Our Top 25 Posts of 2012

Our Top 25 Posts of 2012

Some posts meet our readers in especially powerful or timely ways. We strive to provide God-glorifying, heart-stirring, church-building content every day, but we realize that some prove more memorable than others. With that in mind, here are the 25 most accessed posts from the Desiring God blog in 2012 to remind you of some of our highlights from the last year.

Many were touched by the story of Ian and Larissa. Others happily wandered into Chesterton’s elfland or Tolkien’s shire. Our posts for mothers and about parenting have been as popular as any. Some turned here before the election in deciding whether to vote or not, and how they should pray. More recently, thousands were comforted and strengthened by John Piper’s careful and comforting words in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown.

We hope the posts that have resonated with so many over the last 12 months will bless, encourage, and equip you at the outset of 2013. Thanks to all those who have tuned in and helped spread the message. Pray with us that 2013 might be our most faithful and fruitful year of God-exalting content yet.

1. “Why We Got Married

Ian and Larissa deeply moved so many of us and taught us about love, marriage, disability, and God. More people viewed their story than any other content on our blog in 2012. Their obstacles are bigger than many of us will ever face. Fortunately, so is the God who keeps them and their covenant. You can also read Piper’s letter about these two, Larissa’s reflections on finding contentment in suffering, and her description of their everyday lives together — all also very popular resources on our site.

2. “Sexual Sin in the Ministry

This topic struck a massive nerve and met a need. The post speaks to those who have wrestled or failed sexually while engaged in the ministry. The problem is pervasive. The insights, lessons, and counsel shared here may rescue your present or future marriage and ministry.

3. “Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games

Russell Moore discusses the dangers of seeking the compulsive and addicting sensations of being a lover or fighter. His is a call for men to make love and war for real and in line with the gospel.

4. “The Mega Millions Lottery Is a Suicidal Craze

On the evening that three people won more than $200,000,000 from the Mega Millions Lottery, Piper warns about the foolish and corrupt nature of gambling.

5. “How Does Jesus Come to Newtown?

Just hours after the horrifying and wicked tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Piper points us to the suffering and sympathetic Son of God. A day later, he wrote another post, highlighting what we learn about God and ourselves in the face of such a sinful atrocity. What happened in Newtown is a picture depicting the depravity and need of every soul.

6. “The Sovereign God of ‘Elfland’ (Why Chesterton’s Anti-Calvinism Doesn’t Put Me Off)

Piper talks about one of his favorite books, Orthodoxy, and why Chesterton’s hatred of Calvinism doesn’t keep him from enjoying his book — because Piper’s Calvinism thrives in the world Chesterton sees and writes about.

7. “Don’t Give Up

Text after text provide precious promises to strengthen us for the moments of despair, temptation, doubt, and fear.

8. “The Everyday Question of Motherhood

A mother asks herself and others if they are willing to joyfully sacrifice themselves in obedience to Christ and for the sake of their children.

9. “All Spheres of Life – Even Pro Basketball

When Jeremy Lin erupted with a surprising tear of points and assists, sending New York into “LinSanity,” we posted portions of his testimony — perhaps an unusual one from a professional athlete. For more, see The Year in Sports at Desiring God.

10. “The Subtle Art of Sabotaging a Pastor

Jared Wilson writes about the multitude of ways a congregation can undermine the work of a shepherd in the local church.

11. “Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?

Piper wrestles with the line in the Apostles Creed that says Christ “descended into hell.”

12. “An Update from John Piper

This year marked a significant point in Piper’s life and ministry as his transition advanced and Bethlehem called her next senior pastor, Jason Meyer. Which raised the question about Piper’s next season. He begins to answer that in a series of posts. See also “Update on John Piper’s Transition” and “My Future at Desiring God.”

13. “Fierce Tornadoes and the Fingers of God

Ninety tornadoes in 12 states. Buildings leveled. Towns torn apart. 38 people killed. Was God absent or unaware? Piper pastors the confused and grieving in the midst of massive destruction across the Midwest.

14. “Letter to a 12-Year-Old Girl About the Eternal Destiny of Those Who Have Not Heard the Gospel

Some of Piper’s most helpful resources have been written for children and teens. Here he helps clarify a difficult doctrine theologically and practically for a young girl (and the rest of us).

15. “How to Watch ‘The Hobbit’

Just hours before the opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, David Mathis prepares you to enjoy the film and experience the power of the gospel through Tolkien’s good story.

16. “Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Gospel

After a 17-year-old black boy was shot and killed by a volunteer neighborhood watchman, racial tensions rose across the nation. Piper looks to Scripture to learn how faith-filled love would respond to the tragedy and controversy.

17. “Know a Christian Who Seems to Love Movies More Than Jesus?

If that describes someone you know and love, Piper encourages you to first model a supreme joy in Jesus and then ask that person about its absence in them. We should love God’s gifts, but not more than the greatest gift, his Son.

18. “I Am Going to Vote

Many Christians were feeling caught between a rock and a hard place this November, struggling mightily to support either presidential candidate. Piper explains why he would vote and encouraged other believers to do likewise.

19. “Are You Mom Enough? (Mommy Wars)

A mother of three writes about “the mommy wars” — the constant competition among women in the arena of motherhood. Instead of asking if a woman is “mom enough,” she believes they should be asking if God is “God enough” to give them everything they need to parent well.

20. “The Mocking of Muhammad and Condemning of Christ

An American film about the prophet Muhammad sparked protest throughout the Middle East. This post uncovers a deep difference between Jesus and Muhammad revealed in the response of their followers to mockery.

21. “Letter to a 13-Year Old Asking How to Go Deeper in Bible Study

Read along as Piper counsels a young girl regarding the attitude and discipline with which she should approach God’s word. It may be a valuable resource for you at the beginning of another year, and, perhaps, at the beginning of another reading plan.

22. “What Every Husband Should Know About Stay-at-Home Moms

Another mother comes alongside husbands to help them love their stay-at-home wives. It begins with understanding the chaos they fight everyday and seeking to identify and empathize with their burden.

23. “Top 12 Books of 2012

Tony Reinke offered his annual choices for the best books published in the last year.

24. “Same-Sex Attraction and the Inevitably of Change

Piper offers hope for real, lasting change to those struggling with sexual sin, in particular same-sex attraction. For many, it will be a lifelong journey of Spirit-filled growth and transformation.

25. “Not Your Mother’s Kind of Tolerance

Reflecting on Don Carson’s book on tolerance, Jonathan Parnell writes, “Views that advocate same-sex marriage are free to exist, but they are wrong.” The post discusses the intersection of tolerance and truth in the midst of the Chick-fil-A controversy.

Marshall Segal (@MarshallSegal) is executive assistant to John Piper, a graduate of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, and regularly writes on the topics of singleness and dating.