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July  2011

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The Redemptive Narrative in Jaycee Dugard's Captivity Story


Jul 29 2011
Why children play a vital role in the stories from women who were abducted.

Since the first Europeans arrived here, captivity narratives have enthralled America's collective imagination. These real-life accounts of settlers seized by American Indians retaliating against invading peoples expressed both the dark underside and the eternal ...

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Two Stories about Babies with Down Syndrome


Jul 28 2011
In light of new prenatal testing, what story will Christians tell about children with an extra 21st chromosome?

"It's a girl!"

I received these words with tears of joy when our third child, Marilee, was born. We could have known her sex months earlier, of course, but we decided to wait. And yet, as I wrote in a recent Her.meneutics post, other cultures are far less willing ...

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Being Loved through Breast Cancer


Jul 27 2011
God became 'the God who sees' when I faced a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation at age 27.

I met Kristin during my first shift in an urban E.R. in Portland 3 years ago. I was working in Fast Track as a physician assistant, and she was the assigned nurse for the day. She was strong and outspoken and said within minutes of meeting me, "I'm probably going ...

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My Father Was a Porn Addict


Jul 25 2011
The 'Playboys' lying on the coffee table were the tip of the iceberg in our home.

My father taught me how to ride a bike, the value of a great punchline, and what a woman was supposed to look and act like.

My dad was a great guy with a bad habit.

When we consider relationships negatively impacted by a pornography addiction, most of us first consider ...

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'Bridesmaids,' Marriage, and Real Happiness


Jul 22 2011
Where are all the popular stories about happy single women?

Movies have taught me a few valuable lessons.

There may be a train platform in between numbers 9 and 10 in London's King's Cross Station. If two men are fighting for your attention, and one is very pale and the other is Native American, well, watch ...

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A Parenting Manual for Bad Kids


Jul 20 2011
Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson's Give Them Grace proceeds from the belief that all children - and parents - need the gospel more than they need how-to tips.

Many parenting books promise fast results for raising children who always obey, toddlers who never talk back, and teens who keep the faith. The marketers of such books get that we consumers will buy almost anything if it promises speedy outcomes and comes in a ...

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Doing Authentic Ministry with My Smokin' Hot Bride


Jul 19 2011
A list of the worst ever Christian cliches.

I slipped. My husband and I were asked to take on another church commitment. I was trying to decline graciously. In my e-mail response, I wrote, "We cannot help now, but hopefully in another season." I copied my husband on the e-mail and instantly ...

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When Sex Becomes an Idol


Jul 18 2011
Jenell Williams Paris's 'The End of Sexual Identity' seeks to overturn the power that sexual identity labels—homosexual and heterosexual—have in and outside the church.

In the past few months, I couldn't help noticing the flurry of articles about the PCUSA's decision to ordain people in same-sex relationships, the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, the passage of same-sex marriage laws in New York, and the ...

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Much Ado About Mark Driscoll


Jul 15 2011
What do we do when Christian leaders are imperfect?

This week the Christian blogosphere worked itself into a frenzy over a Facebook status posted by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. The status, which was later removed, read, "So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically ...

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Why We Don't Use Natural Family Planning


Jul 14 2011
The method works wonders for many Christian couples, but shouldn't be elevated to one-size-fits-all heights.

Because I write often about reproductive ethics, I knew Bethany Patchin's story long before Mark Oppenheimer wrote about it in last weekend's New York Times. Bethany and Sam Torode divorced in 2009 after nine years of marriage, during which they had four children. ...

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Obama Visit Challenges 'African Woman' Stereotype


Jul 13 2011
The Young African Women Leaders Forum demonstrated that not all African women are victims and in need of Western help.

Two weeks ago, on an official trip to Africa, Michelle Obama gave a speech encouraging 76 young sub-Saharan African women participating in the Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa. They gathered at the Regina Mundi Church in the black township of ...

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Would Jesus Walk Away from a Mortgage?


Jul 11 2011
Reflections from an underwater home owner.

My husband and I have joked that our 2006 purchase of a townhome in a blue-collar suburb of Chicago must have been the single transaction that popped the housing price bubble in America. Within weeks after we signed the papers, the housing market began a historic ...

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Bachmann, Palin, and the Trouble with 'Evangelical Feminism'


Jul 8 2011
Feminists say Bachmann and other conservative women can't join their club. I say the club needs some new ground rules.

When I heard rumblings about Michele Bachmann's run for the presidency, I got nervous—though not the reasons you might think.

I'm not nervous about the political leanings of the Minnesota congresswoman and conservative Lutheran mother of five. In fact, I ...

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A Daughter's Grief Observed


Jul 7 2011
Meghan O'Rourke's luminous 'The Long Goodbye' traces the final months as her mother succumbs to cancer.

Meghan O'Rourke is best known as a literary and cultural critic, a contributor to Slate, and the onetime fiction editor at The New Yorker. But she is a poet first, as is clear from the opening pages of her new memoir, The Long Goodbye. A chronicle of the final ...

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Thoughts on Afghanistan from a Marine Wife


Jul 6 2011
The 'drawdown' announced last month gives me another opportunity to be sore afraid—or to trust God.

Less than three weeks ago, I watched as my husband, Nathan, became the commanding officer of a U.S. Marine Corps infantry company. About 160 men, most of them barely adults, stood at attention in their camouflage and combat boots and waited as he became their ...

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