What a year 2016 turned out to be. Weariness and frustration were prominent as the final days melted into history. A common sentiment from all corners of society was relief that this disaster of a year was finally over. It is safe to say that 2016 will remain one of the roughest 365-day stretches in our collective memory.

Looking back on the year here at Christ and Pop Culture, our most-read articles provide an excellent highlight reel of the Year That Shall Not Be Named. In addition to several popular articles on the political circus swirling about the 2016 Presidential Election, readers also flocked for commentary on being a good neighbor, Gilmore Girls, Fixer Upper, The Office, racial issues, Hillsong’s impact upon worship, and kerfuffles within the Christian subculture.

This most-read list can be a sort of affirmation that the past 12 months were truly remarkable, with cultural artifacts both shaping and reflecting our collective experience. As always, Christ and Pop Culture seeks “to edify the Church, glorify God, and witness to the world by encouraging and modeling a biblical presence within culture.” These most-read articles represent the best of our work.

If you are new to Christ and Pop Culture, these articles will provide an excellent entry into our nuanced, balanced approach to cultural commentary. If you’ve been reading throughout the year, see if your favorite article made the list. We trust these thoughtful articles will prove that 2016 wasn’t all bad after all.

maxresdefault#10 Trump and the Consequences of Being a Single-Issue Voter

By Luke T. Harrington, June 29, 2016
The real pro-life movement, the work of building a culture that respects human life, must happen from the bottom up, not the top down.



reconciliation#9 Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Reconciliation and Foot-Washing in ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’

By Hannah Anderson, March 24, 2016
Through the humble act of foot-washing, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood pointed the way toward racial reconciliation.



the-office-jim-and-pam-ftr (1)#8 Ordinary Faithfulness: Jim and Pam’s Quiet Fidelity

By Amanda Wortham, February 11, 2016
The resurrection is not in the feelings or the romance; it’s in the ordinary faithfulness of everyday life.



Gilmore Girls#7 The False Gods of Rory Gilmore

By Gina Dalfonzo, November 30, 2016
After nine years, the Gilmore girls are back, and it turns out Rory still hasn’t grown up.



fixer upper#6 Bought with a Price: ‘Fixer Upper’ and Our Relics of Comfort

By Preston Yancey, September 19, 2016
While Protestants want to call every believer a saint, we reserve a particular esteem for some of our more public faithful.



John MacArthur#5 Do racial issues really “disappear” because of the Gospel? A response to John MacArthur.

By Nana Dolce, July 26, 2016
The Gospel enables believers to see social issues from a spiritual perspective—but does it remove social issues altogether?



19830600925_194ac93f8f_o#4 How Trump Happened: The Wages of Fear and the Brave Way Forward

By Alan Noble, January 27, 2016
Trump’s rise to political prominence reveals the need for conservative evangelicals to offer a better, truer, more just vision of our country.



Donald Trump#3 Voting for Donald Trump Is Not the Only Conservative Option

By Alan Noble, May 31, 2016
The moral pragmatism which says that we must vote for Trump because anything else is a vote for Clinton is a false choice.



Hillsong#2 How the Hillsong Cool Factor Changed Worship for Good and for Ill

By David Roark, April 18, 2016
Hillsong has been a major player in transforming Christianity from a communal lifestyle to a spectator sport.



the end of the affair#1 “An Odd Sort of Mercy”: Jen Hatmaker, Glennon Doyle Melton, and ‘The End of the Affair’

By Gina Dalfonzo, December 22, 2016
Is God’s definition of love restricting us from happiness or freeing us from the self-love that entangles us?



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