A Woman’s Witness: Why Jesus Gave Easter to Mary, to Me, and to You

As part of Patheos' Easter coverage, some of us are pondering what that morning would have been like for the witnesses of the Resurrection. This is my contribution. For more 'accounts' and other resources for Holy Week, visit the Patheos Engaging Easter page here.It was dark as ink and chillingly quiet as Mary Magdalene felt her way to the tomb that early morning. She was desperately looking for something that would answer her questions. Finding and treating the body of Jesus was important fo … [Read More...]

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Felling the Veil

Over the next several weeks, I'll be posting excerpts from my upcoming book Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl's Guide to the Good News.Femmevangelical uses stories, devotionals, meditations, theological study, church history, brain science, cultural exploration and much more to reveal the different evangel that religion left behind:  a gospel of Jesus and vision of the coming realm of God that feminists of faith can follow and work together to bring into reality for the good of women and … [Read More...]

The Life and Near Death of Kelly Gissendaner

No doubt Kelly Gissendaner had prepared her soul for her execution by lethal injection scheduled for 7 PM Monday night in Jackson, Georgia. After all, she graduated from a theological studies program while in prison, and served as a chaplain and spiritual advisor of sorts for other prisoners, to great effect. But she was also sentenced to death in 1998 for her role in planning the vicious murder of her husband.Late Monday night, just before her sentence was carried out, her execution was … [Read More...]


“The Hunting Ground” is terrifying. And real.

A web cam catches the whole emotional scene. A series of high school girls with bright, rosy faces nervously open the official emails that hold their fate:  letters from their dream colleges telling them whether or not they got in. A life-long career of tireless academic excellence, leadership in extra-curriculars, sports and community service -- no shortage of blood, sweat and tears -- have brought them to this critical moment. With mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters watching anxiously ov … [Read More...]


What’s love got to do with it?

Ah, Valentine's Day. It evokes annoyance, angst, and sometimes the warm and fuzzies. It's supposed to be about celebrating love, but the definitions of that vary wildly.For instance, the movie based on the 'workplace BDSM' (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission) book Fifty Shades of Grey opens this weekend in marketing tandem with the Hallmark holiday. An awkward, unconfident 21-year-old college senior (Ana) loses her virginity to a swaggering, wealthy entrepreneur (Christian Grey) who onl … [Read More...]


Kayla Mueller’s Vision of God

Kayla Mueller, the American humanitarian captured while working in Syria by ISIS in 2013, was confirmed dead this morning in a statement issued by the White House.Kayla dedicated her life to helping vulnerable people around the world, and protesting the political and social oppression and dire circumstances of refugees and suffering peoples in places like Kenya, India, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, and Turkey. She then went to Syria because she felt compassion for the plight of … [Read More...]


What Seeing ‘Selma’ Says About You

When I moved to New York City 11 years ago, I had to defend my origins. Upon learning I was from Birmingham, Alabama, coworkers, new acquaintances, bartenders would ask me what it was like growing up in a city infamous for its violent racism, for hoses and dogs and Bull Connor, for the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that killed four innocent little girls.I was often stunned that these people seemed to know more detail about it than I did, as a product of its very school … [Read More...]


3 Lessons for America from Christian Bale’s Moses

Earlier this week, I sat down with Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ridley Scott and a handful of religion journalists to talk about Sunday night’s New York premiere of Exodus: Gods and Kings. You might guess that a bunch of religion writers tried to school the artists on the religious veracity (or lack) of the movie, or criticize the atheist director’s reality-based choices. Not so. In fact, I walked away from the earnest conversation feeling I’d just been blessed with something much deeper than a … [Read More...]


Gods and Kings Leave Ladies in Waiting

I put on my 3-D glasses as Ridley Scott appeared on the screen. In his dapper accent, he thanked his audience of film critics at the 42nd Street AMC, and explained that we would be seeing unlocked footage of a few scenes from his unfinished film Exodus: Gods and Kings, which releases in December. He said the classic biblical story of Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery under the heavy hand of his 'brother' Rhamses in Egypt, was at its core a story about the "undying quest for freedom". This … [Read More...]

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A Love Beyond

Iranian Musician Anis Oveis Risks Everything for Music------------------Outside in the night air, a security guard keeps watch for authorities. Inside, a beautiful young woman fidgets with her scarf, making sure her hair is completely covered. The band Mavara, for which she plays keyboard, takes the stage, but at the first sign of trouble they are ready with a plan to shut everything down. They are nervous, not just because they are about to perform, but because they don’t know what will … [Read More...]