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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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The Top Ten Christian Blogs

The list of Christian blogs which I launched on this site in April is moving soon to its own new site, managed by some Christian computer geeks who will enhance it with all kinds of cool functions. It’s an appropriate time to do some more writing about Christian blogs.

Which blogs are the most popular? Without an independent monitoring service, or without access to each site’s traffic counter, we can’t really know. So the best alternative is the Leaderboard ranking system compiled by the Thinking Out Loud blog, and based on the number of links each Christian blog receives on the front pages of all the other Christian blogs.

Here’s a brief introduction to the top 10, as of July 20th, when the list was last updated. If you are thinking about starting a blog, or simply wonder what blogging is all about, check these out. [Update: some are no longer online.]

1. Sacra Doctrina – A very worthy winner. Joel Garver is an adjunct professor of philosophy and his extremely attractive blog (on a Blogger template!) is heavy on theology and philosophy, yet is lightly written with a strong personal touch. A recent posting is on the five books everyone really should read. The Christian blogosphere can take pride that it offers such sites.

2. My own blog. I’m under no illusions about my ranking: it’s because so many other blogs link to my bloglist. Once the list moves to its own site I’ll watch with interest and trepidation my movement on the Leaderboard.

3. Fool’s Folly – Emily Stimpson’s presents lively and sometimes provocative commentary on a wide range of Catholic issues. [Link removed in February 2006, as the site seemed to be no longer Christian.]

4. Beautiful Feet – Online diary of Rick Capezza, a Presbyterian graduate student.

5. Ladydusk – Another online diary.

6. In Between Naps – As one of the best writers in the Christian blogosphere, Amy Welborn attracts considerable attention for her commentaries and other writings. They’re lightly written and often witty, yet deep and provocative. She also has her radar attuned to what’s happening elsewhere on the web. She’s a linker and a thinker. Here’s the start of a recent posting:

I think a lot about faith. Why people believe, why they don't.

And I have to say that after years of pondering these questions and observing the world and the Church, I sympathize with the unbelievers.

Why? I simply think that the Church today doesn't even try to answer the questions people are asking, either in words or actions. It's not grappling with the issues intellectually, and it's not answering them with compelling witness. For the most part. Of course, there are pockets here and there, and there are many saints walking among us. But as a Body, the Church isn't quite getting it these days.

It’s seems almost off the cuff, but it makes compelling reading. In Between Naps is the very model of a Christian blog.

7. Presbytermark – This high-quality blog comes from Presbyterian pastor Mark Horne. It is a mix of theology, personal reflection, daily diary and links to pertinent material (often written by Mark himself). His July 9 musing on pastoring - excerpt: “People say that a church should be a community, but community can also be the biggest threat to a church actually functioning as a church. Nothing disrupts a community more than new people.” – is classic stuff that deserves far wider distribution than just his blog.

8. A Catholic Blog for Lovers – The title of Gerard Serafin’s blog probably says it all. If that’s not enough, the sub-title reads: “A celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and perhaps a little nastiness.” Photos and artworks makes this an extremely attractive site.

9. Andrew Sullivan – The king of the bloggers attracts a huge audience (41,000 visitors yesterday) for his Daily Dish of commentary, wit and opinion, spanning politics, religion, sexuality, culture and much more.

10. KataJohn – Pastor John Barach comments with flair on a wide variety of Christian concerns, from a Reformed perspective.

July 26th, 2002


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