Sunday Superlatives – The Best of 2012

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Let’s just imagine it’s Sunday...and 2012... shall we? 

Best of Twitter: 

Kim Kierkegaardashian 

Honest Toddler

Bible Students Say

People of the Year: 

Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani activist who as shot in the head by Taliban on her way home from school. 

Balpreet Kaur, who responded to an onslaught of ridicule and hate online in the most gracious and disarming way imaginable, practicing what she preaches about interfaith dialog 

Best Books: 

1. Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner

2. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate by Justin Lee 

3. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver 

4. The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns 

5. The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler

6. A Woman Called: Piecing Together the Ministry Puzzle by Sara Barton 

Best Videos: 

1. Tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney 

2. Africa for Norway 

3. Will Ferrell Freaks Out About Kristen and Robert 

4. Chimamanda Adichie – The Danger of a Single Story 

5. Nadia Bolz-Weber Speaks to Lutheran Youth about the Gospel 

6. Existential Cat Doesn’t Want Your Cheeseburgers 

7. Joshua Ledet Sings “It’s a Man’s World” (gives me chills every time)

Favorite Bloggers: 

Richard Beck at Experimental Theology – for consistently making me think 

Kristen Howerton at Rage Against the Minivan - for consistently making me laugh 

Sarah Bessey – for consistently making me cry (in a good way) 

Best New (to me) Blogs:  

Jonathan Martin 

Near Emmaus - Brian LePort 

How to Talk Evangelical - Addie Zierman 

Krista Dalton 

Slacktivist - Fred Clark 

Some Bloggers to Watch in 2013:

It was an honor to be named one of “Christianity Today’s 50 Women To Watch,” this year, even though getting watched feels a bit creepy. Here are a few women from whom I expect we will be hearing more in 2013 (in no particular order): 

Glennon Melton – You probably know her from her wildly popular blog, Momastery, but Glennon has a book coming out in 2013—Carry On, Warrior—that I’ve had the privilege to read early and that I know you are going to just love. Expect this book to make news! 

Nadia Bolz-Weber – I’ve long admired Nadia, the say-it-like-it-is, heavily tattooed founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, who blogs at Sarcastic Lutheran and speaks all over the country, and I am thrilled that she is working with Jericho Books to release two new books in the coming years that I expect will make a serious impact. If you haven’t already, you MUST check out Nadia’s rousing speech to Lutheran youth in New Orleans. (I’ve watched it about seven times now.) 

Enuma Okoro – Recently named one of seven top young influencers for the next generation by Catalyst, Enuma is speaking all over the world now, and in June of 2012 was honored as the first woman of African descent to preach at the historic American Church in Paris. Expect to see her at more conferences and events in 2013. 

Sarah Bessey – How this lady has managed to write a book while consistently posting amazing essays on her blog is simply beyond me. I think 2013 is going to be a good year for this kindred spirit and friend. 

Elizabeth Esther – Elizabeth is the definition of a woman of valor who also has a book releasing in the next year. And she’s planning to blog every day in 2013, which is good news for the Internet! 

Nicole Cottrell – Nicole and I don’t always agree, but this woman knows how to blog. If she keeps doing what she’s doing, we can expect her to be a major player in the online conversations that get everyone talking. 

Micha Boyett – One of my favorite writers, Micha will be announcing some exciting news shortly. Expect to hear more from her in the coming years. 

Jamie Wright – You know her as Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary. I think of her as Jamie, The Very Funniest Blogger. Jamie’s just got a knack for writing in a funny, relatable, and disarming way that manages to entertain while instructing. 

Some others to watch: Addie Zierman, Krista Dalton, Grace Biskie, D.L. Mayfield, Kristin Tennant, Dianna Anderson, Jen Hatmaker, Kimberly Knight, Joy Bennett, Emily Maynard, Kathy Escobar, Kelley Nikondeha, and Alise Wright 

Around the Blogosphere...

Most Relatable: 
The Oatmeal with “Making Things

Most Heartbreaking:
Black Snob with “No Apologies: On the Killing of Trayvon Martin and Being ‘Good’” 

Most Challenging: 
Kristen Howerton with “Where is the Mommy War for the Motherless Child?”

Most Eye-Opening:
Maria Burnham with “Coming Out to My Bible Study

Most Inspiring:
Beth Woolsey with “Where else would you build your nest?

Most Unintentionally Hilarious: 
Movie Guide Reviews “Blue Like Jazz”

Best Photo Series:
James Mollison with “Where Children Sleep

Best Writing: 
Sarah Bessey with “In Which I Commission You” and “In Which Love Looks Like Real Marriage” and “In Defense of the Cafeteria” 

Best Analysis:
Roy Ciampa with “Identity Mapping

Best Point: 
Alise Wright with “Why the Church Needs to Stop Reaching Out” 

Best Response:
Lisa Belkin at Huffington Post with “No, I’m Not Mom Enough

Best Call to Action:
Idelette McVicker with “Let Us Be Women Who Love

Best Sentence: 
Ben Witherington in “John Piper on Men in Ministry and the Masculinity of Christianity” with, “The problem with the church is not strong women, but weak men who can’t handle strong women.”

Best Advice:
Elizabeth Esther with “What Not to Say to Someone Struggling with Their Faith

Glennon Melton with “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On

Jonathan Martin with “More than a symbol: Why we moved to weekly communion at Renovatus

Jana Riess at RNS with “Everything I Need to Know About Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley

Diana Butler Bass with “A Resurrected Christianity?

Joy Bennett with "Shame is a Prison, And I'm Breaking Out"

Most Thought-Provoking: 
Richard Beck with “Your God is Too Big” and “Orthodox Alexithymia” 

Most Helpful:
Dianna Anderson with “The Freedom to Choose” 

Most Reasonable:
Skye Jethani with “Why I Defend Muslims” 

Best Dayton (TN) Herald headline:
Dayton Woman Allegedly Assaults Man with Honey Buns

Best Series: 

Ed Cyzewski -  Women in Ministry Series

She Loves – Love Letters to Body

Micha Boyett  - Practicing Benedict 

Dennis Venema at Biologos – Understanding Evolution 

So, what makes your best-of-the-year list? What people, blogs, stories, and books did I forget? 

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