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New Zealand Christian Blog Ranking Policy Change

November 5th, 2009 by Madeleine

You may have noticed I have just now caught up all the blog ranking reports I was behind on due to end of year study focus (my final exam is now 6 days away). You may have also noticed we have included a new blog ranking policy in our eligibility criteria.

From here on simply claiming to be Christian will not mean your blog automatically makes the top 10 New Zealand Christian blog rankings. In addition to being openly Christian in its blog description on Tumeke and HalfDone’s New Zealand blog ranking lists, now an eligible blog must also demonstrate adherence to the historic Christian tradition in their blog content.

We are going to be fairly broad with this. No one is perfect in their interpretation of biblical text or in how they apply their beliefs to their actions (or the content of their blogs). We all get it wrong from time to time. We are not looking for adherence to fine points of doctrine on things like eschatology or baptism or political leaning, etc. However, we will draw a line and exclude blogs that fall outside what CS Lewis calls “mere christianity”. Lewis sums this up as “the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.” So, for example, we would exclude those who claim to be Christian but who promote atheism or deny the resurrection or believe that Jesus was a magic mushroom and so on.

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36 responses so far ↓

  • Jesus a magic mushroom?

    I have not heard that one.

    I thought space alien was pretty far fetched.
    .-= My last blog-post ..NZ troops attacked in Vietnam… opps… Afghanistan =-.

  • It might have been a sacred mushroom rather than a magic one…

    Google “John Allegro” and “mushroom.”

  • The elephant in the room, of course, is what prompted this policy change?

    Is there a blog or blogs, otherwise eligible, that warrant exclusion?

  • I believe this is exhibit A:
    http://dunedinschool.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/historical-critical-interpretation-reveals-christian-distortion-of-the-old-testament/

    Can’t say that I disagree with your position. My categories are quite wide, and blogs might not necessarily what a casual glance might indicate. There are certainly a lot of people around who profess to be christian, but deny every key aspect thereof.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Not a game one would keep playing for long… =-.

  • Interesting specimen. However, what did it for us was membership of the secular bible blog directory along with John Loftus’s Debunking Christianity.

    I should make it clear that it was not the said association but what a blog has to affirm to make the list that we took issue with.
    .-= My last blog-post ..New Zealand Christian Blog Ranking Policy Change =-.

  • so if i get the gist write, this blog has deemed that post by dunedin school, as falling outside orthodoxy. is that right? i’m genuinely curious to see the evidence for that, and not just the accusation.

    steve
    .-= My last blog-post ..Parihaka day: Growing in local peace stories =-.

  • “It might have been a sacred mushroom rather than a magic one…”…

    It was a “magic mushroom” as in the drug… not as in possessing magical powers…

    Where would you place, say, Llyoyd Geering or Spong if they were to make a Blog? Christian enough?
    .-= My last blog-post ..October Wrap-Up =-.

  • Steve wrote: “so if i get the gist write, this blog has deemed that post by dunedin school, as falling outside orthodoxy. is that right?”

    No that is not quite correct.

    It is our position that to be Christian one must affirm and believe in the existence of God (along with a couple of other vitals.)

    In response to a link posted by a reader, this blog has commented that another blog appears to be outside orthodoxy, by its displaying of a badge claiming to be secular on every one of its pages. This badge represents membership of a group that one can only obtain if one claims to blog on biblical and religious matters from a secular perspective.

    What is a secular biblical blog? In the context of the site offering the badges, it is fairly clear that “secular” means denial of the existence of God.

    “i’m genuinely curious to see the evidence for that, and not just the accusation.”

    Visit the Dunedin School website, check the sidebar on the right. Click on the link and explore what that blog signed up to, what the badge they display on their blog means.

    .-= My last blog-post ..New Zealand Christian Blog Ranking Policy Change =-.

  • What about blogs written by Christians, can they make the rankings? Or is it the content that is important. I have read Mere Christianity if that helps

    If not I might need to make my own blog ranking system. 🙂
    .-= My last blog-post ..The Lynx Effect – Do the adverts lie? =-.

  • Max asked:
    “Where would you place, say, Llyoyd Geering or Spong if they were to make a Blog? Christian enough?”

    Geering is an atheist. Anyone claiming to be an atheist cannot credibly claim to be a Christian. To stretch the term Christian to include atheists is a bit like saying marxists can be capitalists.

    Spong I’d have to think about. I’m inclined to think his views on the resurrection put him out of contention but I have not read enough of him.
    .-= My last blog-post ..New Zealand Christian Blog Ranking Policy Change =-.

  • We rank christian blogs not Christian bloggers Ozy.

    A person could be a Christian and write on gardening – that’d be all very interesting but I wouldn’t call that a Christian blog.

    When I began the rankings I was interested to know how blogs that have overtly Christian content fare compared to those that do not. As in, do only Christians read them or do they have wider readership? The rankings spawned out of ponderings like this, despite the fact they don’t actually answer all of those questions. I wanted to gather together and encourage those blogs with Christian content. However, this does not mean that I think all Christians who blog must have Christian content. I read and enjoy plenty of blogs that do not written by Christians through to atheists. I just choose to rank those with Christian content which meet the stated criteria.

    .-= My last blog-post ..New Zealand Christian Blog Ranking Policy Change =-.

  • Seems fair enough. Christians blogging about ideas from a Christian worldview.

    Christians cover things like atheism, but that would not make it an atheist or secular blog.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Right to internet access? =-.

  • Madeleine, your post format shows the date but not the time you post (though the feed has the time). Are you able to include the time somewhere? Say with the date, or elsewhere?
    .-= My last blog-post ..Right to internet access? =-.

  • The boundaries on these things are a bit of a headache, but it’s your thing, so you can set whatever rules you wish.

    The Nicene Creed’s always useful…
    .-= My last blog-post ..Yes, there’s a web site for that. =-.

  • “Geering is an atheist. Anyone claiming to be an atheist cannot credibly claim to be a Christian. To stretch the term Christian to include atheists is a bit like saying marxists can be capitalists.

    Spong I’d have to think about. I’m inclined to think his views on the resurrection put him out of contention but I have not read enough of him.”

    I agree with you about Geering… “Christianity without God”.. wonderful. … I think he should probably be in this list:

    http://dunedinschool.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/worst-nz-theologians/

    I would probably throw Spong out as well. I am not even sure he believes in God anymore.. apart from in some vague “what we all aspire to” or “our highest value” sort of way…

    I was just curious how far you would cast your net.
    .-= My last blog-post ..October Wrap-Up =-.

  • I think the Dunedin School theological and biblical content is of great interest to Christians. On their ‘About’ page, they claim to be ‘neo-iconoclasts’ after the fashion of Lloyd Geering.

    Like Open Parachute their content explores a lot of Christian themes but not from a perspective of faith, but of skepticism or ‘higher’ criticism. Neither position fits mainstream Christian theology or bible scholarship.

    On the other hand here’s a fine Presbyterian blog from Dunedin (appropriate!) that’s deserves greater attention.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Karl Barth vs. James Speight =-.

  • One interesting thing missing from this discussion is balance of content.

    For instance my blog trys to cover politics, news, computers, and religion.

    Getting the balance right is tough at times as opposed to a blog like M and M in which at least 90% of posts have a religious theme.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Word 2007 crashing on Windows 7 or won’t open documents =-.

  • Well Brad that is because, being Christians, when we write on things like politics, news, computers, and religion our take on those things is written from our perspective. So of course, where relevant, blog posts on these topics will have a Christian bent.

    This is as it should be. An atheist doesn’t stop thinking like an atheist when he or she changes the topic, so too with a Christian.

    As for how many blog posts are on topics that lend themselves to having a Christian bent, that’s a style/niche thing. For us the past month has seen us rather distracted by end of year study deadlines so our blog has not been operating as normal. However, as these will end for me on Wednesday with my final exam and Matt in a few weeks we are slowly shifting back to normal – I hope to resume keeping up with current events once my exam is over.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Audi and the Infallibility of Religious Reasons =-.

  • The Dunedin School is an academic religious and biblical studies blog. It is written by both Christians and non-Christians, and contributions from both can be found on the blog.

    Perhaps your decision to exclude The Dunedin School has less to do with its openness to rigorous academic comment, and more do to with your fear that this blog may soon lose its ‘top’ spot? That is the unfortunate yet inevitable problem when the very blog which claims to be ‘top’ of the Christian blogs also determines the criteria for inclusion and exclusion.

  • Well I think it is pretty simple, blogs that claim to be secular are going to be omitted from my Christian blog ranking.

    To make the christian blog ranking you have to have a christian blog. If the blog contains unqualified content arguing against the existence of God then it is not a Christian blog. Ditto if the blog wears a badge claiming it is secular.

    If any of the Christian writers at Dunedin School form a Christian blog or write their own blogs then they will be included on the Christian blog rankings.

    You can psycholanalyse my motives and disbelieve my word all you want (frankly, given what you have written about us and other Christian blogs I’d be surprised if you did not) but I don’t see any other secular blogs complaining about not being on my Christian blog ranking – unless you are claiming you are a Christian blog (in which case you should probably tell the secular bible blog people and withdraw your membership).

    As for comparing rankings, we are both ranked on Tumeke and HalfDone and, if your stats are available, Open Parachute so if you care enough to want to compare your stats with ours there are plenty of ways you can still do so.

    Happy blogging 🙂

    .-= My last blog-post ..Audi and the Infallibility of Religious Reasons =-.

  • Dunedin school:

    I don’t think that Madelaine doubts that your website has a high standard of academic rigor – what she is saying is that the paradigm in which this academic activity takes place is not Christian but Secular.

    It is not a matter of whether the writers are Christian or not – it is whether the content itself argues from a Christian world view (correct me if I am wrong M&M – I am only guessing…)

    [Precisely Max]

    Having said that though..

    Madeleine:

    Even if they do not fit under the umbrella of “Christian” by your blogs criteria – I think you would have to admit that The Dunedin School contains posts which are of interest to Christians, and which challenge Christian assumptions? So it certainly has great value in that way.., but I suppose so do many atheist websites as well.

    [Again, with respect to some of their content, we’d agree]

    Personally I appreciate both M&M and The Dunedin School precisely because I don’t agree with ALL of what either site says. I find I get a lot more out of reading things written by people who disagree with me, that reading thing b people who essentially have the same beliefs, or who have reached the same conclusions.

    So BOTH of you. Keep up the good work…

  • “The Dunedin School is an academic religious and biblical studies blog. It is written by both Christians and non-Christians, and contributions from both can be found on the blog.”

    I find this comment a little strange. Not because I think its false, but because The Dunedin School apparently thinks I am unaware of who they are. I studied and shared an office with many members of “The Dunedin School” only a few years ago.

  • “I find this comment a little strange, not because i think its false, but because the Dunedin school apparently thinks I am unaware of who they are. I studied and shared an office with many members of the “Dunedin school” only a few years ago.”

    Don’t read TOO much into that Matt… It’s a comment not just for you but for anyone else who is reading as well.
    .-= My last blog-post ..rssCloud Update =-.

  • Matt I think they know precisely who you are.

    .-= My last blog-post ..Audi and the Infallibility of Religious Reasons =-.

  • TDS MandM don’t “claim to be ‘top’ of the Christian blogs” they just are.

    MandM’s content speaks for itself and is no comparison to the assertion and bigotry that pass for academic reason on your blog (no offence to Max).

    Go to any of the blog ranking sites that contain their site and check where MandM rank (There are a few helpfully listed in their sidebar under “directories”).

    Even on the international rankings sites they outrank every New Zealand christian blog and most of the international ones. The same is true of the New Zealand ranking lists.

    Small wonder heads of department and famous christian philosophers and theologians and historians and scientists from all over the world read, comment and guest post on their blog.

    MandM’s closest competition, and the only New Zealand blog in the same league, is Glen People’s blog, Say Hello to my Little Friend.
    .-= My last blog-post ..On Getting Guy Fawkes =-.

  • “to the assertion and bigotry that pass for academic reason on your blog (no offence to Max).”

    I think this is a pretty unfair characterization of the page…

    Certainly TDS is at times deliberately facetious and sarcastic – but when they DO put on their academic hats they do it well.

    But don’t worry… I’m not offended. I usually try to believe in twelve ridiculous theories before breakfast to stay in shape… or whatever the Queen said 🙂
    .-= My last blog-post ..rssCloud Update =-.

  • Max if you “usually try to believe in twelve ridiculous theories before breakfast to stay in shape” you should visit Scalia’s blog…

    Scalia, as usual, more than a tad OTT.

    .-= My last blog-post ..Audi and the Infallibility of Religious Reasons =-.

  • How unreasonable — I think we Christians should DEMAND that our sites be listed on all atheist blog-rolls. How dare they exclude us just because we believe in one more God than them!
    .-= My last blog-post ..Apologetics Books from GraceBooks in Hastings =-.

  • I did some poking around out of interest. M+M is ahead by Pagerank and Alexa. DS does better with Technorati. Don’t know about traffic stats.

    http://mandm.org.nz
    google pr = 5
    technorati = 13352
    t.authority = 422
    alexa = 198,577
    alexa nz = 460

    http://dunedinschool.wordpress.com
    google pr = 4
    technorati = 3764
    t.authority = 528
    alexa = 733,261
    alexa nz = 2,528

  • Traffic stats, according to Tumeke:

    MandM 240 a day
    TDS 130 a day

    TDS’s Technorati being higher will be due to their newness. Wait for their second 6 mths to pass.

  • I don’t think that Madelaine doubts that your website has a high standard of academic rigor

    I wouldn’t be so sure. This is the site that just wrote the article ‘Thinking in Tatters’—which is about as far from academic rigor as it’s possible to go while remaining intelligible.

    On an unrelated note—

    Madeleine, I’d like to clarify a matter of principle: if there were New Zealand blogs written by Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians, or the like, would you include them on the Christian blog rankings?

  • I did hold The Dunedin School in a respect-but-disagree kind of high regard, but seriously their last couple of hack jobs on moral relativism are just deplorable. Did they recently recruit someone else to blog for them? What’s more – and suggestive of a desire to be free from criticism, unfortunately, is that both this new blog entry (which only has one comment, affirming the author’s view) and the previous attack on Matt’s arguments have both had comments disable.

    Come on TDS, surely you’re better than that.

  • Glen: they seem to have opened comments up again
    .-= My last blog-post ..WordCamp NYC This Weekend! =-.

  • Indeed Glenn, now they are openly mocking and sophomoric. What happened to the scholarly tone? Their latest piece is a descent into the realm of PZ Myers-style idiocy.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Our Place in the Universe =-.

  • “TDS’s Technorati being higher will be due to their newness. Wait for their second 6 mths to pass.”

    Technorati only reads off the past month now so once a blog is past it’s one month birthday it is on par with all others and the new additions to blogrolls a baby-blog picks up in its first few months no longer count – it is all about backlinks received in the past 30 days now and relevance of content and keywords within one’s niche.

    The reason our Technorati was so low was due to glitch at Technorati’s end which has finally been fixed. We’d been sitting in the low 100’s since Technorati did their big revamp but a couple of months whinging on my part saw us finally rise back to more normal levels, high 500’s, which will show in ScrubOne’s December stats. Our Alexa score has jumped again too as we’ve picked up about 20 backlinks from US blogs this month (not that even half of these are showing on Technorati yet – so slow!) – US traffic tends to come in on an Alexa toolbar.

    BTW I’ve added that link added to our blogroll Ropata – looks good – friend of yours?

  • Seems like someone noticed that it’s harder to get higher traffic in the short term with calm analysis?
    .-= My last blog-post ..Thank you to the boys in Blue (and the others on the 111 line) =-.