Most Popular Posts of 2014

Best-of-2014Writing is one of the most useful things I do as a theologian. I write largely for myself, to help myself process ideas and flesh out implications. If that helps and encourages others, I am grateful but my goal is largely selfish – I don’t think well without writing, so I write. Sharing the information helps keep me accountable, so I keep blogging, and have been for a number of years now.

At the end of the year I look back to see which posts have gotten the most amount of attention. Here are this year’s top fifteen most popular posts:

1. Pastor, Your Church Needs Your Weakness

This piece got picked up by The Gospel Coalition. In it I stress the importance of pastors revealing and being honest about their struggles and failures. The truth of such things helps congregations in the long run, as well as protects pastors from isolation and arrogance.

2. Reflections on Disney’s Frozen

In January of this year we saw Disney’s Frozen and I shared some of my personal reflections on the film. I loved its discussion of true love as revolving around family instead of a man saving the woman. As the movie continues gain attention, so by default does this post.

3. Failures in Church Planting

I am not a church planter, but I have had the opportunity to work alongside church planters, and assist in several church plants. As I say in the article, I write not as an expert, but as an informed outsider who has recognized a few common trends in failed church plants. This post has gotten a lot of attention and I hope it has been more helpful than discouraging.

4. Assurance and Ecclesiology

In the aftermath of my year-long study on Jonathan Edwards I came to appreciate his teaching on the role of the church in giving assurance of salvation to individual believers. This is an often overlooked dimension of sanctification, and Edwards gave me some good insight into it.

5. Uncomfortable Grace: Experiencing God in Pain

As part of a whole series on Uncomfortable Grace, this piece explores how God speaks to us through trials and sufferings. In this post I shared a few personal stories of God’s blessings through dark days. It has gotten a lot of attention and my prayer is that it has encouraged many to pursue faithfulness in their hardships.

6. The Future of Biblical Counseling and Reconsidering Certification

I went to my first Biblical Counseling national conference this last year. At the ACBC event Executive Director Heath Lambert gave an address that cause me to seriously question my resistance to certification and affiliation with ACBC. Thanks to shares from Dr. Street and Dr. Lambert this post got a lot of attention.

7. Creative Theology Interview: Michael Bird

As part of my series on Creative Theology I interviewed Dr. Bird on his approach to systematic theology and the role of the imagination in the formulation of doctrines. This was a great interview, which Dr. Bird himself shared.

8. A Review of Transformational Groups by Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger

I was surprised to see this book review make the top fifteen most popular posts of 2014. It’s a review of Stetzer and Geiger’s book on small groups. It’s an excellent book, but I was not expecting to see it high in popularity at the blog. It turns out that the authors shared the post at their websites and that’s why it had some popularity behind it.

9. Christian Reflections on Lust, Modesty, and Beauty (Part 1)

This ten part series was a joy to write, and it caused me to think hard about a subject that I wasn’t overly prepared to discuss. The series as a whole was popular among regular readers, but this initial post got the most attention. It sets up the series by outlining the problem at the heart of the conversation and my particular approach to addressing it.

10. My Struggle Does Not Define Me

As a Biblical counselor I write often on subjects that I think would be helpful to the people I counsel. As a result this post was directed to help folks who allow their problems to become defining features of who they are. The post aimed to help people wrestle honestly with how their sufferings can be handled in a Biblical manner.

11. The Spiritual Importance of Friendship

As I continue to think through the importance of friendship this post turned out to be a capstone to all my posts on the subject. After it got linked to an article I wrote over at The Gospel Coalition its popularity shot up.

12. Christian Reflections on Lust, Modesty, and Beauty (Part 4): Modesty Culture

A second piece from this series focused on the weaknesses in the way the church addresses modesty at large. I wanted to tackle some of these issues and offer some encouragement to think more holistically about the subject of modesty in the church. This post, not surprisingly got a lot of attention in the series as a whole.

13. Reflecting on Ten Years of Marriage

This last year Krista and I celebrated ten years of marriage and folks who loved us took the time to read my reflections on our life together. They celebrated with us and I appreciate that.

14. Your Right to Not Be Offended?

In this post I tackled the sensitive nature of so many within Evangelicalism. We are too quick to be offended and too quick to respond with outrage when the sinful world around us doesn’t agree with us. The post got a lot attention when it was first published, and I heard from several people directly who were challenged and encouraged by the post. So, I was happy to see in on this end of the year list.

15. Christian Reflections on Lust, Modesty, and Beauty (Part 2): A Theology of Beauty

This post was an important one in the series in that it tackled the broader subject of beauty. Evangelicalism’s failure to understand beauty in a holistic manner causes us a lot of problems in this area. The whole series could have been on this list, but I am glad these three made the list as the most popular posts of the year.

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