Sunday Superlatives 8/11/13

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere…

Best Interview: 
Kelton Reid interviews Maria Popova about reading, writing, and creativity

“We’ve created a culture that fetishizes the new(s), and we forget the wealth of human knowledge, wisdom, and transcendence that lives in the annals of what we call “history” – art, literature, philosophy, and so many things that are both timeless and incredibly timely. Our presentism bias – anchored in the belief that if it isn’t at the top of Google, it doesn’t matter, and if it isn’t Googleable at all, it doesn’t exist – perpetuates our arrogance that no one has ever grappled the issues we’re grappling with. Which of course is tragically untrue.”

Best List: 
“21 Kids Who Sold Out Their Parents” 

Best Insights: 
Charles M. Blow at the New York Times with “Marriage and Minorities” 

“One can’t bemoan the breakdown of the family — particularly the black family — without at least acknowledging the structural and systematic forces working against its cohesion.”

Best Writing: 
Addie Zierman with “For the One Who Married Young

“When you marry young, you’ll know the delight of building a life together out of garage-sale coffee tables, relatives’ old couches and thrift store mugs. You’ll stop your car in the middle of the road and reverse half a mile to pick up an old, falling-apart-desk marked Free. You’ll laugh all the way home, high of the unexpected treasure of all of this.”

Best Analysis: 
Tyler Glodjo with "How the Church Resegregated Schools in the South"

“This brings me back to my original question: How does a public school in Jackson, TN come to be 99% black when it is 1) home to one of the many lawsuits that finally ended school segregation throughout the South 45 years ago and 2) has only one black resident for every two whites ones? The answer: segregation academies, a phenomenon not uncommon throughout much of the South in the late 1960s and early 1970s. If you happened to guess white privilege, that fits too."

Most Relatable: 
XKCD with “Students

Most Honest: 
Kathy KyoungAh Khang with “The Dirty ‘A’ Word” 

“I just don’t know if it’s okay to say that I have ambitions outside of my home. My home life ambitions have been affirmed in Church. My professional ones? Not so much.”

Most Heartbreaking: 
Eileen Button with “Not In My Pew

“It breaks my heart, especially when I consider their giftedness, faith, and love. I know they face the same challenges as the rest of the imperfect people who fill the pews. They could use the support of a loving community, and they would love to support the community. Every day they need to choose selflessness over selfishness, communication over silence, and faith over fear. As they raise their teenagers, they must rely on each other for patience, understanding, and wisdom. They should also be able to rely on their church. But the same church that believes nothing can “separate us from the love of God” makes Jordan and Kelly feel separate, as if their relationship qualifies as the unforgivable sin. It’s no wonder that most Sundays they choose to worship at home.”

Most Insightful: 
Peter Enns with “Honesty in the Journey (or On the Raising of Young Heretics)”

“Over the years, I have been thankful to God that I didn’t correct my son’s theology, for that would have been utterly stupid. Had I shamed him or coerced him into saying the right thing (so I would feel better about my parenting skills), I would have been responsible for creating another religious drone, another one who, at a young age, was already learning to play the religion game. I would have taught my son a crippling lesson, that faith in God requires him to be dishonest with God and with himself.”

Most Informative:
Joshua Smith with “Luke, The Progymnasmata, and the ‘Prodigal Son’” 

“Parsons notes the similarities between the parables of Jesus and Theon’s writings about fables as rhetorical devices, which Theon defines as “fictitious stor[ies] which depict or image truth.”[4] More importantly, Theon suggests that a fable is capable of holding multiple meanings, and thereby receives its rhetorical and philosophical weight.[5] This is probably why so many scholars have likened the parables of Jesus to riddles—stories that are difficult to understand, with multiple possible interpretations and a propensity for causing confusion (see Mark 4:10-12).”

Most Encouraging: 
Dinesh Ramde at the AP with “Sikh Temple Attack United Victim’s Son, Ex-Racist” 

“Kaleka and Michaelis look nothing alike. Kaleka is a clean-cut Indian who teaches high school social studies. Michaelis, who's white, has both arms covered in tattoos that mask earlier racist messages. But as they sat together in the temple recently, just down the hallway from the bedroom where Kaleka's father was shot, they seemed like brothers, insulting each other good-naturedly and arguing over who was more handsome.”

Most Inspiring: 
Idelette McVicker at She Loves with “Standing Under My Tree”

“I recognize that stance, I thought. It had nothing to do with legs, feet or hips. It was a heart stance.”

Christena Cleveland with "Everything I Know About Racism, I Learned in the Church" 

"The church taught me that my experience of racism is only real if the majority culture says it is. "

Rachel Macy Stafford with "The Day I Stopped Saying 'Hurry Up'"  

"I gave my child a little time... and in return, she gave me her last bite and reminded me that things taste sweeter and love comes easier when you stop rushing through life."


And let’s be sure to be in prayer for Woman of Valor Margaret Feinberg who is battling cancer.


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


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