Sunday Superlatives 9/30/2012


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the blogosphere...

Best Political Commentary: 
The Simpsons with “Homer Votes” 

Best Critique: 
Ashleigh Bailey with “Christian Feminism” 

“I also don’t think we should have to call ourselves Christian feminists, as if the only other sort of feminist is an evil feminist.  Feminism is incredibly diverse.  If you’re talking to someone who doesn’t understand that and seems to lump all feminists together under negative stereotypes, the answer is education, not labels that distance you from the rest of feminism.  During one summer in college, I was a part of a feminist book club with all sorts of feminists.  We had LGBT feminists, male feminists, very politically active feminists, artsy feminists, feminists who thought porn was freeing, feminists who thought porn was objectifying, etc.  And nobody assumed being a feminist meant you had to stand with them on every single issue because it was widely acknowledged that that diversity existed.  I don’t call myself a “Christian feminist,” as if I need a code for “good feminist” to differentiate me from the worst of feminism.  I simply call myself a feminist because it shouldn’t box me in any more than calling myself Christian should make you think I’m automatically a fundamentalist or a charismatic or a Catholic or a Presbyterian.”

Best List: 
Michael Bird with “Books to Read Before You Start Seminary” 

Best Analysis: 
Ben Witherington with “Family First! - Not a Biblical Viewpoint” 

“The Greatest and highest commandment for all human beings, male or female is—- ‘to love the Lord your God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’. Now you will notice that nothing is said here about family. Nothing at all. The tandem of God and neighbor to whom we should direct our love is matched by that same tandem in the Lord’s prayer where we ask God for forgiveness of our transgressions just as we forgive anyone who transgresses against us.” 

Best Series: 
Jessica Bowman with “Returning to Church

“And it’s obvious to me that God knew we needed to be wooed back to his bride because the folks at this new church have been courting us pretty righteously. We’ve been invited to dinners, given food and clothes, contacted personally about things happening in town that might interest us.There’s still the cynical side of me that says, “This is the honeymoon, Jessica. Churches are always nice in the beginning. That is the nature of dating.” But I’m ignoring that voice as well as I can and just putting one foot in front of the other. Spewing less haterade. Applying more golden rule. Because the Church doesn’t need more hate. It needs more love.”

Best Response: 
Fred Clark with “Men on Top: Where are all the Christian women bloggers?” 

Best Reflection: 
Ed Cyzewski with “When Someone Else’s Story Becomes Your Own” 

“Either way, there is a danger in both telling and hearing stories: we can turn a beautiful narrative into a blueprint.”

Best Question: 
Andrew Perriman with “What Does It Mean to be Born Again?” 

“So I would suggest that Mark Driscoll and Derrick Olliff are both partly right. Nicodemus needed to be personally “regenerated”, he needed to become a different person, he needed to leave behind his old world and worldview, he needed to be baptized, he needed to be filled with the Spirit, in order to be included in, rather than excluded from, the restoration of Israel. He needed to be “born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13).”

Boldest
Jen LeBow with “Why I’m Speaking Up and Making Cookies: A Rebuttal of Fear-Based Politics” 

“As Christians, charged at least 40 times in the Bible to “fear not,” our mandate is to spread hope and love.  We are called to value God’s kingdom above our own nationality, not see them as one and the same.  We Christians say we have the Way, the Truth, and the Light.  Why would we consort with fear?” 

Bravest (nominated by Kelley Nikondeha): 
Guy Martin Delcambre with “How cooking saved us” 

“I introduced them to adventure to keep their hearts curious and growing.  We attacked our weaknesses together.  I learned how to do a pony tail, and they learned how to fish.  They taught me how to paint nails, and I showed them how to scout a hiking trail.  Our life together will always be my most beautiful treasure.  I absolutely adore it. Tonight, as on most Wednesday evenings, we continued on with one of my favorite new family traditions: family cook night.  It’s quite simple of a tradition.  We cook, together.”

Coolest:
Stephen Colbert Tells Fordham Students: "I Love My Church"

Most Inspiring: 
Idelette McVicker at SheLoves with “Awake” 

“That’s when I realized: This is a living out of Psalm 68 verse 11 right here. I could pinch myself. It wasn’t quite what I’d imagined when I first read the text about 15 years ago. That day when my body lit on fire with these magnificent words in a little red Good News Bible I carried around with me everywhere in the big city of Taipei. It read: ‘The Lord gave the command, and many women carried the news …’” 

Most Practical: 
Fair Trade USA with “10 Easy Ways to Celebrate Fair Trade Month”

Most Beautiful (nominated by Suzannah Paul): 
Annie at Home with “Let Love

“Let love. Let it quiet the voices of should and not good enough. Let it silence shame and bring light to places desperate for redemption, restoration, conviction. Let it come gentle in the long, quiet.”

Most Relatable:
Peter Enns with “Outgrowing Evangelicalism: It’s Not Just for Scholars Anymore” 

“Contemporary evangelicalism has a “defensive” DNA going back to the 19th century. It grew to resist liberalizing movements from within the church. It drew boundaries of what belongs and what doesn’t. Boundaries are designed to protect, not to allow exploration what lies beyond them. A movement set up to defend doesn’t do a good job of handling pilgrims who want to–need to–move off the beach blanket. This scenario leads to a problem for people like Haseltine: where do I go and what do I believe? That is the “middle space.”

Most Impressive:
Google’s 350 degree tours give you deeper view of Great Barrier Reef

Most Likely to Force You to Confront Your Own Cynicism and Judgment Without Making You Feel Cynical or Judged:
Nish Weiseth with “Alabama, Southern Baptists, and a Recovering Cynic” 

“The evening session started a few hours later and I sat quietly in my seat. I looked around and found women caught deep in the moment of worship. I found women furiously taking notes. I felt ashamed for judging them, for judging conferences and events like these. Through my own cracked, jaded lenses, I have refused to see that there is so much value in weekends like these. Some women NEED events like this.’"

Most Likely to Make You Super-Duper Proud, Especially if You’ve Known Quentin McCuiston (aka Oliver Twist) Since High School:
The New York Times with “A Dickens Classic for the Ages: A Review of ‘Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist in Madison

“Although Oliver himself is a passive fellow bullied by bad circumstances, Quentin McCuiston gives the angel-face character a doggedly earnest manner that sustains him through the worst.” 

On the blog...

Most Popular Post: 
10 Cool Things We’ve Done in 1,000 Posts” 

Most Popular Comment: 
In response to “(More) Scattered Thoughts on Life in the Christian ‘Industry’”, Pastors Wives Anon wrote: 

“I read once that sleep can be a form of worship because when we sleep, we are trusting that the world will go on without us. I like that.”

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

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