by John Ellis
Over the course of 2022, I wrote 68 articles (not counting this one) – using almost 146,000 words. Looking back over those articles, I’m proud of many of them and only see a few I wish I hadn’t written or that need serious rewriting. Among the article I’m proud of are quite a few that failed to find an audience for some reason or other. So, as promised (or threatened, whichever your perspective), below are the ten articles I wrote this past year that I wish more people had read (plus one honorable mention that I wrote in 2021). Unlike my previous list, they’re in no particular order.
(You can read the articles by clicking on the title.)
“Kingdom Ethics: Equality of Outcome Versus Equality of Opportunities”
I’ve written several Kingdom/Christian ethics articles, and this is the least read one of the bunch (there’s one other one on this list). The title probably doesn’t help. In the new year, maybe I’ll hire an unpaid intern to come up with titles for my articles. I do believe that the topic of this article is important because meritocracy isn’t only a myth, it’s an idol for many Christians in America.
“The Scottish Clearances Speak Into the Reparations Debate”
Combining two of my favorite subjects to think and write about – history and social/racial justice – made this a fun article to research and write. Sadly, my enthusiasm for it wasn’t matched by readers.
“Absurdist Theatre and the Gospel: How Then Shall We Live? (Part 1)”
Over the last few years, I have written several articles that have a “part 1” in the title but no “part 2” to be found anywhere outside of my head. The articles I intend to be part of a series generally require far more work than my stand-alone articles. This one is no exception. Maybe I’m being a baby, but why bother to write part 2 if barely anyone wants to read it? My friends who are interested have my phone number and often call me to talk more about it anyway.
“Preachiness Doesn’t Damage Art; Bad ‘Artists’ Damage Art”
One of my pet peeves is people who assert that art isn’t supposed to be didactic. Read this article if you’re curious why I think that’s nonsense.
“Has J.R.R. Tolkien Been a Bad Influence on American Evangelicalism?”
I wrote this one while Amazon Prime’s new series Rings of Power was at its buzziest buzz. Taking that into account combined with I dared challenge one of Reformed evangelicalism’s favorite heroes, I thought for sure this one would garner far more views than it did.
“The Melancholy of Curtain Calls: Our Time As a Family of Four Is Almost Complete”
To be honest, I was a little disappointed by the response to this one. I don’t usually expect many readers, for a variety of reasons, but this article was one that I not only think is quite good (and touching) but would resonate with more people.
“Autonomy (Including Autonomous Reason) Is a Lie of Serpent-Satan”
Fair warning, this article is the densest most philosophy heavy of the articles on this list (maybe of all the articles I wrote this year – don’t hold me to that). This one, I get why people didn’t gravitate towards it. It did generate the most enjoyable and fruitful back and forth in the comment section any of my articles have ever had.
My word, I love this one! I think this article might be the best thing I wrote this year. If I may be allowed to indulge in a bit of fantasy, I imagine that if any of my writings survive and are discovered in the future, it will be one that is read and discussed in graduate schools (especially seminaries). It’s in the same vein/voice as my “Eschatological Despair” series and “Evangelicalism’s Race Up the Tower of Babel’s Stairs” (which may be the very best thing I’ve ever written).
“The Civil War Wasn’t Just Fought Over Slavery; It Was Fought Because the South Wanted to Expand Slavery”
For the life of me, I don’t get why this article is on this list. I mean, look at the title. If nothing else, I expected a host of hate clicks (and comments) from Lost Cause adherents.
“Christian Ethics: Universal Healthcare”
This is a topic I hope to explore and write more about in the future. Sadly, many followers of King Jesus don’t understand that economics is (should be) subservient to ethics and not the other way around. As I point out in footnote #1, Adam Smith believed that economics is part of moral philosophy (ethics) and not its own discipline. Something that many of his disciples are unaware of because they’ve only read one of his two books, a sad fact that has produced unfortunate consequences.
Honorable Mention (in honor of my friend Skyler): “An All-Star Basketball Team Made Up of World Leaders”
This is a bonus inclusion because after I published “The Ten Most Read Articles of 2022”, my friend Skyler responded on Twitter, “Disappointed the world leaders as basketball players didn’t make it. That’s your best work.” I don’t know if it’s my “best work” or not, but I do know that it was published in 2021 and so not technically qualified for this list. And since it got a hearty total of zero views in 2022, it definitely fell far short of making it on the top-ten most read list for 2022. In fact, this article is tied with three others for the least read article of all-time on this blog. Make of that what you will.