It’s that time of year when all the “best of” lists appear ubiquitously across the internet. This post is my contribution to the genre, though I confess that I’m not so sure that the following list actually constitutes the “best of” DennyBurk.com. These rankings represent the most widely read posts of the year based on page views. Whether or not they are actually the “best of” remains to be seen. In any case, these ten were the ones that you were most interested in. I am very grateful for all of you who read the blog, and I am honored that you take the time to keep up with the conversation here. Blessings to you, and happy New Year!
1. Does anyone care what happens to Hobby Lobby? – December 28
I compiled this list on December 26 and posted it on December 27. I thought I was close enough to the end of the year that the rankings were pretty much set. Little did I know that I would have not one, but two viral posts move their way up the rankings in the final days of December. The original number 1 was “Chick-fil-a and the Irony of the Tolerance Police” (currently #3). On December 27, the “The Christmas Scale” shot to the top of the list (currently #2). On December 29, this post about Hobby Lobby claimed first position. The astonishing thing about this post is that I published it on the afternoon of December 28. By the afternoon of December 29, it had surpassed the page views of every other post in the history of the site. It happened very quickly, and is still increasing even as I type this. Why has this post generated so much interest? If you look at the remainder of the list, you’ll see that there are a number of items that have to do with the curtailing of religious liberty (numbers 3, 4, and 7). When I started writing about these issues, I did not know that there was such a widespread concern about threats to religious liberty. But obviously there is, and for good reason. It’s a concern that I resonate with and that I intend to follow very closely in the coming year.
2. Don’t miss “The Christmas Scale” – December 4
When I first compiled this list, “The Christmas Scale” was in second place. By December 27, it moved up a spot to become the most-read post in the history of this website—that is, until it was surpassed by another post on December 29. What does it mean that the second all-time most popular post on my site consists of content not created by me? Oh well, we all need our fair share of humble pie, don’t we? Seriously though, the guys at Igniter Media are as creative as they come. Be sure to check out their site.
3. Chick-fil-a and the Irony of the Tolerance Police – July 21
I am sometimes surprised by what people respond to on this blog. One Saturday afternoon, I read that the mayor of Boston planned to block Chick-fil-a from opening a store in Beantown because of some remarks that owner Dan Cathy had made about marriage and family. I sat down and hastily posted some commentary about it. I wasn’t expecting it to generate any more interest than other posts I’ve done on such subjects. As it turns out, the post became not only the most-read post for 2012 but the most-read post ever on the blog (until it was surpassed by “The Christmas Scale” on December 27). I am still astonished by that.
4. Two Persistent Lies about Chick-fil-a in the Press – July 26
The media gave the impression that Chick-fil-a discriminates against homosexuals and that Dan Cathy had made a statement against gay marriage. Neither was true.
5. Why aren’t we calling it the “royal fetus”? – December 5
I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I was indeed astonished by readers’ interest in this post. I wonder if the pro-life point generated all the interest or if it’s merely a testament to the enduring popularity of the English monarchy. Maybe it’s a little of both. But I suspect the interest is mostly due to the latter.
6. My Review of Mark Driscoll’s “Real Marriage” – January 3
This review was subsequently published in The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. You can download the PDF version from the journal here.
7. Religious Liberty Dies at Hobby Lobby – November 20
Private citizens have religious liberty rights too, but not according to Obamacare’s abortion mandate.
When President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage last May, he invoked his Christian faith as the basis for his views. He argued that Jesus’ “golden rule” requires extending marriage rights to people who aren’t married. In doing so, the president mangled the biblical message.
Andy Stanley’s views on the moral status of homosexuality were very ambiguous in a sermon illustration that he included in one of his messages last May. Albert Mohler wrote a hard-hitting critique, which I linked in the article above. There was a storm of controversy afterward, and Stanley never responded to any of it. In the months since then, Stanley’s ministry quietly deleted the gay-friendly illustration from the online audio and video of the sermon. As far as I know, there is still no word of clarification from Stanley on the deleted portion of the sermon.
10. The Blasphemy of Barack Obama – May 10
This post points to an article by Joe Carter critiquing President Obama’s remarks implying that Jesus supports gay marriage. Joe’s article was hard-hitting and very well done.
[I’m going to list number 11 below because it was in the original top 10. It got bumped to number 11 on December 29.]
11. Ed Young’s Sermon on Reformed Theology – June 26
Young’s remarks deal mostly in caricatures. He accuses reformed believers of being non-evangelistic. Or to put it in Young’s words, “They pimp God not to reach people who are dying and going to hell.”
[I’m going to list number 12 as well because it was one of my favorites from 2012, and I wish it would have made the top 10. See below.]
12. Was the Apostle Paul Married? – August 30
The short answer is, yes. I believe that he was married, and in this post I make my case from 1 Corinthians 7.