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December 20, 2012Culture

Top Blog Posts of 2012 - Dealing with Facts

This year, instead of just listing the top blog posts, I decided to break them down by common themes. The first theme was in the impact of posts that were more personal in nature. A second theme that people often respond to blog posts that deal with facts-- particularly correction erroneous ones. There were two major posts that dealt with facts, and they had far-reaching impact.

The first one was an interview with Rick Warren in which he responded to some watchbloggers who were accusing him of heresy when he addressed the issue of Muslims and the exclusivity of the Gospel of Christ. It became the 2nd most-read post of the year. Rick said:

Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don't. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9 "For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Second, while we urge our members to build friendships with everyone in our community, including Muslims and other faiths, ("Love your neighbor as yourself"), our church has never had any partnership with a mosque. Friendship and partnership are two very different levels of commitment.

The other popular post (number 13 on the list) that dealt with facts was about a topic that I have written about before and take very seriously-- stats abuse. The specific issue I was addressing had to do with the oft-cited statistic stating that Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world. The problem with this statistic being presented so much is that it isn't exactly correct. In discussing why this matters, I said:

One reason this is so important in this area is that when we say things like "the divorce rate for Christian couples and non-Christian couples is the same," we give the impression that Christ makes no difference in our lives and in our marriages. That is offensive to the work of the Spirit in us and simply not true. We must not give Satan a foothold in our marriage, and bad stats can do just that.

So, do couples who say they are "Christians" divorce often? Sure. Almost 8 of 10 Americans say they are Christians and they, well, look like the other 2 out of 10 who don't claim to be Christians. But, when a pastor says, "Christians and non-Christians divorce at the same rate," that is not what they people hear. If you are a pastor, they think that you should know what a Christian is, and that you must be saying that Christians (people who follow Christ) divorce at the same rate as the rest-- and that's not true.

There was such a response to this post that I followed up with a post on how not to be one who abuses stats.

I often say that facts are our friends, and these two posts definitely showed that we can benefit from understanding all the facts and not just relying on assumptions.

Next, I will look at one theme that was present over several posts because it was part of a series, one that got some attention because it seemed to resonate with so many: Unhealthy Christian Organizations.

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Top Blog Posts of 2012 - Dealing with Facts