A random walk through the Christian blogosphere is an enlightening experience that effectively takes the pulse of the technically-abled side of the Church. From even a short visit to a few blogs, one could argue that Christian bloggers don't seem to span the gamut of Christian thought and that's probably close to the truth. In the wake of GodBlogCon, a few brave souls have asked whether or not the Christian blogosphere is in a homogeneous funk, and I would have to agree that it is.
As one of the precious few charismatics actively blogging, I'd like to remedy this just a tad by suggesting that perhaps there is more to read out there than flows from the pens of C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, D.A. Carson, John MacArthur, and C.H. Spurgeon. As much as they are routinely quoted by what seems to be 97.5% of the Christian blogosphere, there are outstanding authors who are never mentioned, yet they had profound ministries that stretched across the globe.
For the betterment (and broadening) of Christian thought, I present three authors whose underrepresentation in the Christian blogosphere only serves to diminish our conversation.
For anyone attending the GodBlogCon, it was sponsored by the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. Considering all the hoopla around this event, no one bothered to shed some light on the man who lends his name to that Institute, .
A gifted author, teacher, pastor, and evangelist, Torrey not only served as Dean of Biola for twelve years, but was also D.L. Moody's handpicked successor to that great evangelist's church and what later became Moody Bible Institute. (An outstanding bio can be found here and at Wikipedia.)
Torrey, a true charismatic, penned an outstanding treatise on the Holy Spirit that I've routinely recommended to people, The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit. Many have commented that his works on prayer are some of the finest written, and you can find a free version of one of those prayer writings and a few of his other works at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (a site everyone should have bookmarked.)
Torrey authored over forty books, many still in print. Such a talented and gifted man of God we'd all be hard pressed to equal. He deserves to be read and quoted from liberally.
While many of the writers that are usually referenced in the Christian blogosphere have a fiery and impassioned message along the lines of the Apostle Paul, Andrew Murray is more in the gentle, loving, and profound mold of the Apostle John. Perhaps it is because of Murray's soothing pastoral heart that he's not ripe for controversy, but I contend that in an age when so many Christians are at odds, Murray's vast output of writings are more needed than ever. (Bio of Murray and at Wikipedia.)
This post came about because of yesterday's reference to abiding in Christ. For those seeking to do just that, there is no equal in books on the subject than Andrew Murray's Abide in Christ (free online version here.) He, too, penned a classic on prayer, With Christ in the School of Prayer. I'd also recommend his book Humility, one of the best ever written on the topic. And like Torrey, Murray endorse modern day charismata, having overseen the miracle-filled South African Revival of 1860, an event that changed his life. He later was a key player in the Keswick movement that fueled both the great missionary thrust at the turn of the 20th century and the Welsh Revival. You can find free versions of many of his writings scattered thoughout the Internet, but the CCEL, again, is a fantastic resource for Murray.
I can think of few great men of the Faith whose writings have eluded more people than Watchman Nee. Perhaps it's his distinctly Asian view of Christianity, but no matter the reason, Nee is a man wholly surrendered to the Lord and his writings have profound depth. What else can be expected from a man who spent the majority of his Christian life locked up in solitary confinement in a Communist prison cell? Many today would claim that Nee's devotion to the Lord is the reason the Chinese house church movement is still going strong. (Nee bio here and at Wikipedia.)
Nee's The Normal Christian Life is a book every Christian should read, and it's one of the scant few worthy of inclusion in the Essential Reading sidebar of Cerulean Sanctum. Packed with wisdom on living out faith in Christ, it's a classic exposition of Romans. (CCEL has a free online version here.) I also heartily recommend his look at Ephesians, Sit, Walk, Stand. Having read several of Nee's books, I can promise that anything he writes will be fresh and will challenge you with godly wisdom from a different perspective than what you might be used to. A tragically underrepresented author in Christian blogging.
Other great writers do exist. C'mon folks, let's put a few different players out on the field!