It’s always interesting to look back on the past year and see how writing went. In 2022, I had a chance to write 44,200 words that 3881 people thought worthwhile to read. I have enjoyed interacting with many of you on here in this past year and look forward to seeing where 2023 takes us. Here is a countdown of the Top 10 posts that I wrote in English. As you may have noticed I also write in Tagalog. To see the Top 10 Tagalog posts of 2022, please click here.
10. How I learned that paying attention to social justice is discovering how to listen with God’s ears. Something puzzling has been popping up in my social media feeds in the past little while. There have been debates about the role that justice, or more particularly social justice plays in the lift of the church. It’s puzzling to me because for the past number of years social justice and related issues have been central to my life and ministry. But I guess it hasn’t always been that way for me. I remember many years ago when I first heard the phrase social gospel wondering what it meant and why it was considered important to some and unimportant to others. This initial curiosity led me down a path towards developing practical theologies that help the church engage society.
9. What does it mean to be a man, part 2? Masculinities in the Philippines. In a previous post, I introduced the idea of masculinities. In it I mentioned that masculinity should really be masculinities because there is not one standardized way to be a man. In this post I will expand on that in talking about how crossing cultures also increases the complexities surrounding the subject. Our specific focus will be on masculinities in the Philippines.
8. My thoughts on Kristin Du Mez’ “Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.” Kristin Du Mez’ Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation is a New York Times bestseller and has been the center of an online debate from the moment it first came out. Du Mez is a professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. I had a chance to read it a couple of weeks ago after borrowing the ebook version from the Saskatoon Public Library. Here are some of my thoughts about it.
7. Lucy Peppiatt’s Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts. If you are like me certain things are important when making decisions. I like new ideas, especially new theological ideas. But one deal breaker for me is when new theological ideas have no basis in the bible. I want to see how the new idea interacts with the text before making my final decision on it. Here is a little about my journey through the thorny issue of men & women & the church.
6. Is it ok to call my Pastor “Pas”? Pastor is a socially and culturally constructed word that means something different today than it did in the Bible times. In no place in the Bible are we commanded to call someone a “pastor.” In no place in the Bible in the role of pastor a professional role. (And while we’re at it let’s get rid of the notion that “the pastor is the highest calling.”)
5. My wife, Eva, is now blogging. I am pretty excited today because my wife’s new blog, Beneath My Shell, went live just a few moments ago. Eva blogs her thoughts about her life as a missionary midwife living in the Philippines. Please head on over a take a look at what Eva has to say. You will love her first story!
4. Did you know that Matthew 18’s instruction to “go, confront him when you are alone” isn’t the only Christian way to deal with conflict? Ask any Christian how to deal with conflict and they will pull out Matthew 18 because it lays out what many see as THE way for Christians to deal with interpersonal sin. For years the church has laid out the process of talk to the person individually, then if things don’t work out bring someone as a witness. Then, if things still don’t work out, bring the matter before the church and if that doesn’t work out then expel the person from the church. It’s pretty standard but what if I told you that this wasn’t the only biblical way that God’s people deal with sin? There are actually countless examples of other ways of doing the same thing that may be more relevant in other cultural contexts.
3. What does it take to be a man? An introduction to masculinity studies. For the past year I have been promising some posts on masculinity. Masculinity is in its most basic sense the “possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men” or “the approved way of being an adult male in any given society.” While these definitions may seem simple at first, there is a lot to unpack. Here is an introduction to the topic.
2. 3 Types of Evil. Evil is much more complex than simply being personal. In fact there are three types of evil, or sin, that are discussed in the Bible: Personal evil, natural evil, and structural evil.
1. Emic vs Etic: Understanding how insider & outsider perspectives interact when doing theology. An example from the Philippines. There is a debate about the validity of using an emic approach in seeking to understand a culture on its own terms. In fact, this debate is behind the development of ethnoscience worldwide. What is often missed in the debate is the reality that all forms of science are emic in that whatever frameworks or structures are developed are developed from the emic perspectives of a specific culture. They merely become etic once applied to another culture.
Do you have a favourite post from 2022? Why not comment below and tell us why?
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Image by Ella Christenson on Unsplash.