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September  2010

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The Trouble with Confessing in Church

Sep 29 2010
As blogger Anne Jackson's new book makes clear, our church culture will need to change before individual confession won't turn into gossip.

I've come to believe that an institutional church is not a safe place for one person's confession. Several years ago, while we were attending a small nondenominational church, Pastor Donn* announced at the end of Sunday worship that we would have a special mid-week ...

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How Christians Will Save America's Schools

Sep 28 2010
Being salt and light in a failing education system.

Sixty-eight percent of eighth graders in the U.S. can't read at grade level. 1.2 million teenagers drop out of school every year. And 44 percent of dropouts under age 24 are jobless. These statistics, from the Broad Foundation for Education, are grim. And the ...

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Young, Single Women Outearn Male Counterparts

Sep 27 2010
Does this signal a bridge in the perennial gender pay gap?

The fact that men make more money than women isn't exactly news. Sure, it pops up in the media from time to time as some ask what we need to do to help that statistic change, while others insist that the gap isn't real to begin with. For the most part, though, ...

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Does God Want Us to Suffer?

Sep 24 2010
Physical pain can transform or destroy us. It's best not to determine which category another's pain falls into.

This is the second of two posts on Christian perspectives on physical pain. The first explored the idea of pain relief as a human right.

Melanie Thernstrom, in her critically praised new book, The Pain Chronicles, examines the role of pain in religious belief. ...

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Is Pain Relief a Human Right?

Sep 23 2010
My daughter's own experience with pain has helped me answer this question.

The International Association for the Study of Pain issued a declaration saying it is. People have a right to receive pain relief, without discrimination, via medications and non-medication techniques; to have pain assessed as a vital sign; to be treated by medical ...

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Why I Envy Young Nuns

Sep 22 2010
What a remarkably large class of young Catholic nuns-in-training taught this Protestant.

I have a vinyl sticker on the back window of my car that reads, Jesus Inside. It's an effective conversation starter because it frequently invites teasing: "So, where does Jesus sit?" "Hey, did you know Jesus is inside your parked car?"

That decal came to mind ...

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Not Everyone Is Praying for Christopher Hitchens Today

Sep 20 2010
I worry that Christians have jumped on praying for the atheist just to reaffirm their own faith.

One of this generation's most celebrated atheists, Christopher Hitchens, is dying. He has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Since his cancer was made public, people of various faith traditions have been encouraging others to pray for the man who penned God ...

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Craigslist Gives Up 'Adult Services' in the United States

Sep 17 2010
Law enforcement and human rights advocates rejoice, but will the change help end human trafficking?

After testifying at a hearing regarding domestic minor sex trafficking on Wednesday, Craigslist officials agreed to remove adult services advertisements in this country for good.

Her.meneutics has followed the story of Craigslist closely (see a 2009 interview with ...

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How the Iraq War Has Affected Women

Sep 15 2010
The country now faces a large population of unmarried women, many of them widows. Are government-doled incentives for marrying widows a good economic strategy?

As the narrative in Iraq shifts from war to establishing a stable government and social structure, new and unexpected details about the cost of war are coming to light. One issue Iraq is struggling with is marriage—or the lack thereof.

The Associated Press ...

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An Argument against 'Settling Down'

Sep 14 2010
Instead of chastising young adults for being noncommittal, the church might encourage 20-somethings to seek what God wants them to commit 'to'.

"What Is It About 20-Somethings?" Robin Marantz Henig asked recently in The New York Times Magazine. Young American adults are taking longer than previous generations to grow up. They are faced with more possibilities, and their idealism runs rampant. Therefore, ...

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A New Message at the Strip Club-Church Showdown

Sep 13 2010
What happened when two Christian women entered the Fox Hole strip club in Warsaw, Ohio.

"I can't make out what you're saying to me. Please have someone call me so I'll know what you're saying."

Sitting in her car, Anny Donewald prayed these instructions to God last month.

Founder of Eve's Angels, Donewald ministers to women in the adult entertainment ...

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Anorexia and the Body of Christ

Sep 10 2010
Harriet Brown's success story using family based treatment for her daughter's eating disorder suggests we 'all' could stand to share meals.

Harriet Brown's new memoir, Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia, challenges popular beliefs about eating disorders. Many psychologists and nutritionists say that getting anorexics to eat won't work until "underlying psychological issues" are dealt ...

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ChristWire and Good Satire

Sep 9 2010
The satirical website ChristWire is heavy-handed and not very funny. But might good satire help illuminate where we believers need reform?

I first learned of the website ChristWire from a Facebook friend who linked to a much-read post that lists questions for wives to answer if they think their husbands might be gay. My friend asked whether anyone knew if the list was satire, because it sure seemed ...

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500 Women and Children Raped in Congo

Sep 8 2010
Despite our distance from the deadliest conflict since World War II, there are ways to respond.

I went to dinner recently with a law student whose parents are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As we ate and shared, I tried to recall everything I had read about the DR Congo on BBC's website or in history textbooks. But my mind blanked.

What year did ...

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A Course in Dying 101

Sep 7 2010
What Christians can teach our death-denying culture.

My grandfather turned 90 last week. The past two years have been ones of declining health for him, including a botched surgery and shingles and Bell's palsy and a broken hip. A few months ago, my mother sat down to talk with him about reaching the end of his life. ...

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