Al Maxey on Kingdom Living Blog Rankings

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One of the things this blog has highlighted for some time are the top Church of Christ blogs. One of the front runners has always been Al Maxey’s Reflections. Here are some thoughts from brother Maxey on what these rankings mean to him,

Why is this ranking significant? What does it tell us? After having given it some thought, and discussed it with others, I believe it suggests a growing hunger and thirst for responsible reform and change within the Churches of Christ, and a longing for an increased freedom in Christ to express the devotion of one’s heart apart from the confines of legalistic patternism. Brethren are frustrated over being bound to the past, to the personal and party preferences and practices of their forefathers, and yearn to step boldly into the future, sharing and showing their faith in much more culturally relevant ways. Such is not a departure from Truth, but, in fact, an elevation of Truth to a place of authority above one’s religious tradition!! The overwhelming response to ministries such as my Reflections reflects such a spiritual yearning. Our movement would be well-advised, and indeed wise, to pay attention to this voice of concern that is being raised worldwide, and begin evolving, with the leading of the Spirit, to where we currently need to be in order to better encourage the saved and evangelize the lost. – Reflections #430

I wholeheartedly agree with his thoughts on this and am appreciative of his support of this effort. To see the January 2010 rankings click here.

0 Responses

  1. You know, I’ve been wondering a bit about some sort of ranking of Church of Christ websites in general. It would be hard, I’m sure, but might be interesting.

    I got to thinking about this partly because sites like Al’s aren’t really blogs per se. (I don’t think it has an RSS feed, nor does it allow comments). Then you have sites like which are more bloglike in some ways, yet go so far beyond what we mere mortal bloggers do.

    I guess it’s an impossible task. Just thinking out loud here.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

    1. Tim,

      Something is in the works to address this. Just some things to work out in order to make this effective. Thanks for bringing this up.

    1. Lantz,

      Al Maxey wrote, that there is a “…longing for an increased freedom in Christ to express the devotion of one’s heart apart from the confines of legalistic patternism.”

      With which I agree.

      However, you suggest that, “People are longing for the relationship not religion.”

      While a “legalistic pattenism” may be wrong, what is wrong with “religion”? Do you see the two as the same thing? As the word “religion” simply means a “set of beliefs,” and/or “the practice of adhering to a set of beliefs,”….I am concerned for those who desire a relationship without the religion. Perhaps you can clarify? Because, being religious and practicing religion are both good.

      I wonder what others think about the word “religion”? What does it mean and does God want us to be that?

  2. Perhaps he meant a “religion” that did not have to be commercialized, advertized, organized, patternized, traditionalized, or legalized in order to be accepted by others.

  3. Tom,

    I think you hit the nail right where it needs to be hit!

    To me, “religion” is the external practice of rules & rituals, with the human organizational (as opposed to the spiritual organism of the body of Christ). It is what some theologians call the “cultus”. The Old Testament cultus was the Aaronic priesthood and sacrificial system. The NT (especially in Hebrews) uses the word leitourgia, the word from which we get the word liturgy for that system. It also uses this word of the sacrifice of Jesus. Surprisingly, this word is also applied to Christian service in preaching the gospel to others and in serving those who are needy.

    Hence, James’ definition of pure religion is appropriate to the proper understanding of Christianity: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). This has a lot to do with what Paul called our spiritual liturgy (worship or service) in Romans 12:2. It has little to do with “religion” as most people view it.

    I blogged on this here.

  4. This seems like total spin to me. That’s like some talk radio host saying that Fox News’ success indicates that everyone is tired of the dominance of ‘liberal’ media. Well, how does that follow? First, sure, some political conservatives are tired of the dominance of ‘liberal’ media. Second, perhaps some people just like Fox News production/time slots/anchor personalities/news selection better.

    How can Al Maxey possibly know that the blog rankings mean everyone’s wanting the CoC’s to reform? The fact that people represented by numbers on the ranking are reading these blogs hardly means that everyone in the CoC wants to reform. It’s not like there aren’t still conservatives and conservative schools and lectureships and even blogs for that matter. And further, perhaps a lot of conservative-pew-sitters aren’t blog readers of any kind, and thus their preferences aren’t reflected. Further still, some of the visits to those blogs are from dissenters, not supporters. And those numbers hardly constitute a figure which amounts to a majority of CoC membership.

    i’m not saying that some people don’t want reform. i count myself among them. But Al Maxey just seems to be saying what he wants to be the case, not what is actually implied by the numbers.


    1. Guy,

      I get what you are saying here and I don’t doubt there could be some truth to that. But could you at least point me to some bloggers on the ultra-conservative end of the spectrum I have missed that would rank higher than any of these? I have tried several of the ones that I thought might at least come close and they fell way short. That doesn’t discount what you are saying. Maybe progressives are just more tech-savy and conservatives are still paper and penciling it and putting actual stamps on paper.

      Also he doesn’t say “everyone” he says he believes there is a growing hunger and thirst for change among people who have lived on the uber-conservative side of the spectrum. From my experience that is a true statement. Doesn’t mean everyone over there wants to change it but I do think that sentiment is “growing” as Maxey wrote.

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