2014 in Review

mxjZdM6I love the end of the year, in part because of all the retrospectives. Everyone is looking back at the year that was, in all of its glory and struggle. It’s true on the news, in sports, and of course it’s true in cyberspace, as seemingly every blog is recounting its top posts from the year that was.

Every year in December, WordPress sends me a run-down on my year, and so I’ll join the chorus and reflect back a bit. In and among the 94 new posts this year, readers from 92 different countries (I see you Zambia, Finland and Peru!) liked these five Challenging Tertullian posts the most:

5. A Tale of Two Brands. “Sometimes we’re Always, and sometimes we’re Old Spice.” To me the best thing about this post is that it captures the complexity of it all. Wouldn’t it be easier if something, or someone, or some company, were all bad or all good? I mean, I think our mind longs for binaries, either/or’s, but the older I get, the more I realize that most things exist somewhere in the middle.

4. Meet Pierce Beaver. I’m glad this one made the list, as this new missiologist hero of mine was a welcome discovery in 2014.

3. Remembering Yami. Now almost three months after we received news that she passed, Amy and I continue to mourn Yami. But the pain is somewhat tempered by the fact that Yami lives on in our hearts and in our house. On Christmas, we welcomed friends into our home for brunch. As we pulled the apple crisp from the oven and surveyed the bountiful spread before us, one of our girls remarked, “Yami would be proud.” Indeed.

2. Shame on Old Spice. I love this post for two reasons. One, it reflects me at my best in terms of parenting. I wish I helped our kids interpret their experiences more frequently! Second, I like this post because it vividly captures one of the basic problems with the Tertullianized culture that we live in: women as the object of male consumption. Here’s the issue:

Reducing “manhood” down to merely the carnal instinct to chase women, especially with the connotation of inappropriateness, doesn’t serve anyone, male or female. Not only does it neglect every other aspect of what it means to be a man, it also perpetuates the man as hunter/woman as quarry narrative, one that too easily and often becomes toxic.

1. Finally, a Driscoll Post. I suspected this one might make the list. I waited a long time to post about Mark Driscoll, primarily because I couldn’t ever find the right balance between angrily throwing him under the bus and a compassionate “there but by the grace of God go I.” In the end, what got me to post were some quotes that surfaced, quotes that sounded eerily like Mr. Tertullian himself. 1,800 years separate these two influential leaders, but when it comes to the role of women in the church, the comparison is depressingly similar.

Let me close by saying a hearty “thank you” to my readers. I’m grateful you’ve taken this journey with me. Here’s to another great year in 2015!

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