What Hobbits Have Taught Me About God’s Providence

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My husband and I are Lord of the Rings movie junkies. I believe I could re-enact the entire Helm’s Deep battle sequence in The Two Towers, if only I had the muscle strength and dexterity to, say, mimic Legolas’s tossing of his dwarf pal Gimli across a chasm at a signal moment in the story. We have [Read More...]

What We Can Learn from Johnny Appleseed

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One of my family’s cherished, non-negotiable traditions, ranking right up there with summer camping trips and New Year’s Eve fondue, is an October drive to western Connecticut, where we pick apples, sip hot cider, and eat fresh-from-the-oven cider donuts on a hilltop farm that has been in the same family since the 1780s. Apples are [Read More...]

Why I am a Christian Democrat

A friend recently watched, helpless and aggrieved, as her husband—a philosophy professor at a conservative Christian university—was pummeled online for co-writing an essay with a fellow professor on why they will not vote for Mitt Romney. Many readers claimed to be disgraced, disgusted, and just plain flummoxed as to how professing Christians could argue against [Read More...]

What Shane Claiborne (& Mother Teresa!) Got Wrong: On Being the Body of Christ with Imperfect Bodies

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Last spring, I heard a terrific talk from Shane Claiborne at the Festival of Faith & Writing. Claiborne, a prominent voice in progressive Christian circles, lives in Philadelphia’s inner city, where he and the other inhabitants of the Simple Way community practice a “new monasticism.” They value hospitality and communal living, seek to build relationships [Read More...]

Patheos (& Other) Peeps: Rachel Marie Stone on Loving Our Neighbor By Getting Our Kids Vaccinated

On Fridays, I share links to blog posts by other writers. I link often but not exclusively to writers affiliated with Patheos, the religion and spirituality web portal that hosts my blog. Please share the blog love by reading these posts, sharing them via Facebook, Twitter, etc., and/or participating in the comment conversation. My oh-so-brave [Read More...]

Five Lessons from My Post on Gun Control

A few things I learned from Monday’s post on guns and the shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater: 1. You get WAY more blog hits when you get preachy and unequivocal than when you promote dialogue, generosity, nuance, and complexity. But I already knew that. And I will continue to write mostly from the [Read More...]

“No Easy Choice”: Driving People Nuts Since 2012

My favorite line in writer, reviewer, and all-around nice person LaVonne Neff’s review of my book, No Easy Choice, is this one: “If you like things cut and dried, [No Easy Choice] will drive you nuts.” It’s true. It will. But I still think that the balanced, nuanced, maybe-this-and-also-that style in which I wrote No [Read More...]

For Christians, Gun Control Should Be a No-Brainer. Why Isn’t It?

Again, I awake to news of an inexplicable mass shooting, people gunned down in the most mundane of places, this time a movie theater. Again, I read the same worn arguments from anti-gun control folk, who insist that a legally armed citizen might have stopped alleged gunman James Holmes before he killed a dozen people. [Read More...]


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