The posts and pages of the year have kinda run together for 2007, but it’s time to review some of my posts that stand out from the past year. I started blogging late in 2004, so there’s no “best-of” from that year, but the others in the series are the Top 5 of 2005, twice; the Subversive Year in Review and 2006: The Subversive Year in Review. I began looking through my archives for posts that had stood out, and found slim pickings in the first part of the year… which reminded me that it was a difficult season, so that’s probably where my mental energy went. There was still Songs to Ban from Sunday School and my review of We Will Not be Silent: Music from St. Benedict’s Table, my first attempt at a music review, in which I learned that superlatives should be used sparingly… I probably liked the disc too much to review it properly. Though it’s not my content (video by Robert Scoble), Meet the techie sister behind Vatican’s Website was rather interesting.
- February. Post-Charismatic Roundup: Who’s in the Herd in which I describe six types of post-charismatics one might encounter.
- March-April. The Rule of 150 & The Mission of the Church was, I felt the spark of a good insight into optimal church size, or rather, a warning for large churches (The Perils of Complexity was a parallel afterthought). In some sense, it led to Missional 101: Getting out of the House, which dealt with taking one’s first steps outside the Christianity-church-box and into the neighbourhood. These two posts, collectively called Dunbar’s Number & Missional Beginnings, were later reworked for publication by Allelon and archived here as well, as Missional 101: Looking Outside.
- Back to March. Before getting to the republication though, I continued with some thoughts on Friendship… (with Fingers Crossed Behind your Back), which led to Disingenuous Friendships & the Marketing of the Gospel. I like these two — they’re foundational for anyone who’s ever uttered the phrase “soul-winning.” <<shudder>>
- Rounding out March. Link Love for Emerging/Missional Church Bloggers was a fun little project searching out new blogs to follow. “Famine Porn” and the Marketing of Poverty was a good thought-provoker.
- April. Perhaps one of my most thoughtful posts from last year was Yesterday, Tomorrow, a reflection for the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday — from the perspective of Judas. I’m fairly pleased with the result.
- Still April. Music, Transcendent Beauty, & Taking Note of the Holy stands out for me. If a virtuoso violinist took a 1713 Stradivarius (prime even among Stradivari) and went busking in a subway, would anyone notice?
- Wrapping up April. After yielding the floor to Bill Kinnon’s F.K.A. The Congregation, Dear Church (Please) held similar sentiments, and I followed suit with The People Formerly Silent and Formerly Known, in which I took some flack for posting from God’s perspective (maybe). Next I did a round-the-room summary of the series posts in The Dream of the Former, though the meme continued.
- May. A discussion On Tithing (which isn’t nearly finished) and Her First Time Through the Bible! in which our then-5½-year-old daughter finished reading through the Bible for the first time (not just pictures, she was already into chapter-books by then). Her reward? A Bible with more words in it.
- June. I started into some thoughts on consumer church in We vs. They and we had some good discussion on The Coca-Cola Packaging Problem. The question of relating business practice and church practice is a recurring theme, and we took another swipe at it in Church Structure & Leadership Smackdown: The Academy vs. The Business Model; more good discussion.
- Also June. I discovered Robert Farrar Capon Explains Creation and The God of Chaotic Expression
- July. I began to draw together some earlier thoughts …in Which I Begin to Describe the Perfect Balance of Structure for the Church and moved on to The Rise of the Pastors & The End of the Megachurch Era with echoes of my earlier post On Power Imbalances in Pastor-Parishioner Relationships, noting that sadly, That’s the Way (uh-huh, uh-huh) We Like It
- Still in July. I continued to be Capon-inspired, and penned A Few Words on the Inevitability of the Incarnation, which led to The Being-ness and Presence of the Incarnation.
- Wrapping up July. Tips for Surviving Church and The Dangers of Missionalism & The Dangers of Language, a response to Gordon MacDonald’s version of “missional” that I commented upon in Wikipedia Wandering back in March. I had gotten frustrated with the slippery meaning of the word “missional” — it wouldn’t be my final word on the subject.
- August. Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds led to Non-Synonymous: A Picture Post on Leadership and I put some thought toward Writing Beyond What I Know as well as (not completely unrelatedly) prayer in Fear Not the Silence.
- Still in August. I put some consideration toward the phenomenon in many churches that it’s better to struggle alone and confess victory later, a.k.a., Come Back When You Have an “After” Story, Okay? — or, Future Grace & Present Sin.
- August-September. My post Aloha, Missional began a series on what the word “missional” actually means, and more importantly, what it implies about being missional. The series exceeded 70,000 words in total, and I don’t feel I really finished it — I’ve begun reworking it as a book. Important entries from the series included Missional Essentials: A Short List and Understanding Missional: Personalizing the Central Tenets. We got into missiology a bit more with Missional Theory: Cultural Relativity vs. Ethical Relativity (worth it just for the photo and the update last week from Chuck Sheridan) and Missional as the Defragmentation of Missions.
- September. Recurring themes recur while Advocating Business Principles for Churches: On Leadership and in considering Monastic Discipleship, Spiritual Formation… and the Jedi. The Shack: A Spoiler-Free Review was followed up by Blog Interview: William P. (Paul) Young, Author of The Shack, which I really enjoyed (I should do more of these; this one was republished at Next-Wave).
- October. Seabeck reflections dominated in the wake of The Missional Order Un-Conference… what really became a series included Missional Order: Three Remembrances for Living in Exile and Missional Order: Shalom. (This series is hard to single out posts, since Missional Order: Peregrinatio, Missional Order: Who We Are, Living in Exile and others are worthwhile but don’t get mentioned.)
- November. Earlier in the year I had a chapter published in the first Wikiklesia project — I didn’t realize at the time that I would publish my own before the year was out: That You Might Believe: Praying Advent with the Gospel of John was announced together with an Advent synchroblog, Advent Blogging 2007: The Gospel of John and the Daily Office. Discovering the Daily Office was a post-Seabeck theme as well.
- December. A Brown Study: Writing for Catharsis, Understanding is something I’m probably not through thinking about and processing. I’ll probably say more yet; the same is true of Change Comes Softly… and Crashes in all Around You. The Inept Father Scores Big is a story I’ve been wanting to tell for a while, and He Walked: A Christmas Song for All Year is a good capstone for the season and a post I don’t want to lose track of.
That’s a rather long list of “highlights” — let’s call it “the long list” and perhaps I can narrow it down to a short one. Anyone care to nominate one of these as one of my best posts of the year? Not the best post, just my best post! ;^) Although it does make me curious what the best post of 2007 would have been. (I think I know, actually.) So my list is fairly long, but I’ve been writing a lot more this past year than I have in the past. Maybe I’ll have to review this and do a much shorter followup post after I cull the herd once more.
This is a great idea! Thanks for such a helpful 2007 index. I may do the same.