The most-read Century articles

January 6, 2016

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

1) A long obedience, by Katherine Willis Pershey. There are many people with whom I have not had an affair. Billions. There is also one man in particular.

2) The people's preaching class, by William Brosend. Fred Craddock let the word out that he would be available at no charge for preaching and teaching. Only non-seminary graduates should attend.

3) Holding each other loosely, by Peter W. Marty. I knew life was a gift to be shared, not a possession to safeguard, even before my wife collapsed on the kitchen floor. But it was abstract knowledge then.

4) Sacred inwardness, by Marilynne Robinson.  Perhaps the real lack of faith in modern society comes down to a lack of reverence for the people around us.

5) A place for Camille, by Jason D. Whitt. Calling my wife and me “special” suggests that there is an alternative—that it would have been acceptable to refuse to receive our child.

6) Shut up and learn, by Carol Howard Merritt. Under Ruben Duran's leadership, the ELCA has started an array of worshiping communities in homes and bars and on the streets and in train stations.

7) What love can't fix, by Matt Gaventa. At a chemical level, it didn’t matter that we loved my dad. It couldn’t penetrate the shield around his sense of self-worth.

8) What Bonhoeffer knew, by Samuel Wells. After I gave a talk for the 70th anniversary of Bonhoeffer's death, I got a letter saying he's been drained of meaning. Here's what I replied.

9) Paying for seminary, by Sharon Miller and Christian Scharen. Schools rely on tuition and are reluctant to turn students away. But if debt keeps students from following their call, schools will have failed at their mission.

10) Why I went to seminary, by Chris Coons. Long before I sat in Senate hearing rooms listening to witness testimony, I sat in lecture halls at Yale listening to professors dissect Paul.

11) Claims on Bonhoeffer, by Karen V. Guth. People appeal to Bonhoeffer to justify a range of moral choices. They tend to ignore his emphasis on context and the need for constant discernment.

12) Cosmos from nothing? by Karl W. Giberson. Modern cosmology indicates that the universe cannot have been created without any constraints. So where do we find the elusive nihilo?

13) A letter to Thomas Merton, by Carol Zaleski. It’s been 100 years since your birth and almost 75 since you entered the abbey. You died with your story unfinished.

14) Scientists welcome, by David J. Wood. The geophysicist's talk had none of the triumphalism of efforts to prove God exists. It was the testimony of experience—and it was unequivocal doxology.

15) A broader appeal, by Adam J. Copeland. Decades ago, when a need arose at a church in rural Kansas, the finance chair would ask, "Who'll give 25 dollars?" Today, we have Kickstarter.

This post was corrected shortly after publication—articles #1, #5, and #13 were originally omitted by mistake.