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What’s the Truth Behind Serial? Only God Knows


Dec 18 2014
Inconclusive storytelling stirs our longing for justice.
What’s the Truth Behind Serial? Only God Knows
Serial

Like more than 1.5 million others, I’ve spent the last several weeks listening to Serial, a podcast that debuted in October from the producers of the popular public radio program This American Life. The first season of Serial investigates the 1999 murder of a Baltimore ...

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Bringing True Joy to the World


Dec 17 2014
How we can avoid over-sentimentalizing the holidays.
Bringing True Joy to the World
Pavlina Jane / Flickr

Christmas as a consumer event is designed for people like me. Saps, that is. People who inhale the smell of gingerbread and want to buy the whole tin because it reminds us of a happy memory, or a loving grandma, or the Best Christmas Ever.

This is sentimentalism, the emotional ...

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Playing God on Paper


Dec 11 2014
How composing 50,000 words of fiction deepened my appreciation for the Great Author.
Playing God on Paper
melenita / Flickr

Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn't try to write fiction. It's not a grand enough job for you. - Flannery O'Connor

As 2014 ends, it's time for the "Best Of" ...

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The Cosby Show Dilemma


Dec 4 2014
When fictional dads and happy endings get tangled in real-life scandal.
The Cosby Show Dilemma
Ted Eytan / Flickr

I really hoped that by now I would know what to do with Bill Cosby. Not what to think about him—at this point it’s pretty impossible to dismiss the rape allegations of 17 women, all with similar stories of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby, all with ...

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Study: Young, Nonreligious Women Give More than Christians


Dec 1 2014
The female dollar and the changing landscape for charitable donations.
Study: Young, Nonreligious Women Give More than Christians
Rocketboom / Flickr

With #GivingTuesday coming up, charities are readying their year-end holiday appeals to a changing body of potential donors.

Older, married couples with strong religious ties used to be the target demographic for charities, ministries, and other nonprofits. But as this ...

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The Christian Editor Behind the South's Sweetest Wedding Mag


Nov 18 2014
Talking perfectionism, marriage, and faith with entrepreneur and new author Lara Casey.
The Christian Editor Behind the South's Sweetest Wedding Mag
Faith Teasley Photography

In today’s booming wedding industry, Southern Weddings magazine editor Lara Casey tries to skip over popular trends to focus on the meaningful parts of marriage: the love stories, family ties, and old traditions.

A Christian who sees her work as ministry, Casey heads ...

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Christian Cries for Justice Can Save Women of All Faiths


Nov 12 2014
Our call to rally against persecution extends beyond the church.
Christian Cries for Justice Can Save Women of All Faiths
Bernd Schwabe / Wikimedia

Christians have rallied around the stories of our sisters across the globe who’ve faced horrific punishments for their faith, from Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan to Asia Bibi in Pakistan. While the church is rightly concerned with the persecution and eradication of Christians ...

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The Calvinist on the Bestseller List


Nov 7 2014
Marilynne Robinson’s rich, grace-filled prose strikes again.
The Calvinist on the Bestseller List
Brian Ray / AP

Given the dramatic and oft-noted rise of the religious "nones," Marilynne Robinson's sterling reputation and popularity as a novelist and essayist—not merely among Christians, but among critics and readers of every faith and no faith—is something ...

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Vote Like the World Is Watching


Nov 3 2014
You may think your ballot doesn’t matter. The rest of the globe sees it differently.
Vote Like the World Is Watching
lettawren / Flickr

Here’s a question I didn’t expect to hear so much when I moved to China: “Which do you prefer: McCain or Obama?”

It was the summer of 2008, and the Chinese were following the U.S. presidential election as closely as my husband and I were. I could ...

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Not All Vulnerability Is Brave


Nov 3 2014
We don’t have to expose our deepest secrets with every speech and blog post.
Not All Vulnerability Is Brave
Evan Agostini/Invision / AP

It’s fitting that writer and actress Lena Dunham begins her debut book with a section on love and sex. The first chapter is titled “Take My Virginity.” The taking of the virginity happened with a young man she met in the college cafeteria:

I didn’t ...
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