Sunday Superlatives 9/23/2012

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the blogosphere...

Most Relatable: 
Adorate with “Sneaking Into Worship”

“So, this is 2012.  Praise and celebration worship is everywhere.  It has helped many churches experience unprecedented growth for two or three decades.  It’s what we know.  It’s what we like to play.  It’s what we’re good at.  So, of course, it’s what we keep doing week after week.  For most people, it is the only style of worship they have ever known.  And so, like everything dazzling and new, while most are still contented, some are feeling trapped in a growing rut. So, here’s a little secret people in Christian higher education know.  The sneakers have returned.  They do not advertise it.  Many do not post updates on it.  They think their parents would disapprove.  Their Youth Pastors might be alarmed.  It is not that they don’t want to worship.  On the contrary, they just long for something they can’t find in our Sunday worship or campus chapels.  They are not sneaking off to Pentecostal services.  They are sneaking off to Mass.”

Most On-Point (nominated by Kelley Nikondeha
Peter Enns with “Dear Christian: If the Thought of Either Romney or Obama Getting Elected Makes You Fearful, Angry, or Depressed, You Have What we Call a Theological Problem

“If you fear for your way of life, that if the wrong person gets elected all is lost and you simply don’t have any hope for your future or the future of your children, you have accepted what we like to call in the industry a ‘rival eschatology.’” 

Most Haunting (nominated by Tanya Marlow):
Enuma Okoro at Deeper Story with “The Bride and Groom

“‘I am not in love with the Church.’ I text it out and lay the phone quiet on my desk. The room fills with the late afternoon sun flood that always reminds me of magic. Nothing so luminous and revealing can be real. The dog lies lazy on the ragged sofa, long collie nose hanging over the edge. Nothing happens, now that I have confessed. I sigh heavy out of my desk chair, grab the paperback and plod three feet to push the dog over for a square of the couch. What happens now? I stare blankly at the words on the page in front of me. It is a short story about a couple telling each other their shameful secrets every night in the darkness. Sadness wells slowly in me like rising water. I turn the book down and watch the hour stretch into evening and the magic light begin to fade."

Most Heartbreaking: 
Guy Delcambre with “Grief, 3 Little Girls, and God Somewhere” 

“Moved at a pace slowed by shock and sorrow, a half step behind, a shadow shuffling lost into days that kept breaking like waves crashing onto the shore …pulling …and grabbing …and taking with each day crashing into the next more of the broken ground I stood on.”

Best Conversation-Starter:
Ellen Painter Dollar with “Fed Up with 'The Church'? Try a Different One (Maybe Even in the Mainline)”

"While I am sympathetic to those who wish to bring reforms, of feminist and other natures, to the evangelical movement, I also want to remind those who are fed up with how women and their voices are welcomed (or not) in evangelical churches, publications, and conversations that there are many churches (that is, movements, denominations, and congregations) where women and other marginalized groups (such as LGBT Christians) don’t have to fight for respect, equality, and a voice. I think many frustrated evangelicals would be amazed (and breathe some huge sighs of relief) to discover that issues that are hot within their circles are non-issues for many other dedicated Christians. And that Christians of an evangelical bent can find a home alongside those other dedicated Christians, even in communities that don’t define themselves overtly as “evangelical.”)"

Best Writing: 
Jamie Wright with “Read Between the Lines

“If you'll read between the lines, you'll see how these rolling waves across my forehead are the flagship of motherhood; each wavy line dug in by the surprises brought by maternity. “How did you pee that far?” “Who poured honey on the dog?” “Why is the toaster in the dryer?” I know it's not ok to scream “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?!” twenty times a day, so my creased and wrinkled forehead says it for me. This raised eyebrow conveys a myriad of emotions, all useful in propelling boys toward manhood. I'm confident that of all the good reasons I've given them, this cocked brow will surely be the thing that sends my kids to therapy. ...Yes. It's that good.”

Best Collection of Tweets:
Tony Jones with “If Jesus had a wife...

Tim Jenkins: “What do you mean you don’t know when you’re coming back?” 

Dads are the original hipsters

Kathy Escobar with “We let women lead...

“...When people say it like this, it is revealing to what is going on underneath–and the telling assumptions that exist. It tells a story that we often want to minimize–a story where men hold all of the power to “allow or permit” women to do or not do certain things. A story where patriarchal systems & structures & influences trump the fullness of God’s spirit-at-work-in-women’s-lives. It’s a story that we’ve accepted as okay somehow. And it’s not okay.”

This week’s woman of valor: 
Margaret Dunning: At 102, she changes oil, spark plugs on her 82-year-old car

On the blog...

Most Popular Post: 
Esther Actually: Purim, Persia, Patriarchy - Setting the Stage 

Favorite Comment:
In response to last week’s Sunday Superlative nomination of  Katie Roiphe’s  "Disappearing Mothers," Joykins wrote: 

“‘What, some earnest future historian may very well ask, do all of these babies on our Facebook pages say about “the construction of women’s identity” at this particular moment in time?’  It says we don't want our old friends from junior high to know that we got fat.”

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

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