Notes on 10 Years of Blogging

I started blogging ten years ago this summer. Some of you may have been readers back then. My blog was originally called “The Search,” after a Walker Percy quote and the idea of going deeper than Google searching and searching not for searching's sake, but for the sake of inching toward truth. 

The blogging volume ebbed and flowed over the years, and in 2015 I transitioned “The Search” to the admittedly less interesting 

As utilitarian and burdensome as they sometimes feel, blogs become part of the blogger. For good and for ill, they are places to vent and process aloud, to praise and critique, to know and be known. My blog allowed me to develop ideas that eventually became books, to engage and celebrate the many things that captivate me (whether it be eschatologyFriday Night Lightscoffee or Christian hipsters), and to make lots and lots of lists

It's perhaps fitting, then, that I mark the blog's 10-year-anniversary with 10 more lists, diving into the archives of a decade of writing. Certainly I'm not proud of everything I've written over the last ten years, but the following are some of the better things and, if nothing else, a window into my writerly development and preoccupations over the years. 


7 Posts Inspired by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis has been a major influence on my life, which has been clear if you've read my blog over the years. Here are some the posts where his influence on my thinking is especially evident:

  1. On Zadie Smith, C.S. Lewis and Joy (2013)
  2. Thinking of Another Place (2009)
  3. Mere Christians (2011)
  4. Till We Have Faces (2010)
  5. Better Than Our Best Days (2017)
  6. Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down (2009)
  7. What Does Mere Christianity Look Like? (2009)


10 Posts About Movies

I've written countless posts about movies over the years, both reviewing specific films and providing commentary on trends and meta questions. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Memorial Play (2012)
  2. Catching Up With Time in the "Before" and "Up" Films (2013)
  3. Should Cinema Be Slow and Boring? (2011)
  4. No Country for Old Men (2007)
  5. On the Poor Quality of Christian-Made Movies: A Proposition (2015)
  6. Why Do We Watch Movies? (2010)
  7. A Serious Man (2009)
  8. Ghosts in the Machines (2017)
  9. The Hateful Eight and Jesus Christ (2016)
  10. "Christian Film": Still Abysmal After all These Years (2008)


10 Posts About Terrence Malick

I have written a LOT on Malick over the last decade, including dozens of posts on my blog. I declared May 2011 "Terrence Malick Month" on my blog (in honor of the release of The Tree of Life) and wrote exclusively about Malick (8 posts) that month. Overboard? Maybe. But hopefully some of it was helpful! Some favorite Malick-themed posts:

  1. The Divine Guide in Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" (2012)
  2. How to Watch a Malick Film (2011)
  3. 39 Facts About Terrence Malick (2011)
  4. 10 Transcendent Moments in "Life" (2011)
  5. The Thin Red Line (2011)
  6. Days of Heaven (2011)
  7. The Roman Road and the Tree of Life (2014)
  8. The New World (2011)
  9. Badlands (2011)
  10. Terrence Malick's IMAX Evensong (2016)


8 Posts on Church and Christian Life

The broad themes of "church" and "Christian life" have dominated my blogging over the years. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  1. Church Should Be Uncomfortable (2015)
  2. Brokenness Equals Authenticity? (2012)
  3. Suffering, Sufjan and "Saturday Art" (2015)
  4. Can Mass-Appeal Christianity Thrive in a Scarcity-Driven Culture? (2016)
  5. Freedom to Drink and Not to Drink (2013)
  6. Medium: Cool (2009)
  7. "How It Fits Me" Is the Wrong Criteria for Finding the Right Church (2017)
  8. Calvinism: So Hot Right Now (2009)


7 Devotional Posts for the Liturgical Calendar

I have often used my blog to express devotional thoughts during Advent, Lent and Holy Week. These are a few of my favorites in that vein: 

  1. Humility and Incarnation (2011) 
  2. Advent Prayer Requests (2011)
  3. Oh Gracious Light (2013)
  4. The Horror of Grace (2012)
  5. Emptiness is Abundance (2009)
  6. Empty Yourself (2014)
  7. Coffee and Easter (2009)


9 Takes on Technology

I've written often on technology over the years, including to lament the moments when I joined Facebook (2008) and Twitter (2009). The irony of using a blog to write (and social media to share) these largely techno-skeptical pieces is not lost on me. Nevertheless, here are nine favorites:

  1. We're Not Anywhere (2012)
  2. How to Thrive in a Post-Truth, Alternative Facts, Fake News World (2017)
  3. Don't Be Square (2016)
  4. We Need to be Rehumanized (2016)
  5. On Selfies and Narrative Deprivation (2013)
  6. Crumbling Consensus (2016)
  7. "Now ... This" (2010)
  8. What is the iPhone Doing to Us? (2010)
  9. The Problem With Kids Today (2009)


5 Posts on Politics

I've posted a fair amount on politics over the years, probably more than I should have. Here are a few of my favorites: 

  1. "Tolerant" California Will Not Tolerate Christian Colleges (2016)
  2. Costly But Christlike: Caring for the Refugee (2015)
  3. 45 Traits of My Ideal Candidate (2015)
  4. Following Christ, Relinquishing Rights (2016) 
  5. America's Reality TV Election (2015)


7 Posts on Seasons and Nature

I'm a lover of nature and the outdoors. I'm also a big fan of weather and seasons (and how seasons are often tied to memory, food, sports and other good things). I love that these things speak wisdom to us. Here are some of the lessons I've learned:

  1. Where Water Meets Rock (2017)
  2. Memories of a Recent October (2007)
  3. Meditations on Late Summer (2009)
  4. Why Conservative Christians Should Care About the Environment (2017)
  5. An Early Summer Arcade Fire Reverie (2009)
  6. Truth in Trees (2017)
  7. The Newness of Life (2009)


11 Lists

Lists are fun to put together and fun to read (usually). I've published many of them on my blog over the years. These 11 are just a sampling: 

  1. 15 Lessons Since Freshman Year (2016)
  2. The 17 Best Films of the Last 17 Years (2017)
  3. 7 Things I've Learned Since Graduating College (2015)
  4. 21 Challenges Facing the 21st Century Church (2016)
  5. 33 Films That Take Faith Seriously (2012)
  6. 100 Greatest Worship Songs of All Time (2008)
  7. Types of Hipsters: Part OnePart TwoPart Three (2007)
  8. 99 Great Things About Kansas City (2015)
  9. Stasis and Catharsis in 10 Contemporary Films (2007)
  10. Best Albums of the 2000s (2009)
  11. Top Ten Most Stereotypically CCM Band Names (2008) 


6 Slices of My Life

I've only occasionally used my blog in "diary" mode, to narrate episodes of my personal life or ponder aloud the emotions of the day. But when I have it has been helpful and healing, mostly for me. Perhaps for others too. Here are a few of my favorites in this genre:

  1. Debussy, Debauchery and Dieu (A Weekend in Paris) (2009)
  2. Santa Ana Winds of Change (2016)
  3. Autumn Horizon (2012)
  4. Remembering the Oughts (2009)
  5. The Morning After Death (2010)
  6. Notes on a Postmodern Weekend (2009)