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Most-read analysis pieces addressed patriarchy, complementarianism, LGBTQ inclusion and Christian nationalism

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The most-read Baptist News Global analysis pieces in 2023 focused on patriarchy and complementarianism, LGBTQ inclusion, fundamentalism and Christian nationalism.

Personalities like Amy Grant, Greg Locke, John MacArthur, Rick Warren and Karen Swallow Prior were among the leading personalities featured in the Top 20 analysis articles for the year.

Women in ministry, denominational controversies, gender wars, Johnny Hunt’s controversial business dealings, MacArthur’s persistent defense of slavery and why the Barbie movie scared conservative evangelicals were other popular topics for BNG readers.

Rick Pidcock

Twelve of the most-read analysis pieces of the year were written by one author, BNG freelancer Rick Pidcock. That’s likely a new record for any category of BNG most-read lists for a single year.

Three of this year’s most-read analysis pieces are holdovers from 2022, and one was first published in 2021, each returning to the list because of continued strong readership.

This is not surprising, according to BNG Executive Director Mark Wingfield, because many of BNG’s most-read articles have long shelf lives. “Every day of the year, readers are accessing several hundred articles from our archives, thanks to the power of internet searches and the timeliness of our topics,” he explained.

Also, this year’s list of most popular analysis pieces includes 20 entries rather than the traditional 10 or 15 because as a category, analysis pieces are among the most-read of all BNG content.

Here are BNG’s Top 20 most-read analysis articles from 2023:

On Steven Crowder, abuse and the evangelical definition of ‘respect’,” by Sheila Wray Gregoire, May 3, 2023 — Conservative evangelicals took no issue with a Christian husband’s abusive behavior toward his wife because they interpreted her actions as disrespectful, the author warns.
What I witnessed this week at the Asbury revival,” by Laura Levens, Feb. 16, 2023 — Students had to shift to being both revival participants and revival hosts as outsiders began arriving and altering the mood of the gathering, according to this first-person observation of the Asbury, Ky., revival.
I asked people why they’re leaving Christianity, and here’s what I heard,” By Brandon Flanery, Dec. 13, 2022 — Most who have left Christianity cite LGBTQ discrimination as the main reason, followed by the behavior of believers, intellectual integrity, exposure to difference and faith leadership, according to research conducted by the author that first was published by BNG and now has been expanded into a book.
Now, Pastor Greg Locke is a demon slayer,” by Rick Pidcock, March 14, 2023 — How a Tennessee pastor transformed his notoriety as a pandemic denier into a self-proclaimed healer of the possessed.
Amy Grant will host a same-sex wedding, Franklin Graham objects, and where does that leave Michael W. Smith?” by Rick Pidcock, Dec. 20, 2022 — The author wrote of the peculiar relationship between Grant and Smith, who see LGBTQ inclusion differently and how Graham’s embrace of Christian Zionism and nationalism fits in to the story.
How the church of the Nashville shooting winds through history, gender wars, church discipline and the SBC sexual abuse study,” by Mark Wingfield, March 29, 2023 — The author contends denominational propensities concealed sexual abuse in the SBC and explains how a Nashville church and its private school’s strict gender and sexuality theology may have played a role in the shooting.
In this war, there are no ‘good guys’,” by Mark Wingfield Oct. 9, 2023 — It’s one thing to recognize Israel as the target of the Hamas attack, it’s another to portray it as a victim amid continuing operations in the Gaza strip, the author says.
How to connect the dots while watching Shiny Happy People,” by Rick Pidcock, June 7, 2023 — The complex edifice of fundamentalist theology and teaching must be confronted in whatever forms they take, Pidcock says after watching the popular documentary.
We don’t need more ‘context’ to understand Josh Butler’s article on sex and the church,” by Rick Pidcock, March 6 2023 — Given the profitability of the evangelical publishing industry, many readers are concerned that conservative Christian leaders endorsed Butler’s book without reading it. The author targets endorsers who tried to offer “context” to Butler’s controversial book.
‘Pastor Johnny’ is the head of a family empire that feeds off the SBC,” by Maina Mwaura, Jon Bullock and Mark Wingfield, May 22, 2023 — This article details how Johnny Hunt and his family make money off the SBC: Numerous members of Hunt’s family are involved in his business, NAMB is a frequent client, and he and his wife own three homes, including two valued at more than $1 million apiece.
Pastor Greg Locke is all over the internet spreading conspiracies; here’s why you shouldn’t believe him,” by Rick Pidcock, Aug. 2, 2021 — Locke fears losing the power he has gained from being a white conservative complementarian in charge of a church devoid of deacons and elders, the author says.
Preston Sprinkle’s strange interview with Sheila Gregoire and Rebecca Lindenbach,” by Rick Pidcock, April 13, 2023 — The self-described sexuality expert demonstrated a remarkable lack of knowledge on the subject of sexuality and claimed that purity culture is a thing of the past, Pidcock says.
The New Apostolic Reformation drove the January 6 riots, so why was it overlooked by the House Select Committee?” by Rick Pidcock, Jan. 10, 2023 — The committee documented Trump’s involvement in the insurrection but mentioned Christian nationalism only once.
Why the patriarchy is hyperventilating over Barbie,” by Rick Pidcock, July 28, 2023 — Influential conservatives were deeply threatened by the film’s exposure of the absurdity of patriarchy and the meaning of human experience.
Old wounds and power hierarchies are in fashion at Bob Jones University,” by Rick Pidcock, April 3, 2023 — Power play results in resignation of the BJU president in a campaign to turn back the clock at the ultra-conservative school.
What has John MacArthur actually said about race, slavery and the Curse of Ham?” by Rick Pidcock, June 20, 2022 — MacArthur says slavery is a legitimate institution when used properly and in fact is the “perfect scenario” with the appropriate master.
Why I have empathy for Karen Swallow Prior,” by Rick Pidcock, July 5, 2023 — Compassion and grace are found in the kindness shown in the midst of human suffering, the author says.
Crash-course in Bible history: How the Bible came to be,” by Mallory Challis, Feb. 14, 2023 — It’s important to ask how the various writings in the Bible were written down and collected, Challis writes.
Charles Stanley shaped Christian broadcasting and the Southern Baptist Convention,” by Mark Wingfield — Stanley’s In Touch program penetrated every major market in the U.S. and reached more than 1 million households by the 1980s. setting the stage for the Atlanta pastor’s influence at home and abroad.
Questions to ask while pondering if Asbury is hosting a ‘true revival’,” by Rick Pidcock, Feb. 20, 2023 — Experts from across the theological spectrum have concluded that only time will tell what the lasting effect of the revival will be.

Previously published: Rick Warren’s letter to the SBC was BNG’s most-read opinion piece in 2023

Coming Friday: BNG’s most-read news pieces of 2023


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