My Christmas Pageant Moment

This post was originally published on the Episcopal Café web site on January 21, 2010, and has been reprinted in my church bulletin for several Christmases. When I wrote it, my kids were much smaller, Christmas Eve more challenging as we aimed to do all the important things—prepare food, pick up those last few groceries—while shepherding three [Read More…]

Top 10 Posts of 2015: On Empathy, Planned Parenthood, What Would Jesus Do, and More

Yes, I’m jumping the gun by a couple of weeks, by posting my top 10 blog posts of the year on December 18. But honestly, given my list of things that need doing before Christmas and the fact that one of my favorite things about this holiday is the lazy week between Christmas and New Year’s, [Read More…]

Redefining “Fruitful”: Is Procreation a Divine Mandate?

I have an article in the latest issue of Sojourners magazine, looking at fresh theology questioning the oh-so-American notion that traditional nuclear families consisting of a heterosexual couple and biological or adopted children is God’s ideal. What if, in fact, the New Testament undermines the primacy of biological family, rather than holding it up as ideal? What [Read More…]

Hope is the Hard and Necessary Work of Advent

Practicing Advent hope in the face of hopelessness is the fundamental—sometimes hardest—work God has given us to do. We are tempted to either rush through the disquieting ambivalence of Advent to get to clear-eyed Christmas joy, or dismiss it all as a foolish fairy tale belied by the world’s harsh realities. [Read more…]

Serving God When You’re Not Sure God is There

Following God’s call doesn’t require that we feel a particular way, only that we show up to do the work. [Read more…]

Why I’m Not Capable of an Equitable Distribution of Empathy for Terror Attacks

In the immediate aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, we need to offer one another grace to voice our grief and anger, skewed as they may be by the limitations and affinities that render our responses imperfect, and unmistakably human. [Read more…]

Spotlight: A Film About Devotion to Truth, the Church, and a God Who Shows Up in Unexpected Places

Of the many remarkable things about the new film Spotlight, the most remarkable is that this moving, engrossing, occasionally thrilling movie is mostly about a bunch of people—a team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe known as “Spotlight”— going to work and doing their jobs. The filmmakers and actors draw us into the quiet drama [Read More…]

On Marriage, Church, and Sticking Around When Things Get Hard

In both marriages and churches, sometimes the challenge is to stay in the aftermath of serious hurts and major betrayals. More often, the challenge is to stay when things have become dull and predictable and exhausting. [Read more…]

A Cancer Memoir that (Mostly) Gets It Right

I have rarely read a book that inspired so many different reactions, in such quick succession, as Heather King’s new memoir Stripped: At the Intersection of Cancer, Culture, and Christ. On one page, I would be nodding in recognition with gratitude for such skilled descriptions of what it feels like to confront our bodily frailties, [Read More…]

Our Alleged “Contraceptive Mentality” is a Straw Man That Needs to Die

The way forward on abortion requires seeking common ground with those on a different side of abortion debates, and paying more attention to stories of individuals (realizing that such stories rarely conform to stereotypes) than to questionable “mentalities” that make it far too easy to categorize and then dismiss the valid concerns of those for whom these debates are far from hypothetical. [Read more…]

Big Gifts of a Small Life: Meeting God in Sticky Floors, Carpools, & the Needy People I Call My Own

We must believe that it’s necessary to go on with small acts of daily care even as the world seems to spin out of control. [Read more…]

It’s Complicated: A Pro-Choice Christian Responds to the Planned Parenthood Scandal

First, a confession: When I saw the first post in my Facebook news feed from a pro-life friend expressing horror at undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, showing a Planned Parenthood executive blithely discussing the harvesting of fetal body parts over wine and salad, my initial response was to jump to defensive [Read More…]


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