The most-read Century articles

December 29, 2014

Here are the Century magazine articles that got read the most online this year.

1) A time to split? by Amy Frykholm. A growing number of United Methodist clergy are performing same-sex weddings in open defiance of the Book of Discipline. What happens next?

2) What is marriage now? by Gerald W. Schlabach. "It is better to marry than to burn," says Paul. This strange, embarrassing passage may offer some ground for fresh discernment.

3) A parable and its baggage, by Amy-Jill Levine. The Prodigal Son is often read to mean that God loves sinners, whereas the Jews thought God only loved the righteous. This makes no sense.

4) Astonishing assemblies, by Philip Jenkins. Every Sunday, more people attend Assemblies of God churches in the Sao Paulo area than in all the U.S.

5) My church loyalties, by D. Stephen Long. On two occasions I decided to become Catholic. Both times I had to wait because I had been asked to preach or preside as a Methodist.

6) What reaches children? by Sharon Ely Pearson. Churches need to take time to discern their particular Christian formation mission. Only then can they choose curricular resources to support this.

7) The war against rest, by Benjamin J. Dueholm. Christian interest in the sabbath has focused on the family, the home, and the church. Our culture’s assault on leisure, however, extends beyond Sunday.

8) Theology and misconduct, by David Cramer, Jenny Howell, Paul Martens, and Jonathan Tran. John Howard Yoder defined violence in terms of violating someone's dignity. This sounds ready made as a description of his own abusive behavior.

9) Joyful to the end, by M. Craig Barnes. It appears that my friend Steve Hayner doesn't have long to live. It is breathtaking to watch him prepare to die as he lived.

10) Why a church wedding? by B. J. Hutto. Some ask why a pastor would pass up a chance to draw a young couple into the church. But perhaps that's the wrong question. 

11) Light without sight, by Barbara Brown Taylor. Seeing has distracted me from learning how the light inside me works, fooled me into thinking I have a clear view of where the road leads.

12) Dressed for the moment, by Samuel Wells. The collar says something to parishioner and stranger alike: while this doesn’t have to be the most important conversation of your life, it can be.

13) Glory days? by Ted A. Campbell. For decades, the notion of mainline decline has dominated interpretation of church life. But just how mighty were the churches before?

14) Bisexual in the church, by Janet Edwards. It wasn't same-sex attraction that worried my fellow pastors. They assumed that being bisexual meant I was being unfaithful to my husband.