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Top Ten Articles of 2011

This may be one of those articles that is far more interesting to me than to anyone else, so you may need to bear with me. But at the end of the year it is always interesting to me to see which articles gained the most attention in the year that was. There are always a couple of surprises. Here, then, are the top 10 articles from 2011.

The Driscolls and Real Marriage – This article was a late-comer, being published in December, but it quickly gained enough attention that it made it to the #10 spot. This was not a review of the Driscoll’s book Real Marriage, but an assessment of the grid they use to evaluate the “Can We _______?” questions that may arise in the marriage bed. A review of the book will be the first real article I publish in 2012.

Divided The Movie – This documentary, pushing the Family Integrated Church movement, made a lot of waves in 2011 and I decided to go ahead and review it. I found it offensive and unbiblical on many levels and this ignited some controversy. But I stand by what I said: If you think Family Integration is best for your church, by all means, do it. But it’s impossible to sustain a sound biblical argument that this is the way a church has to be in order to be faithful to Scripture.

Why John Piper Should Not Have Invited Rick Warren – I wrote this article in 2010 after hearing that John Piper had invited Rick Warren to speak at the annual Desiring God conference. This follow-up reflected on what had happened there and what it meant.

The Secret – This is a book review for a book that came out a long time ago. The Secret was published in 2007 but continues to sell, which is remarkable for a book that is just so utterly ridiculous. This is a classic example of a book that strikes right at the depraved human heart, making us believe that we are godlike and that we can have all the things we want (since that will always make us happy, right?).

Facebook Makes Us Miserable – This article simply looked at the way that Facebook makes us compare ourselves to others. In doing that it exposes a deep-seated discontentment or envy. When we look at other people on Facebook, we naturally assume that their lives are better than ours and we then feel miserable about ourselves.

90 Minutes in Heaven – This review of 90 Minutes in Heaven was written all the way back in 2006, but the book continues to sell and people continue to look for reviews of it. This is the book that kicked off this new genre of “I went to heaven” books and the one that reminded all those other people that they, too, had been there and that they, too, needed to write about it.

C.J. Mahaney and Difficult Days – It was a difficult year for C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries and, with information flying fast and furious through the blogosphere, I felt compelled to write something about it. I was less interested in discussing the particulars of the controversy as I was in talking a little bit about what it all means and how it may show a new trend in the church. After all, the Wikileaks mentality has now come to the church and it may change all of us.

Heaven Is For Real – Continuing the book review trend, my review of Heaven Is For Real garnered a lot of attention. Though it is a book that has touched many people and has sold millions of copies, I think many people were wanting to hear what I wrote about it–that you and I are under no obligation to believe that someone has gone to heaven just because he (or his parents) said he did.

The Shack – That review of The Shack that I wrote all the way back in 2008 continues to be a major source of visits. Even after all these years the book continues to sell and continues to intrigue. This is easily the most popular article of all-time here at the blog with the review probably into the millions of reads.

Love Wins – No one will be surprised to learn that my review of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins was the most-read article of the year, with over 100,000 people reading it. Bell did the church both a service and a disservice with this book. On the one hand he has convinced a lot of people that the traditional understanding of hell is outdated and just plain wrong. On the other hand, he has caused many other Christians to think through their doctrine of hell and to grow in confidence that what the Bible says is true and believable and consistent with the character of God.

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

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    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

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    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.