Sunday Superlatives 10/13/13

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free


My sister-in-law Priscilla makes the most amazing all-natural, homemade granola and is now shipping it to your home! Be sure to check out the Wize Harvest Web site (which Dan just finished developing) and consider sampling the deliciousness. My favorite is Le Chocolat Nut. They’re celebrating the launch with free shipping on orders of $50 or more for a limited time using coupon code:  Z47ZQMO


Despite the fact that I endured the most frightening flight of my life into Louisville, Kentucky Last week, I had a wonderful time with the good people of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and all the readers who came out to hear my presentation on Sunday night, including the delightful Connie Esther, who I met in the bathroom of all places! We had a great turnout, and I was so encouraged by the response. Special thanks to Rev. Thomas Momberg who really cheered me on and offered constant encouragement on what was an especially busy weekend. It was a joy to gather around the Table with these folks and I hope to do it again. 


Next Stop: On Tuesday at 7 p.m., I’ll be speaking on my “Year of Biblical Womanhood” at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas.  So if you’re in the area, stop by and we’ll hang out. Let me know if you plan to be there! 


Around the Blogosphere…

Best Reaction: 
Malala Yousafzai leaves Jon Stewart speechless 

Best Headline: 
“America Likes Nickelback More than Congress” 

Best Idea: 
Rachelle Mee-Chapman with “Tithe Your Power” 

“Listen Friends, what I want to tell you is this. The world needs you to start leading again. To step out of the shadows and into your strength, your skills, your compassionate heart, your crazy ideas. But you don’t have to be THE ONE in charge. And you don’t have to go it alone. Let’s share our strength. Let’s make room on the stage for the voices that have a whisper in a crowd. (They want to roar, and we need to hear them.) Let us – well and truly – LEAD.” 

Best Point: 
Nour Armagan with “On The Never-Ending Need of Western Churches to Warn the Non-Western Church”

“Works of African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern theologians are designated as ‘contextual’ whereas works of British or American theologians are marked as ‘theology’, as if they were not also products of their context, as if they do theology outside of parameters of a language, culture and preferred methodologies of interpretation and application. This grants Western theology a supra-contextual status and relegates non-Western theology to an inferior, semi-theology status. Obviously, such a classification is not empirical, but merely a sad reflection of how Western Christians see themselves in relation to the rest of the world.”

Best Conversation-Starter:
Kate Wallace at the Junia Project with “Why I am a Feminist and an Egalitarian (And Why They Are Not the Same)"

“We need feminism outside the Church to fight for women’s rights. We need egalitarianism inside the Church to advocate for mutual servanthood.”

Best List: 
RNS with “Best Tweets From #AddaWordRuinaChristianBook trend

Best Storytelling: 
Matthew Moore at The Atlantic with “Growing Up with An Autistic Brother in the 1990s” 

“Outside of our immediate family, relatives had a hard time accepting that they could not treat Michael the same way they treated me. Countless Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners were spent with someone trying to tell Michael what to do, which often led to passive aggressive arguments about the best way to raise an autistic child.”

Best Reminder: 
Carleen Lane with “You Are Enough” 

“You don’t have to be at All The Things for church. It’s ok to say no to things, even good things. It’s ok to skip just because you needed some time spent alone, or with a friend. God isn’t shaking His fist at you. You, in all your weariness and introverted-ness, are enough."
Best Series: 
Richard Beck blogging through “Christ and The Powers” by Hendrik Berkhof and Scot McKnight blogging through N.T. Wright’s latest 

Best Analysis:
Margaret Mowczko with "Busy at Home" 

Best Campaign (Like, Ever):
Sarah Bessey’s “I am a Jesus Feminist…” campaign 
(Some of the reader-submitted photos will bring you to tears! Be sure to add yours!) 


Most Creative:
“15th-Century Flemish-Style Portraits Recreated in Airplane Lavatory” and “Dad Takes Crazy Photos of Daughters” 

Most Hilariously Informative (nominated by Kristina Amundsen
The Oatmeal on Columbus Day

Most Eye-Opening: 
Project Unbreakable

Most Relatable: 
Jamie Wright with “Better when”

When is a dangerous place to hang your Hope.”

Most Sobering: 
Pete Enns with “If They Only Knew What I Thought: The Sad Cycle of Evangelical Biblical Scholarship” 

“Folks, we have a real problem on our hands, and everyone has to bear some responsibility. Here’s the familiar scenario. The “best and brightest” students in Evangelical seminaries work hard and are encouraged and aided by their professors to pursue doctoral work. Many wind up going to some of the best research universities in the world. This is a feather in everyone’s cap, and often they are hired back by their Evangelical school or elsewhere in the Evangelical system. Sooner or later, these professors find out that their degree may be valued but their education is not.”

Most Moving: 
“When We Came Out”: A Collaborative Post at Redemption Pictures 

“Had it not been for that little hastily scribbled note, I may not have remained in the church, much less become an ordained minister – but Love made a place for me – as Love always does.”

Most Enlightening: 
Christena Cleveland with “So you wanna be a diverse church? Here’s how” 

Most Insightful: 
Rachel Stone at Relevant with “Just Because It’s New Doesn’t Mean You Should Care”

“We need old books not because they are necessarily better or somehow infallible (“People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we,” Lewis writes, “but not the same mistakes”) but because to read only new books is to join “at 11 o'clock a conversation that began at eight,” and thus to be unable to understand fully all that is going on.”

Most Empowering:
The Girl Declaration

Most Beautiful:
John Blase at Deeper Story with  "Vigilante"

Abi Anne with “Plans” 

“God’s Will was like a tricky Choose Your Own Adventure book in which every storyline but one ends with you being eaten by alligators or run over by a lawn tractor, and if you turn to page 46 instead of page 23 you’re doomed to a lifetime outside of God’s favor.”

Benjamin Moberg (Registered Runaway) with “These Hallowed Grounds: Our Story”

“As unbelievable as it sounds, I think I first knew I was gay the morning my pastor said it was evil.”

[Benjamin had been blogging anonymously, but came out online this week.]

Funniest (nominated by Carrie Nettles): 
Stacy Sergent with “Who Wants to Date a Reverend?” 

“Waiting until the first date (or at least the first phone call) to lay this on him gives him a better chance of seeing me as a whole person.  The results have been mixed.  Sharing with one guy about my sense of calling nearly made him choke on his beer.  “What’s that like?” he laughed.  “God just showed up and said, ‘Hey, Stacy, get off your ass and work for me’?”  We didn’t have a second date.  Another man was okay with my being a chaplain, but was horrified to learn that I’d done mission work.  From the look on his face, you would’ve thought I’d told him I strangled puppies for fun.  One guy said he was very impressed by what I wrote in my profile about my theological beliefs, which were quite different from his own.  So I went ahead and laid out for him what I do and how being a chaplain has affected my understanding of God.  His response was simply, “Wow.  That is pretty damned cool.”  (“He’s a keeper,” I thought.)” 

Third Way with “New Mennonite Programming” 

“Breaking Bread – a Mennonite pastor finds out he has terminal cancer and starts selling unpasteurized milk on the side to raise extra money. Does his new secret life harbour hidden dangers like the bacteria in the milk he sells or is he simply freeing himself from needless religious and governmental restrictions?”

Mark Deymaz with “It’s Not Resurgence We Need But Reformation” 

“I'm not arguing against those who would extend the love of God (the Gospel) to people with a similar background. Rather, I am suggesting that nowhere in the New Testament will you find the apostle Paul or anyone else encouraging you to plant, grow or develop a church that is focused on a single people group.”

Most Honest (nominated by Kristin Lee Williams)
Esther Emery with “Some Words About Jealousy and Christian Feminism” 

“Then I had to ask myself some hard questions. About joining. And supporting. And there, in the darkness of my chest, I ran into a feeling I don’t much care for…which is jealousy.”

Most Beautifully Vulnerable (nominated by Tanya Marlow
Leigh Kramer with “If, Not When” 

“People tell me to be glad I don't have the baggage that comes with break ups and broken hearts but we all have baggage. We've all made mistakes. There's real pain in the baggage of never being picked. From not being pursued. From not being asked on a second or third date. From never hearing, "I love you" from the one you love."

Most Needed: 
John Blake at CNN with “Holy Trollers: How to Argue About Religion Online”

“Gordon Newby, a professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University, said most people change religious beliefs “not because of one argument” but only after long conversations and intimate exposure to another faith. ‘Logical arguments are nice but they're not going to change someone’s life,’ Newby said. ‘We’re way too complicated for that. We’re not programmed machines. We have this whole limbic system of emotions and appetites and everything else.’” 

Most Provocative: 
Jody at Between Worlds with “When White People Don’t Know They’re Being White”

Most Relevant to Recent Conversations (nominated by Micah J. Murray
Nate Pyle with “Stop Using the Bible”

“The room was really silent as the elder’s words rang through the room. I quietly leaned forward and, in as non-anxious a voice as I could muster said, “I love the Bible. But people don’t need the Bible. They need Jesus.”

Most Likely To Make You Cheer (nominated by Sarah Ellerbusch Monson)
Brian Wiele with “Women Are Called” 

“God chose and called gifted women to leadership positions; the Bible is full of examples of this truth. This is foundational, and not open to our exegetical interpretations or “holy tradition” to understand it differently. And nothing has changed; God still chooses and calls women to this day. The King of kings and Lord of lords decided that his household— a strongly biblical term for the church—will have a distinctive motif of men and women prophesying and serving and making decisions together. Display this theme prominently, he says to the men of the church; don’t put women on the lower shelf of leadership or assign them to the children’s wing or the kitchen. It may not be your personal preference to have them lead with you. It will run counter to patriarchal cultures, where the guy gets to rule the roost. It may not be easy. But you need to get used to it.”

On Twitter…

On the Blog….

Most Popular Post: 
A Year of Biblical Womanhood Genre Cheat Sheet

Most Popular Comment: 
In response to the Year of Biblical Womanhood Genre Cheat Sheet, Ben Emerson wrote: 

“Well now, here's your problem: you wrote a book with too many genre changes. How can you expect us to know which is which? Now if you will excuse me, I am going back to some simple reading we all can understand: the Bible.”

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


End of article logo.

Shareable Permalink

© 2013 All rights reserved.
Copying and republishing this article on other Web sites without written permission is prohibited.
Read more in the category: Sunday Superlatives