At first, doing a review of www.challies.com seemed like doing a review of google.com— “Why, everybody knows about challies and everyone thinks it’s, like, indispensible to life!”
Then I realized that although that holds true in the bubble of the Christian blogosphere, I have a lot of people who read my site who are not hard-core bloggers or who may not even know what a blog is.
So, what is this internet phenomenon that “put the fun back into fundamentalism”?
First, a straightforward description of the site and its features, and then a few thoughts on why it is so insanely popular.
Features: the site is, like mine, an internet weblog, or “blog” with daily entries. The author, Tim Challies, writes about a variety of things, concentrating on important current issues in Christianity, book reviews (what a voracious reader!), and links to other interesting pages on the internet (his “a la carte” section). Two features especially worth mentioning are his “live-blogging” of major Christian conferences and his “King for a Week” feature of highlighting an outstanding Christian site by doing an article and showing their RSS feed on his site for a week.
So, why has challies.com become so popular? Is it because of his rugged Canadian lumberjack physique? Or spending more every month on books than his mortgage? Is it because he spends forty hours a week figuring out different ways to manipulate his logo in Photoshop? (oh, sorry, that’s TeamPyro!) No, in the final analysis it is because God in His wisdom and grace has permitted it. But here are my practical thoughts, which all of us on the web would be wise to keep in mind:
Tim has a heart for ministry, to impact people’s lives for Jesus Christ, and his website shows it. He is on the web and in person “gracious and humble” to use Bob Kauflin’s words.
The quality of the content shows his writing skill, his intelligence, his orthodoxy, and his heart.
The quantity of the content shows that this isn’t a passing fad for Tim; he’s found God’s calling and His blessing and Tim has dedicated himself to the site.
He’s not in it for the money— with his traffic he could easily throw up a few ads to help pay for his large bandwidth, but he doesn’t. I respect that, A LOT, and I think others do to.
He’s a professional web designer— he is always refining his great website design, it’s straightforward, informative, and fast.
So, discover for yourself what you’ve been missing, go visit www.challies.com.