December 14, 2017

Some of the “Most Discussed” Posts from 2013

people talking

2013 was another banner year for Internet Monk, and thanks belongs to you, our readers and commenters. Readership numbers have never been higher, and though we didn’t have spectacular numbers of comments, we did have consistently strong participation representing a high level of thoughtful and interesting discussion.

The following lists represent some of the most discussed posts from the past year.

You will note that my articles (Chaplain Mike) continued along themes that I have consistently written about over the years — the unity of the Church, women’s roles, biblical interpretation, eschatology, and what the Bible teaches (and doesn’t teach) about creation. On the other hand, it was rather a different year in terms of writing for me, having found it necessary to cut back for awhile in midyear to complete responsibilities with my ELCA ordination work. That is past now, and though it is unclear what the future holds with regard to my daily work, I continue to be amazed at the literary and pastoral opportunity this blog has afforded me. I’m eager to see where the journey leads in 2014.

Jeff’s most discussed posts, on the other hand, reflected major milestones in his faith journey. Jeff expressed his disenchantment with the thin spirituality and lack of love in evangelicalism, and announced that he was seeking confirmation in the Roman Catholic tradition. He joined a number of us who, finding the non-denominational, free church, revivalist tradition wanting, returned to historical traditions where we discovered deeper, more Jesus-shaped ways to practice our faith. In addition to these “personal journey” posts, Jeff’s weekly feature, “Saturday Ramblings,” remained one of our most visited and remarked upon features — our web equivalent of the small-town diner on Saturday mornings, where we can grab coffee, pull up a chair, and join a lively discussion with friends about the past week’s news.

Some of the posts that drew the most participation (and controversy) in 2013 were those written by guest author, Mule Chewing Briars, who joined us and wrote over the summer during Chaplain Mike’s break. Many didn’t agree with his take on women in particular, but he challenged us to think and talk with one another about contemporary moral issues like no one else. Mule continues to blog at his own site, A Mule in the Chapter House, where you can read his incisive, provocative writing.

We had other guest posts that brought considerable response, including Dee Parsons from Wartburg Watch, who contributed to our Lenten “scandals in the church” series by sending us an update about Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Thanks to our other regular writers who gave us such a wonderful variety of high-quality, thought-provoking articles and meditations over the past year:

  • Martha of Ireland
  • Damaris Zehner
  • Lisa Dye
  • Adam Palmer
  • Mike Bell
  • Denise Spencer
  • Adam McHugh

I’m especially grateful to these folks for taking on an extra load in 2013 so that I could attend to other matters in my life.

Thank you also to the other bloggers, writers, and readers who responded when we asked, and gave us articles that we could post and discuss.

And thank you for your continued interest and participation on Internet Monk.

* * *

event_99331172SOME “MOST DISCUSSED” POSTS FROM CHAPLAIN MIKE

First Quarter – Schism: Is the Church under Judgment?

Second Quarter – IM Book Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood

Third Quarter – As Long as We Approach the Bible This Way, We’re in Trouble

Fourth Quarter – Why I Am Not a Six-Day Creationist

* * *

SOME “MOST DISCUSSED” POSTS FROM JEFF DUNN

January 24, 2013 – What Am I Missing?

March 20, 2013 – Swimming the Tiber, or Just Taking a Dip?

August 25, 2013 – The Homily

December 21, 2013 – Saturday Ramblings

* * *

SOME “MOST DISCUSSED” POSTS FROM OTHER WRITERS

By Dee Parsons – Sex and Power: What’s Up with Sovereign Grace Ministries?

By Mule Chewing Briars – Losing the War Part III – Love in the Ruins

* * *

What posts and subjects most captured your attention and imagination in 2013?

Comments

  1. Mike and Jeff, were there posts that you thought were especially significant, but generated relatively few comments? Perhaps something you feel we missed or overlooked?

    • I’ll be doing another post on my favorite pieces from 2013, and these are often ones that don’t generate large numbers of comments.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      Lack [or maybe “Abscence”] of comments should not imply missed or overlooked. There have been many beautiful and insightful articles I never commented on. Some articles are different genres than others.

      A homily [for example] is an invitation to meditation and contemplation, not debate. I’d be reticent to post on a homily [and a sequence of just “+1” posts feels lame].

      Some articles are also just Complete.

      • Yes, this. I found many homilies wonderfully written and insightful. I commented on some of those, even if it was nothing more than affirm their content, because I feel those posts are as important as the controversial ones that garner 189 responses. In fact, it kind of saddened me to see only 5 responses to a wonderful Christ-centered homily while a post about Duck Dynasty guy garnered 152 comments.

      • > “Some articles are also just Complete.”

        And wouldn’t it be awesome for such an article to have 132 “+1″s ?!

      • “A homily [for example] is an invitation to meditation and contemplation, not debate. I’d be reticent to post on a homily [and a sequence of just ‘+1’ posts feels lame].”

        This.

  2. Lead on. My imagination is for Mainlines to not maintain, but sharing their gift of appropriate. For Charismatic-Pentecostal churches to call, train, and mentor leaders who bridge doctrine and gifts issues. For Evangelicals to learn from loss of numbers, and begin the work of renewing serious church membership. For Catholics and Orthodox it looks like up times, may ecumenical ties increase. Mega-churches are out of my imagination, because to me buildings, staff, and numbers are like drugs. My imagination is for the prosperity Gospel to be disgraced, and their funding dried up.

  3. Adam McHugh,s piece on Christians being the pooper scoopers in the parade, great peice.

  4. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss with other Christians (in some of those posts) the real meat of the Christian faith. Getting right down to brass tacks.

    Thanks, again, for a great forum to do so.

    • Steve, I couldn’t agree more. IM has been an important part of my daily routine for several years now. The rapport and community strengthens me, corrects me at times, makes me laugh, and sometimes brings me to tears. Thanks from the dirt roads of Georgia for all y’all do at IM.

      • It is a bit unseemly for one Georgian to correct another, but what Lee meant to say was “Thanks from the dirt roads of Georgia for all all y’all do at IM.”

      • I second this. IM is practically my homepage, and even when I’m too busy to participate in the discussion as I’d like, I’m always reading and lurking. What we are given here is much more than just a forum: it’s a beacon of hope for those seeking home and finding it in the most surprising places.

    • Yep.

      None of us are perfect in our faith. None of us are perfect in our view of God. We all think we’re right about God, Jesus and the Spirit, but we’re all wrong to some extent. And I love hearing other people’s views so that I can factor them into what I believe and adjust accordingly. Even the agnostics and atheists who visit and comment here offer me something to mull on and consider.

  5. One of things that frustrates me is how quickly comments are closed. The posts with the most active comment section may be closed in a matter of hours; by the time I read the article the next morning it’s already too late. I clicked the link above and just read “Why I Am Not a Six Day Creationist” for the first time. Why can I not comment on that? In the opening paragraph you mention not having spectacular comment numbers. But when a post racks up a large number of comments quickly, you often do not allow the discussion to continue. You can’t then complain about a lack of discussion.

    I love the writing and the interaction, just venting a little. Back in the old days if Michael Spencer ended a comment thread I would just tell him to his face what I thought. Someday, right?

    • Clark until just recently comments were kept open for 30 days and then were shut down automatically. We found that the spammers were targeting those older posts and flooding the site with spam. So we reduced it to 7 days. I never manually close comments without putting a notice on the post — and I very rarely close a comment thread unless it is becoming unruly. If we can find our way around the spam issue, we’ll adjust the settings once again. Sorry for the frustration.

      • That comment came off whinier than I would like to sound. I’ve been working long hours for the past six months or so and haven’t read or written as much as I used to. Here’s to 2014!

      • I’d like to reinforce Clark’s comment about the short length of discussions. Sometimes I have to think about something a while and would like to follow up a few days later. It’s not so much that the site closes the discussion as that the next articles have come up and everyone’s moved on to another topic. I can post the comment but nobody sees it, or comments in reply.

        I would like to suggest (once again) a discussion forum setup where folks could be notified of new comments on a topic, or have them highlighted when visiting the page. This would probably require logins and make administering the site even more onerous. But I’ll throw the idea out in case anyone else is interested. I’d be willing to help make it happen if I’m needed.

  6. Mike, I really appreciate you and your writing, but that post of Mule’s – it still hurts.

    Please, please stop promoting his work. (Not too proud to beg here.)

    btw, your post on the girls who died in the Birmingham church bombing was/is very important – not to mention sobering. I like it when you and others speak out against injustice.

    • Numo, I simply couldn’t do an honest end of the year review without mentioning Mule and the dust he stirred up. He also has his supporters, and I only thought it fair to direct them to his site.

    • Numo, commenters who push for censorship like you do make me not want to participate here anymore. Somehow I knew that this sort of comment would be made once his posts were mentioned again.
      Mule was kind of a turd but he said a lot of things that were thought provoking and had a lot of merit to them, even though he is not your kind of person. I will be ever grateful for how interested he made me in Orthodoxy, which I have finally made actual steps towards. Just because he’s not your kind of person doesn’t mean he didn’t make an impact with some people.

      • I’d be fine with him if it wasn’t for his obvious misogyny, Umi.

      • Mule was kind of a turd but he said a lot of things that were thought provoking and had a lot of merit to them

        I think that’s how I feel about him.

    • I’m with Umi here. I can get how some of his views are offensive to many. But civilized discussion means being able to say “Your ideas are despicable and this is why….” without shouting people down. The solution to somebody’s ideas being hurtful is not denying their platform but beating them in the court of public opinion. Trying to silence those you disagree with is an argument in their favor, in the long run. It’s kind of like conceding, “I can’t actually out-reason this, but I don’t like it, so I’m gonna try to suppress it,” even though that wasn’t exactly the case. I find with Mule’s writing it isn’t incredibly difficult to weed out the good from the bad.

      Honestly, I had never heard of the “manosphere” prior to Mule’s last post. Mule’s modicum of participation there does not make him that: he is infinitely more reflective than anything ever written by meathead wannabe pickup artists. It’s really in a different category.

      • It’s far more than “a modicum.” And therein lies the problem.

        • Plus, he dialed it back here, but does *not* do so elsewhere (Dalrock, Heartiste, etc.).

          I think he’s a highly intelligent man, but one who has some seriously problematic views of women and that’s where my beef is. His early posts were very well-written. Then he veered off on a crazy tack, and i’m honestly sorry that he feels the way he does about women and also the totality of Western xtianity.

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      I gotta agree with these folks, numo. Were it not for Mule’s post, we wouldn’t be able to respond and create a dialogue he had to confront. I disagreed strongly with him, but in my responses, I was able to develop and re-explore my own ideology. Isn’t that what you come here for?

      • In a word, no. Talk and discussion, yes. But his anti-woman stance and focus on “Game” is pretty much the same thing as DD guy’s racism, imo.

        If Mule had directed those comments of his toward black folks (and there *is* some of that in his writing), would you feel differently?

        Didn’t like the way he used the word “slut” and how he characterized women as manipulative and men as “poor saps,” either.

        • P.S.:i’m old enough to remember how women were treated by far too many men in the workplace – targets of verbal harassment, propositions, groping, even rape. It wasn’t all that long ago, and many still endure it.

          Mule’s statements on women made me feel like I was smack in the middle of all that again, and looked/sounded/smelled like the same thing to me. Check some of his comments elsewhere, and then look at the rest of what’s being said – if you can stomach it, that is.

          I avoid watching “Mad Men” for the same reason. It celebrates misogyny (and other really ugly attitudes and behaviors), while presenting itself as cultural commentary. Nope, just not buyin’ it…

      • Also, I confess that i’m completely baffled by his thesis re. the filioque, which is out there. And contains its own prejudices against Western xtianity, as well as gross errors of fact.

        Still, I could let that ride, too, were it not for the manosphere crap.

      • I’m with numo. He was just expressing his opinion, not trying to silence he who shall not be named. Sometimes we find people we disagree with strongly and we ought to be able to express that in polite company as numo did. numo’s expression was not censoring, I don’t think.

        This is the best forum for faith discussion I’ve come across on the web. I love it even when my sensitivities are challenged. Mule’s comments — not the discussion — made me feel like I wanted to take a bath. Instead, I left the IMonk forum for a two week cleansing. But I did return full of hope, only to be frustrated that so many in this community care so much about the wind-driven chaff of Duck Dynasty.

        • Surely you mean A&He’s marketing/PR bonanza? All that merchandize sold! All the fan support! The Robertsons likely have a lot more in their bank accounts than they did two weeks ago, and that shows no signs of skiing down in the near future.

          In the end, though, they’ll fade from public view like other “reality ‘stars’,” and A&E will have long since move on.

          It’s all a cheap carnival sideshow, imo (though $$$$ is certainly being raked in).

          • Slowing down.

            Android: headdesk

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Coming back from a four-day getaway in Lone Pine yesterday, I stopped at the Outpost Cafe in Victorville. The eatery had large flatscreens above the counter, like something out of Max Headroom. The subject on ALL the screens? Talking heads on Daddy Duck-gate, very pompously outraged intoning: “Racism, Homophobia, Racism, Racism, Beards, Homophobia, Homophobia, Beards…” I was waiting for footage of the Geek biting the heads off chickens. It’d be more honest.

        • I am a “she” IRl. 😉

    • I need to break silence here and point out to people that I voluntarily withdrew from the invitation that Mike and Jeff extended to me because some people were beginning to think that I was being purposefully controversial in an attempt to “gin up” readership. I assure you this was not the case. My troglodytic views are my own. At this point I became aware that this was casting aspersion on the person of Michael Spencer and on his legacy. Michael was not always Barney. He was no stranger to controversy, but he was always a gentleman first and foremost. At the point were I felt I could honor him more by ceasing to write than by writing, I offered to stop and Jeff agreed.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        I enjoyed your writings; and I was happy to discover your own BLOG over yonder.

        And Troglodytes are people too!

  7. David Cornwell says:

    From the posts and considerations of the past year, I am left with an amalgam of thoughts.

    The theological landscape is changing. Calvin, Luther, and Wesley are dead. The important theses of their work continues to hold importance, however no longer has total sway except in particularistic holdouts. As Stanley Hauerwas says “God is making our past differences less and less interesting.” Related to this, denominations do not matter as much. They are still guardians of certain strands of tradition, i.e. the best elements of Calvin, Luther, Wesley and others. However it is now much easier to cross the street and become the “other.” As Protestants, if we listen, then we will learn from each other. Being identified as a Calvinist, Lutheran, Wesleyan, Anabaptist, or whatever, still matters, but perhaps not as much. We are all Christians. At least this is my hope.

    A resurgence of the importance of the Roman Catholic Church is happening before our eyes. History is being made. Some Protestants are still anti-Catholic. Too bad. It is time to get over it. For me, there have been some things I do not like about the Catholic Church. However when I read, study, and listen, then I find there is much more to like than dislike. Martha of Ireland has been a Godsend for me. I mean this quite literally. Her writing is inspired , intelligent, and brilliant. The other Catholics who write for us always impress me with their simple faith, and how they present themselves without a trace of defensiveness. So it is not a great surprise that Jeff Dunn has chosen this good way.

    Along with this, those who write about the Orthodox traditions, move us back to the old Story, the history, the liturgies and practices that started with the first Christians. Along with the Roman Catholic Church they have preserved important tradition, festivals and days that came into being as the Church moved away from the very earliest of those who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And out of all this came the great creeds of the Church, around which most of us should be able to say that we are one in Christ.

    Which brings me to the story of the year, the election of a new pope. Have you noticed that our world seems bereft of greatness these days? Leaders who stand out like Churchill, Roosevelt, Gandhi, De Gaulle, and King have disappeared from the landscape. Instead we have little men and women with dirty hands and greedy ambition making plays for power and headlines.

    Then, almost suddenly, we have a new pope. Hauerwas, speaking immediately after the election of a non-European Jesuit who takes the name Francis said in reaction to his election, “The Roman Catholic Church is the church of the poor.” And I say to this “thanks be to God.” So even in the wilderness, God is providing for us signposts of hope.

    These are some of the major things I hope we discuss going forward.

    • Instead we have little men and women with dirty hands and greedy ambition making plays for power and headlines.

      ’twas ever thus. Perhaps the best people are the ones who don’t get attention from the 24/7 news cycle.

      Also: Nelson Mandela.

      • …and Malala Yousafzai. Signs of hope are there if we keep looking.

        • Indeed.

          • And the “great man” view of history is seriously flawed, because leaders are imperfect and often petty or petulant or beset with prejudices (DeGaulle and Churchill, for example) – plus it simply does not take into account 99 & 9/10th% of the people who actually make history – us.

            Put another way, few remember the names of the individuals who staged lunch counter sit-ins or dared to use “whites only” water fountains and toilets, but they were (imo) FAR more than footsoldiers – they led the charge. (Lots were some – good churchgoing folks for the most part.)

          • Lots were women.

          • Yes. We need less “greatness” and more faithful “ordinariness.”

          • David Cornwell says:

            I know the idea of greatness is seriously flawed. Many of the people that I once considered “great” have disintegrated before my eyes. And it’s in the ordinary where true greatness lies. Thanks for pointing that out.

            Yet it does seem that many instances someone has stood above the crowd in troubled times, flaws and all. In our age they tend to be destroyed one way or another before they can gain a foothold.

            Thanks for making me think about this.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            “Greatness” as in Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, Brittney Spears, Mylie Cyrus?

          • David – I think it’s a bit of both things, no? Because there certainly have been great men and women who made their mark on the historical record, but millions more who took on evil and injustice or who loved a damaged person back to life, or… So many thing could be added to that list.

            Yet these people are mainly known to God, not to historians. In reality, it’s only been in the past 100 years or so that we started recording and keeping data on the lives of most “ordinary” people, and even then, only in some parts of the world.

            I spent a few years attempting to trace the lives of a couple of “ordinary” 20th c. people for grad work, and it was HARD. (Especially because they were black and living under Jim Crow, so more or less invisible to those who ran most everything.)

    • ““God is making our past differences less and less interesting.”

      Actually, I don’t think that there are fewer differences, it’s just that they’re less defining and determinative. As inheritors of modernism, we live and act and identify as individuals beyond institutional affiliations, including institutional church affiliations.

      The modern world, and now the so-called “post-modern” world, has provided us with a domain in which it is possible to recognize each other as Christians; despite the fact that our faith traditions sound different notes, we can recognize that we all play in the same orchestra, and that we are all playing the same piece of music, although different parts.

      The Roman Catholic church has had a resurgence of importance. But remember that the majority of those in the pews of Roman Catholic churches, at least in the West but increasingly elsewhere as well, have been formed in a pluralistic world, and place a much higher value on personal conscience and decision than was the case in previous eras. That is, they have internalized one of the root qualities of the Reformation, which itself was a major contributor to the development of modernism, although they may not be able to articulate it, and may have done so unknowingly.

      To a degree the Roman Catholic church has internalized the Reformation, but to a greater degree the average Roman Catholic has done so.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        > The modern world, and now the so-called “post-modern” world,

        I was just reading the other day that post-modernism is dead! And I heard a talk not too long ago on the same premise. I wonder what the next great meme-label will be. Post-post-modernism is too long, unless we abbreviate it to PPM, but that sounds too much like a health care plan. My money is on a resurgence of Modernism, the New Modernism? There is a lot of talk that sounds like scientific-optimism Modernism.

        > The Roman Catholic church has had a resurgence of importance. But remember
        > that the majority of those in the pews of Roman Catholic churches, at least in the
        > West but increasingly elsewhere as well, have been formed in a pluralistic world,

        I do not believe, except for a certain span of years, that a pluralistic world is that unknown to the West. There was always Jews in the European West as well as the Moors and other muslim populations. And commerce with the East was present for a long time [although not to the level of the commoner].

        > That is, they have internalized one of the root qualities of the Reformation, which itself
        > was a major contributor to the development of modernism, although they may not be able
        > to articulate it, and may have done so unknowingly.

        I don’t know. I think this is a slight bend on history. Was the Reformation a driver towards Modernism or an effect of Enlightenment/Renaissance thinking. I lean more towards the later. It may also have been in part a movement driven by economic upheaval; a good device for the rising merchant class to use against the existing hegemonic powers.

        > To a degree the Roman Catholic church has internalized the Reformation, but to a greater
        > degree the average Roman Catholic has done so.

        I think this may give credit to the Reformation which may not be due. Automatically linking reform [which is a process that occurs in all and every organization with a long life span] to The Reformation…. I am not convinced. Vatican II and other reforms occurred far outside the time frame of The Reformation. Were they in the shadow of the Reformation? Probably, to some degree, but they were also in the shadow of the myriad ways the Reformation went off the rails.

        But I have a dim view of the Reformation [and its accomplishments/results], those which laud the Reformation certainly give it more credit.

        • I don’t think postmodernism is a thing, except as an 80s-90s architectural style, in some lit crit circles, etc.

          In art history, it’s “modern and contemporary.” Modern is post-industrial revolution by default, while contemporary is more or less “now and within the past 2 decades.” There are many different substyles of “modernism” in 19th and 20th c. art and design, and so on.

        • Well, there was the British Empire, with plenty of military and civilians in India, Africa, etc. (Just one example.)

          And Central and South America are, on the whole, very cosmopolitan and always have been. Look at Mexico – native and Spanish colonial cultures fused; Native peoples not wiped out (as her). The result: Mexico absorbed its “conquerors” in the end.

        • Adam,

          Concerning the uniqueness of pluralism in the modern situation: never have so many had so many choices to make, in both the significant and the insignificant, and never have they had so many decisions to make with so little external coercion from established religion, church or state.

          This is unparalleled.

          • For the affluent, maybe? There’s a trickle-down effect, but I also think these choices are mainly limited to the US, Canada and parts of Europe, and then only for some people.

            Maybe public libraries and public education were the true beginning of this? Neither have been around for long, and both are in danger here in the US, especially in rural and generally less affluent areas. My county library is in very serious trouble, but the system in the next county over is thriving, due to the general affluence of the area + it being home to a large state university.

            The differences are stark. A new HS opened here in Sept., and there was not one single book on the shelves when the school year started. I doubt there are more than a handful now. And I do mean *zero* books of any kind. It’s scary.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says:

            > My county library is in very serious trouble, but the system in the next
            > county over is thriving, due to the general affluence of the area + it
            > being home to a large state university.

            If you crunch numbers the story is very much about density [in your case the University probably helps drive that]. Density facilitates both prosperity and funding of services [1], which facilitates affluence, which helps fund services, and around it goes. Only in the United States we have spent decades trying to force the algorithm the run in other direction – it simply does not work. Now we are giving up on that, or being forced to abandon the illusion; but the process will be very painful for many places [which will slowly become zombie neighborhoods and service deserts].

            [1] provided very stupid rules meant to suppress density do not get in the way.

          • I guess I was speaking from a mostly “Western” framework, but that’s partly because most of the discussions we have here are implicitly from a “Western” perspective and about the trends in the “West”.

            As an example, the comments by David that started this thread concerning the diminishing importance of denominations and the ascending importance of Roman Catholicism and Easter Orthodoxy are said, imo, from within a Western context. If we were to talk about the major global trend of Christianity, we’d have to talk about the worldwide explosion of pentecostal/charismatic Christianity, whether Roman Catholic, Protestant or independent.

            That’s the story, and trend, of the new millennium when it comes to Christianity outside the Western framework. But we tend not to talk about that at iM, perhaps because we’re not comfortable with it and wish it would just go away?

          • I would say that Central and South America – and all of the countries where non-Germanic languages are spoken in Europe – are also “the West,” but culturally they are very different from us as well as one from another.

            Sorry to sound nitpicky; I mean, Canada is really different to here, and Meico, Peru, Brazil, etc. – it just goes on in ripples.

          • Adam – it’s partly about density, but also about industries and other businesses closing up shop and relocating to other countries; fewer and fewer people farming; young peoples’ ever-diminishing local career prospects.

            They built a Wal-Mart outside my home town, and in a few years’ time, the downtown business district became a shell of itself. there are still some stores and offices there, but it’s largely a ghost town.

            another sad factor in all this is addiction to heroin and crystal meth. Between one thing and another, rural poverty is on the rise. (fwiw, I’m definitely north of the Mason-Dixon Line.)

        • Adam,
          You are right about the importance of the Renaissance to the Reformation, and both of them fed into the Enlightenment and Modernism; my statements were overly simplistic.

          I still, however, say that the degree and extent of pluralism in the “West” is without parallel or precedent in human history, and that it has been internalized by all churches that operate in the context of the “West.”

          • Whether this pluralism, and the universe of personal choices it confers, can be sustained, or has already gone into decline, is of course another story; and there is also the question of whether it should be sustained.

      • David Cornwell says:

        Good points. It all makes sense.

    • Brianthedad says:

      Again, David Cornwell’s voice of reason and peace. My hope is for more posts by David in 2014.

  8. Mule’s post about the addition of filioque to the Nicene Creed stirred up a fair amount of bandwidth, comment-wise, also….

    I miss him.

    Have you considered that banning him from IM was rather like A&E banning Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty?

  9. I thought “Why I Am Not a Six-Day Creationist” was golden. And say what you want about Mule, he made us all think. And thanks to Jeff for the homilies. Happy New Year, IM!

  10. Thank you, Father Ernesto, for pointing out this site to me a few months back. It’s been interesting, to say the least. I’m not in the wilderness and don’t know if I’ll go there or not, but I have felt like it from time to time this year. For sure my son’s journey out of Evangelicalism and recent christening at a Byzantine Catholic Church has compelled me to think differently about other traditions.

    By the way, do you still raise up a glass on New Year’s Eve and say a toast to the tune of, “Next year in Havana!”? Just curious; I read in our local paper today that some of our compadres still do–five+ decades after leaving!

    And thanks to all of you who write and comment here. I haven’t changed my mind about anything but my horizons have been broadened and I have been much encouraged–and entertained, at times–for free–by what’s been written here (save for the negativity towards Evangelicals, Conservatives, and Calvinists in particular, who are often unfairly portrayed as though they are a monolith).

    Oh well, it’s a new year; right–all is forgiven!

    ¡Prospero Año Nuevo! ¡Vayan con Dios!

  11. Why do people want to talk in such ugly demeaning words about others? I understand why they think these things, that’s how they were taught or they have enormous anger that seeps out occasionally. In recent years civility has begun to disappear, and outrageous slurs become the norm. Was it the poet Ben Jonson who wrote about how we slowly embrace sin as it becomes easier to hear. There have been some posts here that have been such a blessing to me., thank you IM