Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten DET Posts of 2016

That’s right – it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, gentle readers: DET is back for 2017!

Stay tuned for all the fun, thoughtful, and sometimes dorky (let’s not deny it…) posts to come over the next year. And to kick it all off, let’s revisit 2016 and see what posts y’all were reading the most. Long-time readers know that we do this every year, and I encourage you to check out last year’s post (and fall down the rabbit hole of links into bygone ages).

This year I’m going to do a Top 10 based on traffic, a few honorable mentions that were knocking on the top 10 traffic list door, and another set of honorable mentions of posts that . . . well . . . I happened to like for one reason or another. #1 has the most traffic and #10 the least. Here we go!

DET 2016 Top 10


  1. So, You Want To Read Karl Barth? - This one is usually on the list in some capacity. It’s a classic, and (I like to think that it) has helped crowds of people to make a start with Barth. Eschew imitations – this is the guide you are looking for!
  2. Tributes to John Webster (Index) - In addition to all the other things that we’ve been giving 2016 a bad rap for over the past few weeks, it also marked the loss of John Webster. I put together a list of tributes to his life and thought.
  3. Demythologizing the Divide between Barth and Bultmann - David Congdon wrote this post back in the day for the 2008 Karl Barth Blog Conference and it usually ends up on these lists. That means a lot of you have read it. But, if you haven’t, head over the now.
  4. Karl Barth, Scripture, D. A. Carson, and the Gospel Coalition - I wasn’t in a particularly good mood back when I wrote this post early in 2016. I had seen something on the internet . . . and, well . . . you know how that goes.
  5. So You Want to Read….Dietrich Bonhoeffer? - Another reading guide made the list! Brandy Daniels put this guide together for us, and I’m a big fan of it. So if you’ve been wanting some instruction on where to start with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Don’t be fooled: there’s a very popular book on DB that you should not start with. Or finish with. Or read at all, really. So let this guide light your path.
  6. Brief Reflection on the Suicide of a Pastor - Henry Coates wrote this post in the wake of what was a shocking and unsettling event for many of us who know lots of pastors, studied with them, taught some of them a few things here and there, etc., especially within the Presbyterian Church (USA). I really appreciated it, and it looks like I was not alone.
  7. John Webster (1955-2016): Requiescat in pace - In addition to indexing memorials to Webster, as I mentioned above, I also wrote one of my own.
  8. Vestigia Trinitatis: More than a Hermeneutical Problem - This is another oldie-but-goodie from the 2008 KBBC that pops into these lists from time to time – seemingly without rhyme or reason. Honestly, that’s one of the most interesting things about having a blog as long in the tooth as DET: you get to ponder over why on earth people dip into the things that they do at any given time.
  9. Read Barth and Get Over Yourself - I’m very pleased to see that my intrepid, long-suffering, and sometimes insufferably droll associate editor, Scott Jackson, appears on the list this year. If I may be frank with you, gentle readers, I often thing that Scott’s post are woefully under-read. *tsktsk* At least you got it right with this one.
  10. Moltmann, Pannenberg, and the Future: Once More with David Congdon - Finally, at least for this category, we have this post of mine reflecting on a passage from David Congdon’s big book on Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, mission, and dialectical theology. And since it also has Moltmann and Pannenberg’s names in there, the search engines seem to like it.

Honorable Mentions (based on traffic):


Honorable Mentioned (based on my whims):

  • Does God "Exist"? Meh. (With Apologies to my Atheist Friends) - I’m not entirely sure that Scott actually has any atheist friends, but if he did, well, ahem, I’m sure he’d buy them a round down at the local watering hole from time to time. He seems to want some atheist friends, at least. And, really, aren’t we all atheists deep down? Or idolaters? I mean, after all, there are no atheists in foxholes, “they” assure us, but I suspect those things are full of idolaters. Give me a good atheist, especially a good Marxist sort, over the idolaters any day of the week and twice on Sundays!
  • "Game of Thrones," Baptism, and the Drowned God - Alex DeMarco reflecting on baptism and GoT? Sign me up! I mean, I read it, liked it, and you should too! Remember, winter is coming. And I’m not sure what we’ll do once the fonts freeze over . . .
  • On the Sinful Incurvature of American Whiteness: Lessons from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Karl Barth, and Martin Luther: Part 1, Part 2 - More by Alex DeMarco, who turned in a strong showing in his rookie year at DET. Also be sure to check out his Christmas reflections: Advent and Eschatology at the Dawn of the Trump Era.
  • Michael Servetus as Pastoral Theologian? - Another DET contributing author in his rookie campaign, J. T. Young, wrote this piece on Michael Servetus that brings a unique perspective to the story of his life and clash with Calvin in Geneva.

That’s it, folks! Will any of these posts be back on next year’s list? What new posts will arise to wrest from them a place in this vaunted company? Only God knows and she’s not telling. So we’ll all have to find out the hard way. Don’t touch that dial!

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