The Half-Year in Review

The Half-Year in Review July 1, 2019

If you’re reading The Anxious Bench in 2019, there’s a decent chance that you’re relatively new to this blog, as our readership has gone up almost 30% compared to the first half of last year. So with thanks to our longtime readers and all those newcomers, let me pause to review what’s been of special interest to you all six months into 2019, starting with our overall Top 10 Most-Read list:

  1. The Legacy of Rachel Held Evans (Kristin, Beth & Chris)
  2. Disrupting Christian Patriarchy: Isn’t It About Time? (Beth)
  3. A New Hope for Evangelical Women (Beth)
  4. The Sexuality Debate Dividing an Evangelical Denomination (Chris)
  5. Because Christian Patriarchy Isn’t Christian (Beth)
  6. Because Complementarianism Is About Power (Beth)
  7. Before “true love waits” there was Josh McDowell and Petra (Jared Burkholder)
  8. The National Prayer Breakfast and Evangelical Prophetic Witness (David)
  9. Marie Kondo: Magical Asian Sage for Our Untidy Times (Melissa)
  10. Pete Buttigieg and The Politics of American Greatness (Kristin)
Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans (1981-2019)

Then for each of our regular bloggers (not counting Andrea, who just joined us), you’ll find their three new solo posts that got the most page views. Then I’ll recommend one more post by each author that maybe deserves a second look by readers.

Agnes Howard

  1. Did the Bible Predict Our President?
  2. Again with the Evils of E-cigarettes
  3. Demons at Work

In case you missed it the first time… It’s hard to remember a “polar vortex” in the midst of an early summer heat wave, but our frigid late January Agnes thinking about historic reactions to cold weather.

Beth Allison Barr

  1. Disrupting Christian Patriarchy: Isn’t It About Time?
  2. A New Hope for Evangelical Women
  3. Because Christian Patriarchy Isn’t Christian

In case you missed it the first time… Since today is Canada Day, let me remind you of Beth’s recent visit to a Baptist church in Vancouver.

Chris Gehrz

  1. The Sexuality Debate Dividing an Evangelical Denomination
  2. The History of Moral Re-armament
  3. Render Unto Trump What Is Trump’s

In case you missed it the first time… Writing a biography of Charles Lindbergh has given me new perspectives on many topics, including atrocities in the Second World War.

David Swartz

  1.  The National Prayer Breakfast and Evangelical Prophetic Witness
  2. Pence, Populist Evangelicals, and the Politics of College Commencements
  3. “Joe Brown, Joe Brown, He’s a Mean White Man”: Southern Baptist Seminary and the Convict-Lease System

In case you missed it the first time… David told the story of Yun Ch’iho, a Korean Christian who encountered the Jim Crow system in late 19th century America.

John Turner

  1.  The FBI, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Historians
  2. The Myth of Puritan Intolerance
  3. The Census, Religion, and Citizenship

In case you missed it the first time… While he has moved on to another topic for his newest book project, I’m always glad when John checks in on the history of the Latter-day Saints.

Kristin Kobes Du Mez

  1. Pete Buttigieg and The Politics of American Greatness
  2. Rachel Held Evans, Beth Moore, and the Power of Evangelical Coalitions
  3. Faith and Struggle in the Lives of African American Christians

In case you missed it the first time… I don’t think I’ve ever learned more from an Anxious Bench post than when Kristin interviewed Mary Li Ma about sexual abuse and Christianity in China.

Melissa Borja

  1. Marie Kondo: Magical Asian Sage for Our Untidy Times
  2. How Has Ethnic Studies Changed American Religious Studies?
  3. Caring for Migrants Is Not Just Humanitarian Work—It’s Religious Work

In case you missed it the first time… While you’ll see below that Philip wrote about fasting during Lent, Melissa reminded me that Christians also mark that season by eating everything from cheese pizza to muskrats.

Philip Jenkins

  1. The Omen, Good Omens, and Why Neil Gaiman is Not the Antichrist
  2. Europe and the Experience of Slavery
  3. Lent and Fasting, Then and Now

In case you missed it the first time… Philip offered his reflections, as an immigrant himself, on how Christians might think about immigration.

Tal Howard

  1. 1965: The Year that Changed America’s Religious History
  2. Christianity and Other Faiths: A New Course
  3. Notes on Qatar

In case you missed it the first time… As we enter the 30th anniversary of the fall of Communism in eastern Europe, I appreciated Tal’s recollections of being in that part of the world in the summer of 1989.

Guest Posts

  1. Before “true love waits” there was Josh McDowell and Petra (Jared Burkholder)
  2. The Sins of Early Evangelicalism (Peter Choi)
  3. Cracks in the Foundation: Why American Evangelical Christianity Soured (Chuck Redfern)

In case you missed it the first time… I’d heard C.S. Lewis’ warning against educating “men without chests” many times, but I hadn’t realized how that line was being abused by certain Christian men until I read Josh Parks’ guest post.

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