Best of 2013

best_of_2013_1000px-807 As I look back at the past year–my first year–of blogging, I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these articles, and I have truly appreciated your support and encouragement. It has been a true blessing when I have bumped into many of you in person who tell me, “I love reading your blog!”

I don’t write this to toot my own horn, but to say thank-you.  This blog sprung from a desire to interact with you, to hear your feedback, to share with you how God is molding and shaping me through His Word.  Thanks for your support in 2013.  Lord-willing, 2014 will be filled with interesting inquiries, Biblical discoveries, and a few frivolous revelries.

If you were late getting into the game in 2013 or you just want to survey some of the favorite articles from 2013, I have compiled a Best of 2013 for you.  I would try to explain how I arrived at these articles–that it involved an intense analysis of reader response, viewer popularity, evaluation of critical arguments…but I would be lying.

So here you have it, the somewhat arbitrary…

Best of 2013 from After Math:

“I’m Southern Baptist, and  I Love a Man”

To-have-friends-be-a-friend-780x1024Excerpt: “Satan has stolen David and Jonathan relationships from us, brothers in Christ.  What will you do about it?  To love another man as your own soul (1 Sam. 18:1) is not homosexual love; it is the love of Christ.  It is a true willingness to lay down your life for your brothers (1 John 3:16).  We must build these kinds of relationships with one another: men who truly love other men.”

“What about Authorial Delight?”

matthew-writes-the-Gospel-version-1Excerpt: “Have you ever considered that Moses experienced a sense of delight when he penned the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2?  Have you ever thought about the emotional distress that the Psalmist must have been suffering under when writing much of his poetry?  Do you ever think about the fact that Matthew actually enjoyed sewing Old Testament allusions into the tapestry of his narrative?”

“I Was a Lost Pinky Toe in College”

Excerpt: “I have come to the place as an adult where I am ready to issue my first “Do as I say, not as I did” statement.  Here goes: I was a lost pinky toe in college; don’t be a lost pinky toe.  I was one of those students who was involved in all kinds of Christian activities.  I was the chaplain of my fraternity.  I was a part of service organizations.  I was involved in discipleship with men on my soccer team.  I attended chapel.  I read my Bible.  I attended a local church every Sunday.  But when it came to actually being a member of a local church, I was a severed toe.  I didn’t do it.”

“Retweets, Reposts, and Links: Gimme Something Original”

retweetExcerpt: “The repost and retweet allow for dispersion of undigested material.  We no longer are required to process any idea we take in and provide a critical response (do our schools even teach how to do book reports anymore?).  This is where I believe the danger hides.  We are increasingly centralizing our critical thinking in a few select areas of the internet–which areas depends on our general worldview–and simply looking to those people or organizations for articles to repost and share with one another.”

“Stop Studying Your Bible All the Time…”

studying-bohExcerpt: “Here are some of my suggestions.  We don’t think about the fact that God meets us in his Word.  We see the pages, and we read the words, but we don’t think about the fact that God spoke those words into existence so that he could speak not just at us, but with us.  We look for mystical experiences with God perhaps in loud worship services or emotional camp experiences, but the vehicle of our relationship with God is the Bible.”

“How Birth Control Kicked Open the Porn Door”

Excerpt: “So, where does that take a society?  Well, the wide acceptance of birth control changed the way we see the sex act.  It may still be participated in by two individuals who love one another, and it may still promote emotional and spiritual connection–by the best intentioned individuals.  However in a sinful culture, once procreation is removed from the equation, sex has a tendency to be viewed as no more than “body parts rubbing together” (Robert George).   Sex then becomes nothing more than the most utilitarian method of sexual release.”

“The Misinterpreted Great Commission”

The-Great-CommissionExcerpt: “Has anyone ever told you that the Great Commission is mistranslated in your Bible?  It’s one of those passages that people love to point out: “You see, the translators got it wrong here.”  The next time someone tells you that, politely ask them if they have read the rest of that book (whether Matthew, John, Galatians, etc.) in its original language.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this exact same line: “The first word of the Great Commission is a participle…so, the translation should actually be–‘As you are going, make disciples…'””

May God bless you in 2014!

(photo credit)