Sunday Superlatives 7/31/11

Around the Blogosphere…

Most Informative:
The New York Times with “Q & A on the Debt Ceiling

Most Thoughtful:
Heather King (over at Conversion Diary) with “Forgive
“What’s important, in other words, isn’t the quantity or extent to which we forgive, but the orientation of heart, the quality, the way in which we forgive. Because in remaining woundable, we don’t just get an equal return: we get more, and of an entirely different order, than we ever could have imagined.”

Most Beautiful:
Nadia Bolz Weber with "The Kingdom of Heaven is Like"
"Today we heard Jesus say that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that when it has grown becomes the greatest of all shrubs. Um, the greatest of all shrubs?  What kind of off-brand kingdom is this?"  

Most Likely to Make You Stand Up and Cheer (nominated by Emerging Mummy):
The Outdoor Wife with “I am”
"…I am a relentless woman.
I am mother.
I have given birth. I have labored and pushed out life into this world with my own body and I am a partner in creations new.
I have nursed and fed and soothed and protected. I am a fearsome thing to behold. And even on the worst days, when the discipline track gets played on repeat, I hold a fierce love that could set a forest on fire with the smallest kindling.
I am survivor…”

Best Commentary:
Stephen Colbert with “Norwegian Muslish Gunman’s Islam-Esque Atrocity

Best Tributes:

John Stackhouse with “We’ll Miss You Uncle John
“John R. W. Stott set a standard of intellectual, homiletical, theological, pastoral, and political excellence unparalleled in our time among evangelicals and perhaps among any other group of Christians in the world.” 

Tim Staffrd at Christianity Today with “John Stott Has Died
“Stott believed in the mind as a gift from God. In an evangelical world tempted to rely on proof texts and emotive stories, Stott drilled down deep into Scripture to display its power. Many people, hearing Stott preach for the first time, said they had never heard the Bible expounded with such clarity and depth. His passion was to learn what God said, and to let it shape life. Stott's preaching and writing renewed faith in the inspiration of Scripture—not only because he defended it, but because he displayed it.”

Tim Challies gathered together some of the best tweets in response to Stott’s death.

Best Analysis:
Amanda MacInnis with “Complementarianism – The Litmus Test for Faithfulness
“As much as I try not to fight and crusade for egalitarianism, I can’t say that my attempts to ‘agree to disagree’ don’t affect me on a very personal level. I have been a pastor. I have been in leadership in church. I have the gifts and talents and passion to serve the church, and I truly believe that I have been ‘called’ into ministry. If I were a man saying that, people would have no problem seeing the gifts and talents and passion and would have no problem affirming and encouraging and mentoring it. But because I am a woman, those things can’t possibly be true… How does this fit in the masculinity/feminity debate –> to know that there are days when I wish I was a man. It would be so much easier.”
[You should subscribe to this lady’s blog, by the way.]

Strangest Headline:
Alex Trebek Injured Chasing A Burglar” 

Funniest Photo:
Matthew Paul Turner with “Christian Gratitude of the Day

Mason Slater over at A Deeper Story with “All At Once
“We look back, see our stories, and we try to extend a little grace to our younger selves. And well we should…Yet we often fail to extend that grace to others.”

Emerging Mummy with “In Which I Lose My Right Answers” 
“There is much beauty here, too, in the consuming of the real life, in the living, in the laughing, in the weeping, in the questioning and the wrestling. The Kingdom is that great pearl that when you find it, you sell everything else off - even your right answers - just to hold it in your hand, roll it around your teeth for the joy of the clicking sound it makes, falling into place. Even in the tension and pain of knowing thatI don't know, of knowing that I am biased and I have much to learn, of knowing that I am prideful and deeply in need of redemption every day, I am strangely, bizarrely, more happy here.”

 Most Inspiring:
Pete Wilson with “Celebrating Montony

Most Provocative:
Kurt Willems with “I’m Done With Living Like a Christian

Most Moving: 
Kate (Guest Posting at Rage Against the Mini Van) with “Being Gay and Christian
“I want you to know that being gay isn't a lifestyle, but Christianity is.”

Most Relatable (nominated by Alise Wright):
Elizabeth Esther with “Grace for Leaving
“I don’t have grace yet for the plane flight to Bolivia because, well, I’m not on the plane yet. I don’t have grace yet for leaving because, well, I haven’t left yet…I do know that I have grace right here, right now in this moment with a feverish, fussy toddler breathing her precious little puke breath onto me. Twenty minutes ago I was worrying about how I would make lunch for the other kiddos, but then my oldest offered to do it.”

On the Blog…

Most Popular Post:
My Wife is Beautiful…

Most Popular Comment:
In response to "When God Chooses Your Logo," Julie wrote:
“Claiming to know God's specific will is one of my biggest problems with Christian culture.  It's a conversation-ender, and the ultimate trump card to win an argument.   It was so prevalent in my college group and it played a major role in my crisis of faith.  There were so many inconsistencies between what 'God was saying' to different friends, what he was saying through his Word, and the fact that I never "felt" that he said anything definitive to me, which caused me to question so much….Since that time, I've come to the conclusion that most of the time people say ‘God spoke to me to do this or say this or take this job, etc,’  it's just Christianize code for ‘this is what I feel is the right thing to do.’   Many times those things are noble and good things to do, but sometimes they have negative side effects, or they don't work out, and then God gets the blame.  That's not fair. Let's just be more honest about this whole thing. Yes, pray about your decisions in life, but when you make a decision, own it."

In Bolivia…

Today I leave for Bolivia, which means posts this week will be irregular, but interesting. According to my itinerary, I’ll be visiting a special needs center, a guinea pig farm, a fish farm, the famous  “Christo de la Concordia” statue, and multiple playgrounds, schools, nutrition centers, youth groups, and communities. And it looks like World Vision has deliberately left us time to talk with people and hear their stories so we can share them with you.

Traveling with me are some fantastic bloggers and World Vision staff members that you might want to follow:

Joy Bennett 
Elizabeth Esther 
Matthew Paul Turner 
Deb Wolf 
Amy Conner 
Jana Melpolder
Nish Weiseth 
Lindsey  Talerico-Hedren 
Carla Swanson 
Michael Bianchi 

The easiest way to follow all of us is to subscribe to the Bolivia Blog


Now it’s your turn. 

What’s happening on your blog this week? Did anything catch you eye online? 

I’ll be stuck in airports for most of the day; give me something to read!


Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

A Travel Lover’s Survey

'Passport (110/365)' photo (c) 2009, Kat - license:

We had such fun with our book lover’s survey and our music lover’s survey,  I thought that in light of my upcoming trip to Bolivia we might try a travel lover’s survey.

Tell us…

1. The most interesting place you have been
2. The most beautiful place you have been
3. The place you would like to go next 
4. Your favorite travel tip

Here’s my response: 

1. Interesting: India
2. Beautiful: Glacier National Park, Montana
3. Next: Cochobamba, Bolivia! 
4. Tip: Travel light and BE FLEXIBLE! 

Your turn!


Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

Ask A Mormon…


When I first started our summer interview series with “Ask an Atheist” and “Ask a Catholic,” I immediately began receiving requests for “Ask a Mormon.” With everyone from Mitt Romney to Warren Jeffs making headlines these days, it’s no surprise that there is some confusion regarding the beliefs and practices of the LDS church.   

Well now we get the chance to have our most pressing questions answered by a Mormon herself! 

Jana Riess is the author or co-author of nine books, includingWhat Would Buffy Do? and the forthcoming memoir Flunking Sainthood (Nov.). She has a Ph.D. in American religious history from Columbia University and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. She says she is still trying to figure out why she bothered to get an M.Div. when she was just going to turn into a Mormon heretic in seminary anyway. 

Jana is almost two years into a 3 ½ year project called the Twible (rhymes with Bible), in which she tweets one chapter of the Bible each morning with snarky commentary. (“It’s the Bible . . .  now with 43% more humor!”)  You can follow her project on Twitter at @janariess. Her Beliefnet blog, Flunking Sainthood,deals with Mormonism, popular culture, and whatever she happens to be reading. 

If you have a question for Jana, leave it in the comment section. Remember that the point is not to debate or challenge, but to ask the sort of questions that will help us understand one another better. Please take advantage of the “like” feature so that we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to readers. 

At the end of the day, I’ll pick the top seven or eight questions and send them to Jana. I'll post her responses to the questions when I get back from Bolivia. 

Ask away!


Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.