These are the news stories, features, and columns from 2019 that readers engaged with most, according to data collected by Google Analytics. Thanks for reading!
1. Pew or Canoe: The Unexpected Black Hole (Feb. 2019)
Feature writer Gary M. Burge revisits a question posed by Chicago Tribune columnist Ross Werland: “A pew or a canoe: Not a tough choice.”
2. Synod Declares Kinism a Heresy (June 2019)
As part of The Banner’s annual synod coverage, Clayton Libolt reported on Synod 2019’s action of declaring kinism to be a heresy.
3. Is Atheism a Religion? (Jan. 2019)
In this Cross Examination column Mike Wagenman writes “Like theists, atheists operate out of a foundational faith or belief that shapes their perceiving, thinking, and living in the world.”
4. Called to a Different Kind of Ministry (Feb. 2019)
In this Our Shared Ministry story Matt Hiubers recounts Sarah Hoogendoorn’s calling to chaplaincy.
5. Council Chair Gives Spectators a Voice (June 2019)
In another story from The Banner’s Synod 2019 coverage, writer Roxanne Van Farowe reports on feedback shared following the presentation of the interim report from the committee to articulate a foundation-laying Biblical theology of sexuality.
6. Me and the Black Dog (April 2019)
Theresa E. Miedema writes “I will likely have depression for the rest of my earthly life. But for all of eternity, I have been, am, and will be God’s beloved. And so I go forward, knowing that even in the darkest places, my God will hear me.”
7. Why Did Jesus Have to Die on a Cross? (Feb. 2019)
In this Cross Examination column Felix Fernandez examines this question through the lens of the Old Testament and recognizing that “followers of Christ are redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Pet. 1:19).”
8. Christlike Masculinity (Oct. 2019)
Banner Editor-in-Chief Shiao Chong writes “Surely we are not left with just two stark options of hypermasculine men who behave badly or emasculated, effeminate men.”
9. Is a Split Over LGBTQ+ Issues Inevitable for the CRCNA? (Nov. 2019)
In this Big Questions response, relationships columnist Judy Cook writes, “A church denomination that understands that all have sinned and that everyone’s sexuality is in need of cleansing but is also intent on family unity in spite of cultural and theological diversity has a chance of finding a way to remain united.”
10. The Christian Religion and Civil Religion (July 2019)
James D. Bratt writes, “To bear out our faith in public life and policy with neighbors who do not all share our religious convictions is to walk a minefield. Yet walk it we must, for to stay home is a political commitment, too. Discernment is of the essence.”
Bonus: You may be curious to know that the Top 20 most accessed articles in 2019 include articles from as far back as 2008. Nice to see resources from previous years still being read. Here’s what was popular: Can a Christian Really be a Psychologist (March, 2009); 5 Helpful Websites for Parents Who Want to Know More (Mixed Media, July 2013); Ten Questions for Debriefing After a Mission Trip (July 2012); How’s Your Mom? (April 2012); Love Lessons from the Song of Songs (May 2012); 10 Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know (July, 2011); Jesus Barabbas or Jesus Christ? (Dec. 2015); Discerning the Body (Dec. 2016); Is Prosperity a Blessing? (Nov. 2008) And rounding out the Top 20 was The Banner’s first ever Guide to the Agenda for Synod (June 2019).