This is the time when reviews of the year start popping up everywhere. In keeping with that, I usually use this time of year to share some stats and rundowns of what has happened on this blog.
It should come as no surprise to anybody that blog reading is, at least at the moment, on a downward trajectory. Fewer people are reading blogs and, it is fair to say, fewer people are reading this one too.
This year we have received c. 225,000 views. That is 15,000 less than 2021, which itself was a few thousand down on 2020. Whether that is just a general reflection on blog reading more broadly or a specific reflection on fewer people wanting to read this blog specifically, I cannot say. But numbers are going down.
Which means I am particularly keen to say thank you to those of you who have continued reading. I am very grateful for each one of you who engages with any of the posts here. There is no particular reason any of you should be interested in the thoughts and opinions of a tinpot pastor in a forgotten part of the world, and yet 225,000 or so times, people have been. I give thanks to God for each person represented in that number.
I am conscious that not everyone agrees with everything written here. Some of you read because you agree with stuff, some because you know that you definitely won’t, others because they sense there will be meat to chew and bones to spit. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, I am grateful for all the interaction on twitter, Facebook and other platforms. I have found both the agreement and disagreement so helpful in making me think again, revisit ideas and prompting further things I might write. None of it is wasted and all of it is helpful, even the stuff that some might think veers into unkindness and aggression. So, thank you for engaging with it.
I know there will be some who loathe what I write and others who really like it, some who will tell me so and some who won’t. I am content if what I write is broadly interesting and gets you thinking about what I have written. I remain grateful to each one who continues to read and engage with what is written. After all, what is the point of writing a blog that nobody reads? Thank you and I trust you will continue with me in 2023.
So, with all that said, here is a rundown of the most read posts in 2022:
What is essentially required to make a baptism a baptism? You may not think that question to be particularly important, but it starts to matter when you meet people who are claiming to be baptised in ways that are not what you consider to be the norm. We have to ask the question whether their baptisms are invalid or not. But to know that, we need to know what a baptism in essence is. This one offers a worked example.
Similar to a one of the higher ranked posts, this one looked at a little logical disconnect on display in our culture. It concerns our embarrassment and concern over our colonial past that imposed ways of life upon foreign cultures in ways we think to be wrong today. It then noted how, despite that embarrassment, we continue to do exactly that today.
This one looked at a small but significant test of character that is often on display in our churches and conferences.
This one went up only a few weeks ago. It was your yearly reminder that Christmas is not in demanded of us in the Bible and how, or even if, you celebrate is not a mark of your love for Christ or your walk as a believer.
It is always sad when posts expressing disagreement with another brother or sister become one of your most read posts of the year. Sadly, controversy remains compelling for people. But this one looked at a call by John MacArthur for a Sunday where all pastors dedicate their preaching to matters of sexual ethics. I explain why I disagreed with that line.
This one looked at a common logical disconnect when it comes to children in the womb and asks the question why we might consider the same baby, at the same stage of development, in two different ways seemingly based on little more than how we feel about it.
*edit* One of the dangers of putting out this kind of post before the actual end of the year is that one takes off unexpectedly. This one did exactly that. So, I have edited this post to reflect the fact that it has proven to be one of the most read posts of 2022. This one was put out on 23rd December. *edit end*
The first of the podium places, this one looked at the biblical command not to associate with an unrepentant person who has been removed from church membership. What does treating them a tax collector or sinner actually mean?
2. Complementarianism, The Regulative Principle Holding For All Of Life & How We Undermine Our Own Principle
The second most read post of 2022 looked at how churches that hold to the regulative principle might differ from one another in their forms. Landing on John Frame’s argument that the same regulative principle that governs corporate worship also governs everyday life, this one considers how that might apply when it comes to our understanding of complementarianism.
The most read post of 2022 offered four simple steps you can take to help your children love your church better.