Thanks for reading in 2016, friends. I have not played the blogging game too hard, so it is encouraging that people manage to find my footprints on the beach and stick with me on the journey. Here are my most-read posts for the past year. Click the headings to link to the posts.
Periodically, I try to talk back when I get a whiff of Circle of Hope’s reputation. If you’ve been around a while, or even when you do something notable, people say stuff about you. I think I realized more than ever in 2016 that God has not only developed a way of life among us that contrasts with much of the churches in town, we also have some corrective theology to offer a Church that generally thought Donald Trump and the Republicans had their interests in mind. Some think we are not “holding the line” on purity. They are right; we are not holding their line.
Periodically, I can’t resist talking back to evangelical talking heads. Donald Miller never intended to be that, but then Blue Like Jazz sold over 1.5 million copies. He is way too influential, IMHO.
What a crazy year! Hillary Clinton trounces Trump in the popular vote and he becomes president! I had quite a bit to say about it all — mostly trying to help us not be swallowed and to maintain our sense of separation from the world. We also did some theology that explained why we maintain that sense of separation, which I summarized on the Way of Jesus blog Elections: Trump, Constantine, etc.
I think a lot of people read this because Circle of Hope, in particular, has been colonized by disaffected evangelicals, and because, generally, there are a lot of people who are fed up with a church that promises one thing and does another. We are longing for Jesus, and he is often not allowed to be himself in our church, just like we aren’t.
In August I took the opportunity to explain what it is like to be me, now that I have traveled a while as Development Pastor. I think this post explains a bit of what Circle of Hope aspires to be now, too.
This post a also includes links to all the dispatches I sent from Africa when Gwen, Joshua, Bethany and I traveled with a crew associated with MCC to see what is going on in Zimbabwe and Zambia. They were all among my most-read posts. I think our trip had the intended impact and strengthened the Brethren in Christ – U.S. partnership with MCC.
I see quite a few married couples in the course of a month. Most thirtysomethings who are married could probably use some counseling to gain some insight and tools for the next steps in their relationship. This post is a summary of of a couple of things they might want to learn.