Sunday Superlatives 4/28/13

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free


I had a lovely time hanging out with the good people of Fairfax Community Church at The Blue Conference this weekend, including Kyle and Loretta Cooper who hosted a meal at their home. 


Before that, I was in Ft. Smith Arkansas, where I had the pleasure of experiencing 1) the incredibly gracious congregation of First Presbyterian Church, Ft. Smith, which included several 80+year-old-ladies who expressed interest in marrying Dan should I be open to a sister wife, 2) the famous, award-winning restrooms at the Ft. Smith airport (for real; they are ranked among the Top 10 Airport Bathrooms in the U.S.), 3) amazing conversation with a group women at Miss Anne’s Pie Place.


On Tuesday, I’ll be speaking at Seattle Pacific University at 9:30 a.m. Let me know if you will be there! 

On the Web…

Best Video: 
Cat, On Roomba, Dressed As Shark, Chases Duck

Best List: 
Brian McLaren lists the “one anothers” found in the New Testament 

Best Response: 
Ed Stetzer with “Evangelicals and Adoption: An Evil Obsession?

“Joyce does get right that there has been a boom in evangelical adoption; shockingly, Christian parents do want to raise their children (adopted or natural-born) to one day know Christ as their savior; there are corrupt adoption agencies; and trafficking does happen. I also appreciate her recognition of some positive situations, such as the involvement of Saddleback Church in Rwanda. But based on the testimonies I've heard and read from those who are leaders in the evangelical adoption movement, these incidences of corruption are not normative, and this should have been acknowledged even more than it was. So I'd like to use my blog today to open the discussion beyond the fringes. I've asked some of the most well-respected evangelical authors and leaders involved in adoption to share their response to the claims made in the NPR interview, the Mother Jones article, and Joyce's book.”

Best Conversation:
Yale Divinity School hosts “The Future of Faith” 

Best Observation: 
NeoPrimitive with “People Are Not Topics: A Problem in Biblical Interpretation

“My concern is that we go to Scripture looking for guidance on “topics,” be it the role of women in the assembly, household structures, the role of elders in the church, or even the big scary bugaboos of our day like gay marriage. We want to draw a line between the “topic” addressed in the Bible and the analogous “topic” that confronts us now. The danger is, we cease to view other people as people, and view them as a “topic,” which gives us a certain detachment. We then feel justified in making lofty pronouncements on the basis of “for the Bible tells me so,” without pausing to consider the human factor in it all. I don’t know that this is a positive development for the witness of the church. For one thing, it’s a lot easier to dismiss a topic than it is a person. You don’t worry as much about “as much as depends on you, live at peace with all topics.” Have you ever tried to “love your topic as yourself”? Furthermore, you can’t witness to topics: you witness to people. And people are not topics.”

Best Analysis: 
Hey John Piper, Is My Femininity Showing?

“Women today, particularly Christians whose communities are influenced by men like Piper, may find their voices stifled when their influence and participation in so many spheres is limited to activities dubbed indirect and impersonal. Additionally, to view the opposite sex solely in these gendered, bodily terms tends to make women ashamed of their bodies, while men fail to see women fully, as human beings with bodies as well as souls and minds.”

The Onion with “Professor Deeply Hurt By Student’s Evaluation” 

“'Maybe I’m just no good at this job,’ said Rothberg, recipient of the 1993 Jean-Foucault Lacan award from the University of Chicago for his paper on public/private feminist deconstructive discourse in the early narratives of Catherine of Siena. ‘Chad’s right. I am totally boring.’” 

Fish With Transparent Head Filmed” 

Most Helpful: 
Kristen Rosser with “Silencing Techniques” 

“I think we all need to learn to recognize these techniques, so that when someone attempts to silence us, we can simply point it out and then get back to the substance of the issue.  And if we're responsible for attempting to silence someone else, we need to see that we're doing it and back off. Issues need to be addressed on their own merits.  Trying to shut someone up ultimately doesn't solve anything, and it's actually just another weapon in the arsenal of spiritual or verbal abuse.”

Most Honest: 
Abigail Rine with “The Mother Wound” 

“I know one thing: that would not have been me up on the mountain, knife raised high. I would have called God’s bluff from the start. And, if need be, I would have turned my back on him. That might make me a terrible Christian, but I don’t even feel like I’d have a choice in the matter. Motherlove is in my veins, and the force of it is as overpowering as God must have seemed to Abraham. This Motherlove is ruthless and all-consuming, in an Old Testament kind of way.”

Most Thoughtful:
Kristen Howerton with “The Kermit Gosnell Trial: We’re Asking the Wrong Questions

“I think it’s time to stop questioning the media, and start questioning the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of State, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health for their failure to shut this place down. Why are we focusing on what the media supposedly ignored when the very entities in place to assure this kind of thing never happens totally failed? There were numerous alarm bells on the way that should have warranted investigation, and yet he continued to practice. Is it because these departments were underfunded? Is it because the women involve were poor and uneducated and therefore effectively mute? What happened in the chain of accountability that allowed this to continue?”

Most Relatable: 
Ava Neyer with “I Read All the Baby Sleep Books

“ Co-sleeping is the best way to get sleep, except that it can kill your baby, so never ever do it. If your baby doesn't die, you will need to bedshare until college.”

Most Practical:
Sarah Bessey at Micha Boyett’s place with “Calm Your Heart”

“The funny thing about the simple and basic things is that they are true. If it’s true for a toddler, it’s probably true for most of us. It’s true that I need to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and I need to pray, and I need to eat real food, and I need to share, and I need to make time to rest. It’s true that I need to make quality decisions, and I need to use my words to love people. It’s true that I need to guard my gates from lies and evil and fear. And when storms and frustrations come, when I am suffering – imagined or real, when I am whiny or overstimulated or just plain ornery, when I am angry and feeling unsafe, when I am panicking and my heart is pounding and I can’t seem to get through the cloud of anger and fear and scarcity, I need to take a deep breath and I need someone to physically be present with me and I need someone to kneel on the kitchen floor, deep breathing, and I need to calm my heart to begin again, all over again.”

Most Insightful: 
Zack Hunt with “An Angry God vs. a God Who Gets Angry

“Now, when Edwards, or anybody else speaks of an angry God it is likely, hopefully, that at the beginning they only mean that God gets angry from time to time. However, what has happened, whether intentionally or not, is that over time this repetitive and never ending emphasis on God’s anger has become so ingrained in our minds that we can’t separate God from anger. An angry God becomes the dominant narrative of faith, and anger, rather than love, becomes the core characteristic of God’s nature. Worse yet, this God seems bound by his anger, as if he has no choice but to constantly be angry at mankind. But the diversity of God’s interactions with humanity in the Bible, not least of all the story of Jesus, shows us definitively that anger is not God’s fundamental nature.”

Most Likely To Be Called Women of Valor:
The Women of the Freedom Climb

On My Nightstand…

Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think?

I LOVED this book! Look for a review soon. 

On My TV…

Beauty is Embarrassing” 


Saw this on Netflix. Fascinating profile of artist Wayne White. Loved the connection to Chattanooga! (Language Warning) 

On the Blog…

Most Popular Post:
“God is pissed off and so am I”: Pastor Phil Jackson on Gun Violence"

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

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