August is this blog’s anniversary month! It’s hard to believe that it has been nine years since I reluctantly decided to try blogging as a vehicle for the short essays that I had been writing ever since a transformational sabbatical in early 2009. I told Jeanne that I would do it only until it became “just another damn thing that I have to do.” Life is too full of such things already.
I am grateful for everyone who has, regularly or periodicaly, read and commented on my essays over the past nine years. I thought it might be fun this month to share each Sunday, with new introductions, the five most popular posts since this blog began. As I discovered which of my essays were in that “five most popular” category, it was gratifying to find that all of them, from different angles, reflect the real purpose of this blog: To investigate the intersection of philosophy and theolgoy, of intellect and faith, as it works out in the life of one person who, in the midst of inevitable ups and downs, various ups and downs, is consistently dedicated to seeking to live out the message of the gospels in real time. I get quick spikes in readership every time I post something related to the latest current event or with Donald Trump in the title, but the essays with staying power have turned out to be the ones that have been truest to my original vision. Funny how that happens.
Coming at #5 is an essay from February 2019 in which I make connections between the various parts of my life–my teaching and my faith–that always tend to get certain people upset. All it takes is to suggest that trying to follow Jesus takes a lot more work than simply believing the right things and saying the right words and phrases. Even worse is suggesting that there are some common threads between what Jesus reportedly said and what the “dangerous” or “bad” folks we’ve all been taught to reject have to say. Enjoy “Is Christianity a System of Belief or a Way of Life?”–check out the comments as well!