Inspiring Faith Online
December 9, 2011 7:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for beautiful, effective faith-based web sites. Sites for churches, sites about general religion, sites about even more general faith, really anything you think might be related somehow to faith. Sites that are beautiful aesthetically are fine, sites that actually motivate you to peruse them are the most interesting to me. I know next to nothing about what faith-based thingamajigs are online, so even stupidly obvious ones are welcome.
posted by Rory Marinich to Religion & Philosophy (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Vatican's site offers a 360-degree view of the Sistine Chapel. It's simply amazing.

I like Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite's columns for The Washington Post. She can be challenging to read, but she is trying to show how the teachings of Christ must be interpreted to include love for the other, and the many way that manifests (she's feminist, pro-LGBTQ rights, anti-war, etc.).
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:13 AM on December 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Mennonite Central Committee's website makes it easy to get involved in various MCC-sponsored projects and to donate to their relief efforts (this is not without its own baggage, but they do stick around long after disasters). It strikes me as an efficient, service- and purpose-oriented website that emphasizes practical action as a major part of its work in the world.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:15 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

For a nice site for a church, let me point you towards Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington D.C.

They've also got their sermons on podcast and transcribed

A great introduction to them would be his somewhat recent series on temptation:
Temptation: Why truth becomes arrogance
Matthew 15:1-28
Rev. Dean Snyder
Listen to this Sermon

Temptation: Why expertise becomes irrelevance
Matthew 9:1-13
Rev. Dean Snyder
Listen to this Sermon

Temptation: Why trust becomes abusive
Matthew 23:1-15
Rev. Dean Snyder
Listen to this Sermon

Temptation: Why idealism becomes hypocrisy
Matthew 23:25-36
Rev. Dean Snyder
Listen to this Sermon

posted by Blasdelb at 8:31 AM on December 9, 2011


Bread for the World's site is attractive and easy to navigate, and clearly lays out its case that Christians are obliged to care for one another.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization "that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service."

The United Church of Christ's site runs amok with regard to its color scheme, but it has lots of resources to teach people about the denomination and the larger Christian faith. I like their Change the World page.
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:42 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ship Of Fools is a great Christian online community.
posted by Abiezer at 9:43 AM on December 9, 2011

I like a lot of the posts at Two Friars and a Fool. I used to read Internet Monk regularly when Michael Spencer was still alive, and I guest-posted there a few times, but haven't kept up as much sense his death. Both of those sites are ongoing discussions from people who take their faith and the Bible pretty seriously, but are doing some hard rethinking about the state of Christianity in America. These days I mainly read and listen to the Christian Humanists.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:04 AM on December 9, 2011

I think the Mormons have one of the most advanced web presences -- they do a good job of both teaching new people about their faith, and informing their own members.
The Bahai have a good site.
For general religion, check out the Sacred Spaces posts on CNN's Belief Blog -- as a cultural Hindu, I thought this video did a good job of describing what it's like in a Hindu temple.
posted by bluefly at 10:38 AM on December 9, 2011

I have always found Sacred Space (the Irish Jesuit daily guided prayer page, not the CNN belief blog mentioned above) to be really beautiful and an interesting place for contemplation.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:59 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know that the BBC's introductory religion page is beautiful, but it's a good portal.
posted by homelystar at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2011

Slacktivist. A liberal evangelical looks at what's gone wrong with American Christianity through the lens of traditional Christian values.

Aesthetics: he's best known for his multi-year analysis of the Left Behind series (starting here). It's a line by line critique of the worst books ever written, and in writing that he ends up providing a clinic in what makes for good writing. Why these books?

The political impact of L&J's [authors LaHaye and Jenkins] brand of dispensationalism is difficult to measure and difficult to overstate. It affects people's attitudes toward religious pluralism, multilateral and international institutions, diplomacy and peacemaking. To give one specific example, adherents of L&J's apocalyptic worldview are vocally opposed to the "road map" peace initiative in the Middle East. At a very basic level, this worldview opposes and undermines any long-term thinking, any sustained effort to make the world a better place — replacing the hope of redemption with a perverse longing for apocalypse.

As such, L&J ultimately are like any given set of villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They want to open the Hellmouth and bring about the end of the world. Stopping them, as always, begins with research.

So let's send Xander out for donuts and get back to hitting the books.

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:31 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Religion Dispatches is a really great non-denominational site that is welcoming and interesting, even to this atheist... so much so that I made a post about it on the blue a few months ago. Killing The Buddha was also mentioned in the context of the post, and might prove interesting to you.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:18 PM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by BeBoth at 8:48 PM on December 10, 2011

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