Sunday Superlatives 9/8/13

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free


I went to the optometrist only to learn my critics have been right all along: 


Around the blogosphere…

Best Prayer:
Kimberly Knight with “Praying for Peace with Pope Francis”

“Prince of peace, unfurl our clenched fists that our hands may reach for our neighbors with tender herbs of healing.”

Best Interview: 
Krista Tippett interviews Nadia Bolz-Weber for “On Being”

Best Conversation-Starter: (really looking forward to this series!) 
Geoff Holsclaw at Missio Alliance with “The Scandal of the Evangelical Memory” 

“In essence, I hope to encourage all those in the ‘messy middle’ of evangelicalism by letting them know they are the true heirs of evangelicalism, but they don’t know this because their memory has been replaced.  In essence, we don’t remember who we really are and until we do, we will keep living in and out of dreams and nightmares.”

Best List:
The 16 Most Annoying Things People of ‘House Hunters’ Say

Best Summary:
Scot McKnight with “A Game-Changer in the Genesis 1-2 Debates"

Best Use of the Phrase ‘Slap Bang’
Osheta Moore with “Slap-Bang tastic Back to School”

“They’re printable (read: you can’t mess this baby up if your life depended on it). They’re chalkboard themed.  They’re cute.  They’re free! Perfect to redeem my awesomeness fail…”

[This will make more sense if you've read 'A Year of Biblical Womanhood'.]

Best Series: 
Laura Turner’s series on growing up evangelical 

Best Reminder: 
Natalie Trust with "Christians, Divorce, and Marriage: On Being Excluded from Conversations"

“My journey led me to places of abandonment, betrayal, humiliation, and heartache. But I am still here, still standing, willing to share what I know and be honest about what I don’t know. I have more than just the pain to talk about; I carry more than just “baggage” from the past. I bear scars, but I have found beauty in them, and I’d like to share about that.”

Best Advocate
Hugh McNally at Christians for Biblical Equality with “Tertullian’s Ghost"

“Biblical equality is not a secular power-grab by women trying to reinterpret the Bible for their own benefit. Biblical equality is about the freedom of the gospel, which has for too long been overshadowed by the patriarchal worldviews of great men like Tertullian and Calvin. It is the power of the Holy Spirit freeing all people to use their gifts for service in God’s kingdom. If not for the ministry of a woman, I would not have surrendered my life to Christ sixty-five years ago. How many people could the church reach if it supported the full participation of women! I look forward to the day when women and men will be fully empowered to serve God together as partners in their homes, churches, and society, using the gifts God has given them."

Best Video: 
Jay Smooth with “How to Tell People They Sound Racist” 
[This is from 2008, but Bruce Reyes-Chow shared it at the Lion & Lamb festival last weekend and I thought it was helpful]

Margaret Manning with “A New Legalism”

“Perhaps humans find it easier to love legalities because it is easier than loving people. People are inconsistent and imperfect, and are more easily controlled and confined by rules. Jesus, in his life and ministry, frequently shattered these easy definitions put in place by those legalists in his day. He upended expectations and eluded the tightly drawn categories of those who sought to control him. He often kept company with those deemed unrighteous—prostitutes, tax collectors, and others called sinners—and he earned the label of “glutton and a drunkard” by those whose laws drew clear boundaries around appropriate company. For those who had clear rules about the Messiah of Israel, Jesus eschewed political power and stood silently before those who would eventually order his crucifixion. And for those who wanted a “rebel” Jesus, wholly antinomian and defying every convention, he answered by challenging his followers towards a righteousness that exceeded that of the most religious-of-the-religious in his day. In his own words he told those who would follow him that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.”

Funniest (language warning) 
The Bloggess with “15 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Social Media orYour Face Will Melt Off and Get Eaten By Goats” 

“SEO is very important.  It stands for Screw Everyone Over.  Or something.  I don’t actually know, but apparently it’s something you should be paying people for.  Or not.  I prefer not.”

Alyssa Bacon-Liu with “I’m Listening” 

“Here's what we can do: I'll commit to listening and then you can commit to listening and then I really do think there will be so much beautiful grace flowing around that we won't even know what to do with ourselves besides just say I'm listening and listen some more.”

Most Provocative: 
Peter Chin with “Shelve Your Passions”

“The reason I am engaged with these aspects of faith is not because I have always felt a gravitational pull to these ideas, but because this is what God has given me to do. I speak about suffering not because I consider myself an astute theologian – I actually believe the opposite.  I talk about suffering because my family endured it, and continues to.  It’s not a passion of mine in that sense.  And when this position as interim pastor of Peace Fellowship came up, I was very reluctant to accept it because I never saw myself as “that” kind of pastor, and doubted that I had the skills and passion to do well in such a position.  These callings that God has laid before me were altogether unexpected. And so it wouldn’t be truthful for me to simply say, “I am passionate about racial reconciliation and comforting the suffering.” Instead, I think it is more appropriate to say that I have learned to be passionate about whatever God puts in front of me.  Because where I find myself now is more the result of God’s plans and purposes, rather than my own.”

Most Moving: 
Stephen at Sacred Tension with “The Good Father: Of God, Doubt, and Gay Relationships”

“The only reason I am alive is because, three years ago in a tiny mountain Catholic parish, I started to learn how to trust, and to cling to the Cross. I learned to trust that God is bigger than my shortcomings, my questions, my capacity for rightness and wrongness. I started to trust that God has tempered justice with mercy, and that mercy covers me even when my best attempts fail in both action and understanding.”

Most Relatable: 
Rachel Marie Stone with “Kicking the Outrage Habit in the Blogosphere”

"If you find yourself addicted to Internet outrage–even as an observer–it might be good to ask what, exactly, you’re wishing you could shine some light on. And whatever that may be, I do hope you find it via a more peaceful path."

Most Practical:
Kathy Escobar with “Educate, Advocate, Agitate” 

“anytime the status quo is challenged, there’s sure to be trouble.  we will be known as rebellious, trouble-makers, loudmouths,unladylike, “those liberal feminists”, you name it.  i’ve come to take it as a compliment. change comes at a cost. there’s no way around it. the forces against women in this world (not just the church) are strong; there’s a horrid bent against women in almost every culture and we won’t get to new places by being quiet and hoping and praying the systems will change.  the only way to something new is to stir the pot, subvert the system, risk our pride, and agitate the status quo through educating, advocating, and stepping into our passions and callings.  for those of us who are people-pleasers, that’s the hardest part.  we will have to live with disapproval, but it’s worth it.”

Best of Social Media…

Anne Lamott on preparing for a book release

From the Road…

I had a wonderful time at the Lion & Lamb Festival in Ft. Wayne, Indiana last week, where I got to hang out with some very cool writers, artists, and ministers including Bruce Reyes Chow, Andrew Peterson, Amy Cox, Richard Kentopp,  Erica Granados, Robb McCoy, Jill Howard, and Corey Howard. 

Bruce spoke about his new book, But I Don’t See You as Asian, and opened up a really helpful, practical conversation about race from which I learned a ton. I’d recommend checking the book out. 


And I picked up this adorable little monkey (and a gorgeous yellow necklace) at the Yobel Market booth. Yobel Market sells all sorts of fairly-traded, sustainably-created wares from around the world to help empower people who have been exploited, displaced and impoverished. If you want a monkey for yourself, check them out! 


This week’s travels…

On Thursday and Friday, I’m headed to Clemson, South Carolina to hang out with students from Clemson University and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina for their Fall Event, “Growing Up With Your Faith.” I’ll be speaking on Thursday night, Friday afternoon, and Friday night. The events are open to the public, so stop by and say hello. Learn more here.


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


End of article logo.

Shareable Permalink

© 2013 All rights reserved.
Copying and republishing this article on other Web sites without written permission is prohibited.
Read more in the category: Sunday Superlatives