End of year lists are fun. Oddly, I’ve never done one. So, here you go. The following are the top posts from 2021 (thus far). With each one, I leave a comment to let you know what the post is about or why it matters.
The Top 10
This one apparently resonated with a lot of people.
I heard from countless readers who shared their own stories. While I won’t get into here (for now), certain persons did try to bully me into silence after it posted.
This one triggered my dismissal as book reviews editor for The Gospel Coalition’s academic journal Themelios.
What makes that odd or unfortunate is that the post does not attack “complementarian” theology. Instead, it challenges how TGC leaders link the issue with the gospel itself.
The nature of a problem will determine the nature of its solution. So it is with shame.
When I first heard about Beth Allison Barr’s The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, I wasn’t interested in reading it. I thought, “I don’t want to learn about history; I want to understand what the Bible says about womanhood, women as pastors, etc.” I was so wrongheaded. This book is all about biblical interpretation.
This post addresses a fundamental issue underlying numerous issues with implications for contextualization in all its forms (i.e., the interpretation, communication, and application of God’s word).
We started “Doing Theology. Thinking Mission” this year. We’re already prepping for Season Two.
This post considers the link between shame and widespread applications of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and shame. African American Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Shelby Steele, explains how applied CRT effectively re-enslaves blacks in the shackles of stigma.
Before we can understand the significance of Christian nationalism as well as its potential influence on the church and the world, we need to define our terms. There are at least two ways a nation could be labeled “Christian.” We need to discern what’s claimed before we can figure out what’s at stake.
Does the Bible clearly present a distinct, normative vision of masculinity and femininity, one that transcends every culture and age? That question has motivated this series and proved more challenging than many people suspect.
I also defined toxic masculinity and femininity and suggested that Genesis 1-2 should realign our discipleship goals. This post turns to biblical texts that people often use when addressing these issues.
Some people struggle to think of shame as something “good.” So, we need to ask the question, “What distinguishes good and bad shame?”
Just on the Outside the Top
In China, people will simply tell you, “You are fat,” as a way of showing affection. For them, making such comments (including “You’re too skinny”) expresses their concern for your health. Most Americans can’t “hear” the love.
I think something similar goes on in the social media exchanges, as typified by Jonathan Leeman’s 9Mark editorial and the flurry of reactions it spurred.
How does one begin to sort how honor and shame infuse Christian nationalism? We must first recognize the range of ways that honor and shame touch on various aspects of life. It forges rigid categories of “us” versus “them.” Whenever that happens, layers of underlying values dominate the group, reinforcing a particular honor-shame lens that affects everything else.
Possibly Overlooked Posts
I often write posts that I think are significant for practical or theological reasons, but they don’t receive the same attention as hot button topics. Sometimes, they are more academic. So, the following are ones that I think matter but you might have overlooked.
What would you have expected to see at the top? Did you find others helpful that aren’t listed here?