Here at The Christian Manifesto, we don’t insulate ourselves. We believe that all of Creation is charged with the grandeur of God. We’re just as comfortable reviewing and critiquing the creative work of Eminem as we are Jeremy Camp or Toby Mac. We won’t crucify an artist because he swears too much, nor will we praise an artist simply because she makes worship music. We won’t degrade an author because the writing is risqué. nor praise one because the main character is Amish. We’ll say things in our blogs that buck the status quo and (possibly) raise your ire, all while believing that God is fully revealed in the person of Jesus. We will interview voices both inside and outside the Christian sphere, pulling no punches with either crowd.
We’re Christians. We’re reviewers. We’re podcasters. We’re bloggers. We’re interviewers. We’re a team, but we do not always agree with one another. We attempt to come by each identity honestly.
We are The Christian Manifesto. Real Believers in the Real World.
The Christian Manifesto is a group of diverse individuals from all over the world. Our tastes and ideas are as varied as our backgrounds, but using the criteria below, we strive for uniformity in how we approach each book, album, or movie we review. In the end, though, whether good or bad, positive or negative, our reviews are personal opinions. A positive review is not an endorsement of a particular theology, nor is a negative review a put-down of an artist’s or author’s ministry. All reviews are comment-enabled, and we welcome your feedback.
OUR RATINGS & REVIEW CRITERIA
All TCM fiction reviewers are prolific readers, and many are also independent writers and editors well-trained in the art of storytelling. We strive to offer some of the most thorough reviews in the industry, assessing every book we read according to the following key areas:
- Prose & Dialogue
- Characters & Points-of-View
- Story Structure & Pace
- Conflict & Tension
- Research & Story World
- Romantic Tension
- Spiritual & Supernatural Elements
- Questionable Content
- Originality & Predictability
- Audience Appropriateness & Appeal
- Engagement, Entertainment & Investment
- Content – Is the artist actually saying something or are they just taking up space with their words?
- Takeaway – What do I walk away with after listening to this album? Am I moved? Encouraged?
- Creativity – Is what’s being communicated (music/ lyrics) being communicated in a way that is clever, smart, witty, thought-provoking?
- Musicality – Is it technically good? Have they used the same formula throughout or are they masters of a diverse range of skills? Even within a genre, variety is key.
- Coherency & Consistency – Does this album have an ebb and flow to it—ordering of tracks, choice of content—that creates an overall experience or do the tracks create several standalone events?
- Album Length – Is the album too long, too short, or just right for this particular artist?
- Drawbacks – What did not work for the album? What could future albums benefit from?
- Replay Value – Will I come back to this album often or am I pretty much done after 1 or 2 listens?
- Accessibility – Is this a niche album for serious fans only or does the album have appeal to a wider audience?
- Monetary Value – Should I just download top tracks or should I invest in the vinyl? Will the project mark the beginning of a collection or will it soon be forgotten unplayed on my iPod?