Sunday Superlatives 5/6/2012

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
'DSC_0924' photo (c) 2011, Will Folsom - license:

May is a month for finishing! So a big congratulations to those of you wrapping up semesters, grading those last few papers, graduating, or embarking on a new adventure this week. 

Around the Blogosphere...

Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo with “The Worst Book Covers of All Time Have Destroyed My Faith in Humanity

Amanda MacInnis “Immersed by Scripture” 

“Wouldn’t it be interesting, if instead of arguing over whether the Bible is inerrant, inspired, infallible etc. our concern was whether and to what degree the Bible immerses us?”

Best Article:
Carolyn Arends with “Defending Scripture. Literally.” 

“All these years later, I'm learning that understanding the literal meaning of the Bible is a more nuanced adventure than my college friends and I imagined. We'd been blithely unaware that there is more than one genre in the Bible, or that literary context profoundly matters to meaning. We didn't understand that when we read ancient Hebrew prose poems (like Genesis 1), wisdom literature (like Proverbs), or apocalyptic literature (like Revelation) as if they were science textbooks, we were actually obscuring their meaning.”

Best Interview: 
Ginny Mooney at the Christian Post interviews Ken Myers

“Author Ken Myers doesn't believe "the culture" is the biggest challenge facing the Church today. Rather, it's the culture in the church that's the problem as many believers live not fully transformed by the Gospel.”

Best Reminder: 
Glen Goodfellow at Think Christian with “The Cost of Exclusion

“A prominent thread running through the narratives of my gay brothers and sisters is a church that no longer values them. Oftentimes, like their biological families, their church families vanished as a source of love and encouragement, leaving behind a terrible and dangerous void. The passive and active exclusion of queer folks from our communities of faith is heartbreaking and unnecessary. I believe that we as the church, as a diverse whole, find ourselves at an important crossroads where we can choose to demonstrate compassion. I pray that these moments do not become another lost opportunity for inclusion and reconciliation.”

Most Informative: 
Valerie Hudson at Foreign Policy with “What Sex Means for World Peace

“Using the largest extant database on the status of women in the world today, which I created with three colleagues, we found that there is a strong and highly significant link between state security and women's security. In fact, the very best predictor of a state's peacefulness is not its level of wealth, its level of democracy, or its ethno-religious identity; the best predictor of a state's peacefulness is how well its women are treated. What's more, democracies with higher levels of violence against women are as insecure and unstable as nondemocracies.”

Most Inspiring: 
Erika Morrison with “Plus One

"And from those two Tuesday stories an idea was born and we’re calling it 'Plus One.' As a family we’ve decided that we’re adopting a revolving member into our tribe. Because for the last 6 weeks, every time we’ve gone food shopping at Elm City Market or bought ice cream at Froyo World or a sandwich at Green Well or dinner at The Noodle House or coffee at Starbucks, we’ve always bought one more to give away. And this doesn’t take the place of soup kitchens or food pantries, but comes alongside and offers something they can’t – an individual, special experience for one person. An opportunity for one man or woman to be seen and feel noticed outside the mass of their obvious brand as “homeless.”

Most Likely to Make You Drool:
Mental Floss with “15 Spectacular Libraries in Europe

Most Likely to Induce a Small Faith Crisis: 
Hans Villarica at The Atlantic with “How the unrelenting fear of death shapes our behavior

“...Hundreds of published academic papers have shown that worrying about death affects everything from our prejudices and voting patterns to how likely we are to exercise or use sunscreen. More broadly, they've proven Greenberg and company's original terror management theory right all along: that people deal with death by upholding worldviews that are larger and longer-lasting than themselves, and opposing anyone or anything that violates these "cultural anxiety-buffers."

Most Likely to Get Forwarded to Your Spouse: 
Rachelle Gardner with “This Post is for the Ones You Love

Most Relatable: 
Brene’ Brown at CNN with “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect”

“We get sucked into perfection for one very simple reason: We believe perfection will protect us. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.”

Most Honest: 
Megan Tietz at Deeper Story with “Dinner table theology and why I am The Worst

“...And then, as often happens when I talk about our spiritual beliefs, I feel myself standing outside of myself. I hear the words coming out of my mouth even as somewhere deep inside, I hear myself and I think this all sounds very cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs."

Most Profound: 
Richard Beck with “As Open as the Outstretched Arms of Christ on the Cross: Moltmann on Open Communion

From Moltmann: “Life is more than knowledge about the laws of life; and in the same way the fellowship of Christ and fellowship with one another are more than knowledge about its conditions. The Lord's supper takes place on the basis of an invitation which is as open as the outstretched arms of Christ on the cross. Because he died for the reconciliation of 'the world', the world is invited to reconciliation in the supper. It is not the openness of this invitation, it is the restrictive measures of the churches which have to be justified before the face of the crucified Jesus. But which of us can justify them in his sight? The openness of the crucified Lord's invitation to his supper and his fellowship reaches beyond the frontiers of Christianity; for it is addressed to 'all nations' and to 'tax-collectors and sinners' first of all. Consequently we understand Christ's invitation as being open, not merely to the churches but to the whole world.”

On the blog...

Most Popular Post:
It’s not complementarianism; it’s patriarchy

Most Popular Comment: 
In response to the above post, Kristin Richardson wrote this: “

"I appreciate your point about gender differences being celebrated but not forced. There's a huge difference.

What if the church started spouting off things like 'It is inappropriate for men to ever hold their children unless the mother is absent or given permission by the mother, to do otherwise usurps the God-given role of the female in the family'?

Any man offended by that: well that’s exactly how us ladies feel when told that our opinions, thoughts, ideas are ALWAYS secondary to those of our husbands because they are men and we are women, and we need to just 'submit' to their God-given authority, no questions asked.

Saying ‘oh, well a good husband listens to his wife and considers her opinion’ is akin to saying ‘a good wife would allow her husband to hold the baby on occasion.’

So, is any instinctual desire by the man to hold his own baby there by accident? After all God made WOMEN the caregivers. His desire to hold the baby is obviously just stemming from his sinful nature and wanting to control everything!

I realize this analogy has its limits….but just some food for thought.”

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

And what are YOU finishing this May?

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