelically committed, classically minded outlook on the world. The faculty members of Torrey Honors Institute write on many different topics. The essays are high quality, but I honestly follow it because of one of its contributors: Dr. Fred Sanders. Fred Sanders is one of my favorite theologians alive, and I have read seveal of his books (including Wesley on the Christian Life and The Deep Things of God). You are free to read all the essays, but pay close attention to his essays.
I am combining these two blogs, because they cover similar topics. I read a lot, and I have always looked for a way to organize my notes and reflections on what I read. This is important for remembering insights, but it’s also pragmatic for me. As a minister, I teach or preach at least once a week, but sometimes much more than that. Having easy access to notes and insignts from previous reflections definitely helps the lesson-writing process.
Earlier this year –– I cannot remember why or how –– I stumbled across a description of Zettelkasten, which is German for “slipbox.” It has come, though, to refer to a particular approach to taking and organizing one’s notes. Both Zettelkasten.de and Dan Scheffler’s blog write about such an approach. Their writings are insightful and greatly beneficial to me. I have a Zettelkasten on my computer, created using nvALT.
Few of my readers would find this material interesting. But if you work in a field where you need easy access to past insights, then I suggest you spend a little time reading around these two blogs.
I grew up in the Church of Christ. As with every fellowship of Christians we have some unique approaches to doctrine and Scripture. I enjoy reading One In Jesus because it is well-written, theologically informed and informative, and written from a Church of Christ perspective. Jay Guin, the author of the blog, is an acquaintance of mine. I appreciate the depth and breadth of his posts; there is much to learn from his writings. I also appreciate that he constantly engages the history and heritage of the Churches of Christ, learning from it and challenging it. If you grew up in the Church of Christ, or if you attend one, you owe it to yourself to read his blog.
I hope that you found one of these blogs interesting. It’s an eccentric collection, but these are all high-quality blogs. Take time to browse a couple of them. Let me know what you think about them. (You can contact me through email or Twitter: both are available through this website.)
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