Reviews and Comparisons
In this part of the site I will offer reviews of what I have listened to, read and seen. Where I have used several similar resources I will offer my comparison and what has worked for me. I will also link to other sites that have provided reviews that I have found helpful. It is truly overwhelming the amount of information that is now available for the inquisitive Christian or student of religious studies. So much of it is free to peruse online or subscribe to without much effort.
Opportunities to engage in two way communication are also increasing continuously and as local Communications providers increase bandwidth, reach and speed of the technologies carrying them, these conversations are becoming more immediate and multi faceted. Group discussions with shared resources, notes storage and retrieval is not uncommon now along with HD video conferencing and push subscriptions bringing relevant updates and links to information that is curated just to suit your individual tastes and requirements. The amount of content is growing exponentially so we need a way to filter it to a manageable amount. This is my small contribution to that cause. If some things I discuss on this site resonate with you – you may find some of my sources helpful as well.
The reviews that I will be writing will cover all media types that I use within this blog including Audio Books, EBooks in various formats and also traditional printed books.
I will showcase Christian themed websites and some general websites – particularly those that help provide balance to the very skewed (in my opinion) content that is more commonly available. Alternative news and informational sites especially will be highlighted.
Video content is becoming more and more popular and this fact will be reflected in reviews from all popular distribution platforms and also links to content that is not so easily found without digging into the menu/folder structures of many sites. In most cases I will be using links back to the originating sites, but where practicable and of particular interest some items will be embeded on this site for quick review.
I haven’t researched a lot of audio/podcast material at this stage but appreciate that audio is a great format when travelling, walking or whilst engaged in other tasks (and when safe to do so :-)). I have included audiobooks in the Book category. My criterion is that AudioBooks all contain the same content “words” as the traditional print book they were created from. One significant provider for podcasts is iTunes from Apple with thousands of sermons and messages available from around the Globe in seachable listings.
These are a subset of Websites but specialised enough to have their own grouping. Reddit is probably the most popular Forum with thousands of sub-forums and a monthly traffic exceeding 300 million users per month. Voat, Quora, Stumbleupon and Slashdot are sites with a similar vain although some are more specialised in subject matter.
Apart from the ubiquitous Google, and lesser brethren Yahoo and Bing, there are actually other search alternatives out there that are more specialised and focused. Even the “Big 3 ” have advanced search features that we often overlook when searching. Remember also that Google’s ( and its siblings) prime motivation is to monetise, so sites that don’t play into that primary raison d’être may miss the cut on the first page of results and slip beneath your gaze.
Nevertheless we have to live in the present reality of Google’s supreme dominance of all things pertaining to search on the internet so we need to formulate our strategies around that.
One special category of review will be Bible Software Applications which help to manage all of the various resources available and provide tools to study, critique and examine the Biblical texts and the supporting material, research and academic study accumulated over many centuries by hundreds and thousands of men and women.
I will also pay some attention to other still graphics such as photographic images, infographics, cartoons and comics, line art and drawing amongst other visual creations.
Over time I hope to create a library catalogue of the resources that I have been influenced by, informed by and challenged by.
Purpose and Position
All of this will show my own personal understanding of Scripture, and the staggering amount of Biblical and Christian documents, files, artifacts, history, and media that has been produced by Christians and Biblical students, church leaders, pastors, preachers, teachers and academics across time since the beginning of Man. Undoubtedly my understanding is coloured and informed by my place in time, experiences, ability to understand spiritual truths, convictions and temperment. Most tellingly it is inhibited by my old sin nature and propensity to be selfish and inward looking and a host of other human foibles that I often seem to be blind to. I thank God for His perfect provision of the Perfect role model in our Lord Jesus and for the Perfect Guide and Helper in the Holy Spirit whom gently corrects and directs me in the right paths and right thoughts.
All of this is for naught if I do not see more of my Lord and His boundless beauty and how this grand human journey into Biblical knowledge has an ultimate destination in knowing The Truth. Knowing the Absolutes and knowing the Love of a God whom made His Essence knowable through His Son Jesus Christ.
After all is said and done
I close the books and seek the One.
Not fact or theme or word or sum.
The One and Only, God the Son.