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It’s December 30. The year 2021 is almost gone. There are many who will wax philosophical as the year closes. Much of that commentary is helpful and perceptive.

Our task today on “The Twelve” is much simpler — to share a list of the most read blogs from our daily fare in the past year. Strange how these sorts of lists have become incredibly popular at year-end. We’ll let one of those who is waxing philosophic wonder, maybe even theologize, about why.

We’re just going to share the list. Maybe you want to go back to re-read some of these. Maybe you missed some of them the first time around.

10. Remember You are Dust. Repent and Believe. March 18.
Chad Pierce shares about the recent death of a parishioner in a car wreck.

9. God’s Gifts. August 3
Scott Hoezee explores science as a gift from God, especially Francis Collins, formerly of the Director of the National Institutes of Health.

8. God and Guns. March 25
Kate Kooyman asks if Christians need to reexamine gun ownership and faith.

7. The Dutch and John Wayne. January 12
Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell tries to apply some of Kristin Kobes DuMez’s insights to small-town Dutch enclaves.

6. The Cost of Freedom. August 23
Jeff Munroe wonders when freedom became the right to be a jerk. And how is the Christian freedom of Galatians something different and more?

5. It’s Always Been About Love. March 1
Chuck DeGroat explores the slow and often painful maturation process from being right and being smart toward being loving.

4. It’s Grief. August 18
Kate Kooyman says COVID has made us grievers, more than we know. And this, just when Delta was rising on the horizon.

3. Weapons into Tools. September 6
Christy Berghoef looks back on her husband’s run for Congress, and gardening as a countermeasure to the animosity she received.

2. Why Are Christians So Mean? October 23
Keith Mannes wonders why and how Rambo — angry, muscular, and gun-toting became a Christian role model.

1. She is to Remain Quiet. August 4
Joya Schreurs shares a coming-of-age tale, the painful journey of leaving behind the male-dominance of her church upbringing.


A Few Observations

  • You like guests. Someone noted “The Twelve” is more like the 18 these days, plus various guests. Familiarity and longevity have their place, but fresh voices are good too.
  • Controversy, red meat, and strong opinions sell. You, our readers, often comment that you want blogs that are moderate, more devotional, less divisive, less political. The numbers say otherwise.
  • Kate Kooyman is our rock star. Funny, she gets paid the same as everyone else! Actually, the writing of women is very well received on “The Twelve.” Three of the top four posts of 2021 were written by women.
  • We don’t want to be competitive with each other. We aren’t trying to out-do one another. We want different voices. Different approaches. At the same time, we also have to be cognizant of the numbers.

Finally, as we wrap up 2021, we would truly welcome and appreciate a financial gift from you. If you haven’t already made a gift this year, please use the big purple button at the bottom of the page that reads “Donate Today.” With about 365 blogs, plus weekly essays, poetry, book reviews, and podcasts, we hope you’ll want to give gladly and generously to the Reformed Journal.

** The Second Ten **

For the overachievers, the compulsive, and a few others of you. See if you missed anything in the next ten.

11. A Psalm for Those Who Languish, Kate Kooyman, May 6
12. F__k Biden and Peace-Breathing Instead, Keith Mannes, May 27
13. When God Keeps Pestering, Bill White, March 23
14. Finding My Heart Again: A Dream for the Church, Brian Keepers, May 17
15. The Tyrant Fool, Jeff Munroe, January 8
16. Here’s to the women, Kate Kooyman, April 8
17. What I Saw at General Synod, I, October 20
18. And Still, Scott Hoezee, June 22
19. Ted Lasso and the Audacity of Grace, Dana Vander Lugt, November 22
20. The Jesus Who Never Lived, Scott Hoezee, September 14

There’s still about 345 to go.

Happy New Year from the Reformed Journal!

13 Comments

  • Joya Schreurs says:

    So very honored to be here! Thankful for this publication and its faithful readers.

    • Tim Van Deelen says:

      I went back and re-read your piece Joya. So good. Yours is an important voice. I would love to see more of it here.

  • Jan Zuidema says:

    Keep up being prophets in our midst! I can find a multitude of ‘blogs that are moderate, more devotional, less divisive, less political’. I read The Twelve to be pushed, prodded, and challenged to go deeper into all parts of our world, physical, spiritual, and, yes, political. The expansion of voices has enriched us and often leaves me with a profound sense of hope, even when all seems hopeless!

  • Jeff Carpenter says:

    Not to steal any thunder from the top ten, or from the second-shelf list, but I absolutely have enjoyed every witty and creative essay submitted to this site by Prof Deb Rienstra, and I look forward to her offerings for 2022. Happy New Year to all, writers and readers!

  • Ann Schipper says:

    Top 20 kudos well deserved.
    Kate K IS a rock star. As are several others including Debra R.
    I, too, prefer to hang out near the edge. Staying in the cocoon is usually less than helpful.

  • Jerry Redeker says:

    Following my morning devotions, I read all (99%) of the daily Reformed Journals. Blessing to all of you who have shared your time and thoughts. They are sincerely appreciated. Happy New Year!!!

  • Barbara J. Hampton says:

    Re-reading Pastor Chad’s essay about our dear daughter Jenny brought me to tears again with his powerful use of words about liturgy, Biblical truth and a wonderful person who intersected with them.

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