With a more than 23,000 visits (more than 51% of those being new visitors), it has been a big year here on the old blog. So, I figured I should share the top five posts with you as a way to commemorate the occasion of year's end and such. Individually, my posts seldom top 60 hits. These five posts, however, all topped 300 hits, one came close to 1,000. Insane. That one is a sermon means a lot to me. So, thanks for that.
In chronological order.
1. Christendom, Bias, and The End of Religion: As we continue to attempt to measure and track religious participation in the United States, what criteria will matter to us? Will it be receiving the Eucharist? Bible study? If a Catholic-biased group were to fashion a similarly biased survey, how would their results account for those traditions who do not take recieve the Eucharist every time they gather? "Do not receive Eucharist weekly" as a sign of a diminishment in Christian activity would be a very curious measure as many traditions celebrate Communion with much less frequency. Who is considered Christian and by what set of practices?
2. Sermon: A Living Prayer: Several months ago in our Adult Spiritual Formation class someone asked what the great theological debate of our present time in history in the Church might be. Is it over human sexuality? The environment? Global poverty? What is The Great Concern? What is the present debate about Christian Belief? Well, might I humbly offer this possible response to that great question: It's not about what we believe at all. The great theological debate of our present time is more fundamental than that. It is about what we do. The Great Question is this: Why do we gather together?
3. What I Learned Today: A Screed: My use of the word "screed," or the fact that this is posted on a blog will trouble you more than the issues of the day. Perhaps it is the word "asshole" that troubles you most of all.
4. An Open Letter to Jesus: This is the thing about these letters to you. I don't believe you actually read them. This is why I put them on the internet (and, honestly, why I cuss in 'em). Someone is going to read it. Someone will also likely think I need medication. That's okay. These are not rational thoughts, but I don't intend them to be. And no, this is not some generic cry for help. I have a shrink for those. This is between you and me, Jesus. I'm inviting the rest of The Body in on the conversation because I think they should know that I think you can be an asshole.
5. The Evangelical Silo: Is this too harsh? I hope not. We all do it. It's a common problem. Presbyterians know not what Methodists are doing unless CNN decides it's news. American Baptists try to steer clear of Southern Baptists. I get it. We all silo. But today, I wish to speak of the peculiarly strong tendency among American Evangelicals.
So, there you go. Those were the top five posts from 2013. What did I learn? Y'all like it when I cuss, discuss the end of church as we know it, and talk smack about the Evangelicals. Who knew?
I appreciate everyone who reads or comments. Most of you are my friends. I've been using this blog in lieu of letters for more than a decade now. I appreciate your constancy and friendship more than I can express. Thank you.
Here's to another great year!