I was trying to think of what to call this post. A number of my posts are reviews (143 of them this year). And then there are my Saturday “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown” posts, which once again were very popular. This list covers the posts that fall into neither category.
A couple are book lists. Several dealt with current issues in American cultural and political life (who can forget 2016 in that regard, much as perhaps we would like to). One that I enjoyed writing and was glad to see well received had to do with sleep and the resources found in Christian faith that help us sleep. For this one, a countdown may be fun, so here is the list. The titles of the post link back to the full post.
10. The Challenge of the Third Way. I’ve often contended that in our polarized cultural environment that the call of Christians is to be “third way” people. In this post, I consider the life of Erasmus as illustrative of some of the challenges of living as “third way” people.
9. Sleep Resources for Christians. I had just reviewed Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution and observed the lack of resources in her book from a Christian perspective for sleep. I explored why that might be and some of the resources I’ve found to be of help.
8. Endorsers Repent! A follow-up to the next post on the list that had mentioned Wayne Grudem’s endorsement during the campaign of our president elect. This post was about his withdrawal of that endorsement and my contention that Christian leaders need to get out of the endorsement game altogether.
7. The Endorsement Game. This preceded the post above and explored the attraction of and problems resulting from evangelical leaders endorsing political candidates and my ideas of what is appropriate.
6. The Humanities, STEM, and Post-Secondary Education. I reflected on a conversation with a hospital orderly going back to school for a radiology degree, and how advocates for the humanities fail to speak to the situation of people like my 40 year old orderly and how we often create false hierarchies of more or less noble work.
5. Dialogue Within The University: A Reading List. This post was a follow-up to an online symposium that I helped host on how people of faith might better enter into university conversations. The list includes recommendations on dialogue skills, the university, and thinking Christianly.
4. Is It Time for the ‘Benedict Option’? This post responds to a discussion I was in where someone else proposed affirmatively that it was indeed time for the ‘Benedict Option,’ a phrase coined by Rod Dreher that draws on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, that the church, to preserve both its identity and the good, the true, and the beautiful, needs to withdraw into the equivalent of Benedictine monastic communities.
3. Best Books of 2016. I was pleased that there was sufficient interest in my “best books” choices to make this the third most viewed post of the year.
2. Some Thoughts on the Attack at Ohio State. On November 28, I received the text alert I hoped I would never receive, as a Somali student drove a car into a crowd of students and faculty, injuring several, and then followed up by attacking others, some trying to help him, with a knife, until killed by a campus police officer. Written that evening, you read some of my first reactions, and my plea that we not give way to fear but keep campuses open places where people can meet across their differences.
1. Really? In 2016? My response to threats against two black women with whom I am acquainted, one involving a police stop while a colleague was watering a neighbor’s lawn where she turned to find herself staring down the barrel of an officer’s drawn gun, the other a hate-filled threat against a black Christian professor.
I’m heartened that these posts made the “Top Ten” list. I leave to others to judge the quality of the writing found here, but I was struck that these were serious posts on important questions, that did represent careful thought on my part. While I do like to write something light-hearted from time to time, I do like the opportunity to think and write seriously, and to try to articulate as best as I can, what it means to live as People of the (Third) Way. Thank you for reading, commenting, and following!
My other “Top Ten” Posts: