Editor’s Choice: The Best of 2016

You know how you feel when sifting through old memorabilia or clothing? These photos and ticket stubs and trophies and T-shirts stir up cherished memories of past conquests and hopeful dreams. You give thanks to God for answered prayers, wonder why you ever thought some things were so important, and remember those moments that shaped everything else to follow. 

That’s a little like sifting through more than 1,100 resources planned, produced, and published by our editorial staff in 2016. Articles I had nearly forgotten hit me in fresh ways in light of new ministry scenarios. Videos we recorded months ago drew out surprising emotions as if I were watching old home movies featuring friends and family. Interviews made me wonder why I pursued certain questions with such assurance of events that did not play out as expected. 

This list reflects my choices as editorial director for our best resources from 2016. It’s not exhaustive, but it reflects our exhausting efforts in this drama-filled year to serve church leaders in shaping their life, doctrine, and teaching. As explained in The Gospel Coalition’s foundation documents, we pray that God would work in and through us “to renew the contemporary church in the ancient gospel of Christ so that we truly speak and live for him in a way that clearly communicates to our age.” In that spirit I hope you’ll read, watch, listen, and share these cherished mementos from the last year.  

Collin Hansen, Editorial Director
Honest Talk About Marriage
Interview with Matt and Lauren Chandler // Matt and Lauren’s frank discussion about unmet expectations in our most intimate relationship caught me off-guard in this particularly popular podcast+
Love Your Neighbor Enough to Speak Truth
by Rosaria Butterfield // 'If I were still in the thick of the battle over the indwelling sin of lesbian desire, Jen [Hatmaker]’s words would have put a millstone around my neck.' +
Following Jesus Far From Home
by Mary Willson // Speaking at our National Women’s Conference, Mary offered a model for how to apply the God-inspired words of 1 Peter to our own troubled times. +
The Story of Iran's Church in Two Sentences
by Mark Howard // A conversation with my friend Mark opened a window into one of the most encouraging works of God in our time. +
Is Black Lives Matter the New Civil Rights Movement?
by Mika Edmonson // Westminster meets Ferguson in this stirring lecture. Be sure to read Albert Mohler’s response+
How a Small Baptist Church Grew One of America's Largest Student Ministries
by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra // Close ties to the local church distinguishes this remarkable work of God in Iowa. +
N. T. Wright Reconsiders the Meaning of Jesus’s Death
Review by Michael Horton // The most important questions about Jesus’s atoning work on the cross deserve a long review by a world-class theologian. +
The Southern City that Lies Forgotten
by Jason Cook // When everyone else has lost hope, the church will be there, and the gospel of Jesus Christ will prevail. +
How to Raise an Alien Child
by Jen Wilkin // We can’t teach our kids to fit in. If we want them to follow Jesus, they must learn to stand out. +
How Nostalgia Fractured Our Republic
Interview with Yuval Levin // Recorded before the presidential election, this interview is only more relevant as we head into 2017. +
What’s a Time in Ministry When in Your Weakness God Demonstrated His Faithfulness?
by Alistair Begg // No matter how famous or popular the pastor, ministry is a story of our weakness and God’s faithfulness. Read others in this moving series and ponder carefully these two related resources:
Turning 40 While Single and Childless
by Bethany Jenkins // The gospel frees us to discuss and ultimately face our greatest fears. A TGC editor opens up on a milestone day. +
Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith when Dreams Are Delayed
by Betsy Childs Howard // Four years ago when I planned a TGC imprint with Crossway for women authors, I hoped we’d be blessed to publish such edifying works. +
Following Jesus in an Age of Authenticity
Interview with Russell Moore and Tim Keller // With a basic grasp of these cultural dynamics, you’ll understand the serious discipleship challenges of our age. For a much more in-depth exploration, pick up Keller’s remarkable book Making Sense of God+
How I Learned to Separate Meat from Bone in the Charismatic Tradition
by Jason Cook // The article opens, “God called me to be a pastor while sitting under the preaching ministry of Creflo A. Dollar.” Be sure to read Jeff Robinson’s companion article+
Europe’s Backdoor for Drugs, Sex Trafficking, Jihadism—and the Gospel
by Brian Jose // Learn about how the world’s first self-declared atheist state has become a church planting engine. +
You Are Not Your Sexuality
by Sam Allberry // The world needs to hear same-sex attracted Christians share their experiences of God’s goodness. +
What I’ve Learned from Being Isolated and Allergic to Everything
by Johanna Watkins // Can anyone but Jesus prepare you to endure such hardship? See more of Johanna’s story in this archived Facebook Live event+
Why Grace Is Hard for Me as an Asian American
by Jeremy Yong // The gospel of grace strikes all of us in slightly different ways depending on our particular background and struggles. +
Greater Threat to the Church: From the Outside or Inside? 
Interview with Ross Douthat // Tune in for more than an hour of stimulating discussion with The New York Times columnist on the state of the church and culture. Watch to the end for particularly crucial insights on parenting and technology. +

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