Sunday Superlatives 3/6/11

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
Do these make you want to laugh or cry?

On the Blog…

Thanks to you, February 2011 was the BIGGEST MONTH EVER on the blog!  In fact, we more than doubled our traffic. Top posts include: 

#1: Dear Pastors – Tell Us the Truth 
#2:  Thou Shalt Not Let Thyself Go? 
#3: Rob Bell, Heaven and Hell

Dan also updated the site to include a new look, my 2011 schedulearchives, and an advertise page. I am delighted that the blog has maintained a community atmosphere in which the majority of comments are civil, constructive, and thoughtful. Thanks for all you do to keep it that way. 

Bell-Gate 2011:

Best Summary: 
Sarah Pulliam Bailey with “Rob Bell’s Upcoming Book on Heaven & Hell Stirs Backlash” 

Best Tweet:
@JesusNeedsNewPR with “For a moment I was afraid Rob Bell had died. But then I realized that it was just a few Calvinists hating him into a trending topic."

Best Response: 
Eric Reitan with “Pastor Rob Bell Catches Hell from Conservatives” 
“[Piper and Taylor] cannot see the difference between challenging God and challenging their beliefs about God, even though humility demands distinguishing these things. It demands recognizing that you might be wrong about God. And while the possibility of being wrong about God does not mean you cannot have your views and defend them, it does mean that you need to listen to the thoughtful arguments of those who disagree with you.” 
This article summed up just about every frustration I’ve had with the Neo-Calvinist movement.

Best Response, Runners Up: 
Greg Boyd, because he actually read the book.  
Emerging Mummy, because she proved that we ‘regular folks’ are indeed capable of thoughtfully grappling with the theology behind this debate. 
Mason Slater, because he nailed it with this sentence: “When any theologian who disagrees with you is a heretic, the term loses any real meaning.” 
Jason Boyett, because he said exactly what many of us were thinking.

In other news…

Most Provocative:
Phil Zuckerman with “Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus”
 “Evangelicals don't exactly hate Jesus …They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can't stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself -- his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill -- most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain.”

 Most Thoughtful: 
Donald Miller with “When truth is the Enemy of Truth”
“Paradigm shifts should not be associated with a theory of relativism. The idea is not that truth is changing, but that further study is changing our understanding of truth.”

 Most Needed:
Dan Martin with “No One comes to the Father but by Me…”
“There are, I suppose, a variety of possible candidates, but today I submit John 14:6 as the single most blatantly misquoted saying from Jesus' entire ministry.”

 Most Embarrassing: 
The AP with “Tennessee considers ban on Shariah”

Most Surprising:
NPR with “A Peek Inside the Westboro Baptist Church”

Funniest Photo:
Awkward Family Photos with "In Your Face"

So what intrigued you this week?  What was your favorite response to the whole Rob Bell fiasco?  Do the T-shirts above make you want to laugh or cry?

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