Saturday Superlatives: 8/27/11

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
'Hurricane Irene August 26th [hd video]' photo (c) 2011, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - license:

Note: I’m sharing  this week’s superlatives today to make room for a post about my “week of silence” tomorrow.

Around the Blogosphere…

Best Dialog: 
Nicole Unice and Natasha Robinson talking about race, friendship, and The HelpPart 1Part 2Part 3,Part 4

Best Commentary:
James Garland at The Chronicle with “The Value of Humility in Academe (No Kidding)
“Humility is an important educational goal because it is the bedrock of a liberal education. It is the quality that keeps us from overvaluing our own opinions and discounting the opinions of those who know more than we do.”

 Best Satire:
Matthew Paul Turner with “How To Find God in Natural Disasters
“Okay, East Coast, it’s official: God’s put you on his geographical poop list. Now, don’t fret about this; it happens to most geographical locations at one point or another. Now, there’s no exact science to figuring out which areas of the world God hates the most—though you’re not quite at Toledo’s level yet—however, I do think that Tuesday’s earthquake suggests that God’s current hatred for you—as in, the Northeast corridor between Richmond and Boston—is slightly greater than his hatred for say, whatever current spot of ground Vladimir Putin is standing on. And trust me, God has never liked Putin’s current location.'

Best Argument: 
Laura Ziesal with “Are Christians Called to Culture War?
“Above and beyond the feminism debate, I want to address the issue of being "called" to be counter cultural. Opposing “the culture of the day” is often something I have heard we should do as Christians. So, let’s examine what that means.”

Best Interview:
Rachel Stone at Her.Meneutics interviews William Webb about egalitarianism
"Webb: I think this question betrays two incorrect assumptions. First, it wrongly assumes that hierarchicalists or patriarchalists do not have their own cultural and subcultural prejudices that impact their reading of Scripture. Second, it wrongly assumes that Scripture itself has not been impacted in its own formation with cultural components and a fallen-world context that shapes its social ethics. One would do well to read Mark Noll’s The Civil War as a Theological Crisis to see how communities dominate how we read Scripture (many preachers used Scripture to defend slavery). Did ancient culture impact the biblical ethics of slavery but not that of women? “

The Washington Post with “Zoo Mystery: How did apes and birds know the quake was coming?

Sweetest (nominated by Janet Oberholtzer):
Shawn Smucker with “The Best Friday Night This Dad Has Ever Had

Don Miller with “Being Less Biblical and More Like the Bible
“As a writer who does not like the word 'biblical' though, I love the Bible. In my opinion, it is a rich tapestry of egoless narratives, poems and letters. Most of the writers were not chosen for their skill, I don’t believe, but each of them has an uncanny ability to remove pretense from their work."

Most Intriguing: 
Fresh Air speaks with Tom Perrotta whose latest novel features a rapturelike event in which millions of people around the globe disappear into thin air.

Most Relatable: 
Preston Yancey with “In Which I May Be The Very Worst Theologian” 
“I am always in flux, learning new things, seeing new angles, writing new stories.”

Most  Provocative (nominated by Hannah C.)
Elizabeth Esther with “The Pornification ofMarriage

Biggest Reality Check:
Mason Slater with “This Is Why I Care – Historical Adam
“We cannot ignore it as if it were unimportant, or turn our heads and hope it goes away on its own. If we do, this Calvin story is going to be repeated time and again.”

Fullest of Faith: 
Micha Hohorst with “To Lose Faith is to Stop Looking
“There are some decisions that shape the course of what you are, where you’ll walk this earth. Mine was love. I boldly offered Jesus my love. My head has been crammed ever since. For every certain experience of God’s presence, for every answered prayer, there a sure and present nag, a crusty whisper that what I’ve seen is not enough, that what I’ve counted as God’s love has been simply privilege.”

Best Storytelling: (nominated by Sarah Styles Bessey):
Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary, at POTSC with “You’d Be Surprised
“But that moment in front of the SurfWind motel came back in a flood of understanding a year later, when my friend said he needed to talk and I found him lying on the floor, just a pile of tears and snot, and I heard his confession through his sobs. As it turns out, he was that guy, the kind that uses hookers.”

Best Imagery (nominated by Shawn Smucker): 
David Nilsen with “Red Rover Red Rover

Most Likely to Both Convict and Inspire (nominated by Joy Bennett): 
Alece Ronzino at Deeper Story with “Grace Runs
“No, Jesus didn’t avoid the appearance of evil. He sought it out. He pursued it. And as a result, He quite often appeared evil.”

Eshet Chayil! Woman of Valor…

Jomana Karadsheh
Fluent in Arabic and English
Won Gadhafi gunman over to free journalists held against their will in a Libyan hotel

On the Nightstand…

Most Inspiring: 
“Poets are immersed in process, and I mean process not as an amorphous blur but as a discipline. The hard work of writing has taught me that in matters of the heart, such as writing, or faith, there is no right or wrong way to do it, but only the way of your life. Just paying attention will teach you what bears fruit and what doesn’t. But it will be necessary to revise—to doodle, scratch out, erase, even make a mess of things—in order to make it come out right.” – Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk

Most Random: 
[Regarding Song of Solomon 5:4] “In the present passage KJ rendered “and my bowels were moved for him,” which would not now be considered felicitous, although the Rev. Dr. Sibs in 1648 for his sermons on Chapters 4-6 took his title, “Bowels Opened,” from the passages.” – The Anchor Bible, Commentary on Song of Solomon

On the blog…

Most Popular Post:
We’re Civil as Heck (But We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore)

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “We’re Civil as Heck…", Mike Clawson wrote, “I think you're right that anger is often counter-productive to producing real change and I really like your list of constructive responses. At the same time, anger is also often a necessary step in the process of uncovering the wounds of sexism and helping women (and men) identify the sources of their oppression and begin to heal from them. I think we need to be careful not to expect people to "get past" their anger too quickly. Doing so runs the risk of minimizing and silencing their very real hurts. Not to mention that being told to sit quietly, submissively, and above all, not to show your anger, is one of the major ways that women have been pushed down and marginalized in our culture (which, I would suggest, is a strong contributing factor to the kind of feedback you have been receiving for your recent posts - you were far nicer to Mark or Donald or whoever than many of us guys have been to them over the years, and yet you seemed to receive far more criticism for speaking up - i.e. not just for what you said, but for the very fact that you said anything at all - than we would have). That being the case, sometimes letting themselves get angry is exactly what many women need in order to overcome this false message that nice girls don't rock the boat.” 

What caught your eye this week? What's happening on your blog?

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