Top Seven Posts of 2018
Thanks to Rick Floyd for giving me the idea for a blog “year in review.”
Here are the “top seven” posts at this site in 2018, judged by readership.
By far the most read blog post of mine in 2018 was titled, “The Real Problem with Judge Kavanaugh.” The level of readership for that post is a testimony to how the Kavanaugh hearings riveted the attention of the nation for a week this autumn, laying bare so many of the fault lines in our culture.
Not even close to “Kavanaugh,” but in a second was a surprise to me, a piece about churches for sale in Seattle. I reported on two churches, Trinity United Methodist on 65th in Ballard, and University Disciples of Christ. Here’s an update on both: Trinity has been sold to Green Lake Presbyterian Church, a PCA (conservative Presbyterian) congregation currently located north of the zoo. University Disciples, at 15th and 50th in the U-District, will be demolished for a new development. That’s about the way mainline closures are going: some for growing conservative congregations, some for development.
The third spot goes to a post about political correctness with a message for the UCC. I have offered my opinion on what I see as the drift of the UCC from theological substance and integrity in several posts this year, most recently in when politics replaces religion, part 2, which has also had substantial readership.
One of the film highlights of the year for me was the quietly understated movie about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” About that movie I wrote the blog that had the fourth most readers of 2018 titled “Mr. Rogers and Mainline Protestantism.” Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister who saw children’s television as his ministry, and it was! Moreover, he communicated subtle theological substance through his chosen medium.
There were, predictably, quite a few posts either about our President, or posts which mentioned him in relation to other issues. One from early in 2018 that seemed to resonate with readers, or at least was widely read, was titled “If He’s Such an Idiot, How Comes He’s President?” I think Trump can be explained, insofar as any explanation works at all, by Isaiah Berlin’s famous dictum about the fox and the hedgehog. The fox knows many things, while the hedgehog knows only one thing. Trump knows one thing only, that he’s # 1, the center of the universe, the smartest guy in any room (in his view).
Number six was based on an interview with Duke Divinity School professor Kate Bowler, who writes with courage and wit about living with a terminal illness. That post was “What to Say (and not to say) To Someone in Trouble.” That was one of my own personal favorites of the year. I see that Bowler had a column in the NYT today, though I’ve not gotten to it as yet.
Number seven most read of my blog posts was written in the wake of the death of George H. W. Bush earlier this month, “A Funeral for WASP America.” By the way, if you are wondering why the flags have all been flying at half-mast for weeks now it is because the death of a former President is observed with 30 days of the flag so lowered.
So those are the top seven, at least in terms of the being most read.
Did you have other favorites of your own? I’d be eager to hear about your own top “What’s Tony Thinking?” blogs.
In 2018 we had 34,000 visitors to this site. To date 532 of you are signed up to “Follow,” which means you get an email alert when I do a new post. Should you wish, you may join that company by clicking on the “follow” button at the bottom of each blog page.
Thanks also to those of you who use the various functions for sharing posts (under the title). Big thank you to all readers and correspondents. I am helped and enlightened by your comments and suggestions. On to 2019!