2013′s Most Popular Blogs


I went back through the blogs I wrote in 2013 to see which ones generated enough interest for readers to click through.  If you missed some of these and they pique your interest, you can click on them for the original.

Here’s the Top Ten list:

brennan manning1. Farewell Brennan (remembering the writer and priest Brennan Manning)

2. Why Do They Hate Us? (reflections on the Boston Marathon bombing)

3. Fragile Beauty (a celebration of frost flowers, a rare natural phenomenon)

4. Who Believes What? (Willow Creek Church’s panel on various religions)

Mandela25. Mandela’s Miracle (the legacy of Nelson Mandela)

6. How Sweet the Sound (an illustration of grace from the musical Les Misérables)

7. Notes from Newtown (a report from my visit there)

8. The Kingdom of God Is Alive and Well (good news from a church in Colombia)

9. Apostle to the Rednecks (remembering the radical preacher Will Campbell)Shane-Claiborne2

10. Two Cheers for Radicals (celebrating contemporary Christian radicals)

These blogs honor some departed leaders and mentors (Brennan Manning, Will Campbell, Nelson Mandela), enter tragedy (Boston bombings, Newtown shootings), and report on places where the gospel truly sounds like good news.

I’m sure that 2014 will have a similar plot. Tragedies happen, remarkable people die, the Kingdom of God continues to advance in fits and starts.  As a journalist, I’ll never run out of things to write about.


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4 Responses to 2013′s Most Popular Blogs

  1. Matt McComas says:

    I just read The Question That Never Goes Away. Excellent work as always. You’re writings have always ministered to me so much, because it’s so refreshing to find an author unafraid to deal with the difficult topics.

    After reading this book, this thought occurred to me: People are certainly justified in asking the “Why?” question when tragedy and misfortune strike. I think we all do at times. However, I’m persuaded that God steps in to save the day countless times in our every day lives. Surely this is a fact that most of us are completely oblivious to, and will likely never know about this side of the grave. Paradoxically, we as a people (especially in the United States) tend to be so success oriented, that we are more prone to notice failures than successes. In my professional life, I’ve often observed you can do things right countless times, but it’s the mess ups people take note of, latch onto, and tend to remember most. I’m certainly not implying that God is capable of “failures” or “mess ups”. What I’m simply stating is that people are rarely aware of the innumerable times God has saved their lives, or some how prevented them from some personal misfortune, simply due to the fact we were “sick that day”, or encountered an inconvenient and frustrating traffic jam (that kept us from a fatal accident), or maybe we missed a flight that was doomed. I suspect when we cross the threshold from this life to the next, we will then fully understand just how good God is, and has been to us in our life times.

    Excellent reminder. This fits well with the history of the Old Testament: the prosperous, peaceful times were the dangerous times, when Israelites forgot about God. During difficult times they turned to God in desperation. And as I travel internationally, I’m always struck by the fact that it’s the philosophers and theologians in the prosperous countries who fixate on the problem of pain, not those in developing countries who know real poverty and oppression. Much to reflect on here.

  2. Laura Parker says:

    I’m re-reading The Jesus I never knew. Your account of teaching at LaSalle Street Church reminded me of a story.

    It was an Easter Sunday over 40 years ago at LaSalle Street Church. I was sitting behind the pastor’s wife and son in church. The boy was about three or four years old.

    An elderly man came into the church and started walking up the center aisle. He was all gray – gray hair, gray whiskers, gray clothes, gray face. One surmised he was homeless, an alcoholic, a “bum.” But as he walked up the center aisle, the little boy watched him very closely. He was absolutely intrigued by this man. As the man walked across the front of the church, an usher came up the side aisle and started escorting him back.

    As the gray man walked down the side aisle toward us, the little boy was on the edge of his seat. I believe his mouth was wide open and his eyes were dancing. He watched the man getting closer and started waving to him. The elderly man smiled and waved back. The boy was so entranced. As the man walked out of sight, he turned to his mother and said excitedly, “Mommy! That was Jesus! Jesus waved at me!”

    I have thanked God many times that I was able to see that incident. I was so grateful that God allowed me to see Jesus that day through the eyes of that little boy. Jesus indeed was risen!

    Ah, that’s a classic story from LaSalle Street Church. And a good reason why diversity is one quality in a church that I value most. I don’t want everyone around me to look, think, and act like me.

  3. Elizabeth Fell-DeWalt says:

    Trying again from my desktop… wondered if you have looked at Bowlby’s work on attachment, at the different types of attachment disruptions, at the nature of reunion after separation. Just finished reading your Disappointment with God, and your description of your initial cynical feelings about a God who loved you, reminded me of Bowlby’s descriptions… then your reunion… Yes a reductionist view would be it’s all a transference (Sullivan’s parataxic distortion), but I don’t believe that; I lost my father also and have studied the impact on my relationshp with God; just thought I’d raise the idea for your consideration regarding what caused such a “plug” or obstacle for you on your faith journey. Been there.

  4. Deena Jones says:

    I just finished reading What’s So Amazing About Grace and thoroughly appreciated it. I see that it was published in 1997, but it could have been written today — which, unfortunately, is a sad commentary, because it means that the lack of grace shown by too many professed Christians has not diminished, in spite of your prophetic word.

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