Sunday Superlatives 7/24/11


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere…

Best Video (nominated by Elizabeth Riley):
Jim Meskimen Does Shakespeare in Celebrity Voices

Best Image (nominated by Paul DeBaufer): 
Sarah Moon with “Crippling Lies and Tennis Shoes of Truth
“I grew up in a church and Christian school that taught me some unhealthy things about what it meant to be a woman. And my perceived definition of womanhood was, like my high heels, crippling.”

Best Dialog:
Two Friars and a Fool host Richard Beck and JR Daniel Kirk in a conversation about the ending of the Christian story.

Best Satire:
Chaplain Mike with “Group Seeks Genesis Ban

Most Controversial (among certain portions of the population, I suppose): 
Campus Crusade for Christ changes its name to Cru
“We believe wholeheartedly that God has given us this new name.”
[So I guess if you don’t like it, take it up with God.]

Most Eye-Opening:
Big Picture with “The Most Dangerous Countries for Women

Most Thought-Provoking: 
Laura Ziesel with “The Barbs Hidden in Honorifics
“…When we artificially elevate motherhood, we imply that women who are not mothers have a lower status in their lives and calling.”

Most Hopeful (nominated by Preston Yancey): 
Max Dubinsky with “The End

Most Quotable:
Bethany Keeley-Jonker at Think Christian with “Mark Driscoll and the Importance of Being Uncomfortable In Church
“Rather than explain that Christianity is for manly men who kill people, he should have said it’s for everybody, even people who make us uncomfortable…We live in a culture where it is hard to find spaces for certain kinds of gender performances to be accepted and valued. The church has an odd history, but in our best moments, we welcome gifts from those who offer them. Sometimes that looks like a flamboyant choir director and sometimes it looks like an unexpressive patriarch barely singing along. But surely the heart of God is big enough for both of them. If we try to hide the ones volunteering leadership skills, we’ll be the lesser for it.”

Most Challenging:
Matthew Paul Turner with “What Happens in Vegas…
“Do we really want the darker realities of our cities and towns to “stay in” our cities and towns? And if they do “stay,” what does that say about us? That we don’t care? That we don’t know how to help? That we would rather think about what happens in Times Square and not what happens in some of the gang-ruled streets of Philadelphia…”

 Bravest: 
Suzannah with “Gay Bullying Is Wrong…
“ …The Church has been complicit in gay bullying by our silence.”

Wisest: 
Brian LePort with “Five Thoughts on Christians Discussing Evolution
“I’ve realized that there are two things I do not like to see when Christians discuss evolution. The first is a fundamentalism that says any Christian who accepts evolution to be true must be compromising their trust in Scripture. This is simply not a necessary deduction.. The second would be a type of fundamentalism that lambastes anyone who does not accept evolution or who cannot honestly accept evolution to be true because they cannot reconcile it with the teachings of Scripture and/or the doctrines of traditional Christianity...”

 Funniest:
Carlos Whittaker with “Butterflies, My Parenting Manual, and the Death of Freedom

Frankest: 
Tony Jones with “Jesus Was Not a Biblical Christian” 
“Saying that someone is a ‘biblical Christian’ is tantamount to saying that they believe in ‘true truth.’”

Most Likely to Start an Interesting Conversation:
Glenn Greenwald at Salon with "The Omnipotence of Al Qaeda and the Meaninglessness of "Terrorism'"

Best Blessing: 
Richard Beck Shares “The Fourfold Franciscan Blessing
”May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done."

On the Blog…

Most Popular Post:
My Favorite Books About Justice

Most Popular Comment:
Ellen Painter Dollar, in response to “On Growing Thick(er) Skin” wrote: 
“I've had a not-easy conversation with a friend/colleague this week about the tension you name here, about how to be a person of conviction, without becoming impervious to criticism and questions; how to be impassioned and brave, but also humble; how to foster an environment of acceptance, where questions, uncertainty, doubt, and diverse opinions are welcomed, without capitulating to a cultural temptation to back off from saying anything worthwhile because we don't want to offend someone. It is, for me, the hardest part of being a writer and blogger, particularly one who focuses on both faith and parenting--two areas where people tend to put all of their faith in the "right" answer and to feel threatened by those who answer important questions differently than they do. ... One practical thing I've learned as a blogger is that, if I want to keep my sanity, I can only engage dissenting comments if they are respectful and reveal a true willingness to have a conversation. I enjoy responding to comments that disagree with what I say...if the commenters are showing a bit of humility and willingness to hash it out with me as an equal. Those who just want to tell me how wrong I am, how I am failing at following God, how my parenting choices are ruining my kids, etc., well, they don't need me to respond because they already know they are right."

WINNER of a copy of Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James (selected by random.org): 
Cory Martin!!!!!

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What caught your eye online this week?

What's happening on your blog?

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