2016: That Was The Year That Was

I didn’t think there was any way that 2016 could measure up to its predecessor, when readership at The Pietist Schoolman jumped nearly 50% from 2014. But as we near New Year’s, we’re close to equaling our numbers from 2015. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read — whether it was one post or all 234!

Licensed by Creative Commons (Pixabay)

In many ways, 2016 was a highly rewarding year for me, highlighted by the completion of a new book manuscript and an invitation to join The Anxious Bench. And as soon as I finish what’s been an energizing fall sabbatical, I’ll be off to Europe to lead our travel course on World War I. (More on that next week!)

So I can’t complain. But I also don’t especially want to spend any more time reflecting on the past year. Less than two months after a close friend died, my mentor had a stroke. I struggled with where to go next in my career. Donald Trump somehow became one of the most common tags at this blog. And I felt increasingly uncomfortable with my relationship to evangelicalism.

So rather than do as usual and write a narrative that ties together the most popular posts of 2016, I’m just going to list them, then turn the page. See you in 2017!

The Top 25 Most-Read Pietist Schoolman Posts of 2016

  1. Sign in England (?) reading, "The Evangelical Church"
    Licensed by Creative Commons (David Howard)

    Who’s an Evangelical? We Now Know… (Nov. 9)

  2. “No One Is Safe”: Larycia Hawkins Responds to Wheaton (Jan. 6)
  3. An Open Letter to the Bartons (Sept. 7 – by Jared Burkholder)
  4. “Tell It Like It Is”: How the Church Should Respond to Trump (June 1)
  5. If There’s a Crisis of the Humanities in Christian Colleges, What Does It Tell Us about Evangelicalism? (May 17)
  6. Done with “Evangelical”? Maybe You Should Try… (Nov. 10)
  7. Is It Time for an Evangelical “Divorce”? (Feb. 17)
  8. Quantifying the Crisis in Humanities at Christian Colleges (May 16)
  9. An Inadequate Response to Two More Shootings (July 7)
  10. How Did Evangelical College Students Vote in the Presidential Election? (Dec. 7)
  11. “Strategy Becomes Idolatry”: Christianity Today Against Evangelical Support for Trump (Oct. 10)
  12. Which Country (and Continent) Dominates Each Olympic Sport? (Updated) (Aug. 5)
  13. How to Survive Being a Vikings Fan (Jan. 10)
  14. Three “Third Ways” for Evangelicals in Politics (Sept. 15)
  15. What David Barton Doesn’t Understand about Graduate School and Christian Scholarship (Sept. 12)
  16. A Week Later… Evangelicalism (Nov. 15)
  17. Conservatives for Progressives to Read (revisited) (June 16)
  18. Cover of the Hamilton cast recording7 Indispensable Christian Academic Twitter Accounts (March 30)
  19. #iftrumpwereevangelical (June 27)
  20. “Who’s an Evangelical?” Revisited (#DocHawk Edition) (Jan. 8)
  21. What Makes the Humanities “Useful”? (May 31)
  22. Untitled (May 4)
  23. Why I Signed the Historians Against Trump Letter (July 18)
  24. For My Wife, on Our Tenth Wedding Anniversary (July 21)
  25. At Long Last, My Post on Hamilton and History (Sept. 21)

I especially recommend no. 3 (since I didn’t write it) and nos. 9, 13, 24, and 25 (since they have nothing to do with Trump or evangelicalism).

My 5 Most-Read Anxious Bench Posts in 2016

  1. Could the U.S. Finally Get a Significant Christian Democratic Party? (Aug. 16)
  2. The Bonhoeffer Effect, “Unpleasant Parallels,” and the 2016 Election (Oct. 18)
  3. Saying Farewell to Books and Culture (Oct. 11)
  4. Religious Freedom: The Contested Core of Baptist Identity (June 21)
  5. Beyond Books: “Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest” (Sept. 20)

The 25 Most-Clicked Links at The Pietist Schoolman in 2016

  1. David Barton is Going to “Call Me Out” (John Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home)
  2. Speak Truth to Trump (Andy Crouch, Christianity Today)
  3. Turkish Lives Matter (D.G. Hart, Putting the PROTEST in Protestant)
  4. Blanchard Hall
    Blanchard Hall, Wheaton College – Creative Commons (Albert Herring)

    Larycia Hawkins ‘flabbergasted’ by Wheaton’s move to fire her (Emily McFarlan Miller, RNS)

  5. Christian college begins process to remove professor to wore a hijab (Ed Payne, CNN)
  6. Conservative and progressive evangelical head for divorce (David Gushee, RNS)
  7. David Barton Claims Professional Historians Don’t Use Original Documents and That’s Why They Attack His Work (Warren Throckmorton)
  8. Why Wheaton Matters (John Hawthorne, Sociological Reflections)
  9. In supporting Trump, evangelicals are reaping what they’ve sown (John Fea, RNS)
  10. On Abortion and Racism: Why There Is a Greater Evil in This Election (Thabiti Anyabwile, The Gospel Coalition)
  11. A Beloved Professor Fired (Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed)
  12. Some Things I Have Learned from Blogging (And a Goodbye for Now) (Roger Olson)
  13. Libraries and Churches (Katie Keller Koch, The Cresset)
  14. The Sun Is Always Shining in Modern Christian Pop (Leah Libresco, FiveThirtyEight)
  15. How a Leading Christian College Turned Against Its Gay Leader (Julie Rodgers, Time)
  16. A Request for Prayer (Tracy McKenzie, Faith and History)
  17. A Two-Way Bridge (James Martin, America)
  18. In Their Own Language (Richard Ray, The Cresset)
  19. Let Wheaton and other Christian colleges be Christian (Timothy Larsen, CNN)
  20. How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah And The Presidency (Benjamin Morris, FiveThirtyEight)
  21. Welcome, Jonathan Loopstra! (Jonathan Den Hartog, Historical Conversations)
  22. Noted Catholic Philosopher Takes Post at Baptist University (Chronicle of Higher Education)
  23. A Born-Again Donald Trump? (Trip Gabriel and Michael Luo, New York Times)
  24. Is Life Christian University the Source of David Barton’s PhD? (Warren Throckmorton)
  25. This rapper is trying to get his fellow evangelicals to talk about race (Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post)

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