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What Is Her.meneutics?

The Christianity Today women’s blog provides news and analysis from the perspective of evangelical women. We cover news stories and books related to international justice and evangelism, pregnancy and sexual ethics, marriage, parenting, and celibacy, pop culture, health and body image, raising girls, and women in the church and parachurch.

Her.meneutics was co-founded by Katelyn Beaty and Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

books we’re reading

All posts from “books”

Tackling Doubt after Divorce: Not Your Typical Chick-Lit Novel

August 8, 2012 9:21 AM

I rarely read chick lit, but I couldn’t walk past the Jesus bobble head on the cover of Sarah Healy’s Can I Get an Amen? without flipping it open. And after reading the first few pages — which include...

Get Moving, People. What Are You Reading This Summer?

July 18, 2012 9:22 AM

Yes, the end of summer is creeping closer and closer, but there's still time to get a few books read before the season ends. We urge you to make time to stimulate your brain and keep reading a part of...

Is There Anything Redeeming in the '50 Shades' Trilogy?

June 6, 2012 8:24 AM

We go about our business and find ourselves distracted by sex. I'm shopping for sunscreen and an attractive guy walks and stands too close to me. Now I'm not thinking about sunscreen. It's not just men who wrestle with lust....

'Your Marriage Is Doomed,' and Other Lies Told to Children of Divorce

May 30, 2012 8:46 AM

When my parents divorced when I was 32—already married for nearly a decade and with two children of my own—I remember thinking, Great. Now, I’m a statistic. My marriage is doomed. I’m pretty sure any child of the 1970s or...

Ann Voskamp, Tim Challies, Beth Moore: Dinner and a Defense of Earnestness

May 29, 2012 7:55 AM

A month ago I sat in an auditorium at the Festival of Faith and Writing waiting to hear author Ann Voskamp speak about story and beauty. I sat among rows and rows of eager fan-ladies, all of us longing to...

How God Can Use Your Anxiety for Good

May 22, 2012 8:24 AM

Change of any significance has always been hard for me. Every year growing up I dreaded the first day of school, far beyond what felt like the “normal” mourning that summer was over. Going away to college was physically wrenching—I...

When Our Sexual Stories Go Off the Christian Map

May 17, 2012 8:38 AM

“American Christianity promises a life lived happily ever after to anyone who waits for sex until marriage, marries a religious person, and raises children in the church. . . that this scenario describes fewer and fewer of us with each...

Death to the Perfect Christian Woman

May 9, 2012 8:29 AM

“As Christian women, have we set the bar too high for ourselves? Are we striving to achieve our own version of the American dream, some sort of Focus on the Family all-star clan where the kids all love each other,...

Bearing Life in a Broken World: A Review of No Easy Choice

May 4, 2012 8:07 AM

Is donating sperm and eggs an act of kindness to a stranger or a breach of our common humanity? Should wealthy women be able to hire surrogate mothers to bear their babies? What are the ethical questions surrounding adoption, in...

Why Marilynne Robinson, Narrative Calvinist, Doesn't Fear Fox News

May 1, 2012 8:37 AM

“Bill Moyers would have loved your talk and Fox News would have debunked it. How do you expect to have credibility among conservative evangelicals?” The question was pitched contentiously from the front of the auditorium at Calvin College, while I...

Kay Warren Talks to CT about Her Battle with Depression

April 16, 2012 10:54 AM

Kay Warren has struggled with low-level depression most of her life. The co-founder of Saddleback Church, Warren assumed that joyful living was meant for other people—people like her husband, Rick, who she says has a naturally buoyant, “joyful, Tigger-like” personality....

Why Nancy Sleeth Wants You to Be a Bit More Amish

April 10, 2012 9:01 AM

Nancy Sleeth wants all of us to think about becoming a little more Amish. And then she wants us to act. Sleeth, who cofounded the creation-care organization Blessed Earth with her husband, Matthew, isn’t advocating that we sell the family...

Why Margaret Feinberg Bypasses the ‘Gender Wars’

April 3, 2012 8:32 AM

Ask Margaret Feinberg what she thinks of being one of the leading evangelical female voices in a mostly male arena, and she bypasses the issue of gender. “I don’t really think about it. I walk into a room and see...

When Christian Bookstores Ban Female Body Parts

March 27, 2012 8:43 AM

For me, it was the word crap. Later, it was the phrase darn it. Darn it. For another friend, it was her dream of drinking champagne in a bubbly tub. Yet another friend had trouble mentioning drinking wine, location unknown....

Five-Senses Spirituality: Why Our Whole Bodies Need God

March 20, 2012 10:22 AM

This, year, as last, I’ll make an empty tomb cake for my Sunday school class of 4- to 6-year-olds. I’ll bake one small square cake for the base, and one small dome-shaped cake for the tomb. I’ll frost both with...

The Problem with Karen Kingsbury’s Princess Books

March 7, 2012 8:41 AM

This morning I was a scientist studying lions and a magic doctor healing giraffes. I was a three-year-old girl holding a baby jaguar; I was a pony running through a candy forest. I was friends with a lion, a little...

'Bringing Up Bébé': Critiquing the Newest Parenting ‘It’ Book

March 6, 2012 8:52 AM

What would happen if Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame had three children, settled in France instead of Italy, then read Amy “Tiger Mom” Chua’s diatribe against American parenting with both horror and assent, and sat down to pen...

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament: Nancy Guthrie on Her Newest Bible Study

February 9, 2012 10:00 AM

For some, the prospect of studying the Old Testament appears daunting and quite boring. But in recent years, theologians, pastors, and Bible teachers have for laity begun connecting Christ to the Old Testament, seeing him in everything from the Levitical...

Learning the Spiritual Disciplines from a Mormon Blogger

February 1, 2012 2:54 PM

Jana Riess discovered she’d been changed by her attempts to practice the classic spiritual disciplines such as fasting, service, and prayer when she received a phone call informing her that her father was dying. He’d abandoned the family while she...

Why Women Leave the Church -- and Come Back Again

January 20, 2012 10:00 AM

In 1997, Mary Belenky, Blythe Clinchy, Nancy Goldberger, and Jill Tarule published an important book titled Women’s Ways of Knowing, in which they explored how women understand themselves, their minds, and their relationship to knowledge, and considered whether the cognitive...

The Best Christian Marriage Book You’ve Never Heard Of

January 19, 2012 10:34 AM

On the shelf of your church’s bookstore, Are You Waiting for ‘The One’?  (InterVarsity), by Dwight N. and Margaret Kim Peterson, might look like any other Christian book on dating and marriage. Look a little harder. The new book, subtitled...

Why 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Is Hurting Women

January 4, 2012 9:17 AM

My first encounter with Lisbeth Salander was a Facebook status. In case you’ve been under a rock for a while, Salander is the heroine of the new film based on the New York Times best-selling novel The Girl with the...

Etiquette Isn't for Dummies: How Manners and Ministry Relate

December 19, 2011 9:01 AM

Don’t tell my husband: As soon as I saw that the new Emily Post’s Etiquette (18th ed.) released in October, I thought, I know what I’m getting Rafi for Christmas! If you know my husband, this will surprise you. Rafi...

Birth Pangs: When God Shows Up in Pregnancy

December 12, 2011 11:40 AM

Last week I went to Johnsen & Taylor Inspirational Books and Gifts to listen to five women authors from the Redbud Writers Guild present "Women and Writing: The Importance of Using Your Voice for Christ's Kingdom." After the lively discussion,...

Why Identifying as a Republican—or Democrat—Can Be Idolatrous

December 8, 2011 8:46 AM

It took Lisa Sharon Harper nearly 10 years to reconcile her faith with her political views. Then she met her first self-described evangelical Democrat in 1991. At the Los Angeles Nazarene congregation where she attended after college, about half the...

Sara Zarr Talks Faith, Art, and Imperfect Christians

December 2, 2011 9:33 AM

Young adult novelist Sara Zarr is no stranger to the genre, with three award-winning books to her name (Story of a Girl, Sweethearts, and Once Was Lost, which Her.meneutics contributor Laura Leonard reviewed last spring). Her latest book, How to...

Saving Men from Their Own Sex Slavery

November 11, 2011 10:45 AM

“When I was a boy listening to an invitation to adventure, I had no idea it would be so painful," writes Daniel Walker in God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue (InterVarsity, 2011). "But I...

Her.meneutics' Fall Reading List

November 3, 2011 10:21 AM

Amid the frazzled pace of kids' soccer games, church Fest-i-Fall outreach events, and preparations for two major holidays, Her.meneutics' regular writers have managed to squeeze in some pleasure reading. We've offered summer reading lists before, but the frenetic pace of...

Halloween and the Werewolf Within

October 31, 2011 11:25 AM

I snuggled up close to my daughter as we each cracked open our brand-new books, ready for some quiet reading time. It lasted about 30 seconds. “Listen,” Greta said. “You’ll love this.” She launched into the description the narrator—a 10-year-old...

When Child Discipline Becomes Abuse

October 17, 2011 2:09 PM

A Washington couple was recently charged with the death of their 11-year-old daughter, Hana, whom they disciplined by withholding food and shutting out of the house; she died of hypothermia and showed evidence of malnutrition. Last year, 7-year-old Lydia Schatz...

Grumble Hallelujah on the Kitchen Floor

October 10, 2011 10:07 AM

As I lay on the kitchen floor — my body rocking with sobs, my mouth telling my husband, “I hate my life”— it never occurred to me to pick up the phone and call a friend. To tell someone that...

Taking a Break from Your Spouse

October 6, 2011 12:25 PM

If the mathematics of marriage is two becoming one, how do you factor in couples that have decided that some temporary division improves the odds of their relationship’s longevity? A recent Slate piece highlighted one of the findings from Iris...

'Unbroken' by Jesus

September 30, 2011 9:38 AM

Look at the word unbroken. An uncommon word that begins with a common prefix. Un- is so familiar that its meaning is rarely considered. Those two little letters just mean “not,” don’t they? It makes good sense, then, that Laura...

The Saving Grace of a Shared Meal

September 29, 2011 10:44 AM

A number of recent studies have confirmed what we’ve intuitively understood all along: Eating with others keeps us healthier, happier, and better connected to each other. Even so, shared meals — especially ones at home — have been on the...

Spanking in the Spirit?

September 23, 2011 10:51 AM

Each week, it seems, stories of parents arrested for spanking their children make the news. Periodically, proposed bans on spanking are considered, but are typically shot down on grounds that such bans tread on parents' rights. Such bans are also...

Inviting Christ to the Dinner Table

September 14, 2011 9:40 AM

While eating for optimal health and weight loss has been an American obsession for at least 100 years, the past decade has seen growth of a different kind of awareness; a food movement comprising culinary, agricultural, ethical, and environmental concerns....

My Husband's Affair - with the Church

September 6, 2011 10:35 AM

We wait for grief to loosen its stranglehold on our hearts. We wait for signs of hope in the Horn of Africa. News that the economy is recovering. The kids to go back to school. The workday to come to...

Maggie Goes on a Diet: A Story for Children?

September 1, 2011 8:40 AM

With a title like Maggie Goes on a Diet, it’s hard to believe author and publisher Paul Kramer did not anticipate the criticism he and his publishing house would receive when the book recently appeared on Amazon for pre-order. Not...

'One Thousand Gifts,' Reconsidered

August 26, 2011 9:53 AM

Like every other woman in Western Christendom it seems, I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. This month our family moved from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. The book group for the church I visited last week? Reading it...

Watching 'The Help' as an African American Woman

August 11, 2011 11:03 AM

“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it doesn’t disturb anyone else.” That’s the writing advice given to Skeeter, the only single white female and college graduate among her well-to-do white girlfriends who are all married with children. In the...

Why Gratitude Is Not Enough

August 8, 2011 9:10 AM

I spend most of my time on domestic chores and child care, and I’m inclined to see those tasks in a sacramental light, looking for moments to reflect on with gratitude. Also, I cherish the seemingly small. My son’s...

When God Told Us to Adopt

August 1, 2011 8:26 AM

Fellow Her.meneutics writer Jennifer Grant recently published a memoir, Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter (Thomas Nelson), that traces her and her family’s decision to adopt her youngest daughter, Mia, from Guatemala. Mia became a sister...

The Redemptive Narrative in Jaycee Dugard's Captivity Story

July 29, 2011 10:38 AM

Since the first Europeans arrived here, captivity narratives  have enthralled America’s collective imagination.  These real-life accounts of settlers seized by American Indians retaliating against invading peoples expressed both the dark underside and the eternal optimism of the early American experience....

A Parenting Manual for Bad Kids

July 20, 2011 10:44 AM

Many parenting books promise fast results for raising children who always obey, toddlers who never talk back, and teens who keep the faith. The marketers of such books get that we consumers will buy almost anything if it promises speedy...

When Sex Becomes an Idol

July 18, 2011 11:45 AM

In the past few months, I couldn’t help noticing the flurry of articles about the PCUSA’s decision to ordain people in same-sex relationships, the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, the passage of same-sex marriage laws...

A Daughter's Grief Observed

July 7, 2011 10:03 AM

Meghan O’Rourke is best known as a literary and cultural critic, a contributor to Slate, and the onetime fiction editor at The New Yorker. But she is a poet first, as is clear from the opening pages of her...

What You Don't Know about Obama's Mama

July 5, 2011 9:10 AM

In a culture of “helicopter parenting,” in which mothers are tempted to manage every moment of their children’s lives to ensure future success, it's peculiar that no one seemed interested in Barack Obama’s mother when his political career began to...

Reading Scripture with Sex Abuse Survivors

June 30, 2011 10:09 AM

Laura survived a rigid and abusive fundamentalist upbringing, then married a Baptist minister who sexually abused her. Now she’s an atheist. Vyckie was a wife and mom in the Quiverfull movement who now also leans toward atheism, believing that...

Why Men Should Read Jane Austen

June 20, 2011 10:57 AM

Nobel-winning novelist V. S. Naipaul recently started a firestorm with his remarks about female writers in general and Jane Austen in particular. According to the Guardian: In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society on Tuesday about his career, Naipaul,...

Taste and Smell That the Lord Is Good

June 14, 2011 9:25 AM

Chances are you know of someone who has lost their sight or hearing wholly or in part. Helen Keller could neither hear nor see but found brilliant ways to articulate her experience. Countless other writers and artists have made...

Why Romance Novels Aren't Emotional Porn

June 7, 2011 10:25 AM

I slink into bed, click on my light, and grab the book. Guilt shakes me a bit. After all I’ve read about these sorts of stories, I figure by the end I’ll hate my husband or hunger for more of...

Why Divorce Devastates Children

May 18, 2011 9:30 AM

I begged her not to marry him. Our family members pleaded — all to no avail. She would have none of it. She claimed we were being negative, blind to all of his wonderful attributes. Only recently, after eight years...

Lady Gaga: Where's the Outrage?

May 17, 2011 10:15 AM

During her appearance on American Idol last week, Lady Gaga told the audience, without being prompted, that she wasn’t interested in judging the contestants, only in bringing out what was special about each of them. “I want to free [my...

When Christian Teens Doubt

May 12, 2011 9:54 AM

When you're a teenager, everything is the best - or worst - thing that’s ever happened to you. This is the blessing and curse of the years from age 12 to 20. What can match the all-consuming passion of your...

Beyond SlutWalk: A New Conversation about Sexual Assault

May 11, 2011 11:09 AM

Last month thousands of women took to the Toronto streets dressed in lingerie and miniskirts. Calling their movement SlutWalk, they were protesting a police officer’s statement to college students, after a wave of sexual assaults at York University, that “women...

Churning Butter in Bonnets with Laura Ingalls Wilder

May 4, 2011 9:10 AM

Have you ever connected with someone through a mutually loved book? Of course, there are many ways to love the same book, but some books inspire a similar kind of devotion in their fans. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series...

'Three Cups of Tea,' Three Cups of Me

April 25, 2011 9:25 AM

The publishing world has been aflutter recently following a 60 Minutes segment that raised doubts about the truth of author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson’s work and writing. Mortenson, best known for the 2006 memoir Three Cups of Tea: One Man's...

Confessions of a Beth Moore Convert

March 29, 2011 4:50 PM

Americans are becoming more biblically illiterate than ever. The Barna Group reports that fewer than half of us can name the four Gospels. Sixty percent of us couldn’t name five of the Ten Commandments, and fewer still could name two...

The Divine Grace of Diapers and Dirty Laundry

March 18, 2011 11:26 AM

I sat in the chair with a sleeping baby on my lap. I held her close, and I prayed. I prayed about the things I wanted to be doing — responding to e-mail, taking a shower, writing an essay. And...

The Newest Gnostic Christian Diet

March 15, 2011 10:41 AM

There’s a long history behind Lysa Terkeurst’s bestseller, Made to Crave, recently out from Zondervan. All jokes about “Calorie Baptist Church” and attendance-boosting potlucks aside, American evangelicals have long worried about weight, health, and food. Early writers of Christian...

Toddlers, Tiaras, and Surviving Princess Mania

March 1, 2011 9:00 AM

At the end of March, I will bid farewell to my twenties and celebrate my 30th birthday in style. My husband has planned an amazing trip to Disney World, which means I will enjoy this milestone the same way I...

A New Mission for the Burnt-Out Mom

February 23, 2011 10:01 AM

In a recent "Stuff Christian Culture Likes" post at Beliefnet, humorist Stephanie Drury poked fun at signs — positioned so that they can be read only when people are leaving a church building or parking lot — that read, “You...

'When Gender-Based Parenting Goes Too Far': Author Response

February 9, 2011 10:35 PM

Editor's Note: When we asked frequent Her.meneutics blogger Caryn Rivadeneira to review Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity (Multnomah), we knew it would get her — and readers — on a...

The No-Makeup Spiritual Discipline

February 8, 2011 8:21 AM

About a week before Christmas, I decided to join my husband’s family for an entire day of shopping. I got ready for the day with my usual routine of showering, blow-drying my hair, and picking out an outfit, but there...

Are Single Women Too Picky?

February 4, 2011 11:16 AM

Are single women single because they are too picky? Lori Gottlieb argues this is precisely the case, and she uses herself as the prime example. When asked to list the qualities she wants in a husband, the then-41-year-old journalist came...

When Gender-Based Parenting Goes Too Far

February 1, 2011 12:15 PM

I have never once second-guessed my gender, my sexuality, or my femininity. But a new book has tempted me to. Even though I recently spent eight years either growing babies in my womb or feeding them from my breasts, according...

'Passport through Darkness' Gives Victims Voice

January 11, 2011 9:00 AM

Stifling heat vapors appear on the horizon. Laughing hyenas cackle too close for comfort in the bush. Take a step closer toward a dusty canvas tent. Meet Kimberly L. Smith and travel into her desert world as she pulls back...

Our Favorite Books by Women

December 29, 2010 4:04 PM

Instead of pulling together a predictable "best of 2010" books list, we at Her.meneutics thought our readers would enjoy a list of our favorite books written by women that we read throughout the year. Enjoy our recommendations, and add your...

Nancy Pearcey: How to Respond to Doubt

December 21, 2010 10:43 AM

“Critical thinking?” the radio host burst out. “Most people on the conservative Christian Right would say that’s one of the biggest dangers we have — this 'nonsensical' idea of critical thinking.” I was talking with the arch-liberal Barry Lynn, executive...

Christ Lifts the Widow's Veil

December 6, 2010 11:11 AM

“How do you celebrate a wedding anniversary with only half of a couple?” asked Margaret Nyman only 26 days short of being wed to Nate for 40 years. Her husband, who had succumbed to pancreatic cancer six weeks after his...

Secular People Need Sabbaths, Too

November 18, 2010 10:14 AM

It’s taken years for me to integrate Sabbath-keeping into my week. For most of my life, I have attended a church service on Sundays, but otherwise Sundays haven't been distinct. In recent years, though, ceasing from work, resting, and celebrating...

In the Shadow of Miscarriage

November 15, 2010 11:30 AM

Miscarriage has been in the news cycle recently. Former President Bush confessed in an interview last week that his mother, after miscarrying, kept the baby in a jar and showed it to her young son. Bush says that act solidified...

Why I Boycotted Amazon This Week

November 12, 2010 11:01 AM

I jumped on a bandwagon Wednesday. I was one of the thousands who tweeted out against Amazon.com’s decision to carry on its Kindle store the e-book The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover's Code of Conduct. According to...

Her.meneutics' Favorite Picture Books

October 20, 2010 11:36 AM

Splashed across the front page of The New York Times last week was a sobering report on the demise of picture books, a long-standing staple of children's literature. According to the NYT, more parents are giving their children text-heavy books...

Freed by Bill Clinton, Saved by Jesus

October 19, 2010 9:40 AM

Three Christians in the past year have drawn attention to North Korea’s repressive regime by crossing the river that divides the Communist nation from China. But unlike activists Robert Park and Aijalon Gomes, who wanted to get arrested, Euna Lee...

Why There's No Narnia in Our Home

October 13, 2010 10:30 AM

Banned Books Week got off to a rousing start this year with the publication of a letter from Wesley Scroggins, Missouri State University professor of management, in The Springfield News-Leader. The letter, “Filthy books demeaning to Republic education,” listed books...

When Doubt Comes to Church

October 6, 2010 8:50 AM

In a presidential address at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s annual conference in 1972, evangelical luminary John Stott admitted that he found himself "wondering how the apostle [Paul] would react if he were to visit Western Christendom today. I think he would...

The Trouble with Confessing in Church

September 29, 2010 11:00 AM

I’ve come to believe that an institutional church is not a safe place for one person’s confession. Several years ago, while we were attending a small nondenominational church, Pastor Donn* announced at the end of Sunday worship that we would...

Does God Want Us to Suffer?

September 24, 2010 9:22 AM

This is the second of two posts on Christian perspectives on physical pain. The first explored the idea of pain relief as a human right. Melanie Thernstrom, in her critically praised new book, The Pain Chronicles, examines the role of...

Is Pain Relief a Human Right?

September 23, 2010 6:59 AM

The International Association for the Study of Pain issued a declaration saying it is. People have a right to receive pain relief, without discrimination, via medications and non-medication techniques; to have pain assessed as a vital sign; to be treated...

Anorexia and the Body of Christ

September 10, 2010 10:22 AM

Harriet Brown’s new memoir, Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia, challenges popular beliefs about eating disorders. Many psychologists and nutritionists say that getting anorexics to eat won’t work until “underlying psychological issues” are dealt with, yet many anorexics...

Midlife Matters: An Interview with Dale Hanson Bourke

August 25, 2010 9:10 AM

I met Dale Hanson Bourke at a meeting of women involved in promoting women’s health and economic empowerment in Zambia. I admired her intelligence, curiosity, and breadth of experience as a journalist and women’s health advocate. Later, I traveled to...

'Eat Pray Love' Book Club Discussion

August 12, 2010 8:15 AM

After finally reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s enormously popular 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love, I could write an entire review about any one of these observations: (1) The story embodies everything wrong with bourgeois Western spirituality: it’s self-centered, consumerist, and privileged without...

Olive Kitteridge: A Wretch Like Me

August 4, 2010 10:50 AM

Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, Olive Kitteridge, has garnered acclaim and attention in large doses since it was published in 2008. I admit, I am skeptical of books endorsed by the Oprah Empire, but this novel did a rare and...

'Eat, Pray, Love' Book Club

July 9, 2010 10:00 AM

I have been attending a book club in recent months, even though it makes me feel a bit like a soccer mom who will do anything (including reading books I don’t want to read) to socialize over ideas and...

Stalked by a Priest

July 7, 2010 10:31 AM

This Gorgeous Game (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux), Donna Freitas’s new work of young adult fiction, is a first-person narrative of being stalked. Most stories that have emerged from the Catholic Church’s abuse scandal detail the horrors of pedophilia and assault....

Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, and Jesus

July 2, 2010 11:21 AM

Christian women aren’t supposed to have body image issues. Have you ever thought that? Perhaps quietly, to yourself, while looking in the mirror before walking out the door to church. In her new book, Unsqueezed: Springing Free From Skinny Jeans,...

The Perils of Christian Chick Lit

June 29, 2010 11:05 AM

Mandie Shaw, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and Elsie Dinsmore were close companions of mine throughout the teen years. I also enjoyed as occasional playmates Sierra Jensen and Christy Miller. I now regret some of those friendships. As a...

Growing Gardens to the Glory of God

June 16, 2010 10:00 AM

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is Barbara Kingsolver’s captivating account of a year spent eating only homegrown and locally raised food. Known best for The Poisonwood Bible, her 1998 novel about Christian missionaries in the Congo, Kingsolver...

Offering Grace to Infertile Couples

June 8, 2010 10:57 AM

“You can always adopt.” “Are you sure you want kids? You can borrow mine this weekend.” “I know you’re going to have a child. I can just sense it from the Lord.” These are just a few of the comments...

The Hutterites: Beyond Bonnets and Buggies

June 7, 2010 11:05 AM

Most evangelicals know a bit about horse-and-buggy driving, technology-shunning Amish and conservative Mennonite communities. But unless we've grown up in the Dakotas or on the Canadian prairie, we likely don't know much about their Anabaptist cousins, the Hutterites. The Hutterites...

Her.meneutics' Summer Reading List

June 3, 2010 10:28 AM

You know summer has arrived when libraries launch mega reading programs, kids breeze through dozens of books to win Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas, and just about every magazine and news site — including CT's "Theology in the News" writer,...

Jason Boyett’s 'O Me of Little Faith'

June 1, 2010 9:32 AM

  O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling (Zondervan) is the story of Jason Boyett and — probably — of just about everyone who has pursued faith in the midst of uncertainty.   Boyett, a writer,...

Adultery: My Genes Made Me Do It

May 19, 2010 9:45 AM

In her new and buzzworthy book, For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, The New York Times's Tara Parker-Pope examines what brain chemistry and genes have to do with happy marriages. She begins a recent Well column with a...

Marriage: A Dying to the Self

May 4, 2010 9:43 AM

During our engagement, my husband and I dutifully pursued premarital counseling. A well-meaning seminary professor and his wife graciously walked us through some of the highlights and lowlights of their marriage and how they had addressed issues. We covered faithfulness,...

Barbara Brown Taylor Builds 'An Altar in the World'

April 28, 2010 10:35 AM

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, preacher and writer Barbara Brown Taylor’s most recent book, uses a variety of spiritual — though not always distinctly Christian — stories to demonstrate the surprising ways the spiritual and physical...

Female Sex Addict: Not an Oxymoron

April 26, 2010 11:10 AM

Biblical scholars have yet to determine if the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11) was a sex addict. But Nashville-based clinical therapist Marnie Ferree says the woman’s shame and social status make her an apt archetype for women struggling...

Review: Anne Lamott's 'Imperfect Birds'

April 6, 2010 10:40 AM

Anne Lamott's seventh novel features alcoholism, drug addiction, and family dysfunction. This will not surprise Lamott's fans. Her characters — including herself in her five nonfiction books — are always "imperfect birds," and some are clearly on the endangered list....

Addicted to Books

March 19, 2010 8:38 AM

I took three books with me when I went backpacking last weekend. When you’re a backpacking novice like me, every ounce in your backpack matters; after the first mile, you are ready to toss everything except maybe a water bottle...

A Black Maid's Expose

March 10, 2010 8:06 AM

It took me several weeks to finally retrieve The Help from the library's waiting list, but I was determined to find out what the fuss was about. Kathryn Stockett's first novel has appeared on The New York Times bestseller list...

Lead in Your Lipstick, Carcinogens in Your Hair Color

March 1, 2010 9:28 AM

My story begins on a plane. All I did was ask the woman next to me for some lotion. Eyes wide, she looked at me like I’d asked for rat poison. She told me she did not use lotion anymore...

Why Boys Are Failing in the Classroom

February 25, 2010 9:05 AM

True or false: Our educational system gives boys an academic advantage. Answer: A resounding yes, when Leave It To Beaver was the TV ratings champ. But Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons From An Educational System...

Is Self-Promotion Sinful?

February 4, 2010 10:39 AM

J. D. Salinger, best known for his teen-angst novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951), died last week at the age of 91 after living as a recluse for 50 years on his 90-acre compound in Cornish, New Hampshire. His...

Reading to Enrich a Child's Soul

February 2, 2010 9:12 AM

While American children and young adults might be reading more than in years past (says a 2009 study from the National Endowment for the Arts), they also are on the whole spending more time lost in a media blitz....

Shaunti Feldhahn: What Hinders Women at Work

January 28, 2010 9:55 AM

According to Catalyst, women hold just 15.2 percent of corporate officer positions at Fortune 500 companies, despite all the professional development and mentoring available to them. Could this in part be because many women are unintentionally undermining themselves in the...

In Iran, a Covert Mission to Bring Women to Jesus

January 27, 2010 8:32 AM

When Michele heard Naseem speak at a luncheon about her work in Iran, she knew immediately that this was a woman we needed to meet. Naseem had the stories we longed to hear. Naseem was gracious to us, but from...

LaVonne's Top 40 Books of the Decade

December 31, 2009 8:55 AM

Just as surely as the first week of January brings new diet books, the last week of December brings Top 10 or Top 100 lists. These lists are way too late to inspire holiday shopping, so they must serve another...

Consider the Vampire

December 23, 2009 11:05 AM

Last week I found myself trying to explain the Twilight phenomenon — the books, the movies, Stephenie Meyer, and Robert Pattinson — to coworkers over lunch. It seems the whole thing can be summed up in one word: obsession. Bella...

Christmas Cooking with Nigella (or Jesus)

December 10, 2009 9:50 AM

Christmas baking has begun, and I do a lot of the traditional cookie baking for my family. Peanut butter star cookies, sugar cookies, and Ritz cracker cookies are on my list (as usual) this year, but I keep an eye...

Dave Ramsey, Megan McArdle, and Jesus

December 4, 2009 9:08 AM

In my most recent Her.meneutics post — on the biblical dimensions of frugal living — I took issue with Atlantic “econoblogger” Megan McArdle’s New York Times review of Lauren Weber’s In CHEAP We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood...

Going Rogue: An American (Pro-)Life Woman

November 23, 2009 4:55 PM

Since entering the national scene last fall as John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin has attracted hefty media attention from friends and foes alike. Now her full-time job seems to be making media appearances promoting her newly released Going Rogue:...

I Have a Confession to Make

November 20, 2009 9:45 AM

In support of her latest novel, Daisy Chain, Christian author Mary DeMuth launched Family Secrets, a website where users can anonymously confess their secrets to an online audience. DeMuth writes, "In Daisy Chain, many characters harbor secrets, but only a...

Carrie Prejean's Book Urges Women to Stand Up for Beliefs

November 10, 2009 10:38 AM

In her book, Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks, former Miss California Carrie Prejean describes herself as “a sacrificial Christian thrown to the vicious and cruel media lions to be torn apart.”...

Where Someone Loves Us Most of All

October 23, 2009 11:11 AM

Every night while I was growing up ended just the same. "Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you, and Jesus loves you most of all," my mom would say as she tucked me into bed. The ritual was a reminder,...

This Is Your Brain on Evangelicalism

October 12, 2009 10:57 AM

In 1995, NPR religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty was interviewing members of Saddleback Church for a Los Angeles Times Magazine article on why some churches grow and others don’t. She talked with a woman named Kathy Younge about her spiritual...

Banned Books and Blasphemy

October 9, 2009 9:53 AM

If you want to read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy, now is the perfect time to start. Last week was National Banned Books Week, designated to promote these and...

Signs of Faith in Sarah Palin's Book?

October 8, 2009 12:19 PM

Sarah Palin may not be writing a second autobiography for Christian audiences as previously reported, but perhaps her evangelical co-author will persuade her to include more details about her faith. Shortly after she was nominated as John McCain's vice presidential...

Keri Wyatt Kent: The Priority of Neighbor-Love

September 21, 2009 8:50 AM

Keri Wyatt Kent, a Chicago-based author known for her writing on spiritual formation, wants her most recent book, Simple Compassion, to connect readers’ inner world to the larger world and its need for justice seekers. In each of the book’s...

What the TNIV Means for Evangelical Women

September 3, 2009 11:17 AM

As a blog centered on women, it seems only right for Her.meneutics to respond to Zondervan and Biblica’s major announcement that their gender-inclusive language Bible, NIVi (released only in Britain) was a mistake, and that they would no longer publish...

Girl Dumps God

September 1, 2009 10:58 AM

I wanted to love Not That Kind of Girl, a new memoir from “recovering evangelical” Carlene Bauer. On the surface, Bauer and I have a lot in common. We’re women who love the Bible, literature, and pop culture. We...

Quest for a Father’s Love

August 28, 2009 9:45 AM

In The Girl in the Orange Dress, Margot Starbuck chronicles her quest for her birth parents, for healing of physical and emotional pain, and for the unfailing love that is promised in Scripture, but which she had never felt. Written...

Half the Sky: A Must-Read Book

August 27, 2009 9:35 AM

This past weekend, The New York Times Sunday Magazine devoted its entire issue to "Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of Our Time." Some very sober and powerful reading there — and not what you might think upon encountering a...

So, How Are Those Summer Reading Lists Coming?

August 17, 2009 10:59 AM

With the end of summer in sight, your summer reading list is probably still untouched. If so, you are not alone. Los Angeles Times book editor David L. Ulin wrote last week on “the lost art of reading,” in...

Harry Potter and the Vampire Battle

July 15, 2009 11:27 AM

No, I'm not talking about Severus Snape and his vampiric qualities. Last night's midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the latest installment in the blockbuster book-movie franchise, brought with it comparisons to another teen fantasy phenomenon, Stephenie...

Breast Cancer and the Bible

July 15, 2009 9:15 AM

Gone are the days when personalizing your Bible meant choosing between a leather or patterned Bible cover. The wide variety of Bibles currently on the market allows for customization based on age, sex, and interest. There are Bibles for teenage...

Nancy Guthrie: Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow

July 14, 2009 8:48 AM

Nancy Guthrie is no stranger to suffering. After her second child, Hope, died within a year of birth from Zellweger syndrome, a rare, fatal genetic abnormality, Guthrie began writing Holding On to Hope, a book about coping with loss...

Am I My Sister's Keeper?

June 26, 2009 9:06 AM

My Sister's Keeper, director Nick Cassavetes' (The Notebook) new weeper film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, releases today. Fans of the original 2004 Jodi Picoult novel may be expecting a cinematic exploration of the ethical ramifications of PIDG (pre-implantation...

What Are You Reading This Summer?

June 10, 2009 9:25 AM

Summer's a time when you don't want to do any extra work, so we did the work for you and compiled a reading list - several, actually. Some lists are lighter than others, but here's what Her.meneutics contributors plan to...

Author Interview: Elissa Elliott

June 8, 2009 11:29 AM

Writers and artists have for centuries been using their imaginations to make the Creation and Fall accounts in Genesis come alive for readers. John Milton's Paradise Lost is the most epic and well-known example; others include Perelandra, the second installment...

Forgotten Little Pitchers

May 18, 2009 7:30 AM

A few weeks ago, a friend's ten-year-old daughter came home from school, turned to her mother with a frown, and speaking low, so as to stay out of earshot of a younger sibling, asked, "Mom, what does the word...

Bible Translated into LOLcat

April 14, 2009 1:42 PM

We've probably all seen them floating around the Internet: those cat pictures, the ones ranging from morbidly obese felines to noxiously cute kittens, captioned with phrases like "Iz mah house!" and "I can has cheezburger?" They're LOLcats, an Internet...

Deciphering a Religion Journalist's Deconversion

April 6, 2009 8:52 AM

Former Los Angeles Times journalist William Lobdell lost his faith reporting on both the shiny, happy face of American religion and its cancerous underbelly. I became interested in Lobdell's work when I lived in Southern California and was trying to...

When Serving Makes You Sick

April 2, 2009 8:30 AM

Popular blogger Anne Jackson witnessed hurting church leaders at an early age, when vitriolic attitudes invaded the churches her parents were pastoring. Years later, while working 70-hour weeks at a Midwest megachurch, she re-encountered that hurt — expressed in...

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