Top 25 Progressive Church of Christ Blogs: Results for March 2010

Matt Dabbs and I have been hard at work the last couple of months compiling the data to publish an up-to-date and far more accurate listing of progressive Church of Christ blogs.

We’ll publish a technical description of the process in a separate post. It’s enough to note here that the rankings are based on actual page views during March 2010. We can’t think of a more accurate way to compare blogs.

The “Previous Rank” column is from Matt’s January 2010 ranking based on Alexa and Google Reader subscribers. As you can see, the revised technique has made for some dramatic changes.

Rank Previous Rank Author Blog Name
1 17 Edward Fudge GracEmail
2 1 Al Maxey Reflections
3 6 Jay Guin OneInJesus
4 5 Matt Dabbs Kingdom Living
5 7 Trey Morgan Trey
6 8 Mike Cope PreacherMike
7 9 Christopher Heard Higgaion
8 12 John Mark Hicks John Mark Hicks Ministries
9 Dell Kimberly Who Told You That
10 Matthew Morine Musings on Spiritual Matters
11 13 Tim Archer The Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts
12 Terry Rush Morning Rush
13 10 Patrick Mead Tent Pegs
14 20 Milton Stanley Transforming Sermons
15 16 John Dobbs Out Here Hope Remains
16 Wes Woodell West Coast Witness
17 4 Jim Martin God Hungry
18 18 Larry James Larry James’ Urban Daily
19 15 Wade Hodges
20 14 Tim Spivey
21 Jerry Starling Committed to Truth
22 Keith Brenton Blog in My Own Eye
22 22 Brian Nicklaus The Blog Prophet
23 Steven Hovater Steven Hovater’s Blog
24 Royce Ogle Grace Digest
25 Brett Harrison aliens and strangers

“Pay … honor to whom honor is owed.” (Rom 13:7 ESV)

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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21 Responses to Top 25 Progressive Church of Christ Blogs: Results for March 2010

  1. Not that I'm necessarily complaining Jay, but I think I missed the moment when the list became explicitly progressive. Is that new? I imagine I still fit into the "progressive" category generally speaking, but that's not how I usually think of myself these days. In my own mind, though I don't think I've ever really had much of a public conversation about it, I tend to think of myself as a "post-progressive."

    Regardless, I appreciate the work you guys did on this. It really does represent a lot of hours, and I appreciate the service! I think it is helpful for the online community!

  2. Jay Guin says:


    What is "post-progressive"? Is that more progressive than progressive?

  3. Ha ha! Jay's ready to sign up!

    Like I said, I haven't fleshed out what I really mean by that language yet, but perhaps it'll form itself into a post at some point. In preleminary terms, I would think it means that while I generally agree with many progressive positions, I typically have different concerns and points of emphasis. I generally see "progressive" and "conservative" as partied defined by their position in a certain set of debates. Being post-progressive would, to me, mean being disengaged or perhaps even disinterested in the debate itself. I don't know if anybody uses that specific language to mean something similar or different to that, but it's something of what I mean.

    It's really not a huge deal, but I suppose you could see the point somewhat in the subject of my first comment. It's not that I disagree with progressives per se, but that I see very little advantage to the classification or limitation of the list to that line of thought, unless the emphasis is on certain debated issues. It may be that each of the bloggers on the list are default progressives, but that might be something more in the realm of analysis of the list, rather than the goal of the list itself. Here's the deal though: give the list that label now, and it will likely be a sort of Rubicon- all the people on the list right now might be cool with it (I don't really care), but there might be a good number of people who would be interested in such a list, both bloggers and readers, who won't touch it as labeled this time. So the label actual undermines the influence of the list itself, and creates a static, one way list rather than a potential commons.

    Perhaps that argument is at the heart of my post-progressive idea. It's not that I disagree necessarily with certain conclusions, but I question the pragmatics of claiming progressive as an identity.

  4. Thanks, Jay and Matt, for your work on this.

    I don't know how progressive I am, either … sometimes I think I'm hopelessly underqualified to discuss most of the items I discuss and am therefore intellectually regressive (but pretty good with the odd word or two).

    Hovater is definitely post-progressive, though. Whatever he decides that it means!

    Until the end of next month or so, he's been the youth minister and mentor to my two teens when he runs off to Tennessee to to preach. I've heard him preach.

    He doesn't have any truck with issues – except discipleship. He's not particularly interested in controversies – except the scandal of the cross. He doesn't have any agendas I'm aware of – except for convincing the unsuspecting that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

    I still have a lot to learn from him and I'm frankly envious of the good folks in Tullahoma, Tennessee who will be able to – and very grateful for the eleven years he has invested in my home church and the people I love there.

    Especially my kids.

  5. Jay Guin says:


    Let me suggest this way of looking at it. The progressives need to work in two directions, simultaneously. Having found the freedom the gospel gives, we need to learn how to "do church" a new way. Thus, the larger mission has to be the missional/kingdom mission and all it entails. It's about working with our churches where they are and helping them to be more nearly formed in the image of Christ. And part of this mission is unity with all our brothers and sisters regardless of denomination.

    However, it's also important that we reach out to the conservative Churches and urge them to join us. The gospel and love compel us not to shake the dust from our feet and move on until we've exhausted every avenue for sharing the sweetness of the true gospel with our Church of Christ family.

    But we shouldn't all be occupied in this second part of the mission — just as we don't need to all be involved in missions to China or service in inner city Nashville. We all have a place in God's mission, and we needn't all do the same thing or have the identical passions — so long as our passions are all found in Jesus.

    And so, I don't see what you're doing as post-progressive at all. It's what I'd do if I didn't feel compelled to do what I do. It's not about different movements. It's about finding a different place in God's mission. But it's the same vision, conceived in much the same way.

    God speed.

    By the way, you'll find plenty of other blogs on this list that aren't interested in the conservative/progressive controversies. And I think that's entirely good. I would hate for "progressive" to come to mean "trapped in fighting over 20th Century mistakes." Which is one reason I make a point to cover much more than the old controversies. In fact, I'd really rather discuss Wright and Gorman than IM vs. AC.

  6. J D says:

    Thanks for the work that you guys put into compiling this list. I look forward to checking out some blogs I've missed. And to be on this list? Really … I am honored. Surprised. It must be my stunning commentary on American Idol. 🙂 Love yas!

  7. mattdabbs says:

    The initial post on April 20th did not have any specification of anyone having to be progressive. It merely stated that the tools available to rank blogs were inadequate and we were trying to put something together that was more accurate. So, we solicited feedback from those who wanted to be considered. What you see in this list is what we got. The only exception were a blog or two that were not really theological.

    So the progressive title has no reflection, in my opinion, on our solicitation of data and on what is presented here. Looking at the list, you can see many would fall in the progressive camp. But, as we are seeing, even those on the list didn't realize that would be the title until after this data was published.

    So hopefully the word progressive in the title of the Top 25 doesn't throw anyone because this was not an exclusive compiling of data. What you see is what was submitted minus those ranked 26+.

    Hope that helps clarify a bit.

  8. Matt, that's basically the way I figured it all shook out. My point is not that it isn't a fair title for the current list, but that the title has definite implications for who will willingly submit data for the future, and probably for who uses the list as a reference point.

  9. mattdabbs says:

    Should have read Feb 20th…if you want to correct that in the comment Jay, that would be fine.

  10. jamesbrett says:

    hovater said, "the title has definite implications for who will willingly submit data for the future, and probably for who uses the list as a reference point."

    i'd like to add that the current title also might cause those of us who are missionaries to lose some of our current financial support. just kidding…

    kind of.

  11. Pingback: Church of Christ Blog Rankings Published « West Coast Witness

  12. WesWoodell says:

    @james and to that I say "lol"

  13. It's a blog-eat-blog world.

  14. Pingback: Blogging: Dead or Alive? « Out Here Hope Remains

  15. Thanks, Jay, to you and Matt for doing the list. I'm glad you're drawing attention to CofC weblogs, and I especially appreciate the attention for my weblog. Peace.

  16. Jay Guin says:


    My pleasure.

  17. Frank says:

    Cope at #6? Really?

  18. Bobby Valentine says:

    I always knew my blog wasn't progressive!! 🙂

  19. Randall says:

    Progressive or not, Bobby V's blog is one of the best – along with John Mark Hicks. Bobby's recent posts about scripture have been wonderful. Anyone that hasn't read them might consider following along and be blessed by what is there for us.

  20. scott says:

    church of christ are heritics. you deny christ work on the cross as complete becauase you add baptism like a package deal. baptism does not and can not save..john 3:16, eph. 2:8-9… even peter admits it acts 10:43-44..thought i would add that since COC likes to use acts 2:38 alot.
    you are not saved until you embrace christ and christ alone.

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