These are the news stories, features, and columns from the past 12 months that online readers engaged with most, according to data collected by Google Analytics. Perhaps not surprisingly, articles about vaccines, politics, race, sex, and leadership changes were among the most read.
1 A Christian Perspective on COVID Vaccines (February 2021)
Anding Shen, a professor of biology and researcher in immunology and virology at Calvin University, wrote this As I Was Saying commentary addressing some unfounded concerns and offering four reasons Christians might welcome vaccine efforts.
2 Reflections on a Christian Insurrection (February 2021)
“The North American church has committed too many sins and has hurt too many people that we are losing our moral credibility to share the gospel,” Banner editor Shiao Chong wrote as he reflected on the Christian nationalist symbols prominent in the Jan. 6, 2021, infiltration of the U.S. Capitol.
Citing differing ideas about “how to move forward with our goals and objectives” the Christian Reformed Church in North America Canada Corporation announced July 6 that Darren Roorda, Canadian Ministries director, would no longer serve in that position.
4 Abraham Kuyper and the American Coup (January 2021)
Joseph Kuilema, an assistant professor in the social work program at Calvin University, compared Abraham Kuyper’s perceptions of an 1898 coup in Wilmington, N.C., to the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, in this As I Was Saying commentary.
5 Why We Capitalize ‘Black’ and Not ‘White’ (April 2021)
In this Behind the Banner blog post, editor Shiao Chong explained an editorial style choice that raised questions.
Synod did not meet in 2021, and in its place the CRC’s Council of Delegates convened a special meeting to address some matters on synod’s behalf. The Council deferred any action on requests for discipline of Neland Avenue CRC (which had ordained as a deacon a woman who is married to another woman).
7 Mercy and Justice Staff Report Escalating Intimidation (February 2021)
At the Council of Delegates’ February meeting, reports of threatening letters and negative online comments toward staff of the CRC’s Office of Social Justice and Race Relations caused concern.
Had Synod 2021 been able to meet, discussing the report of the Committee to Articulate a Foundation-laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality was on the agenda. Some churches and classes submitted overtures and communications related to the report, including one that originated from a group of undergraduate and graduate students.
9 Church Worldwide: Investigation Concludes Ravi Zacharias Was Guilty of Sexual Misconduct (February 2021)
A report commissioned by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by its founder, who died in May 2020, concluded that the evangelical apologist had engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct.
Ethics writer Matt Lundberg tackled this question, writing, “For Christians committed to the dignity of unborn life, the use of cells derived from aborted fetuses in the production of vaccines is concerning. … The current situation reminds us that being a consistent advocate of life sometimes involves difficult tensions.”
Every year, archived articles on thebanner.org continue to draw readers. Among the most accessed in 2021 are How Do We Know Christianity Is the Only True Religion? (Cross Examination, November 2020); Disputes About Masks Reveal Our Cracks in Christ (As I Was Saying, October 2020); Why I’m Not a Christian Zionist (feature, November 2019); and The Spiritual Significance of Trees (feature, April 2020).