Sunday Superlatives 5/16/15

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere...

Best Interview: 
In one of the greatest mashups ever, Krista Tippet interviews Maria Popova for On Being 

“I think a lot about this relationship between cynicism and hope. And critical thinking without hope is cynicism. But hope without critical thinking is naïveté. And I I try to live in this place between the two to try to build a life there because finding fault and feeling hopeless about improving our situation produces resignation of which cynicism is a symptom and against which it is the sort of futile self-protection mechanism.”

Best Analysis: 
Peter Enns with “11 Recurring Mistakes in the Debate Over the Historical Adam”

“No responsible doctrine of inspiration can deny that the biblical authors were thoroughly encultured, ancient people, who spoke as ancient people. Inspiration does not cancel out their ‘historical particularity,’ no matter how inconvenient. Any notion of inspiration must embrace and engage the notion that God, by his Spirit, speaks within ancient categories.”

Best Response: 
Eliel Cruz at RNS with “Trans media has thrown Christians for a loop”

“Using archaic, demonizing language towards God-created individuals like Bruce Jenner isn’t representative of Christ. Speaking out of ignorance does damage. It only adds to the dehumanizing narrative that leads to trans people dying at a depressing rate.”

In related news, I had the chance to hang out with Eliel Cruz right here in DAYTON, TENNSEE! He happened to be in the area just in time for our big Strawberry Festival, so I made him take this picture of us in front of a bunch of tractors…for, you know, local color. Talking with Eliel over lunch I was so impressed by his passion, smarts,  and commitment to the church. I was also a bit flummoxed by his youth. People in their twenties should NOT be this wise! Hope our paths cross again soon. 

Most Powerful: 
Elizabeth Corey and Mary Campbell at The Atlantic with “Two Sisters, Two Views on Gay Marriage”

“Mary and I live in a pluralist age when people of goodwill often hold radically different views. This calls, I think, for tolerance of the old-fashioned kind, not persecution of those who differ. It calls for patience and perhaps even persuasion, But the persuasion I have in mind is a humble kind of dialogue that approaches others with dignity and entertains the possibility that they, not I, have a greater purchase on the truth. Often, neither side can be persuaded, and so the differences persist. If this is the case, then tolerance calls for civility despite differences. At root, I believe it calls for love.”

Most Moving: 
Seyward Darby at The Washington Post with “I was on Amtrak train 188. Afterward, I saw the crash through my fiance’s eyes.”

“The fear of loss, that someone can be snapped out of existence at any second, comes from the same deep, emotional well as love. Maybe it is love’s dark twin. It’s incredibly powerful — strong enough to poison your thinking to assume the worst will happen, in even the most mundane situations. I know it will now be our struggle together to not let that happen, to cope, to always find joy. But as with everything, perhaps we will be stronger together in this fight than I ever was alone.”

Most Helpful:
NPR with “People Have Misconceptions About Miscarriage, and That Hurts” 

Most Encouraging: 
Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook on the elusiveness of perfection

Most Informative: 
Eboni Marshall Turman at Duke Magazine with “She Who Sets the Son Free: Black Womanist Resistance in Context”

“In many ways, this is the scandal of black womanhood: their flesh-and-blood reality as both black and woman positions them to identify the contradictions of one-sided justice-making—or, we might say, to call everyone’s bluff.”

Most Insightful: 
Nate Pyle with “Persecution or Clanging Cymbal?” 

"It’s much easier to cry persecution than it is to confess sin. It’s easier to blame others than to accept responsibility. And when you claim to have the truth, as Christians rightly do, it’s hard to admit you’ve been in the wrong. But that’s exactly what we as a people who preach the importance of confession may need to do. It may be time to confess that we haven’t loved others well. We may need to confess that we have been more interested in being right than doing right. Let’s be clear, we do not need to apologize for being Christian, or having beliefs, or even for our beliefs. But we may need to apologize for the way we have approached and interacted with the world around us.”

Most Likely to Make You Ugly Cry:
Glennon Melton with “To mama, who taught me the most important thing” 

“Were you afraid, for a moment on the plane that day, that you’d been so busy loving your people that you forgot to do something important? Because what I’ve learned from you is that there isn’t a damn thing more important than loving your people.”

On the Blog...

Most Popular Post:
How to be a Christian on the Internet: 6 Questions and a New Series

From the Archives: 
From the Lectionary: An Open Letter to Jesus on this Whole Ascension Business


I offered something of a confession over on Facebook on Friday - about how fear has often influenced my drive to be right about all the things - and a couple of the top comments were especially fantastic. 

Don't forget...

Like your  piña colada with a side of religious crisis? Don't forget to pick up Searching for Sunday as a summer read! 

A good way to spend a few minutes of down time at the beach. #searchingforsunday #kindle

A photo posted by Paul Canady (@paulcanady) on



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

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