10 Most Popular Articles from 2017

1

An Open Letter to Those Nonchalant about Their Sexual Sin
David Powlison

Sex is like fire. When it blazes in the fireplace, a good fire warms and brightens the room, enhancing joy and companionship. But when fires ignite in the wrong places, the house burns down. Is your sexuality igniting in the wrong places? Are you treating sexual sin casually? How do you know when this has happened? Let me offer a few tests that can rouse your conscience. . . .

2

20 Ideas for Dating Your Wife
Justin Buzzard

Men, you need to come up with your own ideas for how to date your wife. You know your wife better than anyone else. Only you know how to best care for the woman God has given you. But, sometimes it helps to build off other people’s ideas in order to form your own. Look these ideas over. . . .

3

Infographic: What’s Your Take on Singleness, Dating, and Marriage?
Crossway

Most people want to be married, at least some day. And the road to marriage—paved with seasons of singleness and seasons of dating—can be simultaneously exciting and treacherous.

In May 2017, we asked our readers questions about their views on dating and marriage. In total, nearly 7,000 people filled out the survey, revealing some interesting insights into how we view (and pursue) marriage and dating today. . . .

4

The Most Comprehensive Critique of Theistic Evolution Yet Produced
Crossway

The debate about biological origins continues to be hotly contested within the Christian church.

Prominent organizations such as Biologos (USA) and Faraday Institute (UK) insist that Christians must yield to an unassailable scientific consensus in favor of contemporary evolutionary theory and modify traditional biblical ideas about the creation of life accordingly. They promote a view known as “theistic evolution” or “evolutionary creation.” They argue that God used—albeit in an undetectable way—evolutionary mechanisms to produce all forms of life. This book contests this proposal. . . .

5

10 Things You Should Know about Martin Luther
Herman Selderhuis

Luther is often presented as the man who stood up against all kinds of abuses in the Roman Catholic Church. And so he did. But this was not his main concern—this was not his primary drive.

Luther became a monk because he was searching for God, and, after he found God as the God of grace, he protested against everything that kept people away from that God. Luther did not stand up to reform the church, but to reform the message of the church. . . .

6

Are You a Healthy Church Member?
Thabiti Anyabwile

When we talk about being members of a church, we're not at all borrowing from the idea of membership in a rotary club, Sam's Club, or bridge club. We're actually using a term that's distinctively Christian or Christological. It comes from the image that Paul uses of the church being the body of Christ, and we are members of that body. A healthy church member treasures that biblical reality. . . .

7

Infographic: What Does Your Church Mean to You?
Crossway

If we're honest, sometimes the church can be a pretty awkward place. Whether it's something as mundane as shaking hands with an extremely friendly greeter or (more seriously) listening to a fellow believer ask for prayer for his crumbling marriage, we've all felt the sometimes subtle, sometimes nearly overwhelming urge to retreat from the uncomfortable realities that accompany life in the local church.

In July 2017, we asked our readers questions about how they view the church—especially the awkward parts—hoping to explore some of the issues McCracken addresses in his book. In total, over 10,000 people filled out the survey, revealing some interesting insights into how we approach community as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. . . .

8

5 Common Evangelism Excuses
Mark Dever

“Flunk” is a word we don’t use much anymore. It’s a hard, sharp, inflexible kind of word. But it’s probably a good word to use to quickly summarize how most of us have done in obeying the call to evangelize. Jesus says to tell all nations the good news, but we haven’t. Jesus calls people to be fishers of men, but we prefer to watch. Peter says to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have, but we are not. Solomon says he who wins souls is wise, but we flunk. . . .

9

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Singleness
Marshall Segal

If God leads you to marry, you may never again know a time like the one you’re in right now. A season of singleness is not the minor leagues of marriage. It has the potential to be a unique period of undivided devotion to Christ and undistracted ministry to others. With the Spirit in you and the calendar clear, God has given you the means to make a lasting difference for his kingdom. You’re all dressed up, having every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3), with literally everywhere to go. . . .

10

7 Good Reasons to Leave a Church
Brett McCraken

In our consumer society, where prevailing wisdom says we should be loyal to products or brands only insofar as our needs and tastes are satisfied, it can be easy for churchgoers to have a very low threshold for leaving a church. The preaching loses some luster. The children’s ministry isn’t as fun as it could be. The worship leader’s hairstyle becomes bothersome. There are lots of bad reasons for leaving a church. But what are some legitimate reasons for leaving a church? . . .

Runner Ups

11

An Open Letter to Those Frustrated by Their Progress in Sanctification
David Powlison

12

10 Things You Should Know about Systematic Theology
Scott R. Swain

13

Introducing Subscriptions for ESV.org
Crossway

14

Women in Society: The Challenge and the Call
Dee Jepsen

15

4 Cultural Factors That Contribute to Our Epidemic of Burnout
David Murray

16

An Open Letter to Those Debilitated by Their Sexual Sin
David Powlison

17

What to Do If You’re Bored by the Bible
Matthew S. Harmon

18

Did You Know That the Bible Commands Us to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry?
David Gibson

19

Introducing the ‘ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible’
Crossway

20

Why We Dare Not Seek God Without Christ
Mark Jones