Sunday Superlatives 3/24/13 (plus a big Kindle/Nook sale!)

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

After discovering and sharing “Blinded by a Bear” this week, the curator offered to include A Year of Biblical Womanhood among the titles. Um, yes; so funny!

Speaking of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, today you can find it on both Kindle and Nook for just $2.99.  I never know how long these deals will last, so if you’ve been waiting for a bargain, now’s the time.

Now on to Superlatives...

Around the Blogosphere…

Dog Photobombs Every Single Photo in Craigslist Apartment Listing

Brene Brown with “Public Shaming is a Better Example of ‘If it feels good - do it’ than Teen Pregnancy”

“Shame diminishes our capacity for empathy. Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.   You can’t depend on empathetic connection to make a campaign effective, then crush the needed empathy with shame.

Best Advice:
Kristen Rosser with “Thoughts on 25 Years of Marriage

“Respect is part of love, and both partners need it.  Put-downs and personal attacks have always be off-limits in our marriage. Passion in a long-term marriage is more like banked coals than like a bonfire.  It glows just as hot deep down, but isn't as showy on the surface.  The way we've kept the fires banked so they never go out, is to never stop flirting. We tried gender roles.  Then we climbed out of the boxes and tried just being ourselves and supporting one another in being who we are.  That worked much better. Believing the best of one another helps us be our best to one another. Trying to see through one another's eyes really helps.  So does really listening.”

Best Sentence:
Ed Cyzewski in “Unity as Intellectual Uniformity is Impossible” with:

I have lived as if perfecting my theology is all that Jesus required of me.”

Best Graph:
Dan with “Understanding Trolls” 

Best Post on Sex…Like, Ever:
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary with “Sex” 

It took me a lot of years and a lot of conversations with God (and with people who know more about God than me) to understand that everything I believed about my own sexuality was built on two huge lies. The first comes from our culture, and it tells us that sex outside of marriage isn't a big deal. The second is from the Church, and it tells us that sex outside of marriage is the biggest deal of all the deals ever. One allowed me to give it away freely, convinced I would carry no burden. The other forced me to carry a spirit crushing load. Both are complete crap.”

Best News:
Patty Griffin Announces New Album: American Kid

Best Analysis:
Ed Cyzewski (Again!) with “Here Comes a Confusing Article About Radical Discipleship

“However, there is a world of difference when you compare Shane Claiborn, the new monastics, and an inner city church like Circle of Hope in Philadelphia to pastors like Platt, Idleman, Chan, and, heavens to Murgatroyd, Steven Furtick.”

[Matthew Anderson offers a response here.]

Most Insightful:
Christena Cleveland with “Listening Well as a Person of Privilege”

“Privileged and oppressed folks can and should collaborate to solve problems.God knows I’m grateful for the privileged people who have utilized their problem-solving skills to create a more just and inclusive space for people like me.  But problem-solving should never precede solidarity.  Even Jesus the Great Problem-Solver spent 30 years standing in the ditch of humanity before he flexed his problem-solving muscles and performed his first miracle.”

Most Relatable:
Micah J. Murray with “When We Criticize The Church

“We are an entire generation with the broken pieces of our religion scattered on the floor around us. Slowly, carefully, we are trying to separate the truth from the lies. Sometimes with exuberant hope, at other times with tears and swear words. When we see our brothers and sisters being sold that same package deal that we bought, we raise our voices in protest. Not because we don’t love the Church, but because we love it too much to see it used as a platform for peddling a package deal of truth mixed with lies. So when we criticize the Church, please, please listen.

Most Prophetic:
Carolyn Custis James at the Huffington Post with “Pink Smoke and Protestant Popes”

“Gaining ground against all forms of abuse -- including abuse of power, sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse, domestic violence, as well as sex-trafficking and pornography -- will be sporadic until women are routinely part of church leadership. 
Most Beautiful:
This is Our City with "Forging the Future with the Tip of a Pen"

Most Informative:
Peter Enns with “How I Would Have Plotted Out the Bible Series on the History Channel

Most Thoughtful:
Dan Brennan with “Steubenville: Body-Parts Sexuality, Friendship, and Vulnerable Moments”

“I would like to suggest body-parts sexuality is a powerful paradigm in the evangelical world. We hear this from evangelicals if we were to hang out in their communities for a while: the grown-up version of “boys will be boys.” We would also hear from many of these same evangelicals that men and women can’t be close friends because men are biologically hardwired to have sex when they are in close proximity to women. This is deeply puzzling given the fact that evangelicals believe Jesus never had sex.”

Most Needed:
Thomas Turner at Relevant Magazine with “Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context

“This verse, quoted to countless individuals who are struggling with vocation or discerning God’s will, is not written to individuals at all. This passage is written to a whole group of people—an entire nation. For all the grammarians out there, the “you” in Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t singular, it’s plural. And you don’t have to be a Hebrew scholar to realize that “one” versus “many” is a big difference.”

Most Encouraging:
International Justice Mission Wins Landmark Sex Trafficking Conviction in India 

Making News (in Religion) ….

Post of the Week:
Ann Voskamp with “After Steubenville: What Our Sons Need To Know About Manhood”

“Son. When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys — girls will be garbage. And that is never the heart of God.”

Announcement of the Week:
Pope Francis to spend Holy Thursday washing the feet of prisoners

Quote of the Week:
Rob Bell with:

“I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it's a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs -- I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are."

Number of the Week:
Washington Post in  “Gay Marriage Support Hits New High” with:

“Among young adults age 18 to 29, support for gay marriage is at 81 percent”

Women of Valor…

Kakenya Ntaiya: A Girl Who Demanded School

Jen Hatmaker: “And Then the Conference Uninvited Me To Speak

Tracey Rouse : “A Leader and a Woman

 On the Blog….

Most Popular Post:
No More Silence: An interview with Boz Tchividjian

“The next time someone tells you that reporting suspected abuse within the Christian community will “hurt the cause of Christ”, tell them that we are attempting to rob God of worship when we leave criminal behavior to fester and grow in the darkness of silence. "

You can read all the posts in our series on abuse and the Church here


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

Don’t forget about the Kindle and Nook deals!

Oh, and if you haven't already, you gotta check out American Jesus Madness this year. I've had a great time trash-talking my friends Pete Enns, Scot McKnight, and Stephanie Drury...not to mention Rob Bell's missing glasses. (David Miller provided a nice image of my complete dominance over said glasses.) I think Stephanie has me beat this round, though. Thanks to Zach Hunt for reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously. 

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