April 2011

Seeing Each Other

A long time ago I realized that when people first look at Penny, they don't see her. They see Down syndrome. I do the same thing. When I see someone in a wheelchair, I struggle to pay attention to the individual in front of me. The disability makes it hard for me to see the ...

Who Are the Sinners Today?

"An 'innocent' Jesus does not overpower sin. A righteous Jesus does. The world needs less innocence and more righteousness."

–Greg Carey, Sinners

In this week's New York Times Magazine, Benoit Denizet-Louis profiles a place called St. Anthony's House, where alcoholics can go and ...

Laughing with God

We practice praying as a family. Sometimes we have our kids repeat the Lord's Prayer after us. Sometimes we go around in a circle and say one thing we're thankful for and one thing we need. Last night was a freestyle night.

William started out prostrate, and his prayer was something ...

Between Cross and Resurrection: Life and Death and Hope

I wrote a few weeks back about a little boy from Zambia who died wearing William's clothes. His name was Francis. Our friends Holly and Eric Nelson, founders of the Special Hope Network, cared for him. They recently wrote to say that another little boy, Gabriel (who has been ...

Perfectly Human: Harm and Healing by Jill Miller

Last month my husband Paul and I went to Israel to celebrate our 40th anniversary. One of the places that we visited was Bethesda. Unearthed pools with high Greek columns, wide steps and stoned walkways leading to smaller pools were before us. For many years I had imagined taking ...

Still Growing Up

Marilee goes to the doctor's every four weeks and they chart her growth as the pounds rack up. She laughs out loud now. She holds on to me when I pick her up.

William's 2T pants are getting snug around the waist. He has begun to be able to pronounce "l." He now can count to 20. ...

More Thoughts on Hell

"Doing away with hell, then, is a natural way for pastors and theologians to make their God seem more humane. The problem is that this move also threatens to make human life less fully human."

So says Ross Douthat in an essay for the New York Times: "A Case for Hell."

Douthat ...

Resurrection Part Two: Why It Matters

In yesterday's post, I shared why I believe the resurrection happened. But I also want to explain why I believe the resurrection makes a difference–in the world and in my life.

Christians believe that the resurrection proves that Jesus was who he said he was–the Christ, the King, ...

Can Execution Be Merciful?

Paul Donnelly wrote an essay, Upon Penalty of Life, for the New York Times Magazine this past week. Donnelly's brother and his wife were killed by Christopher Di Meo. And Donnelly's essay argues that the most merciful thing for Di Meo would be to receive the death penalty. Donnelly ...

Resurrection Part One: Why I Believe It

Yesterday we celebrated a ridiculous claim: that a dead man came back to life. Not that he was resuscitated. But that he was made alive again, eternally. That he, Jesus, is still alive. The truth of Christianity hinges upon the reality of the resurrection. There are Christians ...

Good Friday: Heaven or Hell?

Fifty years ago, a TIME cover article asked the question, "Is God Dead?" This week, a cover article of the same magazine asks, "Is Hell Dead?" This recent article comes in response to Rob Bell's book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever ...

How Do I Explain Easter to My Kids?

I have a new post on her.meneutics. It begins:

I don't know how to explain Easter to my children — Penny, 5, and William, 2. I've tried two approaches so far. I've talked about it directly: "Some people killed Jesus and he died and God made him alive again."

When I said that, ...

Perfectly Human: This Is Community by Karen Jackson

As the parent of a child with special needs, I write of faith communities from a slightly different perspective than most. Faith communities can be large or small, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other, filled with people young or old, but they are, I think, in a special category.  ...

Lenten Reflections Part Two: Our Love-Hate Relationship with the Cross


It's a symbol of love, of forgiveness, of salvation.

It's a vision of violence, of blood, of death.

It's a trinket dangling from a rear-view mirror, an ornament to dress up an outfit.

It's a centerpiece in a house of worship.

It's a gift. It's an offense.

It's a reminder, in ...

Is the Resurrection for Real?

Along with other bloggers, I was recently asked to respond to this question in 100 words or less. Here's what I wrote:

My husband threw a handful of crackers across the room. He was angry.

My daughter threw her arms out wide and said, "Tada!" She was proud.

My son's tears rolled ...

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