From Law to Grace: The Top 10 List

When I began From Law to Grace on July 1, 2010, I had no idea where it would take me or my readers. I had an idea of what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, but I quickly learned that blogging is both an art and a science. Following a short introductory post, “Welcome to From Law to Grace,” I publishedCredible Witnesses,” the first of three posts on the Ergun Caner/Liberty University kerfuffle (also here and here). Now, 299 posts and over two years later, I continue to write about those colliding worlds (one of many Seinfeld references along the way) and “the intersection of law, religion, and politics in culture and Baptist life.”

If it weren’t for church, family commitments, food poisoning,  an emergency appendectomy, and a few self-imposed sabbaticals along the way, I could have probably published even more posts. And, lost my mind in the process, but that’s a post for another day. As it is, I have enjoyed being able to share my thoughts and opinions with my From Law to Grace readers over the last two years. I have also enjoyed getting to dialogue with folks through the comments on various posts. Even the disagreements (and there were many) were civil. I cannot remember a single instance where I had to delete someone’s comment, although I did have to edit one or two to clean up some profanity. As a general rule, I enjoy the free and open dialogue that a blog can offer. I know that there are some blogs which have a more limited commenting policy, but I believe that blog readers can discern for themselves whether an argument is good or bad. They don’t need me to delete comments on the front-end that I may not like or that may strongly attack what I believe. If we cannot have open debate that remains civil, then I think we lose something that makes our country great.

Before I list the Top 10 Viewed Posts, let me share with you where a few statistics about where From Law to Grace readers live. It should not surprise you that the overwhelming majority of this blog’s readers hail from the United States (92%). The next biggest, at 1.5%,  readership comes from Canada. All other countries are less than 1% in terms of readers, although I do have some loyal and regular readers of the blog who live in Thailand and other faraway lands.

In the United States, 60% of From Law to Grace readers live in 10 states. In order, those are:

1.  Texas (10.36%)   2.  Georgia (10.34%)   3.  Florida (8.43%)   4.  North Carolina (6.58%)   5.  Tennessee (5%)   6.  California (4.73 %)   7.  New Mexico (4.21%)   8.  Missouri (3.86%)   9.  Kentucky (3.83%)   10.  Alabama (3.31%)

If I break it down by metropolitan area, the top ten areas where readers live is:

1.  Atlanta   2.  Dallas/Ft. Worth   3.  Albuquerque/Santa Fe   4.  New York City   5.  Ft. Myers/Naples   6.  Nashville   7.  Charlotte   8.  Birmingham   9.  Houston   10.  Los Angeles

When I look at these statistics, some make sense while others don’t. For instance, my #1 From Law to Grace reader — my mom — lives in the Ft. Myers/Naples metropolitan area. A few of these areas just happen to coincide with the locations of Southern Baptist entities. I’m still trying to figure out why NYC and LA ranked as high as they did, but I love the diversity of readership that these two non-southern cities bring. Atlanta ranks high, not just because many Southern Baptists reside there, but also because it is home to a church which was the subject of the highest two all-time viewed blog posts. So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 From Law to Grace posts:

  1. Andy Stanley’s Soft Landing on Homosexuality (published April 26, 2012) — This post, by far, has been my most viewed. I continue to have people comment on this post and the other two Andy Stanley posts.
  2. Andy Stanley, Homosexuality & the Horns of a Dilemma (published May 3, 2012)
  3. Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill & Spiritual Abuse (published March 21, 2012) — This struck a never, with both the pro and anti Driscoll folks out there.
  4. Female Pastors & Graceless Responses in Mayberry (published August 5, 2011) — Perhaps one of my favorite posts which combined by experience as a lawyer and as a pastor.
  5. Andy Stanley’s Perplexing Silence Far From Golden (published May 8, 2012)
  6. Adam Baldwin: A Conservative Voice In Hollywood (published April 29, 2011) — This post incorporates a bit of nostalgia from my childhood. This might rank as one of my top three favorite posts that I have written.
  7. Power Plays & Moves to Oppress Dissent in the SBC (published March 28, 2012)
  8. Tim Tebow: God Knows, Boomer Esiason Doesn’t! (published August 25, 2011) — Norman Julius Esaison (aka, “Boomer”) still doesn’t have a clue about Tebow or life!
  9. Mark Driscoll’s Mesmerizing Hold on LU & Evangelicalism (published April 12, 2012)
  10. Mega Fridays: Mars Hill & Authoritarianism Run Amok (published March 23, 2012)
So, there you have it — The Top 10 List. I appreciate so much those who take time out of their busy schedules to read From Law to Grace. I look forward to continuing to write on those issues which interest me and, I hope, interest you. I also look forward to continuing the civil dialogue and debate along the way. Thanks for stopping by and God bless!

 

5 comments for “From Law to Grace: The Top 10 List

  1. suzanne
    August 10, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Sawatdee Kha, Howell! from one of your regular readers in Thailand.

    I always appreciate reading your insights on issues, and especially the way you present them. One of your posts that stands out for me (even though it didn’t make the Top 10) was about the church building in Grundy, Virginia, that burned down. I used to drive through Grundy to visit my parents in Tazewell, when I was in college in Kentucky many years ago. Small world, huh? And small towns, those.

    Congratulations on 300 blog posts! May there be many more to come.
    Suzanne
    p.s. By the way, based on your life experiences and the truth of the gospel, your blog gets my vote for Best Blog Title.

    • August 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      Suzanne,

      Wow. What a small world after all (reminds me of growing up in FL and going on a certain ride at Disney World) :-) Thanks so much for reading and for the kind words. I always wondered who my loyal reader was who lived in Thailand. Now I know! I guess it is already Sunday there. I was going to respond last night,but we were dealing with rolling blackouts in southern New Mexico for most of the afternoon and evening. Thanks again for sharing. Lord willing, I’ll have many more posts to come. God bless,

      Howell

  2. Bennett Willis
    August 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    I think that NYC and LA show up because they are huge places.

    I have enjoyed reading your comments on the Barton related post. There are many comments there that remind me of the Ergun Caner comments. The Barton supporter tactic seems to be “avoid the facts.” And “argument weak here–shout.”

    Going way back to the Clinton impeachment days–I knew of only one person who “suffered” (because of the conflice of values that seemed clear to me) during that debate. She was (as we say in Texas) a “yellow dog Democrat.” But she also took swearing an oath and then lying very seriously. Her suffering was obvious, painful, and definitely real. There are few people who suffer over their personal conflicting points of view any more.

    I know that I hold some contradictory positions but I’ve learned to live with it. :)

    There are few who can recognize the difference in truth and sort of truth–and even those of us who think we can may not actually always be able to see the difference. The observed fact that many people think that both sides of any discussion start off on the same moral level always puzzles me.

  3. Max
    August 15, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Howell, I stop by your site 2-3X per week. I always read, but don’t always comment. I appreciate your level-headed approach to the topics you post, a rare & endangered character trait among other SBC bloggers! I wish you the best as you continue to think and write. Perhaps one day there will be no contentious topics for you to blog about … nah, we are Southern Baptists!!

    • August 16, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Max,

      I appreciate you reading and your kind words. I do appreciate your comments and what you add to the discussion. I hope that I am more level-headed than not, but I’m sure I don’t get that right all the time, even though I try. I do think you are right about contentious issues and Southern Baptists. It is nice to dream, however :-) Thanks again for being a From Law to Grace reader. God bless,

      Howell

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