“What Could Possibly Be Wrong With Christian Masturbation?”: I’m at Christianity Today

with exegesis of Black Swan and The Babadook, and some stuff about shame and confession:This post is part of a weekly Her.meneutics series called The Sex We Don’t Talk About, designed to feature female perspectives on aspects of sex and sexuality that can go overlooked in the church. Masturbation doesn't fit within typical modern ethical concerns. It's not unsafe or cruel; in moderation it does not interfere with academic or economic performance, and it doesn't make your children more l … [Read more...]

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“What Conservative Gay Christians Want”: I’m in the Spectator

spectating: The LGBT rights movement — so the story goes — has split the Christian churches in two. On one side are the progressives, who believe that Christianity should accept gay people and recognise gay marriage. Lined up against them are the conservatives, who hold fast to the belief that being gay is sinful. It’s not entirely false, that story. There are just a vast number of Christians who don’t fit into it. more--I love the ending of this … [Read more...]

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Amy Welborn on Church Art, Devotions, And Sacramentals as Works of Mercy

with a powerful story of grief and the Stations of the Cross: ...So, yes, mercy. How does it happen? How does God communicate his mercy and love to this hurting world? Through us, and in many ways, first and most importantly through one person’s outreach to another.But also, this:To construct churches that tell the story of Jesus through their design, art and even just their very presence among us, standing firm in the midst of the city or as a quiet faithful herald on a country road; t … [Read more...]

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Lent A – Z

I urged you all to read Melinda Selmys's series on "making Lent hardcore," but I hinted that I had various caveats or places where I wanted to stick my own oar in. You guys know that my whole shtik is that there's no one best way, no Esperanto of the spiritual life. I lack self-restraint and temperance (if only there were a Christian practice that could train me in these virtues!) so I decided to give you all this Lenten feuilleton, an alphabet of ways you could think about Lent. You're welcome … [Read more...]

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“Stephen King’s Doubt”: I review “Revival”

for AmCon: There’s a cheap rhetorical move you see a lot in religious debate, where the God-pusher retorts, “But don’t you ever doubt your doubt?” The hero of Revival, Stephen King’s 2014 novel of loss and obsession, could reply in tones of trembling horror: “All the time. God help me, I doubt my doubt all the time.”King has always loved to wring horror from Americana: the bad hot dog, the classic car, the prom. In Revival he takes on the Methodist Youth Fellowship, where, back in the mid-’6 … [Read more...]

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“Whatever It Takes to Make Lent Hardcore”: Melinda Selmys

has a series, some of the premises of which I dispute (and I may write a bit more about that later), but which includes some fascinating thoughts and stories. Take what you need and leave the rest, as they say.Several years back a friend of mine decided to give up furniture for Lent. The problem that she was facing was that for several years before that she had used Lent as a time to add observances like the Divine Office to her daily schedule. When Easter rolled around, she would just … [Read more...]

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The Only “A” You Need Is the “A” in JESUS

Just a quick post about the readings for today.The first reading s really personally meaningful t me. I looked at it every day when I was quittng drinking: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live[.] And that's what has happened for me in sobriety: I have more life now. More time. I work more; I pray more. I have more friends and more responsibilities. I have a life that is better spiritually--but also bet … [Read more...]

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