“Why don’t you just adopt?” is the wrong question to ask infertile couples. Here’s why.

Besides making people feel defensive for experiencing the fundamentally human urge to conceive and bear a child (a defensiveness that makes helpful conversation difficult), the question “Why don’t you just adopt?” glosses over some important truths about adoption. [Read more...]

No Easy Choices When It Comes to Genetics, Disability, and Reproductive Decisions

book cover

TIME Magazine online picked up my post from earlier this week on whether a parent might regret bearing a child who inherits a difficult, painful genetic disorder. (TIME.com has a cooperative agreement with Patheos that allows them to select several Patheos posts every week for publication on their site.) The post is being shared widely, by [Read More...]

We’re Asking the Wrong Questions About Three-Parent Embryos

I’m not necessarily opposed to three-parent embryos. But I am opposed to sanctioning this technology, and others like it, without first considering the actual moral conundrums they raise, not the well-meaning but ultimately immaterial ones so often discussed in articles like this one. [Read more...]

Broken Ribs, Crooked Backs, & Seeing Our Vulnerable Selves Reflected in Another


Having a body that defies cultural norms as mine does (it is crooked, uneven, lumpy, and limpy) can be alienating. The regular absence of anyone who looks like me in my daily routine creates a space that can fill with either negative feelings (shame, frustration, grief) or positive (pride in the scars that testify to [Read More...]

My Story, and My Take on Narrative Ethics, in a Nutshell


I have a cover article in the current issue of the Christian Century that summarizes the story I tell in my book and outlines my take on how narrative, or story-based ethical reflection can help us learn humility as well as avoid making people’s complicated stories into morality tales. It begins:       In the [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] I Wrote a Book. Want One?


I will confess something that will be not at all surprising to most of you, especially those who write blogs of your own: My Friday “Snapshots from Oak Ridge” feature is absolutely self-serving. I wanted some regular Friday feature that would be quick and easy, because posting regularly, even if every post isn’t read by [Read More...]

Resurrection Year: Learning to Live, and Thrive, with Life as It Is Given


Our Western cultural attitudes are not well-equipped for failure. We are a culture of optimists and fixers, holding fiercely to the notion that “pain is gain.” We want to believe that any problem can be overcome, any broken thing fixed, with hard work, a strong will, smart decisions, and hefty doses of modern technology. Christians can [Read More...]

Have One Child or Many, Just Don’t Plan on Getting What You Expect

Whether you choose to have one child or many, the children you end up with, and your willingness to embrace them no matter how they differ from the children you expected, will be the most important outcomes of your childbearing decisions. [Read more...]