Sunday Superlatives 2/5/2012


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

So on Tuesday I’ll be highlighting the fantastic responses we received to our call for men to honor and celebrate women in the Church as a way of providing an alternative to John Piper’s assertion that Christianity should have a “masculine feel.” We’ve had over 100 submissions so far, and I’m reading every single one...so don’t forget to leave yours here

In the meantime, there have been some other great news stories and blog posts online this week, which brings us to our Sunday Superlatives: 

Around the Blogosphere...

Best Video: 
Miss Piggy speaks her mind about Fox News

Best Infographic: 
Generic Name for Soft Drinks by Region
[Around here it’s Coke. What do you and your neighbors say?]

Best List: 
Gretchen Rubin with “11 Brilliant Writing Commandments from Henry Miller

Best Series:
Ed Cyzewski with “Women In Ministry
This one from Tamara Lunardo is beautiful

“When I write stories of Jesus’ meeting me at the well or of His barging in on my Damascus road, God permits a woman to preach. When I write stories of seeing grace light dark places or of learning love in unexpected form, God permits a woman to teach. When I write stories of painful struggle or of raucous laughter, God permits a woman to minister. When I write stories of baring raw honesty or of poking at man-made taboo, God permits a woman to lead. When I write, God permits a woman to speak, and I am only a whisper in a beautiful, growing chorus.”

Best Satire:
God Hates Checkered Whiptail Lizards

Best Observation:
Jon Acuff with “What Our Twitter Viruses Say About Us

“And we click. We click by the tens of thousands. Even with busted grammar like “You seen” we rush to that bad blog or bad photo of us. Critic’s Math is part of it, but I think the problem is even bigger. Why do we click on something that says we’re horrible? Because we’re secretly afraid it might be true. Deep down, in the wounded part of us, we’re afraid they might be right. We’re unlovable. We’re not enough. We’re a failure. We guzzle poison about our identities even while we reject compliments.”

Best Use of the Word “Biblical”:
President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

“Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical.  It is God who is infallible, not us.” 

Worst Use of the Word “Biblical”:
Alabama state Senator Shadrack McGill, on opposing a bill that would raise teacher salaries

“Teachers need to make the money that they need to make... It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach. To go and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK?”

Most Likely To Make You Sit In the Car After You’ve Reached Your Destination So You Can Finish Listening to the Story:
NPR with “Best Practices: Learning to Live with Aspergers
[This sounds like a really interesting book.

Most Likely to Get Forwarded to Your Pastor and Parents So They Understand Why You Sleep In On Sundays: 
Dave Kinnaman with “Six Reasons Young People Are Leaving the Church

Most Convicting: 
PC Walker with “The Guilt Idol

“Guilt remains an idol because my unwillingness to reveal myself as I am, wounds and all, is an unwillingness to accept myself. That unwillingness to accept myself is my unwillingness to accept that God truly is a loving God. I may accept it in my head while there remains a great chasm between my head and my heart.”

Most Inspiring:
25,000 reasons not to worry about a down-syndrome screening test” by Noah’s Dad 
[I only recently found this blog and it makes me smile each time it pops up on my Google Reader.]

Most Informative:
IMonk with “St. Bridget and the Groundhog

Most Insightful:
Andy Crouch at the BioLogos Blog with “What I Wish My Pastor Knew...About the Life of a Scientist

“I am married to a scientist — to be specific, an experimental physicist (which I’d like to think is the very best kind). For more than 15 years now I’ve accompanied Catherine through a life in physics, a kind of Pilgrim’s Progress that began in the Slough of Graduate School, continued through the Testing Fields of the Job Search and the harrowing of the Vale of Tenure, and is now wending its way through the Elysian Fields of Mid-Career Teaching, Research, and Administration. Along the way, just like Christian in Bunyan’s classic, she has encountered plenty of both helpful and dangerous characters, some reassuringly metaphorical and others all too literal. And I, like Christian’s friend Hopeful, have tried to be a faithful companion, though often I’ve been able to do little more than cheer or wince at the twists and turns of a life in science...”

Most Practical:
Andrew Jones with “What Dorothy Day Might Teach Bloggers

Most Eye-Opening:
Todd Clayton with “Coming Out at a Christian College

Wisest:
Alise Wright with “We’re All Stories

“When I think about those closest to me, it would be easy to classify them and move on. But what has enriched my relationships with them has been discovering their stories. Taking the time to sit with them and hear about their childhood. To listen to what their upbringing was like. To discover not just what they think, but why they think it. Spending time together, learning about their opinions, their convictions, their hurts, their dreams, their joys, their disappointments, their lives. Their stories have made them more real to me and have deepened our friendships in countless ways.”

Boldest:
Dianna Anderson over at Matthew Paul Turner’s blog with “Why The Church Needs to Shut Up and Listen

“It’s taken me nearly nine years to realize what it means to be “safe” for someone else – it means not prizing my doctrine over their pain. It means not sounding my disapproval as though it’s the same as God’s. It means shutting up and letting them talk.”

Funniest:
Tripp and Tyler with "Super Bowl Party Etiquette

Best Sentence:
Mason Slater with “Imagining a Better Redemption

“Our eschatology is inhibited by a lack of imagination.”

Best Paragraph: 
Sarah Moon with “Tell Us We’re Not Strong Enough...

“Yes, tell us women, who have overcome slavery and oppression and objectification that we are not strong. Tell us who have been raped and beaten and silenced, yet survive to stand and speak, that we will break under the pressures of fighting injustice. Tell us women who continue to make progress and continue to use our talents to improve this world, despite ongoing oppression that has been around for centuries that the church would be better off masculine. Go ahead and tell us. But we won’t stop proving you wrong.”

Best Point: 
Scot McKnight with “John Piper: What He Said

“There is a Greek word for ‘masculine’ (andreia), it never occurs in the New Testament (a word close to it occurs in 1 Cor 16:13, but seems to be addressing the whole church — and means courage). Nor does it appear once in any words quoted here of J.C. Ryle.  This is a colossal example of driving the whole through a word (‘masculine’) that is not a term used in the New Testament, which Testament never says ‘For Men Only.’ Pastors are addressed in a number of passages in the NT, and not once are they told to be masculine.”

Best News:
CNN with "The New Christian Abolition Movement


On the Blog...

Most Popular Post:
They Were Right (And Wrong) About the Slippery Slope

Most Popular Comment (with 116 likes!):
In response to the above post, Kari wrote: 

“Love it. You left off one of mine. They said if I kept asking questions about why women can't do certain things, I would end up a feminist. They were right. I am. (But I am pretty sure Jesus was, too.)” 

Second Most Popular Comment (with 99 likes!):
In response to “John Piper wants a masculine Christianity. What do you think?” Michael Mock wrote:

“Masculine Christianity? Feminine Christianity? Look, I'm not a Christian, but even asking the question seems to me to be profoundly missing the point. What I'd most like to see, myself, is a humane Christianity.  Every time I hear someone start talking about how Christianity needs to be more 'manly' or 'masculine' - or, by contrast, less effeminate - it seems to come at the cost of basic politeness and human decency, of empathy and forgiveness. It's gotten to the point where I assume that anyone who says that basically just wants permission to be more of a prick than the traditional reading of the Gospels says that they should be (i.e. not at all). The more of this "manly" Christianity I see, the more I'm convinced that it's just a cover for bad behavior, motivated by a misguided longing for a certain sort of machismo that Jesus neither endorsed nor practiced.”

So what caught your eye online this week? 

What’s happening on your blog? 

And who will you be pulling for in the Super Bowl tonight?

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