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Seven Years of Think

It’s that time of year when there a lot of reviews of the year. Looking at the 2017 stats for Think reveals some interesting information: there are few surprises about our most popular posts this year but it is surprising what sneaks into the Top 50 – for instance, I’ve no idea why something I wrote about lust three years ago was the 8th most read piece in 2017. Very odd.

I’ll leave the full review of Think 2017 to Andrew but thought it might be fun to pull some old posts out of the archives that might otherwise never see the light of day again. Come January Think will be seven years old. We have posted more days than we haven’t so there are some deep archives to mine. Here’s my random pick of posts from the past few years.

Saint Stuffed Shirt does not post often but is always worth paying attention to – or at least, that’s what he says. With Christmas just around the corner this classic festive contribution from the Otter is worth pulling out of the files. Ho-Ho-Homoousious – who knew theology could be such fun!

Andrew stirred things up a little the other week with his post on the gift of languages. There have been several posts on this theme over the years but back at the start of 2016 St Stuffed Shirt wrote what is surely the definitive one, on glossolalia-mania. His advice is sagacious: “Andrew - stop thinking like a child. In regard to evil be an infant, but in your blogging, be an adult!”

St Stuffed Shirt aside, Think is often at its best when it strays into parody. One of our all-time most read posts was Andrew’s argument in November 2014 that Christian’s could embrace idolatry. His true target was plain, and generated predictable howls of outrage.

Parody has its place but normally we are serious, and have often posted very soberly on the rapidly shifting sands of sexual ethics. Early in our existence Andrew locked horns with Steve Chalke over the reliability of the Bible. Steve’s weakening convictions about the authority of scripture inevitably led to a revisionist position on sexual ethics, and his consequent removal from the Evangelical Alliance – something we were not silent about. Of course, Chalke’s slide simply mirrored larger cultural trends and the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ presented significant challenges for biblically faithful Christians. In one of the most widely-read posts I have written I attempted to provide advice as to how a Christian might respond to an invite to a same-sex wedding.

During Think’s seven-year existence terrorism has been a constant backdrop to our lives. In this beautiful post Jennie offered some perspective on how we might respond. “I pray that Christians will begin to demonstrate what it means to be free - free from hatred, anger, self-seeking and vice, free to love our neighbours as ourselves. I pray that God will help me to live this out more and more day by day.”

Certain memes can be traced through the history of Think. Evidently The West Wing has been formative for us, and has been quoted on subjects as diverse as abortion and the art of communication. And then there’s Andrew’s fanboy approach to David Bentley Hart - readers can always rely on there being another DBH post headed their way.

And if I had to pick one post from the last seven years of Think? That’s a tricky one, but it might just be occasional contributor Andrew Haslam’s advice to pastors that, “there is one rule that I think ought to underpin every pastor’s understanding of his calling, which is that he needs to be an iceberg.” Good advice - read the post to find out why!

If this has whetted your appetite, and if you need some post-Christmas turkey stimulation, type something into the Think search-box – you never know what gems you might unearth.

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