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Tourney Time: Influential Christian Thinkers

I love this time of year because of March Madness. I love to watch the excitement and the debate surrounding games, snubs, and upsets. I love to cheer on the Duke Blue Devils. Since I am trying to be more regular with my blogging, I thought I would do what many have done before: create a tourney around a topic. I have selected to do a tourney of influential Christian thinkers.

First thing to note: this list is not about the “most” influential and it is not exhaustive. I solicited some names from friends and threw in some of my own. The selection committee was made up of me and the seeding was too. Starting tomorrow there will be daily surveys where people can vote on the winners of the match-ups. I am also hoping that people will use the comment section to try and sway others into why a certain thinker should win over another. Here will be the schedule:

Friday March 18 – Northwestern Division Round 1

Monday March 21- Duke Divinity Division Round 1

Tuesday March 22- Chatfield Division Round 1

Wednesday March 23- Winona Division Round 1

Thursday March 24- Northwestern and Duke Divinity Round 2

Friday March 25- Chatfield and Winona Round 2

Monday March 28- Sweet 16

Tuesday March 29- Northwestern & Duke Divinity Elite 8 Matchups

Wednesday March 30- Chatfield & Winona  Elite 8 Matchups

Thursday March 31- Final Four Matchups

Friday April 1- Championship Matchup

Monday April 4- Champion Crowned

I won’t give much detail on the matchups until the Elite 8 matchups. I will try to provide links for further information on the people so people can learn more, etc.

The whole point of this is to have some fun and have some discussion. I am excited to see how some of these match-ups turn out. So without further delay, below is the final field of 64. Look them over and comment. Do you think someone got snubbed? Did somebody get a bad seed? Toughest bracket?

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  1. Tough draw from Tony Jones.

    Also, if Dietrich Bonhoeffer loses to Beth Moore or Aquinas loses to Moltmann, I’m jumping off a bridge.

  2. First off, this is very European/American field. No Gustavo Gutierrez? Desmond Tutu?

    I love the inclusion of folks like Anne Lamotte and Donald Miller. Not sure I would include Joyce Meyer or TD Jakes on any list of “Thinkers”. Influential voices perhaps, but not thinkers.

    Big upset based on your field would be Paul Tillich over Rob Bell. I think this is a mistake in seeding. I would have Tillich at worst a 4 seed. Would you have someone like Rob Bell without Tillich’s pioneering work on theology and culture?

    Great idea. I’ll keep watching.

    1. Clint- Thanks for the thoughts. You are right about it being very Western in thought and I knew that would be a limit…next year some others will make the field. Don’t ask me why I totally blanked on Tutu and he would have been a higher seed. I am excited to see what might happen based on votes.

  3. So if its not a “most influential” what will the voting be based on? Voter’s favorites? Or maybe for the less learned (like me) one’s we’ve heard of? Or perhaps what name we’d like to have instead of our own? ;)

    1. I will include links to information on the individuals on the days of the voting….winners will be determined by the results of the surveys I post on the blog the day of competition….you can vote however your heart desires and based on whatever you desire.

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