Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Top 10 Posts of 2021

If 2020 was the strangest year in most of our lives to date, 2021 was more of the same: strange got stranger. Anyone who thinks he knows what’s coming in 2022 is probably wrong. Here at Coming Untrue, we are grateful to continue to experience the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in our feeble attempts to serve a Master whose yoke is easy and whose burdens are light.

All the rest is detail — as we have had occasion to remind one another all year long — though that “detail” certainly makes a lot of din and clatter around us.

Working my way through a book of the Bible in order was never my strong suit as a young man. I was much more likely to get caught up in a timely topical study than to plug away through an Old Testament book in which few modern Christians are ever going to invest much time. That has changed in the last few years as the importance of sequential exposition has been impressed on me, so I’m happy to see a couple of our Saturday Bible study posts show up on the annual Top Ten. The Minor Prophets are not everybody’s cup of tea, but I have benefited greatly from studying them in increasing depth, and I hope my enthusiasm is just a little bit infectious.

For those who prefer topical studies, there was plenty of that in 2021 as well. Immanuel Can and I have not gotten together for quite as many Too Hot to Handle posts as in previous years, but we still managed to produce the second-most read post of the year on its very first day. And our Anonymous Asks series continues to draw interest, placing three posts in the Top Ten.

Finally, now that we have discovered any reference to COVID is good for quadruple our usual pageviews, expect some title changes to our regular series. Monday is now Anonymous Masks, Saturday will be reserved for Vaccinating the Minors and Fridays will debut Too Politically Dangerous to Acknowledge.

Well, no, we won’t be doing any of that. But we are a mixed bag around here, and current events naturally draw eyeballs. Our most-read post of 2021 was actually written in mid-November. That’s fairly unusual for this website. Larger numbers of pageviews often take months to generate as posts get shared on social media. But the impact of COVID-19 — and especially society’s response to it — is of massive interest to all us, so I guess we shouldn’t be terribly surprised.

Without further ado, here are our ten most-read new posts of 2021:

10. Anonymous Asks (134) (March 1)

Well, how did men and women come to Christ in the first century? Did they require a Bible with zero scribal errors in order to be saved, or was belief in the testimony they had received adequate? The question answers itself, or at least it should.

By Tom

9. Anonymous Asks (137) (March 22)

God put eternity in the heart of mankind. The worst of men and the best of men thirst for transcendence. Many religions have stories about symbolically-important trees, but the tree of life might be the most famous of all because of its association with immortality. So does the tree of life still exist? Did it ever?

By Tom

8. Mining the Minors: Jonah (17) (January 16)

If the book of Jonah were simply a historical account, by all rights it should finish at the end of chapter 3: Nineveh repents, God relents, end of problem for the next 100 years or thereabouts. Except it doesn’t end, and we should be glad it doesn’t, because chapter 4 is the real point of Jonah’s famous story.

By Tom

7. Mining the Minors: Amos (1) (February 6)

The first instalment of forty in the Amos series. Some of the greatest men in Israel’s history were called from tending the flock: Jacob, Moses, David and Amos. Wait, who was Amos exactly? Well, as he says himself, basically nobody. Nobody ... but the Lord took me. May we all be taken like that.

By Tom

6. Civilly Disobedient (April 20)

In “The Breaking Point”, I laid out the biblical case for the occasional exception to the Romans 13 principle of submission to authority. If you weren’t convinced by the examples I gave, then multiplying cases probably won’t help. It’s a short list, but some principles are more important than submission to earthly authorities gone rogue. Preaching the gospel is one. I will make the case that gathering in the name of the Lord belongs there too.

By Tom

5. Anonymous Asks (129) (January 25)

What’s the difference between encouragement and flattery? For one, flattery costs nothing, but encouraging our fellow believers is often quite expensive. It may involve giving until it hurts. There are other differences worth observing in our study of the Greek word parakl─ôsis.

By Tom

4. Saying Goodbye to 2020 (and my Career as a Prophet) (January 3)

Celebrating the weirdest year in recent memory with a little dark humor, this is a follow-up to my prediction post from New Year’s Day 2020. My retirement from my brief prophetic gig was not due to lack of ability to read the political tea leaves, but due to the fact that, like almost everybody else, I never saw COVID coming. Not in a million years.

Any real prophet would have nailed the biggest story of the year. I hang my head in shame.

By Tom

3. When Analogies Fail (March 31)

If I write blog posts today from my Dell PC, tomorrow from a tablet and Friday from my brother’s Mac, nobody will be able to tell the difference despite the fact that the process is a very different one for me. Whether I use Word, Open Office or even the Kingsoft notepad on my phone, the content and look of what I produce will be identical.

The writers of the Bible are not like this at all. Sometimes modern analogies just don’t get the job done.

By Tom

2. Too Hot to Handle: Biden Our Time (January 1)

“The election of Joe Biden as a public repudiation of the doctrine of original sin.” There’s a thesis for you! The death throes of democracy in the U.S. have been playing out for decades, but this is maybe the first time the wholesale corruption of the political process has become so obvious to so many honest people, regardless of party affiliation. What does that mean for the nation and the church? We discuss.

By Tom and Immanuel Can

1. Post-COVID Christianity (November 18)

IC’s post was a thoughtful, sensible and not-the-least-bit-tongue-in-cheek inquiry into whether the church has actually learned anything from all this, or whether we will quickly revert to our pre-2020 way of doing things the moment circumstances allow. Here’s hoping we won’t.

By Immanuel Can


  1. Keep pressing on brothers. Your posts and articles are always encouraging and insightful. Only wish I had time to read them all...Philippians 3:12-14

    1. Thanks Dave. Always good to hear from you.