Sunday Superlatives 1/8/2012

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
'Frozen Red Berries' photo (c) 2008, Otto Phokus - license:

Around the Blogosphere...

Funniest Photo: 
Arguing on Facebook” (via Huffington Post)

Best Series: 
Christian Century with “What’s the Gospel in Seven Words?

Best Analysis:
Paul Wallace with “Intelligent Design is Dead

Best Advice:
Torre DeRoche with “What if Your Biggest Naysayer is You?
“If left unchecked, your inner-naysayer can be your worst enemy. Unlike other naysayers, you can’t simply defriend them on Facebook. You can change friends, jobs, and phone numbers, but your inner-naysayer will still be there. Even if you get on a plane and fly to the other side of the globe, your inner-naysayer will hunt you down.”

Most Stunning:
National Geographic Photography Contest Winners 

Most Thought-Provoking:
Sky Jethani with “Is Tim Tebow a Hypocrite?
“I believe in God’s economy there is not a single thought, feeling, or moment that is lost. There is nothing that is unseen or unrecorded. But in our culture of digital voyeurism, we are tempted to believe things only become real when they are external…on paper, published, posted, tweeted, or displayed. All the more reason why we need to recapture the discipline of secrecy in order to foster our trust that God is indeed with us and witnessing every thought and reflection. In the privacy of prayer, I discover that my life really does matter—not because someone read it, heard it, or saw it, but because God is my witness."

Most Inspiring:
Lori Ventola at Burnside Writer’s Collective with “Resolving to Be Shameless
“Behold, I bring you glad tidings and great Good News: we are forgiven. Your holiday overindulgence, your extra 10 or 20 or 200 pounds: forgiven. Your messy house, your out of control budget: forgiven.”

Most Informative: 
Juan Cole with “Top Ten Myths About the Arab Spring of 2011

Most Provocative: 
Andrew Jones with “9 Reasons NOT to Plant a Church in 2012” 
"The measurement criteria of the church planting project, focusing on numbers of attenders and momentum of new church launch, is too narrow, too shallow, un-holistic and ignores more vital measurable signs of a transformed society in its various spheres (economic, environmental, social, impact outside the church environment, etc).”

Most Challenging:
Shane Claiborne at Red Letter Christians with “12 Hopes for 2012
“Track down a critic or someone I disagree with and take them to lunch.  Listen to them.”

Most Beautiful:
Sarah Bessey with “In Which Love Looks Like Real Marriage
“It's a slow-dance still, isn't it, my luv? You lead and I lead, we are both following His music, no hierarchy here. We move together, one body, all for intimacy and beauty, the dance of lovers that know every curve and lean into the unknown parts with full trust in the hands they hold."

Most Intriguing:
 NPR with “A Jewish Perspective on the New Testament

Shari Johnson  with “My Lesbian Daughter, The Bible, and Sex
“When I hear terms like 'God’s design' and 'Biblical marriage' I have to wonder who decides these things...We keep a death grip on the scriptures that suit us—and the translation of those scriptures becomes more a matter of tradition, opinion and convenience than the Word of God.”

Joy the Baker with “Spinach Feta Blood Orange Salad

Best Conversation: 
Julie Clawson with “What it is is Beautiful
Bo Sanders with “Femininity, Image, and Identity: The Role of Youth Pastors and Movies
Julie Clawson again with “Femininity, Image, and Identity” 
“In an ideal world women could be strong, kick-ass, and intelligent without being objectified or assumed to be acting masculine. And our other strengths – even the traditionally feminine ones like mothering, or cooking, or artistry – will be seen not as things that make us safe because as the weaker sex we should be limited to them, but as strengths in and of themselves that are all part of the matrix of who we are.” 

Best Image:
David Hayward with “Free Indeed?

Best Question:
Alise Wright with “What if...

Best List:
CNN Religion Blog with “15 Faith-Based Predictions for 2012
[I thought it was interesting how many of these had to do with the “generational divide” within evangelicalism.]

Most Relevant to Recent Conversations:
Daniel Kirk with “On Trusting the Bible
“Ironically, the conservative rejection of Neo-Orthodoxy in the name of a “high” view of scripture, at least in the case of Barth, ends up as a rejection of the Bible we actually have in favor of a man-made construct that does not match up with it.”

Most Embarrassing Moments: 

 Pat Robertson announces that God has told him who the next president will be.

Mark Driscoll tells CNN that when people (like me) raise concerns about the content of his latest book on sex and marriage, it “reveals more of their own struggles than actual problems with the book.”  

Most Hopeful Moments:

42,000 college students vow to end modern day slavery

Target Ad with Down Syndrome boy helps dad blogger raise awareness

Anne Jackson bid a beautiful farewell to her blog readers with a hopeful and inspiring post
“These tears were different. They were tears of joy. Pure, crazy, maniacal, absurd, unexplainable tears of joy. Hope ran over me like a semi truck. People were hope. Scripture was hope. My own potential was hope. Truth was hope. Church was hope. Love was hope. Strangers. Family. Food. Stars. Hiking. Cycling. Sun. Christmas trees. Cold air. Warm breezes. Colors. Embraces. Smiles. Coffee. Music. Friends. Laughter. Babies. Candles. Wine. Books. An infinite explosion of subtleties and miracles filled me with hope.”

On the blog...

Most Popular Post: 
Inexplicably, “Blessed Are the Un-Cool,” a post from last July, has seen a sudden and massive resurgence in popularity over the past few days.

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “’Driscoll, Real Marriage, and Why Being A Pastor Doesn’t Automatically Make You a Sex Therapist,” Preston Yancey started quite the conversation when he responded to Driscoll’s strong words about his wife Grace: “'Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her.' -  I want to vomit.” 

What caught your eye online this week?

What's happening over at your blog?

End of article logo.

Shareable Permalink

© 2012 All rights reserved.
Copying and republishing this article on other Web sites without written permission is prohibited.
Read more in the category: Sunday Superlatives