Sunday Superlatives: 3/20/2011

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere…


Best St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: 
Not Martha’s “Leprechaun Trap Cake” 

Best Writing:
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary with “Air-Freshener Jesus”
“A flowery image of Jesus to protect me. It’s a nice thought. But I don’t buy it…The truth is that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Earthquakes happen. Tsunamis happen. Cancer happens. Terrible accidents happen. Volcanoes and Floods and Hurricanes and Bears and Fires and Mudslides and Sharks and That One Critter That Swims Up Your Wiener Hole And Eats Your Guts Out ALL happen. Ok. That last one only happens to guys. But still. Disasters happen to all kinds of people every single day and, as far as I know, a Jesus air freshener has never exempted one single person from the fate afforded them by disaster. Not once. Ever."

Most Practical:
Michael Hyatt with “Is that task important or merely urgent?” 

Strangest Lenten Story:
Episcopal cleric tries Islamic rituals for Lent
“On Wednesday, the first day of Lent, he began performing salah five times a day, by facing east, toward Mecca, and praying to Allah. He also started studying the Quran and following Islamic dietary restrictions by abstaining from alcohol, pork and fish… By Friday afternoon, Lawler learned that the Episcopal church is more rigid than he had thought. After hearing the objections of the bishop, Lawler reversed course, giving up the Islamic rituals.” 


Most Inspiring:
Kacie with “Happiness vs. Self-Sacrifice”
“A child, a child who will make your life difficult and complicated, cost you money and forfeit a lot of your plans..... but a CHILD nonetheless, a beautiful child, made in the image of God. And thus, because he is made in the image of God, we have no choice at all but to love him.”

Cake Wrecks with “What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate”

Matt Appling with “Honk if You Hate Social Justice”
Conservative Christians: The way some of you talk about social justice makes you all look like a bunch of cynical, selfish jerks…It sounds like you find the idea of social justice more abhorrant than poverty itself.  You can disagree with how others try to bring “heaven to earth,” but please stop calling social justice Christians ”radicals” that “push the boundaries of Christianity.”  It makes you sound like the idea of helping the poor is so foreign to you, your evangelical mind just can’t comprehend it.
Liberal Christians: Please don’t act like you’re the first to care about ”social justice.”  It’s a new name for an old concept… So don’t delude yourself into thinking that the clean shaven businessman or octogenarian who goes to church in a suit and votes Republican doesn’t care about orphans, just because he doesn’t have a condescending bumper sticker or a bracelet announcing how much he cares.

The Bell’s Hell Saga Continues…

Best Interview:
Kristin Tennant with “Asking My Pastor About Hell”
From Kristin’s Pastor: “To hear many preachers and Christians talk, one would think that “hell” as a fiery pit was the primary biblical image of separation from God. But Gehenna is not the only—or even the primary—image used. A look at some of the other images makes it clear that the biblical writers were not attempting to uniformly describe a place, but rather to warn us that separation from God was a choice we can make, and that it isn’t a good choice.”

Most Likely to Clarify Some Things: 
Mars Hill Church with “Love Wins: Frequently Asked Questions” 

Most Candid: 
Eugene Peterson with “Would Jesus Condemn Rob Bell?” 
“…The people who are against Rob Bell are not going to reexamine anything.  They have a litmus test for who is a Christian and who is not.  But that’s not what it means to live in community. Luther said that we should read the entire Bible in terms of what drives toward Christ.  Everything has to be interpreted through Christ.  Well, if you do that, you’re going to end up with this religion of grace and forgiveness.  The only people Jesus threatens are the Pharisees.  But everybody else gets pretty generous treatment.  There’s very little Christ, very little Jesus, in these people who are fighting Rob Bell.” 

Most Spot-On: 
SWNID with "The Rob Bell Kerfuffle and the Diabolical Power of the Christian Patron-Client System”
“These instances disturbs us. They demonstrate for us that despite our best efforts and others' best efforts to educate Christians for greater self-sufficiency in their thinking, the vast, vast majority remain comfortably dependent on others to do their thinking for them. Quick judgments based on messages limited to 140 characters are all that most want.”

On the blog...

Most Popular Post:
"Let Love Win in Me"

Most Popular Comment (14 likes): 
In response to “A Split in Protestant Evangelicalism?” Zhoag said: 
"I think the neo Reformed guys (DeYoung, Mohler, et al) want us to think that there is going to be a massive crevasse in the evangelical landscape, leaving people to either side with "liberalism" or good, conservative, traditional, scriptural (Reformed) orthodoxy. I think that's a false dichotomy. Seems to me that there are already "people of the crevasse" who are not content with liberal Protestantism nor Reformed fundamentalism. These are anabaptist, holiness, missional, generously orthodox leaning evangelicals (like myself) who see new perspectives on an authoritative scripture and new incarnational ways of doing church as the only way forward in a post-Christendom world."


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