So far in our 2019 recap, we published a list of your favorite articles. Now, I’ll share a few of my favorites with you .
We published more than 200 articles, videos, interviews and reviews in 2019 — 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 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 2019 (in no particular order).
1. Set the Little Ones Free
Jonathan Darville wonderfully presents a persuasive pro-life apologetic, and his article spawned three follow-up articles which were equally helpful. I actually shared this article with some of my pro-choice friends. All in all, this article is perhaps my favorite we published in 2019.
What does it mean to be human? Are we accidents, illusions, or masterpieces? This is the identity question many of us have asked at some point in life. And how we answer this one question, consciously or unconsciously, will determine how we value and treat one another.
2. Abuse is Not New: #MeToo Confessions of a Middle-Aged Baptist Woman
To be honest, I can’t call this article from Dr. Adrianne Miles one of my favorites. There’s nothing enjoyable about it at all — as the piece is painful and uncomfortable to read. But her words are vitally important for us all to read, and it’s one of the most powerful articles we published this year. Here’s an excerpt:
Today, however, light is exposing the things done in darkness, and even this quiet middle-aged Baptist woman is finding the courage to tell my brothers that sexual abuse and misconduct have always lingered in the shadows. I am also finding the courage to tell my sisters that the time of secret-keeping is over.
3. Marie Kondō Can’t Spark True Joy
Everything I love about Doug Ponder’s writing is bundled up in this one article. It’s brief, witty, persuasive. And, best of all, he makes me interested in a topic I could care less about. Well done, Doug. Here’s a preview of this piece:
We must learn to receive God’s gifts (not reject them, as minimalism would have us do), without rejoicing in the gifts above the Giver (as materialism would have us do).
4. Should the Church Be Welcoming to Homosexuality?
Jeremy Bell navigates this question with both pastoral sensitivity with biblical convictions, and he models for us how to speak truth in love.
The church should be “welcoming” to all in the salvific sense, but not “welcoming” in the positional sense. The church needs to reserve membership and ordination to those who have been saved through faith and pursue a life of obedience to Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit.
5. Sleeping as an Act of Faith
Cody Cunningham is a delightful writer, and this article is a needed reminder that rest is a good thing. He deftly puts into words what all of us deep down know about sleep:
You see, sleep is not merely a physical necessity. It is a theological declaration, and God has designed it to be that way. It is often when we are not depending upon God that sleep becomes scarce.
6. Misery, Poverty & Violence: A Portrait of Socialist Cuba
Tami Gomez’s depiction of her family’s escape from socialist Cuba is harrowing and eye-opening. It’s also a vitally important perspective to read since so many people are tempted towards socialism.
Socialism promised equality and harmony, but it delivered hopeless misery and poverty. Capitalism in America allowed them to work to improve their place in society, for themselves, for their children and for me. Freedom was worth the struggle. It still is.
7. 8 Principles That Help Me Live Out My Faith at Work
This piece from Matt Williams personally convicted me, and I was challenged by his honest, biblical convictions about living out one’s faith at work. We’ve often written about faith and work here at Intersect, but I’m not sure we’ve ever done it better than this piece.
Today, however, light is exposing the things done in darkness, and even I stopped praying for a “good” day after my second week of management. While I would greatly prefer a day without problems, this goal is not realistic, nor is it biblical. Instead, I pray for increased faith in Christ, to trust Him for what He has for each day.
8. Turning It Off: Embracing God in the Quiet
Annie Lavi is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. She penned several articles for us in 2019, but this one is my favorite. She reflects on her own journey to eliminate noise and hurry from her life, and she draws a couple of lessons for us.
I am learning that while rest is good and one of the key things I was created for, disengaging from the world around me is not.
9. What Working in a Hotel Taught Me About God
Anteneshia Sanders is a delight. And this piece took me into a world that I never knew much about. Much like Matt Williams’ piece, Anteneshia does a splendid job of helping us integrate faith and work in a field when doing so might not be so readily apparent.
While our human acts of kindness are just a shadow, they echo the divine. Yours may not be a career of crisp linens and tiny lotions, but God calls us all to hospitality.
10. (tie) ‘SimCity’ and the Culture-Making Power of Stories
Aaron Earls is a gifted writer and editor in his own right, and I’m so thankful he took time out of his busy schedule to write a piece that ties together Sim City, C.S. Lewis, Karen Swallow Prior, and Jesus. No kidding.
The fictional worlds in which we immerse ourselves shape the way we view the world in which we live. This is true for video games like SimCity, along with movies, television shows and books.
10. (tie) The Side Effects of Role-Playing Games
Okay, so I couldn’t pick just 10. Much like Aaron Earls, Jaclyn Parrish is a gifted communicator in the Southern Baptist world. And she, too, was gracious enough to write a guest article about a surprising piece of pop culture — Dungeons and Dragons. To be honest, I had little interest in understanding this cultural phenomena, but the best compliment I can pay this article is that her writing made me care.
Like a dance floor, an empty canvas, a deserted stage or Eden before the Fall, games are a place where we can make beautiful things simply for the sheer joy of making them.
Narrowing down to these 10 articles was painfully difficult. I’m so thankful for each and every one of the 66 writers who put pen to paper for Intersect this year. They make Intersect happen, and they are all a blessing to me — and to our readers.
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