This is what I came for

Last Sunday, at my wonderful Methodist church, the scripture reading was one with which I had almost physically wrestled, on the floor, on my knees, in tears, for years and years. It was one with which I had been bludgeoned repeatedly by other Christians, certain they knew what the right thing was for me andContinue reading “This is what I came for”

The (missionary) kids are alright

All parents are flawed. All parents are sinners. All parents make mistakes. All children experience pain. All childhoods are a mixed bag at best. No childhood is magical and perfect.   As a parent, you can’t protect your child from all suffering and hardship. Nor should you, as that is how children learn resilience andContinue reading “The (missionary) kids are alright”

I don’t understand prayer

I’ve prayed my whole life. Sometimes with real dedication and discipline, but more often casually and in passing. I’ve read books and articles about prayer. I’ve studied what scripture says about prayer. I’ve heard countless sermons and supposed explanations regarding prayer.   I still don’t understand prayer.  Not all prayer, though. Some kinds of prayerContinue reading “I don’t understand prayer”

Anatomy of a Sin

Most people don’t make bad choices out of the blue. Sin has a backstory, an architecture, a recipe. It’s formed like rock, over time, each layer of sediment arising from a particular set of conditions. It takes shape slowly, and if you change one ingredient, the whole thing might look completely different. The casual onlookerContinue reading “Anatomy of a Sin”

Now What?

Things are afoot in Christian America, by the numbers, but also anecdotally. I have increasing numbers of friends who were raised evangelical but are now disillusioned with that culture. They are asking a lot of questions, reconsidering their beliefs, reexamining things.  This is a cultural phenomenon big enough to have a name–“deconstruction.” It has acceleratedContinue reading “Now What?”

I have a problem with hell

Among the things you aren’t supposed to say as an evangelical is that you really, really hope there is not a hell. But I really, really hope there is not, if I’m being honest. Hell is the centerpiece of evangelical faith. It’s why you become a Christian, to get out of hell. It’s why JesusContinue reading “I have a problem with hell”

Don’t know much about history

I remember the first time I saw her face. Not the day or the time or the setting, although I was definitely a graduate student at the time, pursuing a Ph.D. in American history. But what I remember most is the turn of my stomach. There were two battered, black bodies hanging in a treeContinue reading “Don’t know much about history”

You’re not here to kill the squirrels

Hi everyone, I am Chilo, a 10 year-old Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix, and before we proceed any further, let’s take a moment to observe how cute I am. That’s me chilling on my king size bed, in which I also allow two humans to sleep, because I am just that generous.  And yes, I am adorable.Continue reading “You’re not here to kill the squirrels”

Enlightened complementarians aren’t

One of the most the revolutionary books I’ve read in awhile is The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr. I certainly do hope this book has white evangelical women packing up their massive, snack-filled, sometimes bedazzled purses and heading for the exits. Because, WOW. She leaves absolutely no reason to stay standing upright.Continue reading “Enlightened complementarians aren’t”