2020 Top Articles

December 31, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at iAt!

As we finish off 2020, we want to say thank you to you, our readers. We are grateful for the consistent readership around the continent and the world. Here is a list of the top ten most read articles on iAt in 2020. We look forward to 2021 as we continue to engage our culture as well as review books, podcasts, movies, and music.  We want to hear from you! What were your favorite articles from this past year?  And, what topics would you like iAt to explore this coming year? Comment with your thoughts and ideas.

  1. Covid-19, Church, and Contradictions by John Lee

“Pastoring a church has never been for the faint of heart. Serving among a community that bears the stench of a crude field hospital for sinners and yet also refracts the glory of a company “spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners,” pastoring is a dance of contradictions. Covid-19 has deepened those contradictions.”

  1. How Can We Support Teachers? by Dave Mulder

“Teaching is not for the faint of heart. The work professional educators do is immensely gratifying, of course. There is clearly deep joy for teachers called to this work, or they wouldn’t continue to do it. But there is a lot of challenge in this emotional labor. Continually presenting the content as something wonderous and relevant to apathetic students takes a toll.”

  1. The Death of Kobe Bryant: Fallen Icons and Heart of Popular Culture by Justin Bailey

“The response evoked memories of other icons who died too young: Elvis, Princess Diana, and Michael Jackson. Here was a generational talent who had just started the second half of his life, a creative force who seemed to have so much more to give. In a world where the closest thing to transcendence is often found in meeting a famous person, Kobe’s death was treated almost like the death of a saint”

  1. A Lament for Jean Vanier by Caleb Schut

“I have rolled my eyes every time another celebrity pastor or mega-star is accused of sexual abuse. Like so much of our news, hearing about abuse in the church has lost its shock value. Predictably, it is almost always men with great power established on the premise of their charisma with little personal or professional accountability. The news about Vanier landed differently. There was no eye-rolling. My stomach fell in exhale.”

  1. When Words Are Weapons: Inside a Crisis of Faith by Justin Bailey

“But what I have begun to doubt—especially over the last six months—is whether words really matter…or at least whether they matter in the way I want them to. I want words to open up the world, but these days words seem little more than weapons, heat seeking missiles which we can’t wait to aim at the enemy.”

  1. “God’s Got This” Part 1 and Part 2 by Nicole Baart

“Even in a time of coronavirus and violence, ghastly political rhetoric and distrust of our neighbors and friends, Jesus is still the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). This is still His story, no matter how broken and incomprehensible it may feel—or how off-track our storyline has become. He is the Alpha and the Omega; the first and the last; the God who was and is and is to come.”

  1. “Shows that Shape Us” The Office by Justin Bailey and Saved by the Bell by Erin Olson

“Perhaps then, The Office works because it is a show about finding meaning, incongruity, and joy amid the mundane. This strikes me as a deeply ‘Reformational’ intuition. That is not a claim about the intention of the showrunners so much as a claim about reality itself. There is magic in the mundane.” -Justin Bailey

“While SBTB was certainly mostly comedic escape, the sitcom did provide some level of complex adolescent thought as they highlighted social problems, relationship struggles, and the importance of friendships. The show provided a good dose of both humor and seriousness. SBTB certainly shaped me and my peers in both positive and negative ways. It shaped our expectations, but also allowed us to keep a certain amount of our naiveté and idealism than shows aimed at adolescents today.” -Erin Olson

  1. Hidden Curriculum: Stumbling Along the Trail towards Faith Formation by Dave Mulder

“If you are planning to teach, mentor, or minister to children, teens, or young adults, I encourage you to begin by checking your assumptions. The words we use are one thing. The ideas—and especially the unspoken ideas—that lie behind these words are another.”

  1. Advent: True Peace by Abby Foreman

“We cry out in pain, seeking forgiveness; it seems hopeless in our finite and limited imaginations. In this time of Advent, though, we especially remember the greatest relief to our hopeless and broken situation—the birth of a King, the Prince of Peace.”

  1. Political Divisions and Pastoral Discernment by Joel Kok

“For pastors, all church members, and every citizen, the humble realism of Jesus’ response offers a fountain of wisdom. When we ask to share in our Lord’s authority and glory by insisting on our own way, do we know what we are asking? And if Jesus defers decisions to his Father, what does deference to the Ruler of rulers look like in our lives? Such questions do not provide excuses for us to evade our responsibilities. They do help us speak and act with humility.”

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