Sunday Superlatives 11/18/2012


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the blogosphere…

Best Video:
2 Year Old Dancing the Jive

Best Photo:
Obama and McKayla Maroney Are Not Impressed 

Best Profile:
John Blake at CNN features the relationship between Charles and Andy Stanley 

“'Every Sunday I had to preach, no matter what,' Charles says of those days when he was going through the divorce. 'I couldn't get up and say I had a horrible day yesterday. It kept me in the Word of God -- praying, trusting God, watching people saved and watching the church grow.'"

Best Analysis: 
Margaret Mowczko  with “Plutarch and Paul on Husbands and Wives

“As I was reading and comparing Advice with First Corinthians it struck me how different Plutarch’s and Paul’s views were about the relationship between husbands and wives.  It also struck me that many Christians sound much more like Plutarch, rather than Paul, in what they think and say about marriage and women.”

Best Conversation-Starter:
Roger Olson with “Is Open Theism a Type of Arminianism?

“I’ve often wondered why open theism, of all things, led to such hysteria (and sometimes outright dishonesty) among its critics. One thing I suspect is that many Calvinists realized that if many evangelicals adopted open theism, one of their strongest arguments against Arminianism would be nullified—that Arminianism cannot explain how God foreknows future free decisions of creatures without in any way determining them.” 

Most Encouraging:
Family Christian Stores pledges all profits to widows and orphans 

Most Informative:
Preston Sprinkle over at Jesus Creed with “Evangelicals, Militarism, and Romans 13”

“First, Romans 13 does not speak of Rome’s warfare policy against foreign nations, but of its police and judicial action toward its own citizens. Paul’s phrase “bear the sword” (13:4) refers to police action within a government’s jurisdiction, not warfare outside its territory. Using this text to support, for instance, America’s war in Iraq goes beyond what Paul is actually saying. Waging war against another nation—even in the name of preemptive strike—does not reflect Paul’s point in Romans 13...”

Most Challenging:
Andrew Huth’s photos and reflections on Sandy relief 

Most Enlightening:
Christianity Today with “The 'Benevolent Sexism' at Christian Colleges

“Many women faculty on the evangelical campus in the study reported feeling undermined at work by implicit assumptions that they should be home with their children, or that the qualities that are valued in academia—intelligence, assertiveness, and confidence—are not traits appropriate for Christian women. So while women at this university generally report warm friendly relationships with male faculty and students, they also feel limited support for their professional achievement because of traditional gender assumptions.”

Most Thoughtful: 
Marty Troyer with “More fighting in Jesus’ neighborhood this week

“In a previous blog post – Your thoughts on Israel-Palestine? – I asked you to share not what you believe, but why you believe what you believe. Your answers are as diverse as anticipated, ranging from scripture to history to politics to personal experience. For those who answered, Scripture played a heavy roll. But you most certainly did NOT use the same texts or core arguments. Indeed, what I said in the blog is clearly true of us, “There are, if its not obvious, different ways of looking at the past and the future of Israel and Palestine…Well meaning and committed Christians differ radically on what our faith suggests we should do.” Responders based their reasons in at least 5 very different Biblical principles..”

Most Heartbreaking:
Lara Aburamadan at The New York Times with “Trapped in Gaza

“And all the while, we hear bombs. Bombs that bear autumn’s scent and winter’s chill. Bombs that batter. Bombs that kill. I still have waking nightmares of the bombs that tore through our sky nearly four years ago, when a classmate, Maha, lost her mother in an Israeli strike. And a childhood friend, Hanan, who saw her mother’s leg severed under the rubble from another strike.”

I contacted Ahava, my friend from Israel, to see how she was holding up. Here’s an excerpt from her responses:

“it wasn't affecting us too much until Friday night right after lighting candles for Shabbat the air raid sirens blared out and we had 90 seconds to get our kids to the safe room (our entryway).  Two rockets landed about 8 miles from our front door.  Pretty scary.   So, I packed us a go bag over Shabbat, just in case, and we've been drilling the kids what to do if they hear sirens (close the metal shutters, go against the wall, hands over head, wait for Abba and Imma).  The girls have already been doing drills in school, so they aren't too scared.  I'm just thankful we don't live farther South.  One friend of mine from that area was complaining that every time she puts a cake in the oven to bake they get a rocket nearby and the cake falls from the explosion.  now that's intense.”

Most Relatable:
The Oatmeal with “Making Things
[WARNING: Profanity]

Wisest:
Sarah Bessey with “In which I tell you the truth about telling the truth

“Let me lay a bit more truth on us: truth and love are not mutually exclusive. Truth isn’t the heavy-handed Papa here to lay down the discipline. Real truth sets free, truth invites, truth locks hands with grace, kisses love, and outlasts all of the fashionable Facebook rants and fear-baiting rhetoric, all of the splinter-spotting by the plank-in-the-eye crowd.”

Bravest: 
Glennon Metlton with “There will be no eclipse” 

"Then I decided that there is nothing shameful about being human. That we are each broken and each beautiful, and that we really do have similar longings, feelings, traumas, flaws, gifts, fears and secrets. And I learned that we stay as sick as our secrets. So I turned my insides out and I started writing. And my truth started setting others free to share their truths. And with that, I did my little part to help the world be free-er. That’s what I do here. I do my part.”

Smartest:
Krista Dalton with “The Christian appropriation of Judaism” 

“To be fair, this approach often comes from good intentions. Christians discover the realm of 'Jewishness' as it crosses their plane of Christianity, and they attempt to plug pieces of 'Jewishness'  into their story: such as the 'Jewishness' of Jesus, the 'Jewish' Passover behind Easter, and the 'Jewish' authorship of Paul. But this attempt to formulate “Jewishness” isn’t the same as understanding Judaism.”

Truest:
Ann Voskamp with “The Song for All the Women” 

“They’re here right next to me — all these women rejected for the size of their pants, the size of their house, the size of their family, the size of their work. Women brushed off because they live too large or they live too small, because there is more of them than people know what to do with, because they can’t or don’t or won’t fit into someone else’s box…”

On the blog…

Most Popular Posts:
Sisters, Speak…” and “Why ‘A Year of Biblical Womanhood is a NYT Bestseller

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “My interview with Mary Kassian,” Megan wrote: 

“I confess I'm not terribly familiar with Mary, but from what I know she seems like a rather sensible and smart woman. I did read her review of Year of Biblical Womanhood. I can see why she'd be frustrated that her vision of submission wasn't given space in the book, but ultimately her frustration is misplaced. If she's frustrated that submission is equated with brainlessly and meekly taking whatever the man dishes out, Rachel's the wrong one to complain about. Mary should be complaining about a certain vocal, respected, mainstream proponent of complementarianism (male, naturally) who says that submission does mean tolerating abuse. While the Pipers and Driscolls of the world frustrate me as an egalitarian, if I were a moderate complementarian I think they'd frustrate me even more. If complementarianism is being "misrepresented," it's by these men, not by Rachel. But we rarely hear pointed criticism of them (Driscoll excepted, but then it's mostly because he's so pervy, not because there's any fundamental disagreement on his views on submission). I get that there's always more affinity for those on your "side" even when you disagree, but really. If complementarians spent half as much time on getting their own house in order as they have hyperventilating about this book, they'd have a lot less "misrepresentation" to fear.”

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

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