The Best of 2018
18 Articles (and More) to Remember
Creating Bible-shaped, Christian-Hedonistic content, with ever-increasing quality, is not easy work. But we love this labor at Desiring God. We do it happily. And we love doing it as a team.
In 2018, for the seventh consecutive year, the team at Desiring God collaborated on, envisioned, executed, and published a thousand new resources, alongside re-sharing and resurfacing many of our best resources from previous years. We’re excited to share with you eighteen articles to remember from 2018, but first a few highlights from our other four main resource types.
The capstone of our 2018 was John Piper’s book Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship. For those of us who labor closely with John, we continue to be amazed how sharp, energetic, and insightful he is here into his early seventies. With decades of accumulated Bible meditation and pastoral experience, he writes for fellow preachers (and in some sense, all Christian teachers) with rare insight in this new title, likely one of his best. His other 2018 books included 21 Servants of Sovereign Joy and Astonished by God, and John also went away for the summer and wrote the better part of a major new volume on God’s providence, to finish in 2019, and publish in 2020.
Look at the Book
Perhaps our biggest stride forward in 2018 was Look at the Book, and along with it, YouTube. We made a few small tweaks on the human side, but Look at the Book took off this year (monthly engagement doubled) in a way we cannot account for without God. Part of that was a fresh focus on, and attention to, our YouTube channel, where our subscribers grew by more than fifty percent (click here to subscribe). In particular, two short series of labs deserve mention: Battling Unbelief and Six Steps to Defeating Sexual Sin.
New Piper Messages
Of course, John Piper continues to preach, and perhaps as well as ever. He delivered more than twenty new messages this year, including “What Is It Like to Enjoy God?” at Passion, “How to Seek the Holy Spirit” at the Bethlehem Conference, and “New God, New Gospel, New Gladness.” In June alone, he gave two new conference messages in London — on Elijah and the prophets of Baal and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane — and spoke at the TGC Women’s conference on “An Impossible Covenant.” Highlights from this fall included the Sing! Conference in Nashville (“Your Emotions Matter to God”), Newspring Church near Clemson, South Carolina (“Are We Adopted for Us or for God?”), and one of my personal favorites — John’s word at the recent dedication of Bethlehem’s South Campus building (“You Are Anointed”).
Ask Pastor John and Other Podcasts
We also continued podcasting. Not just Piper’s new messages but also the Ask Pastor John podcast, which hit the 100-million-listen milestone in July. More than 30 million listens poured in this year alone. Three of the leading episodes addressed the popular worship song “Reckless Love,” why “falling out of love” never justifies divorce, and perhaps tops among them, God’s sovereign plans behind our most unproductive days.
Our Top 18 Articles
Finally, to our top eighteen articles of 2018. The team published more than 500 new articles this year, more than half of those written by our founders (John Piper and Jon Bloom) and our staff writers. In June, we added Bethlehem College & Seminary grad Scott Hubbard as an editor, who also is a gifted writer. Marshall Segal and Greg Morse continue to write almost weekly, and we took a major step forward (maybe multiple steps) this year on acquiring guest authors, led by Bloom. The vast majority of our guest contributions now are strategically commissioned. Looking back on 2018, here are the eighteen that rose to the top.