I like lists, and year-end lists in particular are always fun. So here’s a list of my top ten most viewed blog posts from the past year. Actually, several of the top posts in the past year were written in previous years. I’ll pull those out and include them at the end.
1. Enneagram: The Road Back to You, Or to Somewhere Else? If the Enneagram were another version of What Color Is Your Parachute? or Strengths Finder, that would be fine. But it has been, from its inception (whenever that was), infused with spiritual significance. And therein lies the danger.
2. Racial Reconciliation: What We (Mostly, Almost) All Agree On, and What We (Likely) Still Don’t Agree On Some our disagreements are biblical and theological, while others are matters of history or policy, and still others require a good deal of expertise on sociology, law, economics, and criminology. By more carefully isolating our real disagreements we will be better equipped to talk responsibly, listen respectfully, find common ground, and move in the direction of possible solutions.
3. Is Social Justice a Gospel Issue? As in so many controversies, we must be quicker to define our terms than to define our opponents. Depending on our definitions, social justice and the gospel may be miles apart, or they may be as close as loving God by obeying his commands (John 14:15).
4. Seven Reasons Prayer Meetings Fail While there is nothing in the Bible that says a church must have a stated weekly prayer meeting, there is plenty in the Bible that says Christians should regularly be praying together. And yet, most of us struggle to pray. Often the corporate prayer meeting feels even harder than our private devotional time.
5. Are We Really in Danger of Making an Idol of the Family? The conjugal family—one man and one woman whose covenant union produces offspring—is profoundly good, a necessary and foundational element of God’s creational design. But it is not ultimate.
6. Words, Labels, and ‘Sexual Minorities’ I hope we in the PCA, and in the broader church, will pay more careful attention to the words and terms we use in these controversial matters. Once the labels stick, they become sticky indeed.
7. The Missing Word in Our Modern Gospel The gospel is more than positive self-talk, and the gospel Jesus and the apostles preached was more than a warm, “don’t let anybody tell you you’re not special” bear hug. There’s a word missing from the presentation of our modern gospel. It’s the word repent.
8. Marcion and Getting Unhitched from the Old Testament The idea of recasting Christianity for a new day—in softer, gentler hues, more focused on the life of Jesus instead of the wrath-satisfying death of Jesus—is always popular. Some errors never quite die, and some new things are not that new.
9. Why Pastors Should Consider Preaching (At Least) Five Minutes Shorter While guest preaching in a church several years ago I asked the senior pastor how long I should preach. He replied, “Five minutes shorter than you think.” His advice was tongue-in-cheek. But it was also partly serious. He went on to add that he’d rarely heard a sermon that couldn’t have been better by being five minutes shorter.
10. What Is My Calling? (And Is That Even a Good Question?) If “calling” involves waiting for promptings, listening for still small voices, and attaching divine authority to our vocational decisions, then we’d be better off dropping the language and labor less mysteriously to help each other grow in wisdom.
The four posts below were among the most viewed in the last year, but they were not posted in 2018.
Perhaps the fact that each of these posts are explicitly theological in nature says something important about what kind of posts can outlive their culture moment.