Sunday Superlatives 6/24/2012

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
'Summer Fun' photo (c) 2010, gfpeck - license:

Around the blogosphere...

Best Conversation-Starter:

Anne-Marie Slaughter at The Atlantic with “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

“If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal. We must insist on changing social policies and bending career tracks to accommodate our choices, too. We have the power to do it if we decide to, and we have many men standing beside us. We’ll create a better society in the process, for all women. We may need to put a woman in the White House before we are able to change the conditions of the women working at Walmart. But when we do, we will stop talking about whether women can have it all. We will properly focus on how we can help all Americans have healthy, happy, productive lives, valuing the people they love as much as the success they seek.”

Best Question:
Leanne Italie at the AP with “Is there a Dad Divide to go with the Mommy Wars?

"When I am talking with men who aren't fathers or who are older, their questions usually focus on what my career goals are after I am done being home with my kids. They seem to assume this is only a temporary thing for our family, a pause in my career for a few years, instead of an investment in our family.”

Coolest Idea:
Conflict Kitchen

“Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. The food is served out of a take-out style storefront that rotates identities every six months to highlight another country."

Lisa Leonard with “A Spark of Bravery

“My cheeks flushed bright red and my heart shattered into a thousand pieces. I wanted to climb under the table and hide. I wanted to grab David and run far far away where no one would ever be mean to him. I wanted to protect him from a life where the kids at school who would call him names and not include him in their recess activities. Instead, I sat there motionless while shame threatened to swallow me whole.And then a spark of bravery ignited somewhere inside me. No. No. NO NO NO! I am not ashamed of my son. Yes, he only has two fingers on his left hand. Yes, he is different. But he is amazing and he is mine.”

Honest Toddler with “Instagram

“If you’ve ever been wearing a cloth diaper in a field of corn at dawn, you’ve been Instagramed.” 

Morgan Guyton (at Jesus Creed) with "Thoughts on Penal Substitution"

"A pillar of popular penal substitution theology is that God cannot tolerate the presence of sin. I think it’s more accurate to say that sin cannot tolerate the presence of God. The consequence of understanding things the first way is that the cross becomes God’s inoculation for His sin allergy. Ironically, one of the main points of Jesus’ incarnation was to prove that God is not distant and untouchably pure, but rather someone who “eats and drinks with sinners.” Now this doesn’t mean that sin is not allergic to God. People reacted to Jesus’ perfect love and holiness either by repenting of their sin like Zacchaeus did or by lashing out defensively and crucifying Him like the Pharisees did." 

Lesley Miller at Her.Meneutics with “Choosing Life, When Cancer Fears Are Everywhere

“Despite hundreds of studies hypothesizing cancer’s causes and ways to avoid it, I believe as Christians we can only rest on one true fact: we are all going to die, and to do so is gain.”

Most Honest: 
Sarah Bessey with “In which my daughter wants to lose weight

“It’s in these moments, the ones right now, on the ground, in my real life, with my own child sitting across from me, that I can only pray I don’t screw this moment up. You can read, you can prepare, you can think, you can philosophize, you can hypothesize, you can cast judgments on others, but when it’s your sweet and perfect and wild and tender baby girl, there, tall and thin and waiting for something, she doesn’t even know, does she? But she is, she’s waiting for something, from me, in that moment, and all I could think was,’I have no idea what to say now.’”

Most Sobering: 
My boyfriend, ex-gay ministries, and the church"

“Throughout it all he continued seeking help from ex-gay ministries, and from the leadership of our own church. He told them everything—and told me nothing. Everyone but I knew what was happening with him. But they wanted him to ‘succeed,’ and they viewed me as one of the routes to that success. So they joined with him in deceiving me. So what if my physical health was at risk from a partner having a string of affairs? So what if they were telling me to stay in a situation that they knew was not what I thought it was? I did not matter to them: they had an ex-gay to save; and I was ‘just a girl.’”

Most Vulnerable:
Preston Yancey with “Wedding Season” 

“It’s wedding season and the vacant, unchecked, Papyrus +1 box on the embossed invitation stares at me patronizingly. I avoid the awkward silence between us, between the unchecked +1 and I, by internalizing a rant about people who use the font Papyrus for anything. It might as well be Comic Sans or Wingdings.”

Most Relatable (nominated by Caris Adel): 
Suzannah Paul (via Emily Wierenga) with “Laughing at the Days

“When she said, "Where better to look than Proverbs 31?"my heart sunk hard and I lifted tea to lips in lame disguise...”

Most Informative:
Joel Hoffman at The Huffington Post with “Five Bible Images You Probably Misunderstand

“...In Song of Solomon's detailed description of romantic love, the man addresses the woman as "my sister, my bride" or "my sister, my spouse." The English word "sister" is used primarily for family relationships, and also more generally for familiarity. But the Hebrew word (achot)specifically referred to equality of power. The point was that the man and the woman in a relationship should be equal. (This presents a significant challenge for those who want Scripture to support the subservience of women.)”

Most Eye-Opening:
Big Picture with “World Refugee Day 2012

Best Insight: 
Tim Gombis with “’Worldliness’ According to Paul

“...The rhetoric of ‘worldliness,’ like other biblical language, is often misused.  It is typically taken out of its context(s) and used according to what this or that Christian community likes or doesn’t like.  In evangelical culture of the last century, ‘worldliness’ had come to signify entertainment or lifestyle choices with which many conservative Christians weren’t comfortable. When Paul, however, accuses the Corinthians for their ‘worldliness,’ he has in mind the divisions in their community.  They have broken up into competing groups that have turned early church leaders into ‘superstars’ around which various groups are rallying and finding their identity.”

Best Point: 
Fred Clark (Slacktivist) with “Creationism requires a global conspiracy of lying scientists and/or a lying God

“Creationists may prefer not to think to much about the conspiratorial implications of what they’re arguing, but creationism just won’t work without the actual existence of such a ‘fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics.”

Best Tribute: 
Amanda Williams with “A Letter to My Dad” 

“We will talk of your passion, how you loved fiercely and full.
We will tell of your courage, how you stared fear in the face and walked on.
We will teach them all that you taught us.
That living a dream is more grit than glamour.
That hard work is more about the process than the payoff.
That it is never too late to be vulnerable, never too soon to be honest.
That there is a strength given only to those brave enough to be weak.
That miracles are real. 
That time together is a gift.
That peace and redemption are poured out when we dare to finish well.
That love is indeed stronger than death.”

Best Reporting: 
Joan Garrett at the Chattanooga Times Free with “A tempest in my soul: A son's secret brings a Southern Baptist minister to his knees” 

“...After 25 years of defining himself by his position in the church, Matt Nevels' faith abruptly and irrevocably collided with the death of his middle son.”

Best Reminder (nominated by Sarah Bessey):
Tina Francis at She Loves with “Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who is the Fairest (and Loveliest) of Them All?

“They (the mysterious people whose eyes I want to gouge out) are making money, by making us insecure about every inch of our bodies. They are making us dim our light. Stay small. Recoil and retreat.”

Best Analysis: 
WordGazer with “Does the Bible teach male headship?

“What Peter is actually implying, therefore, is that the authority of masters in slavery, and the authority of husbands (especially of the pater familias in the pagan household structure) are human institutions. Marriage, as marriage, was instituted by God in Genesis 2:23-24, but the patriarchal family structure in which men had authority over wives and slaves, was a human institution. Male government of the household, just like slavery, is not divinely ordained, but is human and therefore cultural and temporal. Peter was dealing with life as it had to be lived then and there. Neither he nor Paul spoke about the ancient household structures as if they were part of a divine, timeless order that was never to pass away." 

Southern Baptists elect first black president

Popular atheist blogger goes Catholic

Another story of control and submission out of Mars Hill Seattle

On the blog...

Most Popular Post:
Exercising in Public and Other Methods of Sanctification

Most Popular Comment:
In response to “What do you think about all these afterlife memoirs?” Corey wrote: 

“In cases like the Burpo family, the question of whether it happened misses a more important point for me.  His dad kept him out of school for weeks to go around promoting the book, and he can't live a normal life now due to being a media sensation.  I wouldn't do that to my son even if I DID believe he had gone to heaven and back.”


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

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