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June  2011

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Reading Scripture with Sex Abuse Survivors


Jun 30 2011
Elaine Heath's 'We Were the Least of These' offers a healing balm, but should be read alongside more traditional interpretations of Scripture.

Laura survived a rigid and abusive fundamentalist upbringing, then married a Baptist minister who sexually abused her. Now she's an atheist. Vyckie was a wife and mom in the Quiverfull movement who now also leans toward atheism, believing that the Bible necessarily ...

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The Lost Girls of China and India


Jun 29 2011
Why so many baby girls are being killed in the world's two largest countries.

Across most cultures and throughout time, parents have wanted boys more than they have wanted girls. Recently developed technologies are allowing parents to reject their girl children before they are even born.

In India and China, the world's two most populated ...

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Beyonce Is Wrong: Girls Don't Run the World


Jun 28 2011
Why her message of female power is hurting the African American community.

According to the first single from Beyonce's highly anticipated album 4, girls indeed run the world. Thanks to her musical contribution to First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, her recent Billboard Millennium Award, and surprise farewell performance ...

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Should Christians Pursue External Beauty?


Jun 24 2011
A controversial Psychology Today article arguing that black women are less attractive than others got me thinking about real beauty.

Give beauty back,
beauty, beauty, beauty,
back to God,
beauty's self and beauty's giver.

(Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo.")

"Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?"

That's the title of a recent (and promptly removed) ...

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An Open Letter to Donald Miller on Your Engagement


Jun 23 2011
First, congratulations. Second, let's talk about that list of qualities we should want in a spouse.

Dear Donald,

First of all, I'm a fan. I'll admit I'm not young enough or hip enough to have discovered you on my own, but the college students I teach help me to keep up with the times, and they introduced me to your work some years ago. I love it all, especially ...

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How to Talk about Having Children


Jun 22 2011
Maybe God intended babies to mess with our well-planned lives.

For all the ways reality television star and Hollywood socialite Kim Kardashian and I differ from each other, we do share one striking commonality: We both turned 30 this year. And for both of us, our entry into this new decade sounded an alarm on our biological ...

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What We're Reading This Summer


Jun 21 2011
We're taking pleasure in books in the middle of texts and tweets.

In honor of the official start to summer and my plan to read many books by the pool, I picked up Alan Jacobs' new The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction this past weekend. The book is full of reminders of the joys of reading in the midst of Twitter ...

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Why Men Should Read Jane Austen


Jun 20 2011
And, how we all should read works like 'Pride and Prejudice.'

Nobel-winning novelist V. S. Naipaul recently started a firestorm with his remarks about female writers in general and Jane Austen in particular. According to the Guardian:

In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society on Tuesday about his career, Naipaul, who ...
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Searching for Abba on Father's Day


Jun 17 2011
What Daddy said to me, a 'love child,' that changed my life.

The year Diana Ross's hit song "Love Child" hit the top of the pop charts, I was born to a single mother who was unable to care for me. At three weeks, I was adopted into a family who raised me in an affluent suburb outside of Chicago. The view from the curb was ...

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The Cult of the Orgasm


Jun 16 2011
Thinking Christianly about the vibrator boom and unsatisfied sexual desire.

Baptist theologian Russell Moore recently warned, "On the nightstand of a woman in your church, there's a Christian romance novel and a Bible." Yet if The New York Times is to be believed, he should have been more concerned with a vibrator on the nightstand.

Cultural ...

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Raising Yeshua-Followers in the West Bank


Jun 15 2011
Ariella, a Messianic Jew, raises four children amid violence in the Holy Land.

"It's ironic, but I feel that my kids are safer here than living in the U.S.," said Ariella B. I met Ariella nearly two decades ago when we were attending the same Chicago-area congregation. Recently I had a chance to visit her on a recent trip to Israel. She ...

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Taste and Smell That the Lord Is Good


Jun 14 2011
Molly Birnbaum's book 'Season to Taste' reveals how our sense of smell connects us to places and people.

Chances are you know of someone who has lost their sight or hearing wholly or in part. Helen Keller could neither hear nor see but found brilliant ways to articulate her experience. Countless other writers and artists have made their experiences accessible to ...

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Anthony Weiner, Gnostic


Jun 9 2011
The embroiled congressman's defense that sexting is not adultery reveals a mind-body dualism long resisted by Christian tradition.

The technology is new, but the sin is so, so old.

The latest "victim" betrayed by the very technology he thought to have harnessed for his own nefarious ends—in case you've been fast asleep under a rock somewhere—is Rep. Anthony Wiener (D-NY), busted ...

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A Backyard Garden of Grace


Jun 8 2011
When our family decided to buy only items that were local, used, homegrown, or homemade, little did we know how our garden would change us.

A move to Spokane, Washington, in the summer of 2004 brought many expected changes to our young family of four. There was a new call to pastor a congregation, new schools, a new house. But our home's ready-to-harvest vegetable garden came as one of our biggest ...

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Why Romance Novels Aren't Emotional Porn


Jun 7 2011
Just because such novels are about escape doesn't mean they are destructive.

I slink into bed, click on my light, and grab the book. Guilt shakes me a bit. After all I've read about these sorts of stories, I figure by the end I'll hate my husband or hunger for more of the escape they offer.

So why do I risk this? Because the night before, ...

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