Sunday Superlatives 10/16/11

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere…

Funniest Video:
“Son’s Reaction to ‘Empire Strikes Back’”

Best Storytelling:
Caleb Wilde with “A Beeping Day in the Funeral Business"

Best Analysis: 
Roger Olson with “Narrative Theology
 “According to narrative theology, the Bible contains many kinds of statements—commands, propositions, expressions of praise, prayers, poetry, prophecies, parables, etc.  All are included by narrative theology under and within the rubric of “story” or “drama.”  They are all parts of the great story of God whose central character (for Christians, at least) is Jesus Christ.  Therefore, all must be interpreted in light of that story and its purpose—to reveal the character of God through his mighty acts leading up to and centering around Jesus Christ.”

Best Reflection: 
Jenny Rae Armstrong at Red Letter Christians with “Liberia, The Nobel Peace Prize, and Me
"That’s when I realized that violence against women isn’t a social problem; it is a spiritual problem, a highly-contagious disease that eats away at the hearts, souls, minds and bodies of humanity. You can’t address the problem by treating the symptoms—you have to go deep under the surface and neutralize it at its root, that tiny seed of pride, disdain, bitterness, and superiority allowed to germinate in the soul."

Best Imagery (nominated by Sarah Moon):
Shan Eberhardt  at The Screaming Kettle with “Why Can’t the Church Be More Like the Smoking Section?
“I miss how smoking with a group of people (even if you don’t know them) creates an impromptu therapy group. Something about knowing you all have this same primal dependency seems to be equalizing in some way. It is somehow safe to say into the quiet between puffs that you had a fight with your family the night before or that your girlfriend just isn’t inspiring you anymore or that your boss is unfair and you’re worried about your job."
[This is a really beautiful piece! Can't wait to hear more from Shan.]

Best Analogy:
Jonathan Guenther with “Is God in Control?” 

Megan Tietz with “The Pivotal Importance of Curating Opinions
“The art of curation - whether we are talking about curating art or opinions or closets or blog reads or anything that needs to be kept fresh and updated - is an art relies on organic evolution. Something that is a perfect fit one day may need to be passed on in the future. And sometimes, as we are practicing the art of curation, we come across things that never belonged in the first place, and then it is up to us to remove it, no matter how comfortable with or attached to it we have become.”

Alise Wright with “Book Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans (Pre-Cog Edition)
"When I heard that people were already reviewing Rachel Held Evans's yet unfinished book, I couldn't wait to jump on that bandwagon. I've been a fan of Rachel's blog for a long time (well before she was being interviewed on NPR and showing up onOprah's blog), so I feel that I am uniquely qualified to offer insight on books she hasn't finished writing. I considered reviewing her third book, Pissing Off Liberals AND Conservatives by Daring to be Reasonable, but I thought that maybe I'd at least wait until she had pitched it to her agent."
[Thanks for turning a frustrating situation into an opportunity to laugh, Alise]] 

Boldest (and Truest…and Most Convicting…and Most Powerful): 
Sarah Moon with “God Loves Mark Driscoll (And Everyone Else)
“Now that I’ve gotten to know Jesus and he’s changed my heart, it’s easy to love the oppressed. It’s easy to stand up for those who think they’re not loved by God and tell them otherwise. But it’s hard for me to love the oppressors. It’s hard for me to love those who would dare point a finger at another person and say, ‘God hates you.’ But as hard as it is, I need to love. Both the oppressed and the oppressor need to be loved into freedom.” 

Most Challenging:
Sarah Bessey Styles with “In Which I Love a Good Protest
“I want to hold the 1% accountable but I want to hold myself accountable, too.”

Most Helpful: 
Richard Beck with “Churches of Christ Versus Evangelicalism

Most Encouraging: 
Nancy Fuchs Kreimer with “A Tale of One Mosque and Two News Stories

Most Haunting (nominated by Preston Yancey)
Laura Paker at Deeper Story with “Sweetheart"

Most Likely to Provide A Much-Needed Reality Check:
Stephen M. Walt with “The Myth of American Exceptionalism
“Most statements of ‘American exceptionalism’ presume that America's values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration. They also imply that the United States is both destined and entitled to play a distinct and positive role on the world stage…The only thing wrong with this self-congratulatory portrait of America's global role is that it is mostly a myth.”

Most Likely to Totally Nail It in Less Than 600 Words:
Mason Slater at Deeper Story with “Gender and the Gospel”
“So then part of faithfully proclaiming that Gospel is proclaiming to the people of God that gender, social class, and ethnicity do not define who God can use and how he can use them… So yes, I think the neo-Reformed movement is right, gender roles have everything to do with the Gospel. I just happen to think they have their conclusions a bit backwards."

Most Practical: 
Scot McKnight with “#1 King Jesus Gospel Question” 
[I confess this was my biggesst question after finishing the book too.]

 On the Blog…

Most Popular Post:
Ask an Orthodox Christian…(Response)

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “Teresa of Avila on Blogging,” Jessica wrote: “…As for blogging fatigue, this is why I don't blog, but I think it's something we all face in a society that measures success in website hits, facebook likes and twitter followers. Henri Nouwen talks in The Way of the Heart about social compulsions and correlates them with the temptations of Christ: like all humans, Christ was tempted to be relevant, spectacular or powerful. Nouwen calls these the three social compulsions that make up the false self. For me, at least identifying those as social compulsions helps me navigate the sense of urgency I feel. I need to be urgent to be Christ's hands and feet in the world; I do not need to be urgent to be relevant, spectacular or powerful.”

So what did I miss? 

What's happening on  your blog right now?

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