Sunday Superlatives 7/1/2012


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere...

Coolest Project:
The Guardian with “Van Gogh's Starry Night recreated in dominoes

Funniest Video:
College Humor with "Dora The Explorer Movie Trailer"

Best Etsy find (via Suzannah Paul):
Vagina Is Not A Bad Word  Embroidery

Most Inspiring: 
Cara Sexton with “Making Room – Where Love Fits In

“Tuesday we were notified our foster care certification was official, that our home was opened to provide care, and less than 24 hours later, our phone was ringing… would we take a 4- and 5-year-old sibling set in an hour? We had said we had no room for boys, what with three already in one bedroom, and could only accept girls for placement, and with my writing and work commitments, only school-aged children fit into our current life. But when the call came, it was so much clearer than it had been before… we don't fit love into the rest of our life. We just walk in love, first, and let the rest fall all over and around it, soaked up and stained by the color that bleeds from what love does.”

Most Challenging: 
DL Mayfield at Deeper Story with “Debris

“There is debris all around us, washing onto our shores. We can choose to ignore it, move away from it, insulate our lives so we do not have to engage with it. But in doing so we will create a life full of pale pleasures and uneasy satisfaction. We will miss out on living a great life, settling for good and safe."

Most Enlightening: 
The Economist with “Accounting for Time

Most Intriguing (nominated by Brett Gibson)
Roger Olson’s review of Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture by Kenton L. Sparks

“What’s especially interesting about the book is Sparks’ response to the Old Testament “texts of terror”—something we have discussed here quite a lot. If I understand his thesis correctly, it is very similar to what I have argued here—that the Old Testament must be interpreted in light of the New and that, at least occasionally, reports in the Old Testament (about what God commanded people to do) must be relativized in light of the character of God revealed in Jesus Christ who is the Word of God in person.”

Most Informative: 
Marc Cortez with “What Mainline Does and Doesn’t Mean

“Growing up in evangelical churches, I often heard about some other branch of Christianity called ‘mainline,’ but I never really knew what that meant. I just knew that ‘mainline’ meant ‘bad’ for some reason...”

Most Breathtaking:
The Big Picture with “National Geographic Traveler Magazine: 2012 Photo Contest

Most Relatable (nominated by Preston Yancey): 
Duane Scott with “How to survive when someone attacks your faith

"The email arrives angry, smoldering in my inbox and I smolder too, when I read it. I know the scriptures say to be angry and sin not, but I feel sin burning within me like a lake of fire itself so I escape to the outdoors where 93* feels cooler somehow; cooler than sitting in my office staring at that awful email. And as I walk away, toward the park, I count my steps. One, two, all the way to twenty-three because we’ve been told to count when we’re upset. “Count to ten, count to win,” my mother’s voices echoes soft and reassuring in my head. Because spiritual quarrels aren’t won by the one with the strongest words but the one with the strongest grip on peace."

Most Exciting:
Sarah Bessey with “In which there is something big buried here in the small words

Most Likely to Make You a More Patient Flyer: 
Heather Poole  at Mental Floss with “10 Shocking Secrets of Flight Attendants” 

"1. IF THE PLANE DOOR IS OPEN, WE’RE NOT GETTING PAID.  You know all that preflight time where we’re cramming bags into overhead bins? None of that shows up in our paychecks. Flight attendants get paid for ‘flight hours only.’Translation: The clock doesn’t start until the craft pushes away from the gate. Flight delays, cancellations, and layovers affect us just as much as they do passengers—maybe even more.”

Most Likely to Inspire You to Check on Flights to Los Angeles:
Arrested Development Art Show in Los Angeles

Best Point: 
Kathy Escobar with “Why the word ‘missional’ bugs me

“It feels pretty cruddy to be someone’s 'mission.'"

Best Illustration (nominated by Jessica Wojcik):
America’s Next Top Mommy with “Jesus Take the Wheel...But Let Me Give You Directions” 

“It occurred to me that when it comes to my life and God, I'm just like my husband.  I scream out, 'Jesus! Take the wheel!' and then I desperately try to pry it out of his hands or lean over him in my seat and check the speedometer or try to give him directions.  It's hard for me to surrender complete control because I've spent my whole life trying to drive myself.  It makes me uncomfortable to be in a situation where I have no control. I'm just like my husband not being able to drive. And when I finally get somewhere and I arrive in one piece I'm always surprised at God's competency. Oh me of little faith.”

Best Challenge (nominated by James Gribble):
Michael Hidalgo at Relevant with “A Natural Disaster with No One to Blame

“It seems the only thing these leaders who blame others for natural disasters have admitted is they believe God can’t possibly put up with others who are not like them. While they seem to enjoy the opportunity to blame and level accusation, they forget God is not the one who is called ‘the accuser.’”

Best Testimony:
Annie Durena at She Loves with “I am a daughter of Haiti awakening to my purpose

“I learned that to a child who had lost one or both of his parents, a simple gift of a toothbrush or soap meant a great deal.”

Best Example: 
Sara Barton (at The Pangea Blog) with “When Women Are Called and the Church Says ‘No!’” 

“The conversation about women as full members of the body of Christ, as it turns out, is about the real work of the gospel.  So, I listened, and prayed, and laughed and cried and communed . . . and even kissed a few cheeks . . . at my book-signing booth, thankful that God allowed me to join the conversation.”

Best Responses to the “Can Women Have it All?” Conversation: 

Lori Gottlieb at The Atlantic with “Why There's No Such Thing as 'Having It All'—and There Never Will Be

“How does a smart woman like Slaughter still believe in the childlike notion that people (of either gender) can have whatever they want whenever they want it, regardless of life's intrinsic constraints?... This isn't a feminist issue. This is Life 101, something all people learn as kids -- until they grow up to be a high-level government official who has to choose between one six-figure job near her kids and one far away, and can't accept life's inherent limitations.”

Rebecca Traister at Salon.com with “Can modern women ‘have it all?’” 

“...We should immediately strike the phrase “have it all” from the feminist lexicon and never, ever use it again.”

Elizabeth Duffy with “The Indispensable One and Only

“When we have so many choices, we are easily fooled into believing that the outcome of our lives is one hundred percent ours. Even a non-believer must admit, as Slaughter has, as my friend has, that there are other factors acting in our lives besides our own self-will. There are complications with our bodies, with our abilities. There are other people. We are never fully the masters of our own destiny, which is something that I find a complete relief when I pause to think on it.”

Jessica Valenti with “Sad White Babies with Mean Feminist Mommies” 

Stephanie Coontz with “Why is 'having it all' just a women's issue?

“Let's start by recognizing that the women's movement never told anybody that they could "have it all." That concept was the brainchild of advertising executives, not feminist activists.”

Kim Van Brunt with “I don’t want to have it all

“It feels like an itchy sweater, one that’s been sitting at the back of my closet for years. I mostly forget about it, but then I spot it every now and then, drag in out, put it on. It’s the ‘I want it all’ paradigm, and it has never, ever fit.”

Best Interview: 
Catholic Defense interviews Leah Libresco

Best New Site: 
Greg Boyd with ReKnew.org

Best Sign-Off:
Adam McHugh with “A Moment of Silence

“I leave this blog today, not because my convictions have faded, but because I know that the message is out there now."

 On the Blog... 

Most Popular Posts: 
Complementarianism and hierarchy outside the home and church” and “6 Thoughts on ‘Brave’”

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “Complementarianism and hierarchy outside the home and church,” Rckjones wrote: 

“I'm quite caught up on this idea that failure to conform to the masculine or feminine script would actually "strain the personhood" of a man or woman. I was having a conversation about this idea the other day with a friend, and couldn't shake the feeling that complementarianism seems to show amazing belief in the tenderness and fragility of the male ego. This was coming off of a weekend of reading about Mark Driscoll, so it may just be his particular brand that I'm responding to, but I'm amazed that some complementarians seem to believe that we should create an entire social system solely designed to keep men from feeling bad about themselves by making sure there is always someone below them on the food chain that they can rule over.

It reminds me quite a bit of historical race relations. For so many decades and centuries, the white middle class of America got to have the opportunity to change social classes based on the happy accident of not being born black (or female). Even to this day, I've personally heard white people talk in a resentful manner about non-white people moving into the area and "lowering property values" - I think that if they really admitted it, there's a wounded ego aspect to this. For those people who need to feel powerful to be happy, they need to have someone below them in order to feel superior. Same seems to go with the reactionary stance of Christian men, who seem so afraid of not having the edge anymore that they must stamp back down on women to feel like the world is in proper order. So much the better if they can design a way of doing this that casts them as a hero rather than a villain.”

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

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