Welcome to one of our favorite annual traditions: counting down our most popular posts from the past year!

30. Our 2021 list begins with Daniel Williams, who placed four posts on this list in his first full year of blogging. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
29. In another post about the mainline, Dan Williams suggested that many white liberal Protestants underwent a kind of secularizing “conversion experience” during the civil rights movement. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
28. In the first of his two posts on our 2021 list, Philip Jenkins urged us to take seriously the possibility that “we really are seeing a precipitous decline in religion as such… however broadly we define it.” patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… @BaylorISR #YearInReview
27. Philip Jenkins explained why the career of writer Alice Walker “offers an interesting case study” for #CancelCulture. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… @BaylorISR #YearInReview
26. @davidrswartz’s most read post of 2021 warned that too many moderate evangelical institutions “marshal a usable history to convince themselves that their tradition is not rotten at the core.” patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
25. Three guest-bloggers show up on our Top 30 list for 2021, starting with @timgloege, who offered an autobiographical response to the death of Rush Limbaugh. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
24. This fall @JohnGTurner2020 concluded his decade-long run at The Anxious Bench. His most popular post in 2021 gave context for debates about #CRT within a leading evangelical organization. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
23. The first of four posts on this list from our blogmeister, @cgehrz: his response to the #January6th insurrection. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
22. One recurring theme on this year’s list was race and religion, as in the case of Dan Williams’ analogy between divisions among 19th c. Restorationists and 21st c. Reformed evangelicals. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
21. Speaking of Reformed evangelicalism… a leading figure in that movement tried to find beneficent motives for Jonathan Edwards’ slaveholding. But @cgehrz warned that “wishful thinking is not historical thinking. And the former can obstruct the latter.” patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb…
20. Back in March @cgehrz suggested that anyone trying to explain very recent American religious history would want to tell the story of @BethMooreLPM (whose departure from the Southern Baptist Convention had just made news). patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
19. @BaylorHistory professor @AndreaLTurpin makes the first of her two appearances on our 2021 countdown with a post asking questions of Christians on both sides of the complementarian-egalitarian debate. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
18. None of our contributors had more readers in 2021 than another @BaylorHistory prof: @bethallisonbarr, who is responsible for nearly half of our top 20. First up, some of her reasons to be hopeful about the future of evangelicalism. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
17. Guest blogger @sheilagregoire surveyed the history — and lingering influence — of evangelical sex manuals. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
16. Our most popular guest post in 2021 came from Janel Kragt Bakker, who explained what a Republican senator had to do with a Calvinist theologian. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
Altogether we hosted over 30 guests in 2021, including @AnikaFreeindeed, @atarango1, @hhampton44, @joeycochran, and @katielallison. If you’re interested in writing for us in 2022, get in touch with @cgehrz or another of our contributors.
On to the second half of our #YearInReview countdown!

15. In April @bethallisonbarr asked if "part of evangelical discomfort with women preaching and teaching in church is simply our unfamiliarity." patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb…
14. Speaking of bestselling authors... the first of
@kkdumez's four posts on our Top 30 list for 2021 shared "a few thoughts on how power operates in evangelical circles." patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
13. In his most read post of 2021, Daniel K. Williams asked why white evangelicals "are less likely than any other religious or demographic group in the United States today to believe that Blacks experience structural racial discrimination." patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
12. All three parts of @bethallisonbarr's response to one review of #MakingBiblicalWomanhood made this list of our most read posts in 2021, starting with this reflection on the value of a helpful review. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
11. In his most popular post of 2021, @cgehrz looked at a period in the history of @BethelU when its faculty included the future leaders of leading complementarian *and* egalitarian organizations. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
10. @bethallisonbarr turned to the Middle Ages to help demonstrate how one complementarian critic was looking at her argument in #MakingBiblicalWomanhood through "a hierarchal lens of (mostly white male) ecclesiastical authority..." patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
Our next most popular posts in 2021 belong together:

9. @bethallisonbarr on the cost of (not) writing about biblical womanhood. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb…

8. @kkdumez on the cost of staying silent about militant masculinity in evangelicalism. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
7. "Instead of embracing their brothers and sisters in Christ despite theological disagreements," lamented @bethallisonbarr last month, some complementarians "have labeled us as wolves and accused us of destroying the faith." patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
6. This summer @bethallisonbarr talked to @scotmcknight about the process of translating the Bible — and what it's taught him about Christian faith. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
5. Why was this year's meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention so important? @kkdumez used this website to compile some "illuminating glimpses into defining moments" at the hotly contested #SBC21. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
4. @bethallisonbarr drew on the work of Christian scholars from Katharine Bushnell to @lucepeppiatt to explain why "historical context helps make sense of Paul’s words toward women in 1 Corinthians." patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview2021
3. It wouldn't be a #YearInReview2021 list if #woke didn't show up once... in this case, in @AndreaLTurpin's review of a book by a conservative Baptist theologian whose critique of "wokeness" consciously echoed a fundamentalist critique of liberalism. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb…
2. In her most popular post of 2021, @bethallisonbarr asked if it's "possible that complementarianism... simply reflects 'honest biblical interpretation'" — or if one popular Bible translation reflects a complementarian agenda. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
1. As in 2019, our most read post in 2021 came from @kkdumez, who described a growing exodus from evangelicalism — sometimes evangelicals who #LeaveLOUD; more often, those who depart quietly. patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… #YearInReview
Thanks for joining us tonight for our #YearInReview countdown!

Stop by patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb… tomorrow to read some final reflections on 2021, plus we'll have a New Year's Eve post on Friday from Nadya Williams. Then we'll see you in 2022!

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More from @anxious_bench

29 Dec 21
Tomorrow night (7pm-ish Central) we’ll start counting down our most popular posts of 2021.

To whet your appetite, here are three terrific posts that fell just short of making the cut…
…back in February, @davidrswartz dug into Mennonite (and family) history to illustrate what @ChimamandaReal calls “the danger of a single story.” patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb…
…this spring @kkdumez paid tribute to her @Calvin_Uni colleague, Bert de Vries, whose “professional work was linked to his passion for justice and humanitarian concern.” patheos.com/blogs/anxiousb…
Read 4 tweets

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