My five most popular reflections in 2012…

According to my blog’s internal stats, the following five posts are the written reflections that received the most readership in 2012. WordPress records that this year, these posts were read and shared by readers in 134 countries. Three of the posts on the list were written in 2011, but maintained their popularity in 2012 thanks to social media. If you missed them, please consider reading:

1. The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships: When Theologies Collide (June 2012): In this post, I wrote about an argument that occurred while discussing human sexuality in one of my seminary classes. I shared that the debate ended with prayer, but that such an ending was far from what I felt we needed.

2. When Hope Overpowers Belief (May 2011): In this post, I share a discussion that occurred between a Mennonite minister and myself about faith and doubt. Our chat left me in a puddle of tears as I realized that I had found new language to talk about the Apostle’s creed and the Incarnation– language that led me into hope and expectation rather than toward cynicism and frustration. I am happy that this post continues to be so popular, as it is also one of my all-time favorites.

3. Seven Reasons Why I Don’t Believe In Hell (April 2011): Originally written to summarize my One Hell of a Lie series, my “Seven Reasons” post has been the source of praise, condemnation, internet debate (especially on Emergent Village’s website) and tons of “Thank-You-Crystal” email messages. The popularity of this post and related writings on my blog gave me the courage to publish my popular e-book titled Quenched: What Everyone, Especially Christians Should Know About Hell.

4. What if the next Reformation requires a mass exodus? (March 2012): When a well-known blogger posted a YouTube video to announce his disgruntled de-conversion, I took to my computer keyboard and wrote that maybe more of us should follow in his footsteps. I pressed the “Publish” button reluctantly, fearing that the post would be construed as overly-negative. Instead I found that the sentiment was well-received. It was shared more than 500 times in two days– a record for me at the time. Please read it if you feel so inclined.

5. Dear Pastors: Your Parishioners Don’t Need Protection from Controversial Theology… (June 2011): When several students (all potential pastors) openly discussed their plans to withhold their new theological discoveries from their future congregations, I marched home and wrote this post in frustration. I shared that self-censorship is the very practice that has led Christianity to a place of theological stagnation. This post has experienced bursts of popularity over the past 18 months, and will hopefully maintain its life in the future.

I would like to thank all of you for allowing me to be a conversation-starter on your social media profiles, and ask that you continue to share my work in the future. Thanks, and Happy New Year!

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