Sunday Superlatives 1/15/2012


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere...

Best Interview:
Imbi Medri-Kinnon’s interview with Chris Wright (see above) 
(Related: “Is It Undisciplined, or Simply Undisciplined Leadership?

Best Profile:
The New York Times with “How Many Stephen Colbert’s Are There?
“In 1974, when Colbert was 10, his father, a doctor, and his brothers Peter and Paul, the two closest to him in age, died in a plane crash while flying to a prep school in New England. 'There’s a common explanation that profound sadness leads to someone’s becoming a comedian, but I’m not sure that’s a proven equation in my case,' he told me. 'I’m not bitter about what happened to me as a child, and my mother was instrumental in keeping me from being so.' He added, in a tone so humble and sincere that his character would never have used it: 'She taught me to be grateful for my life regardless of what that entailed, and that’s directly related to the image of Christ on the cross and the example of sacrifice that he gave us. What she taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain — it’s that the pain is actually a gift. What’s the option? God doesn’t really give you another choice.”

(on a related note) Funniest Video:
Colbert Super PAC Romney Attack Ad

Best List: 
The Atlantic with “9 Books on Reading and Writing

Most Likely to Make You Cry:
Christina Gibson with “Noah and the Jeep” (Shared by Preston Yancey)
“I never thought I’d see grace in Noah’s car catching on fire so that he had to pull over.  I never thought I’d see grace in a paroled hurting man living in my spare bedroom.   I never thought I could want life so badly for another human being....He always tried to leave and the only thing I knew was that I had to try to get him back.  If he ran, we’d run after him to bring him home. We all want to know someone will bring us back home.”

 Most Likely to Make You Sit in Your Car After You’ve Reached Your Destination So You can Finish Listening to the Story:
 NPR with “Knitting Behind Bars” (shared by BethanyKeeley-Jonker)

Most Hopeful:
The Freedom Climbers make it to the Summit of Kilimanjaro!

Most Eye-Opening:
Kristen Howerton (Rage Against the Minivan) with “Haitian Orphans Two Years Later, Still UNICEF’d"
"The earthquake has not changed this delay for orphans in Haiti.  If anything, it’s made it worse.  It’s clear that the new head of IBSER is being highly influenced by UNICEF (she says so herself).  And while UNICEF’s theory of adoption as a last resort is a good one in theory, most of the people who work in orphan care on the ground will tell you that IN PRACTICE, children without parents are being denied a family based on political pressure.  It is really troubling to me that, despite the number of new orphans the earthquake produced, Haiti is still clinging to it’s archaic rules about couples needing to be married for 10 years, and to have no biological children, and be over 30 years old, in order to adopt.”  

Most Insightful: 
Sarah Bost-Askins with “Lipstick and Legos” 
“Here I am pointing the figure at Lego for its “messages” to girls, but I am not allowing my daughter the right to choose which messages that she hears. Worst still, it is more about me anyways. Too often, we talk about allowing our daughters be “their own person,” but we falter when they choose to embrace society’s message of beauty, make-up, and clothes.”

Best Storytelling:
Elizabeth Esther with “Jesus Saves @ Huntington Beach Square
“Just when I think I know who and what God is, a huge wave comes along to remind me that He’s so much bigger than my ideas about Him. There’s no taming the ocean and there’s no taming God. God is boundless, untamed, life-giving. But also, God is not safe.”

Best Response to Jeff Bethke’s Jesus/Religion Video:
I read a lot of fantastic responses the now-famous “I love Jesus, but I hate religion” video. But I must say,my favorite response of the week came from Bethke himselfIn an email exchange with Kevin DeYoung, Bethke responded to DeYoung’s criticism with this: 

“I just wanted to say I really appreciate your article man. It hit me hard. I’ll even be honest and say I agree 100%. God has been working with me in the last 6 months on loving Jesus AND loving his church. For the first few years of walking with Jesus (started in ’08) I had a warped/poor paradigm of the church and it didn’t build up, unify, or glorify His wife (the Bride). If I can be brutally honest I didn’t think this video would get much over a couple thousand views maybe, and because of that, my points/theology wasn’t as air-tight as I would’ve liked. If I redid the video tomorrow, I’d keep the overall message, but would articulate, elaborate, and expand on the parts where my words and delivery were chosen poorly… My prayer is my generation would represent Christ faithfully and not swing to the other spectrum….thankful for your words and more importantly thankful for your tone and fatherly like grace on me as my elder. Humbled. Blessed. Thankful for painful growth.” 

A guy who can respond to criticism with that much openness and that much humility gets nothing but respect from me.

Best Conversation Starter:
Sarah Moon with “I’m Pro-Life, I’m Pro-Choice, I’m Pro-Woman

Most Inspiring: 
Erin with “Real Marriage: {This is Ours}" (shared by Stephanie Sheaffer)
“I learn to love who you are, not who I may expect you to be.You do the same for me. You buy your pants at OSH & that is okay with me.  Not because I love those pants, but I love the man who loves wearing them. I ask your advice as I head to the hair salon & you tell me you don't care. You tell me I am beautiful.  And you wonder aloud how you are so lucky. Long hair, short hair, skirt, sweats, grubby or make-up.   It does not seem to matter to you.  You look at me the same. Because you love me.”
I’m loving these beautiful, life-giving, and affirming “real marriage” posts!  

In Books...

Interesting Book Releases: 
The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson
A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay
Divided We Unite: Practical Christian Unity by Ed Cyzewski

On the Blog...

Most Popular Post:
Esther and Vashti: The Real Story

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “Esther and Vashti: The Real Story,” Ed wrote, "While biblical literalists can make an interesting case for wifely submission, (provided you first accept their literal perspective) they also need to take into account the story of Ananias and Sapphira - where Sapphira was held accountable separate from her husband.  As that story illustrates, she could have escaped judgement (and saved her own life) by refusing to submit.  She apparently didn't get any points for submitting to her husband on that one.”

What’s happening on your blog this week? What caught your eye online?

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