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December  2009

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LaVonne's Top 40 Books of the Decade

Dec 31 2009
A good list to take the next time you go to the library.

Just as surely as the first week of January brings new diet books, the last week of December brings Top 10 or Top 100 lists. These lists are way too late to inspire holiday shopping, so they must serve another function. Perhaps they are a quick way to come up ...

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker, I Don't Want a Match

Dec 31 2009
Most 'yentas' mean well, but their meddling only adds unnecessary pressure to a single's life.

It wasn't until I read Cathy Lynn Grossman's USA Today blog post Tuesday that I knew there was a word for them: Yentas, the people (usually women) in your life who pry about your love life (or the absence thereof) and, for better or worse, try to set you up with ...

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The Top 10 Her.meneutics Posts of the Year

Dec 28 2009
2009 was the year of viral dance videos, Christians mired in pageant scandals, reality TV marriages, and church burnout thrown in for good measure.

2009 was also an exciting first year for the CT women's blog! Thanks especially to all our writers, who went the extra mile to stay on top of the news cycle and deliver timely commentary. And many thanks to you, our readers, for leaving what the CT editors consider ...

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Consider the Vampire

Dec 23 2009
Why the 'Twilight' novels deserve our attention—and why they should raise concern.

Last week I found myself trying to explain the Twilight phenomenon—the books, the movies, Stephenie Meyer, and Robert Pattinson—to coworkers over lunch. It seems the whole thing can be summed up in one word: obsession. Bella and Edward, the two main ...

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When Stem Cell Research Isn't Embryonic

Dec 22 2009
Christians have reason to celebrate miracles of adult stem cell research.

At the conclusion of another year, perhaps we should take a moment to take note of progress in adult stem cell research. Two compelling stories that caught my eye in just the past month took most of 2009 to make headlines as success stories.

This month in Australia, ...

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The Real Problem with Mary's Baby Bump

Dec 18 2009
Jesus' mother likely didn't face the public shame associated with unwed mothers.

This Christmas you may hear a sermon or two comparing today's unwed mothers with a well-known one from the ancient Mideast: Mary, the mother of Jesus. Reflecting on the alleged public shame Mary endured as an unmarried mom-to-be, we hear, the single moms in our ...

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The Trouble with Depicting Jesus

Dec 15 2009
Is a Bible showing the Holy Family in traditional Indian clothes any worse than one depicting them as doe-eyed Caucasians in pastels?

When the New Community Bible first released in 2008, it sold 15,000 hardcover copies in a few short weeks.Yet the resulting hue and cry over certain aspects of the Bible, the first to be produced by Indians, for Indians in simple English, has resulted in a few ...

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Gimme that Christian Side Hug

Dec 14 2009
The viral video has received some negative attention over the past few weeks. But the joke's on whom?

The "Christian Side Hug" video is going viral, but don't take it too seriously.

The video quickly loses its humor if you watch the whole four-minute spoof. Yes, it's a spoof, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Before the spoof was outed, though, ...

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'Love Thy Neighbor' Shows Up at Copenhagen

Dec 11 2009
Many Christians who support climate-change protocols have the least of these in mind.

The Copenhagen Climate Conference (COP15) began December 7 and will continue through next week. World leaders are gathering to negotiate carbon emission protocols that will replace the 1997 Kyoto agreement, which expires in 2012. Robust proposals are coming from ...

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Christmas Cooking with Nigella (or Jesus)

Dec 10 2009
Christmas activities are not the meaning of the season, but they can make the season more meaningful.

Christmas baking has begun, and I do a lot of the traditional cookie baking for my family. Peanut butter star cookies, sugar cookies, and Ritz cracker cookies are on my list (as usual) this year, but I keep an eye out for new things to try, which is why I noticed ...

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Baby Dies Aboard United Airways Flight: A Response

Dec 9 2009
In our eagerness to assign blame, mothers usually bear the brunt of tragedies like this.

My mind is still reeling from the news that a 4-week-old infant was unable to be resuscitated after the baby stopped breathing on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Kuwait. The plane made an emergency landing in London, but the child could not be revived.

"Mom ...

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The Joys of a False Positive

Dec 8 2009
What the apostle Paul has to do with the new mammogram guidelines.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released recommendations on breast cancer screenings November 16, stating that too many women were given unnecessary tests based on an initial "false positive" mammogram. The task force discouraged women ages 40 to 49 from ...

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Dave Ramsey, Megan McArdle, and Jesus

Dec 4 2009
'The Atlantic' blogger's new-found appreciation for the evangelical finance guru forgets his inspiration.

In my most recent Her.meneutics post—on the biblical dimensions of frugal living—I took issue with Atlantic "econoblogger" Megan McArdle's New York Times review of Lauren Weber's In CHEAP We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue. I didn't ...

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Should Christians See 'Precious'?

Dec 4 2009
What is the spiritual benefit of watching hard-to-watch films?

After reading Camerin Courtney's 3½-star review of Precious for Christianity Today Movies, I knew I wanted to see the film. Well, kind of.

Alongside other reviewers, Courtney made it clear that the film—about an obese, illiterate African American teenager ...

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Holiday Generosity: Now a Click Away

Dec 3 2009
Why I'm thankful for Amazon's new 'Add to Wish List' button.

I have mixed feelings about wish lists. They rob Christmas of creativity, surprise, and personal contact, but they also make shopping much, much easier. And it's nice to know that if I pay attention to the lists, gift recipients won't roll their eyes and return ...

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