I’m a statistics junkie, and I’ve spent some time this evening reviewing the readership figures for the various essays that I shared with you over the past year. You might be interested in them as well, so here are the highlights.
The most widely read post on this blog during 2014 was actually something that I wrote in 2013. My essay “Thoughts on The Light and the Glory” received more than twice as many hits as the second most popular essay of the year. Peter Marshall Jr. and David Manuel began their fabulously popular “God’s Plan for America” trilogy nearly four decades ago, and their Christian interpretation of U.S. history has shown remarkable staying power. If you know someone who has been influenced by their interpretation and might be open to being challenged, would you consider forwarding them the link to my essay?
Here are the five most popular essays of the past year that I actually posted in 2014:
1) “What’s Really at Stake in the “Christian America” Debate“–A lengthy critique of David Barton’s controversial (and horribly flawed) book The Jefferson Lies. If someone you know places faith in Barton’s writings, please challenge him or her to consider “what is really at stake” in Barton’s misrepresentation of American history.
2) “Should Religious Colleges be Denied Accreditation?”–My response to a polemical piece by U Penn professor Peter Conn suggesting that Christian colleges, by definition, are “intellectually compromised” institutions that have no business being accredited as legitimate institutions of higher learning. If you missed my take on Conn’s incoherent argument, here’s a second chance.
3) “Civil War Reenactments? I Think I’ll Pass“–A very different kind of essay sharing one Civil War historian’s reflections on the popular phenomenon of Civil War reenactments and what they actually teach about war.
4) “C.S. Lewis on ‘Cutting Down Jungles’ and Irrigating Deserts“–My thoughts on a powerful passage from Lewis’s The Abolition of Man on “the task of the modern educator.”
5) “Rush Limbaugh’s Revisionist Thanksgiving“–One of several essays I have posted on Limbaugh’s book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, this one focusing on the book’s egregious misrepresentation of the First Thanksgiving. If you know someone who assumes that Limbaugh’s children’s book series is reliable, please consider directing them to this essay.
FINALLY, I thought I would share with you my nomination for “Most Overlooked Essay of 2014,” or something to that effect. If you or someone you care about has been dealing with depression or great suffering, please consider encouraging them to read my post “From my Commonplace Book: George Herbert on God’s Grace in the Midst of Suffering.” The essay offers two potential blessings. First, it contains a link to a marvelously encouraging message by Wheaton College president Philip Ryken titled “When Trouble Comes.” Second, in the post you’ll become acquainted with an amazing poem (“Joseph’s Coat”) by 17th-century English poet George Herbert, no stranger to suffering himself.
May God bless you and yours in 2015.