We published more than 260 articles, videos, interviews and reviews in 2018 — and I read every single one. Needless to say, narrowing down the list is painfully difficult.
To simplify my task, I narrowed down my favorites with three criteria. First, I avoided articles already featured on the favorite and most-read lists. Second, I only selected one article per author. Third, I chose articles covering a wide variety of topics.
So, without further ado, here are 10 of my favorite Intersect articles of 2017 (in no particular order).
Alysha Clark wonderfully explains how God can use our personality traits (such as introversion) for his glory and the good of others. Here’s an excerpt:
How could introversion possibly serve as an asset for working and serving others? Introverts are supposed to be sensitive and unambitious and risk-averse. But through the years I have come to see my introversion as a source of power and one of the means through which I can fulfill my vocational calling.
“If you knew that Jesus was returning next week, would you go to work tomorrow?” Dr. Ken Keathley poses this provocative question and gives a helpful answer that ties eschatology to our vocations. Here’s a preview:
Our work is not a distraction from what God calls us to do; it is part of it. The Bible’s eschatology makes this point clear.
The church I pastor is comprised of a variety of age groups, and I have to come to love and appreciate this kind of diversity. In this piece, Annie Lavi documents her own journey towards seeing the beauty of age diversity in the church. She writes,
Our congregations need these age differences, these different thoughts and perspectives. With them, we can fight the selfishness that comes from comparison, and we can increase our wisdom and joy by learning from each other. We can sing our overlapping praises, that come through different seasons and stages of life, making one beautiful church body.
This piece from Yana Conner oozes personality and a keen sense of cultural engagement. She uses a song from Jay-Z to point us to the nature of true repentance. Here’s an excerpt:
Though Jay-Z models for us how to confess one’s shortcomings, he fails to leave us with a pathway towards change. ‘Kill Jay-Z’ is a confession devoid of hope for change, a half-education.
I couldn’t decide between these two articles on adoption, so I chose to include both. The authors of these pieces, Laura Thigpen and Brittany Salmon, have gone through the adoption process. I appreciate that Laura and Brittany don’t sugarcoat adoption. Both of them highlight the beautiful aspects of adoption, but they don’t shy away from the painful. You owe it to yourself to read them both.
The story we tell is beautiful. It is redemptive. But redemption and restoration are only needed by broken people. To understand the beauty of adoption, you have to see the pain that birthed it.— Brittany Salmon
This fall marked the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass.” I knew little about this tragic event in history, to my shame. But we were honored to have Sheldon Bleiweiss, a Holocaust historian and the son of Holocaust survivors, pen a moving recap (and deliver a lecture). He writes,
The Holocaust did not start with gas chambers. It started with politicians dividing the people into “us” vs. “them.” It started with intolerance and hate speech. It continued when people stopped caring, became desensitized and turned a blind eye. Our choices in response to hatred truly do matter.
Social justice was a hot-button topic in 2018. Some Christians expressed fears that an emphasis on social justice can distract from the gospel. But in this fantastic piece, Brianna Copeland defines Christian social justice and roots it in the gospel. Here’s an excerpt:
The gospel is not just an idea to agree with, but a New Life that must holistically affect every part of who we are. This all-expansive, touching-everything, making-all-things-new gospel is the Great, Glorious, Good News that we say we believe, but we must be living it as the truth that shapes our one life here.
If you’re like me, you’re prone to overwork, to stretch yourself too thin. In this beautiful article, Topher Thomas documents his own journey towards establishing routines of rest. He writes,
Countless people try to replace sleep with caffeine in attempt to make a dent in their endless task lists. Others lay awake at night, consumed by all the things that lead to worry. We all feel the effects. For me, the weight gain, illnesses and poor grades are reminders of my fragility and weakness — and evidence of God’s grace. God made us with limitations, He made us to need sleep, and He put in our bodies systems that would point us to our need for Him. All of which are displays of His grace.
“Confessions of a man with an eating disorder”: You don’t often read a headline like this. I’m so grateful for Casey Evans’ courage and vulnerability in sharing his story with our readers. He writes,
When I lost 100 pounds, I also lost a lot of self-respect for my body and gained tendencies that are congruent with eating disorders. Because I was so focused on the mirror, I actually cultivated an unhealthy relationship with food.
I love Christmas carols, and I appreciate Sara Beth Fentress taking the time to dissect some confusing lyrics in one of the most popular Christmas hymns. She writes,
Charles Wesley gifted us with the entire gospel story in a Christmas hymn. “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” invites us on a journey through man’s depravity, our need for salvation and Jesus’ incarnation. While the song primarily celebrates new birth, it also incorporates man’s reconciliation of man to God and Jesus’ return to carry believers into eternity. It is an invitation for all nations to joyfully sing praises and celebrate the birth of Christ, the everlasting Lord.
I could keep going. I could highlight Lanie Anderson’s charge that we be the same person in person that we are online, or Doug Ponder’s bittersweet tribute to Anthony Bourdain, or Greg Lamb’s discussion of art, or Dayton Hartman’s article on loneliness. All in all, I’m grateful to each of Intersect’s contributors for the work this year.
Which article was your favorite, and why? Tell us about it in the comments.