Looking Back on Posts from Book Reviews to Ai Conversations: The Top 5 Posts of 2023


Top 5 Blog Posts on Jeff McLain.com in 2023. Photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash
As we close the chapter on a remarkable year, and start the journey into a new era, I have taken a moment to revisit the most popular posts on this blog (jeffmclain.com) in 2023. Presented here are the top 5 posts, each one of them surprisingly garnered hundreds of reads.

Over the years, this blog has become a place to reflect more than anything. However, I am thankful for the opportunity to share thoughts, insights, and stories with so many of you. It is my hope that as you explore and revisit these posts, you will discover content that not only encourages, equips, and empowers you on your journey, but also resonates with your heart, sparking meaningful conversations and prompting a fresh perspective on Jesus, life, and everything in between.

Your engagement and support throughout the year have been invaluable, making these reflections on the most-read posts even more meaningful. I look forward to continuing to reflect on this blog, and on my Patheos blog, in the upcoming year, but please know that your feedback, comments, and shares contribute to the richness of this platform and its conversations.

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2023

These are my most popular 2023 blog posts in order of most reads.

  1. Book Review: Shattered by Rip Wahlberg / "Shattered" by Rip Wahlberg is a poignant autobiographical narrative released in 2023, exploring the author's journey of survival and growth after the tragic loss of his four-year-old son. The book, divided into three parts, delves into the first year of grief, a theological framework for pain and healing, and ultimately, the meaning of surviving and thriving after profound suffering. At just over 110 pages, Wahlberg's vulnerability and honesty make it a compelling read for those navigating their own pain or seeking to support others in times of intense grief.

  2. Book Review: How Much Land Does a Man Need by Leo Tolstoy / This review explores Leo Tolstoy's "How Much Land Does a Man Need," emphasizing the 2010 version translated by Boris Dralyuk and published by Calypso Editions. Described as a reflective parable, Dralyuk's translation captures Tolstoy's idiosyncratic voice and skillfully conveys the subtleties of the original Russian text. The narrative follows the journey of Pakhom, a man consumed by the desire for more land, leading to his ultimate downfall. Tolstoy's book creatively urges readers to contemplate their insatiable greed and the pursuit of a meaningful life.

  3. Book Review: Lennon, Dylan, Alice, & Jesus by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrill / Released in 2022 by Salem Books, "Lennon, Dylan, Alice, & Jesus" is a comprehensive spiritual biography on rock and roll written by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrill. The book explores the faith journeys of iconic musicians such as Elvis, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and many more, shedding light on their search for spiritual meaning amid fame and fortune. Laurie and Terrill delve into the cultural and spiritual awakening that unfolded in the 60s and 70s, emphasizing the transformative power of faith for musicians who reached the pinnacle of success. The authors emphasize the book's exhaustive exploration of lesser-known facts, spiritual sojourns, and confessions of faith, highlighting the unpredictable yet profound ways God works in the lives of individuals, even those in the cultural power-brokering expressions like music and the arts.

  4. I asked an AI to name the top 5 things that have caused drift from mission in the American Church / This interview with a Generative AI platform identifies five factors contributing to its perceived drift from mission in the American Church, including self-focus, a lack of evangelism, comfort and complacency, insularity, and cultural conformity. It suggests scripture verses for each concern, emphasizing humility, evangelism, discipline, outreach, and resistance to cultural conformity. 

  5. Book Review: The 3D Gospel by Jayson Georges / The review explores "The 3D Gospel" by Jayson Georges, emphasizing its examination of ministry paradigms in guilt, shame, and fear cultures. Georges challenges the Western-centric guilt-innocence worldview, advocating for a holistic "three-dimensional gospel" addressing forgiveness, honor, and power. This book highlights the importance of adapting the gospel to diverse cultural contexts.
I invite you to comment on which blog post was your favorite, either out of these five or another one posted in 2023. If you have not already, consider hitting the follow button to stay connected. in. Again, I want to express my gratitude for your presence on this platform. Thank you for being an essential part of this journey. 


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Book Review: Shattered by Rip Wahlberg

Book Review: Lennon, Dylan, Alice, & Jesus by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrill

Book Review: How Much Land Does a Man Need by Leo Tolstoy