well, it’s that time of year. 2014 has been an exciting year to be blogging. davidould.net had a 50% jump in readership over 2013 and month on month it keeps growing. Here’s the 10 posts that got the most interest over the year.
This post from 2012 still gets lots of readers every day. Vaughan Roberts, a prominent Anglican evangelical “came out” as having homosexual attraction but actively seeking to live a godly and celibate life. He went on to become part of the immensely helpful living out website.
Rev Dr Sarah Macneil was appointed the first female diocesan bishop in Australia in 2013. This post in March prior to her consecration followed up on another that documented her views on the atonement and human sexuality posted in late 2013.
In September I appeared on SBS TV’s Living with the Enemy, taking part in an episode seeking to explore the issue of same-sex marriage. Here’s my thoughts the morning after the show aired.
A post from mid-December reflecting on the shocking siege at the Lindt Café here in Sydney where an Islamic State sympathiser ending up killing 2 hostages.
Another controversial appointment in the Anglican Church of Australia. The Bishop of Newcastle appointed a man who is widely acknowledged as denying key orthodox Christian beliefs as one of his achdeacons, and in an area with a number of key evangelical ministries.
In June we received the tragic news that the Bishop of Gippsland, John McIntyre, had died after a short illness. McIntyre had been the centre of some controversy in the last few years over the question of appointing ministers in same-sex relationships, but this post saw a wonderful meeting together in the comments of those of various theological persuasions as we together mourned his loss. It was personally pleasing to me that a conservative blogsite would become host to our honourable opponents sharing their feelings about this terrible news.
The first of my posts looking at the soon-to-be Archdeacon in Newcastle before his appointment was even announced. Rod Bower has long been notorious for rejecting orthodox Christian belief. The real story here, of course, is the lack of any action (but rather, his promotion) by his diocesan. Huge number of comments on this one.
In October a smaller political party here in Australia jumped on the anti-immigration bandwagon by seeking to marginalise those Muslim women who cover up their faces. I wrote about the dangers to religious freedom to all of us from this kind of argument and then sought to try and articulate a gospel-shaped response to the issue. It was a big debate at the time in Australia and this post garnered a lot of interest.
The top two are streets ahead of the rest in terms of views, both dealing with emotive and important issues.
A piece looking at the terrible news coming out of IS-occupied lands that Christians (and others) were having identifying symbols painted on their property as a precursor to seizure by Islamic State or even execution. In part awareness raising, in part an attempt (again) to describe the gospel in terms of the events before us. I sought to draw my readers to some consideration of the similar and yet utterly different events of the passover. This post’s large readership was a combination of being on a highly debated issue and also the beneficiary of some links from other blogs.
This was always going to be big. I have long been concerned not just with the terrible teachings of some of those that Hillsong invite to be at their annual conference but, perhaps even moreso, with the failure of many of our leaders to offer clarity on the subject, even themselves promoting the conference or contributing to it. Hillsong do so much good, but they also wreak terrible damage by promoting those who deny the Trinity, preach prosperity gospel, and so on. The post generated a huge number of comments (as should be expected) but sadly little actual engagement with the argument made. The standard response from critics was to ignore the real theological dangers being pointed to and simply ask “why are you bagging out a great ministry?” Sadly, perhaps this should be expected; supporters of a ministry that shows little discernment about false teaching and even outright heresy are themselves unlikely to be encouraged to show discernment in these matters. This post should also be read in conjunction with my follow-up “On Writing“.
More generally davidould.net has benefited from integrating facebook comments. Blogs live or die on interaction and I’m grateful for all those who comment here.
2015 will see much of the same. I trust davidould.net will continue to be the go-to site in Australia to see what’s rocking the Anglican Church here, as well as a place where we can discuss the wonderful gospel of Jesus. And of course all the quirky stuff that takes my interest along the way. Thanks for being a part of it.
Oh, and there’s also this from wordpress: