Monday, June 15, 2015

The Class of 200 (Blog Posts, That Is)

It is the month of June, which Hallmark is informing us is the month for Dads and Grads! Most graduation parties by this point have passed, but there might be a few stragglers that we haven't yet gotten to. Some people just have to be late in their graduation parties. Such annoying people (yes, I realize mine was a year late, but not every reader of this blog knows that!).

But seeing as how it is that time of year, and people have received Yearbooks with all those fun awards in them, and it also just happens to be the 200th post of this blog (!!!), I thought we would see which one of my blog posts would win which Yearbook Awards!

So here are your Yearbook Awards for the Class of 200!

Biggest Overachiever

The Purpose of the Christian Life

Category: Ethics
Date: June 23, 2014
Message: Glorifying God is a lifestyle, not a catchphrase. 

What it means to glorify God. Yes, that's a really easy topic to discuss in a short 900 word blog post. I'm sure that you covered it very deeply. 

Ok, so yes, maybe deciding to answer the nebulous question - what does it mean to glorify God? outside of a simple Sunday School answer was a bad idea for such a short post, but hey, it doesn't seem like I did THAT bad! And what can I say? I really am an overachiever. 

Category: Holiday
Date: September 1, 2014
Message: I have no idea

The short description of message probably details all you need to know about this post. I just sort of put pen to to keyboard, and the result was a satirical, sarcastic, random, and apparently well-appreciated blog post about the most ironic holiday of them all. I guess the closest thing to a point in this blog post is that Labor Day doesn't fulfill its purpose.

Cutest Couple

Oh, How the Mighty have Fallen and Why the Mighty Have Fallen: A Sequel

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen
Category: Devotion
Date: September 26, 2014
Message: We are all vulnerable to sinful temptations.

Why the Mighty Have Fallen: A Sequel
Category: Devotion
Date: February 20, 2015
Message: We must serve God for the right reason - enjoying Him.

These two blog posts have been together since Dr. Miller's lectures on Job clarified a little bit about what I was trying to discover in the book of Job in the following September. Together, they inform us that serving God does not make us invulnerable to temptation and that the best way, to withstand that temptation is to be serving God for His sake, and not our own. With that kind of attitude, this relationship could last for a while!

Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on the Differing Roles of the Academic and Pastor
Category: Ethics
Date: September 22, 2014
Message: Scholars are primarily concerned with supplying the materials to be used on the frontlines of the battlefield. 

Pastor as Scholar: Reflections on the Differing Roles of the Academic and Pastor (Part 2)
Category: Ethics
Date: October 6, 2014
Message: Pastors are primarily concerned with communicating biblical truth to their congregation. 

It's hard to remember a time when these two weren't paired together; sometimes, it seems like only two weeks passed before the "Pastor as Scholar" entered the life of "Scholar as Pastor." Given how much they have in common, it's hard to imagine that they will ever split up either. After all, they both go to show that there isn't as much difference between the pastor in his congregation and the scholar in his university - both study the Bible rigorously, both preach on a regular basis, and both must be willing to pour into the hearts of those entrusted underneath them. 

Apologetics Series 1: Absolute Truth
Category: Apologetics
Date: November 20, 2013
Message: Truth exists because to say otherwise is contradictory.

Re-Examining Absolute Truth: A Deeper Look at the Contradiction of Relativism
Category: Apologetics, Ethics
Date: November 3, 2014
Message: Truth exists because to say otherwise is contradictory.

Along with his 6 brothers and sisters, "Apologetics Series 1: Absolute Truth" was one of the first blog posts to enter this blog. It seemed as if he would never find the perfect match, but then she came along. "Re-Examining Absolute Truth" made "Absolute Truth" a better logical argument, and for that, we are all grateful.

So, I need to get out of my fun roleplay because it is a little difficult to explain why the second of these blog posts came to be. Simply, my first stab at showing absolute truth was a little flat and shallow. When I was assigned a paper to show the reality of objective knowledge, I found the added depth in that paper to be worthy of another blog post.

And now, it seems impossible to imagine that anything could ever come between the two of them! 

Most Inspirational

You are Not Alone

Category: Devotion
Date: May 16, 2014 
Message: The Christian's plight is not as dismal as it may seem. 

This blog post will never cease to encourage you when you are feeling down. As it tells the story of Elijah fretting about being the last servant of the Lord, it reminds you that there were 7,000 other servants of the Lord at that time. And better yet, he does this so succinctly that I need to stop this blurb, so that I don't talk longer than him! 

Most liked by Parents

(That would be my parents, for the record.)
Category: Ethics
Date: February 16, 2015
Message: Christian culture over-emphasizes the necessity of marriage when the reality is, it's not meant for everyone. 

This post is well loved by my parents because of Jane Austen. Who doesn't love Jane Austen? And the way that it brilliantly points out the irony that it is actually the woman who want to get married, not the man within the story. On a more serious note, it is much respected that this post likes to point out how Christians today are focused upon finding a spouse, rather than considering how one might serve God, single or married. Additionally, my mom being mom likes that I document so repeatedly my internal partiality to marriage. It's a nice personal touch.

Internet, Iron Man, and Indebtedness 

Category: Devotion
Date: August 22, 2014
Message: As Christians, our lives ought to show gratitude to Christ for his sacrifice to save us.

This post is well-loved by my parents because it doesn't attempt to do anything that it cannot do. It takes a simple message and delivers it powerfully and relaxed. Yet despite the simplicity of the message, people don't seem to be doing it. So are our lives lives of gratitude or do our actions reveal that we just don't care? 

Why Reading the Bible makes me More Libertarian 

Category: Politics
Date: January 20, 2014
Message: The Bible should not be read to form a political worldview. Even still, conservatism and libertarianism align with the Bible. 

This post speaks to its parents' long frustration with hearing why if we're really good Christians, we much be liberal progressivists because of course, they're the only ones with compassion to the poor. It is appreciated that the distinction between government and individual responsibility is emphasized, showing that the Bible never asks the government to care for the poor, but rather the individual Christian. 

Most Likely to Make Pop Culture References

Category: Politics 
Date: April 28, 2014
Message: Only God should decide who lives and who dies. 

This blog post just can't help itself. Making a very serious point about the death penalty, it just has to throw in a quotation from the Lord of the Rings. I'm not sure, what's weirder, that there was a quotation thrown in, or that the quotation fit so well.

Admittedly, this was a hard call to make - many blog posts have hidden and sometimes obscure references to Doctor Who (ok, these are usually more overt), Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, and Marvel movies! But this post just seemed to use a reference in the most perfect way imaginable. 

Most Likely to Show up Late for their Own Wedding

This Post may be Worth the Wait

Category: Devotion
Date: April 24, 2015 (just barely)
Message: You should show gratitude to God by telling others about what He has done.

Ultimately, what this blog post has said has completely escaped my mind most times. Instead, what I remember about it is that I forgot to write it until I was just about to go to bed on Friday night. You know, when it was supposed to have been published on Friday Morning. Yeah, sot that's not the most shining moment of this blog, and this here post will forever be memorialized as the one that just couldn't stay on time.

Most Likely to Step on Toes

Category: Ethics
Date: April 13, 2015 
Message: Homosexual lusts are one result of the Lord leaving man to their own uncleanness. 

So, I wasn't expecting this blog post to ever surface, but then in April, it did. Though he mistakenly states that homosexuality was first mentioned in this blog only a week prior, this post still gives this blog its first detailed analysis of such a controversial issue in our day. Additionally, it highlights a biblical response to the issue that not all churches have exemplified. 

Category: Ethics
Date: February 2, 2015 (Groundhog Day) February 2, 2015 (Groundhog Day) February 2, 2015...
Message: Public altar calls are more emotional manipulation than offering an opportunity to respond to the Holy Spirit.

Motivated by events seen within very close parameters of this post, he made a stand against the idea of a public altar call. Having no mind for the fact that his wonderful Cedarville colleagues may have found the instances of these invitations to be refreshing, he took solace in the hope that people usually don't read his blog anyway. But now he is really stepping on toes as it is republished within this list for all his friends to see!

Most Likely to Succeed

Category: Ethics
Date: August 18, 2014
Message: It doesn't take ignorance to be used of God. 

This blog post has all the ingredients necessary for success, which he will inform you is the one single ingredient of submission to the Lord. At the end of the day, there is an implicit conclusion in most Christian rhetoric that states that God uses the unintelligent exclusively because that's how He can be glorified. That of course, is incredibly limiting of God. Simply, this post reminds us that submission, and not ignorance is what is required to please God. Further, it doesn't matter if that submission comes from an intelligent man or an ignorant one, God will still be glorified through it.

Most Popular

Category: Politics
Date: November 18, 2013
Message: Christians have a duty to stay informed as to the current political landscape.

The easiest decision for this yearbook committee of one. Entering as one of the very first posts, this articles has never ceased from being the most popular entry. With 421 pageviews, this post is more popular than the next 7 most popular posts on this blog combined!

The reason for such popularity is unknown. Perhaps it is because the message resonates with those in the Christian community. More likely, the quotation from an amazing sci-fi television series was probably something often googled because what in the world is Clara talking about when she says that ignorance is Carlisle? (The answer is in the blog, if you want to know. ;))

News Tracker

Category: Politics 
Date: April 6, 2015 
Message: The Indiana Religious Freedom law does not discriminate against homosexuals; it only supports religious freedom exactly as the federal RFRA does currently. 

At a time, when all anyone wanted to talk about was that of homosexual discrimination inherent in the proposed Indiana law, all this post wanted to express was that this law provided no opportunity for discrimination, as it simply gave rights to businesses, exactly as federal law already did. 

Category: Politics
Date: December 23, 2013
Message: A&E has as much right as Phil Robertson to exercise their civil rights. 

Related to the previous blog post, this post sends a similar message, but this time to the Christians who argued that A&E stepped upon Phil Robertson's civil rights by suspending him from Duck Dynasty. Remembering that businesses have rights, and that governments alone can violate civil rights, this blog post energetically asked that we "let our principles stand no matter what supports our agenda."

Disagree with any of my nominations? Like to add another Yearbook award? Voice your opinion in the comments section below. 

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