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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.

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All posts from “spirituality”

Gaining the Whole World Wide Web without Losing Our Souls

September 14, 2012 10:46 AM

The people of Sweden are the “best” in the world at using the Internet. That’s according to a five-year study conducted by the World Wide Web Foundation, which recently released its findings. What does it mean to be “best”...

Why Christians Could Use a Little Adventure

August 7, 2012 9:40 AM

It all started, as I imagine many great adventures do, with a post on Craigslist. “Ha ha ha, was airing out items on my fire escape, wind blew this gorgeous dress into the tree, I am moving and don’t...

Advocating for a Daughter Stuck in the ‘Shadow of Autism’

July 10, 2012 10:09 PM

Virginia Breen’s daughter, Elizabeth, seemed to be thriving like any other infant: walking and smiling, her eyes bright and cheery. Then within one week, Elizabeth mysteriously stopped speaking, and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with autism. But for the past...

The Soul of Your Soles: Why Women Love Shoes

July 10, 2012 9:41 AM

Oxfords, Docs, Converse, crocs. Peep toes, pumps, Mary Janes, clogs. Jellies, Wellies, Combats, Chucks. Manolos, Maddens, Sandals, stilettos. Kitten heels, mules, Birks and wedges. A new study reveals that our soles are the window to our souls; these tongues do...

Theology on a Tightrope: Nik Wallenda’s High-Wire Walk and Our Longing for God

June 22, 2012 8:10 AM

When you live near Niagara Falls, as I did for 20 years of my life, its magnitude and mystique begin to stream through your lifeblood. My parents honeymooned there; in later years, we schlepped all of our out-of-town guests there...

Prodigal Children: If It Can Happen to John Piper, It Can Happen to You

June 20, 2012 8:30 AM

Not long ago, I read Christianity Today magazine's interview with John Piper because I was keenly interested in what the leading Reformed Baptist pastor had to say about race and reconciliation within the church. There’s no doubt that most of...

In Defense of Sarcasm & Humor: A Response to the Earnest

June 6, 2012 11:33 AM

When I was 10, helping my father—the pastor—to prepare for a baptism, I’d hop into the baptismal pool and give a dramatic, Unshackled-style before-and-after testimony, complete with tears, a Damascus road moment, and a changed life. At 15, I’d intone...

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...

Amazing Grace, How Slow the Work: Why We Still Have Slaves

May 8, 2012 11:01 AM

In 1981, more than a century after America ended slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, the West African nation of Mauritania abolished slavery, the last country in the world to do so. According to a CNN...

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...

Ryan Gosling, Romance Novels, and the Dangers of Fantasizing

April 5, 2012 2:54 PM

It’s 5 o’clock and you’re stuck in traffic with hungry kids in the backseat, and no dinner waiting for you once you get home. Hey girl. It’s cool that you made a three-course meal for the mom in your co-op...

Shaming Children for Eating Snacks: How Not to Fight Childhood Obesity

April 4, 2012 8:47 AM

Manhattan socialite Dara-Lynn Weiss’s essay in the April issue of Vogue touched off yet another Internet skirmish, part mommy war, part diet war, with cries of child abuse, accusations involving recipes for eating disorders, and of course, the inevitable book...

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...

Mike Daisey, Apple, and Our Culture’s Crisis in Truth-Telling

March 28, 2012 8:24 AM

Last week the popular NPR show This American Life did something completely unprecedented in the history of the program. It retracted an entire episode. This decision has garnered media attention for two reasons. First, This American Life (TAL) is a...

What Jason Russell’s Mental Breakdown Shows Us about Ourselves

March 22, 2012 4:08 PM

It was the latest installment in a blitz of headline-grabbing publicity for Invisible Children—but it was a story they never intended. During almost two weeks of astounding success for their new-media publicity blitz, Kony 2012 attracted plenty of controversy and...

Confessions of a Lustful Christian Woman

March 21, 2012 8:40 AM

I watched Butterfield 8 with my husband last weekend. Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for her role as the sexually abused and sexually addicted call girl that falls in love. Her story is precisely what I've heard on the road...

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...

Marriage: When Pre-Engagement Hopes Meet Reality

March 16, 2012 11:16 AM

Words are my life. As an avid reader and an English professor, I can easily get carried away by their magical power to evoke emotion and crystallize conceptions. But sometimes my enthusiasm for language leads me to idealize a word...

My Church’s Lenten Challenge: Get a Tattoo

March 13, 2012 8:42 AM

“There are some things one can only believe singing,” author Lauren Winner told our small writing group. We were gathered in a large, sunny room at Laity Lodge, perched above the prettiest spot on the Rio Frio River in the...

What A Flight Attendant's Outburst Revealed About My Own Fear

March 12, 2012 8:58 AM

Last Friday as the afternoon unfolded and we set our sights on the weekend, a story about an American Airlines flight cropped up on news outlets everywhere. A plane had been grounded at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport following an incident...

Breastfeeding in Church, and Other Petty Crimes

March 2, 2012 9:08 AM

A Georgia woman named Nirvana Jenette claims she was kicked out of church for breastfeeding, the pastor ordering her to nurse the baby in the bathroom and calling her behavior ‘lewd,’ comparing her to a stripper. As a culture we’re...

Owning Redemptive Grief after the Ohio School Shooting

March 1, 2012 8:38 AM

As I delightfully absorbed the uncommon winter morning sunshine on my drive home from a medical appointment, I flipped on the radio—only to hear there’d been another school shooting. This time it was a few hours away in Chardon, Ohio....

Why a Funeral Is Not the Time to Rejoice

February 29, 2012 10:24 AM

A funeral is, most certainly, a time for reflecting on and being reminded of the Christian hope; the Book of Common Prayer calls for a prayer that asks God to confirm in each heart the ancient truths of our faith:...

Role Reversal: The Problem of the Increasing Marginalization of Men

February 24, 2012 8:43 AM

A world away, a men’s rights movement is afoot. Welcome to the matriarchal society of Meghalaya, India, where, in a vast reversal of traditions the world over, property names and wealth are passed along from mother to daughter instead of...

Coveting Cover to Cover: Why I Gave Up Vogue for Lent

February 23, 2012 8:45 AM

My junior year of college, I gave up Vogue for Lent. Some people fast for forty days. Some give up sugar, or pray for someone daily, or get really crazy and give up Facebook. I gave up a pretentious, ad-filled,...

Marriage, War, and Lent: Practicing Love During Separation

February 22, 2012 8:56 AM

Among other heart-shaped headlines last week, the world’s most famous newlyweds spent their first married Valentine’s Day separated by an ocean, courtesy of a military deployment. This was week two of what’s expected to be six weeks solo for Kate...

Want to Follow God? Go to Sleep

February 21, 2012 8:27 AM

I’m fanatical about a lot of things: coffee, books, clothes, work, running—not necessarily in that order (in case my employers are reading this). But more than any of these activities, I’m fanatical about sleep. Like Brooke Shields and her Calvin...

Unplanned Parenthood: The Blessing of an Inconvenient Pregnancy

February 16, 2012 8:42 AM

About a year ago my husband and I began to consider expanding our family. We spent countless hours thinking, talking, and praying about this giant step. We are both in school with little income to speak of, so we weren’t...

The Problem with Westminster Kennel Club's View of Pet Adoption

February 15, 2012 8:24 AM

In some ways, the story made a decision much easier for me. No longer would I be tempted to duck out of a family birthday celebration early to catch Westminster Kennel Club’s (WKC) 136th Annual Dog Show. Now I would...

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 I Let My Kids Cry It Out: A Response

February 1, 2012 8:34 AM

After reading Elrena Evans’s thoughtful Her.meneutics post, “Should You Let Your Baby ‘Cry It Out’? A Christian Response,” it was clear that Evans and I absolutely agree on one thing: unfortunately the so-called “Mommy Wars” are alive and well. I...

Should You Let Your Baby 'Cry It Out'? A Christian Response

January 24, 2012 11:02 AM

When Psychology Today ran an article titled “Dangers of ‘Crying it Out,’” my response was, perhaps predictably, jaded. I read the article, then clicked over to one of my “Birth Clubs” on BabyCenter to watch the ensuing fun while I...

'Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus’: To Adore or Abhor?

January 16, 2012 9:19 AM

I’m guessing at least 15 of your friends have posted Jefferson Bethke’s “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus,” and maybe yet another 15 of your friends posted response pieces. Don’t worry: the phrase ‘false dichotomy’ will not appear anywhere...

How We Can Harness the New Domesticity Without Diminishing Women

January 12, 2012 9:05 AM

In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post, Emily Matchar, who writes regularly on the phenomenon frequently called the ‘new domesticity,’ wonders whether the resurgence of interest in canning, knitting, and generally DIY-spirited homekeeping is not, in fact, regressive--a...

Grieving a Lost Child

January 6, 2012 9:20 AM

I inherited the herb garden when we bought our townhouse and quickly learned that it’s virtually impossible to kill rosemary. I’ll prune or trim once a year—maybe—but the truth is it grows on its own—except for one patch of earth...

Sitting in the Dark, Waiting for Emmanuel

December 22, 2011 9:43 AM

A few months ago, my friend Stephanie’s grandma was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In spite of brain surgery and chemotherapy, the tumor has grown, and her grandma is now on hospice. When I had coffee with Stephanie recently, I...

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,...

Should Christians Take Antidepressants?: A Response

December 6, 2011 9:17 AM

I’m surprised that I’ve never heard a Christian argument against epidurals. After all, the pain of childbirth is, according to Genesis, a result of sin. And one could probably argue that the extreme pain of giving birth brings one closer...

Why Women Are Obsessed with Pinterest

November 30, 2011 10:10 AM

“Men are more visual than women.” It’s a refrain we’ve all heard to explain the differences between men's and women's sexuality. If you want proof of the contrary, look no further than Pinterest. What is Pinterest? TechCrunch describes it as...

Advent: Putting the Brakes on Christmas Insanity

November 28, 2011 11:22 AM

Connecticut, Boston, San Jose, three trips to the Carolina mountains, Alabama, Calgary. The past six months have brought too much travel—too many planes, too many strange beds, too much of fishing clothes out of a suitcase, too many nights without...

The Truth about Marriage and Happiness

November 14, 2011 11:15 AM

There is a great need for the church to stop lying to people. That is a critical first step to resolving some of the marital illusions and the rising divorce rate even among Christians. Christian Sunday School instructions to girls—even...

Holy Hot Flashes! A Spiritual Take on Menopause

October 28, 2011 11:34 AM

Belly fat? Check. Hot flashes? Check. Sleep problems, mental fog, AWOL menstrual cycles? Oh yes. The desire to nurture others? Pfffft. Gone. Current thinking on menopause tells us that the caretaking “instinct” is nothing more than a relic of a...

A Real Christian Education

October 26, 2011 9:06 AM

Our daughter Penny started kindergarten six weeks ago. At the end of her first day of school, she greeted me with, “Mom! I didn’t miss you!” She’s loved every moment since. I’m sure much of her experience is typical—she walks...

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...

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...

Why I No Longer Pray for a Husband

September 26, 2011 11:46 AM

Could fasting and prayer ever be a kind of sin? That was more or less the implication of one person’s response to the news that I had joined a group who weekly fast and pray about marriage and singleness. (And...

Real, Authentic Authenticity

September 22, 2011 11:10 AM

The top-read Her.meneutics post of all time was Karen Swallow Prior’s “Doing Authentic Ministry with My Smokin’ Hot Bride,” published this July. To avoid misleading any church planters who might read the piece in earnest, the subtitle helpfully clarified that...

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...

Adderall Arrives at Christian Colleges

August 29, 2011 11:53 AM

Like any university campus, Christian colleges/universities have their share of students who abuse street drugs. But in my work with Christian college students over the past few years, I’ve noticed more and more over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse. One of...

'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...

Taming the Twitter Tongue

August 16, 2011 10:27 AM

Ever since I was little, God has been teaching me the same lesson over and over again. My growth has been slow and nearly imperceptible at times, but God has not flagged in his insistence that I learn to tame...

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...

Modesty: Still Missing from the Church

August 4, 2011 10:20 AM

“Why does she have on those hooker shoes?” That’s how one of my godmothers began our phone conversation Monday morning. She was disheartened by a woman’s church attire, and that was just one of her examples. I shared my observations...

Would Jesus Walk Away from a Mortgage?

July 11, 2011 10:52 AM

My husband and I have joked that our 2006 purchase of a townhome in a blue-collar suburb of Chicago must have been the single transaction that popped the housing price bubble in America. Within weeks after we signed the papers,...

Should Christians Pursue External Beauty?

June 24, 2011 2:32 PM

Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver. (Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo.”) “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” That's the title of a recent...

Searching for Abba on Father's Day

June 17, 2011 9:44 AM

The year Diana Ross’s hit song "Love Child" hit the top of the pop charts, I was born to a single mother who was unable to care for me. At three weeks, I was adopted into a family who raised...

The Cult of the Orgasm

June 16, 2011 8:47 AM

Baptist theologian Russell Moore recently warned, “On the nightstand of a woman in your church, there’s a Christian romance novel and a Bible.” Yet if The New York Times is to be believed, he should have been more concerned with...

Raising Yeshua-Followers in the West Bank

June 15, 2011 9:26 AM

“It’s ironic, but I feel that my kids are safer here than living in the U.S.,” said Ariella B. I met Ariella nearly two decades ago when we were attending the same Chicago-area congregation. Recently I had a chance to...

A Backyard Garden of Grace

June 8, 2011 11:05 AM

A move to Spokane, Washington, in the summer of 2004 brought many expected changes to our young family of four. There was a new call to pastor a congregation, new schools, a new house. But our home’s ready-to-harvest vegetable garden...

Lessons from an Expletive-Laced Picture Book

June 6, 2011 11:00 AM

Four months before its October 2011 publication date, Adam Mansbach’s for-adults-only picture book, Go the [Expletive] to Sleep, is already a bestseller and viral hit on Amazon. Looking through the preview pages online, I immediately understood the book’s appeal. With...

Why 'Happy' Isn't a Christian Word

June 1, 2011 11:11 AM

Last spring The Intelligent Life, a journal published by The Economist, ran an article claiming that Americans are overall an “unhappy lot.” Two years ago, The New York Times published “Liberated and Unhappy,” about the diminishing degree of happiness among...

A Christian Woman's Midlife Crisis

April 19, 2011 9:46 AM

When we flipped our new calendars to January 1, 2011, the first wave of baby boomers began turning 65. According to the Pew Research Center, every single day for the next nineteen years, ten thousand more will join them. As...

The Praying Artist: God Is My Editor

April 13, 2011 11:58 AM

Prayer is one of those disciplines we often approach like going to the gym: either do it big, time-wise, or not at all. But with “prayer time” often looking like prolonged concentration and bodily stillness, it can be difficult to...

The Praying Pedestrian: A Lenten Discipline

April 7, 2011 9:00 AM

In the nondenominational Bible churches of my youth, Lent was considered a "Catholic thing." But as I’ve attended PCA churches in my adulthood, I’ve gained appreciation for the church calendar and, in particular, this pre-Easter season of penitence. Observing Lent...

Should Christians Use Self-Help Programs?

March 29, 2011 9:56 AM

We were staying with friends, and I was getting ready for the day in their daughter’s bathroom. It was a typical tween-age space: cute stickers and sayings posted to the mirror, hair products and cotton balls and drugstore makeup on...

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...

The Charlie Sheen Has Worn Off

March 11, 2011 11:15 AM

For the past few months, Charlie Sheen has given our distraction-hungry culture a particularly delectable snack. “Hey look over here!” he grins. His grandiose, self-delusional bragging, his unapologetic hedonism, and his remarkable ability — whether it’s a result of mental...

Why Your Church Needs a Dr. Oz

February 15, 2011 4:52 PM

Where do you exercise? Your basement? Your backyard? Your gym? Your church? Browsing the list of weekly programs offered at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, fitness classes and weight-loss support groups are now listed alongside baptism and leadership training classes. Warren...

Facebook Envy on Valentine's Day

February 14, 2011 11:35 AM

It’s Valentine’s Day: the day of flowers, candy, and candlelit dinners, that is, for those fortunate enough to be part of a happy couple. For others, Valentine’s Day can bring on a few twinges — of loneliness, pain, envy, resentment,...

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...

Why I Don't Keep a Mommy Blog

January 21, 2011 9:19 AM

Both my husband’s grandma and mine were short women named Charlotte who played piano and sang. They lived and died on opposite coasts, mine in New York, his in California. His was plump, old-fashioned, devout, taught toddler Sunday school, and...

Lynne Hybels: My Lazy Christmas Wish

December 16, 2010 10:20 AM

It’s 4 on a Thursday morning. I'm wide awake because my 4-year-old grandson, Henry — enjoying a “sleepover” with Nana while Mom and Dad are out of town — woke up at 3 with a sore throat. After a trip...

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...

Doctrine in Diapers

November 9, 2010 10:15 AM

For a few years now, we’ve begun our family meals with a blessing. We started with “The Lord’s Been Good to Me,” otherwise known in our household as “Johnny Appleseed.” The song’s theology is pretty innocuous. It acknowledges God’s existence...

The Best Christian Halloween Party

October 29, 2010 12:00 PM

In case you hadn’t noticed the inflatable purple spiders dotting the lawns of suburban neighborhoods or been tempted by those Venti-sized bags of mini Snickers, this Sunday is Halloween. What kind of story will your church tell itself about the...

Why Should the Devil Get Halloween?

October 29, 2010 9:38 AM

Halfway through our hayride, around the second bend into the woods, two of our fellow riders — the clown and the guy with the Scream mask propped on top of his head — jumped out. Unlike the rest of us,...

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...

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...

Why I Envy Young Nuns

September 22, 2010 8:10 AM

I have a vinyl sticker on the back window of my car that reads, JESUS INSIDE. It's an effective conversation starter because it frequently invites teasing: “So, where does Jesus sit?” “Hey, did you know Jesus is inside your parked...

Simplicity: It's Complicated

August 27, 2010 10:13 AM

The New York Times recently profiled an Oregon couple who winnowed their possessions down to 100 things, giving away most of what they owned and cozying up in a 400-square-foot apartment. The article discussed new (read: more cautious) spending patterns,...

My Encounter with Mental Illness

August 26, 2010 8:43 AM

My freshman year, I spiraled into a clinical depression triggered by an off-campus move. That semester, my lack of finances required moving from the dorms into an apartment across the street from the university. There, I lived rent-free with a...

How the Movie Partly Redeems 'Eat Pray Love'

August 17, 2010 8:10 AM

Eat Pray Love Book Club Discussion: Part 5 Katelyn, I took away much the same idea you did from Eat, Pray, Love: that perhaps our highest selfishness is the belief that without us, everything would fall apart. We are suspicious...

Why We Envy Elizabeth Gilbert

August 16, 2010 4:45 PM

Like most readers, I devoured Eat, Pray, Love pretty quickly, finding it to be eloquently written, eagerly honest, and fairly perceptive of culture, relationships, and of the self. Through her engaging memoir, Elizabeth Gilbert invites us all to peek into...

Snakes on a (Spiritual) Plane

August 16, 2010 11:01 AM

Eat Pray Love Book Club Discussion: Part 3 Perhaps because I was once a religious studies student, Eat, Pray, Love reminded me of William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience — and, though, the two books have quite different forms, Gilbert’s...

India: It's Complicated

August 12, 2010 1:47 PM

Eat Pray Love Book Club Discussion: Part 2 If a young, wealthy woman from India had traveled to the United States because she believed she’d find spiritual enlightenment, stayed for the entire four months of her trip at a retreat...

'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...

An Open Letter to Anne Rice

August 11, 2010 8:57 AM

Dear Ms. Rice: You don't know me, so please excuse the intrusion. I hope you won't think this too forward, but I read about your recent remarks about quitting Christianity: For those who care, and I understand if you don't:...

Multitasking: Bad for the Soul

July 16, 2010 10:00 AM

My husband and I had been married for eight years when I gave birth to our first child. Two years later, his brother was born. Eighteen months later, their sister. And less than two years after that, we started the...

'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...

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,...

Confessions of a Church-Skipping Mom

June 30, 2010 2:25 AM

Several Sundays ago my kids were playing outside when we called them to get in the car for church. They stalled. They whined. They asked, “Why do we always have to go to church?” My responses became less patient and...

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...

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...

The Anti-Racist, Anti-Fear Gene

May 11, 2010 9:57 AM

Over the past month, NPR has addressed various aspects of Williams syndrome, a rare chromosomal condition in which a series of genes on one chromosome has been deleted. Williams syndrome (also Williams–Beuren syndrome, or WBS) is characterized by learning disabilities...

Toying with Adultery?

May 10, 2010 10:51 AM

Tiffany Tehan, a pastor’s daughter and graduate of an Ohio evangelical college, went missing Saturday, April 17. Local authorities deemed the 31-year-old mother’s absence suspicious: her green Ford Explorer was found in a park near her home with a flat...

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...

Yoga: An Exercise in Discernment

April 22, 2010 8:30 AM

About 16 million adults in the United States practice yoga — an increase of 85 percent from 2004 to 2008 — and the Los Angeles Times reports that both Christian and Jewish groups are incorporating the Eastern meditation practice into...

Art That Reveals Our Need for Grace

April 16, 2010 9:21 AM

After seeing an advertisement for the 8th Annual Garden State Film Festival on Twitter, I requested a press pass, thinking I might screen an inspiring film or two that I could recommend to Her.meneutics readers. The festival director suggested Newt...

iHave an iPad, But at What Cost?

April 12, 2010 8:39 AM

We don’t watch much television in our household, but my husband and I both find ourselves wed to the computer. I was looking through a photo album with our daughter last week, and we came across one from her infancy....

Cosmetic Surgery to the Glory of God?

April 7, 2010 9:00 AM

I’d never thought much about plastic surgery until 28 years ago, when my then 2-year-old son bit through an extension cord and burnt his mouth. Even though we had no insurance, my husband and I found a plastic surgeon who...

Caught between the Easter Bunny and the Empty Grave

April 1, 2010 10:52 AM

For two weeks now, our kids have been singing, “Hosanna!” Penny, our 4-year-old, sings the whole song: “Hosanna to the King of Kings!” William, 20 months old, just repeats this new, favorite word. We went for a walk yesterday afternoon,...

Therefore Let Us Keep the Feast

March 30, 2010 9:51 AM

Last night’s sunset marked the beginning of Passover for millions of people worldwide. It is the only major Jewish holiday recognized by most mainstream calendars and celebrated by the U.S. President. Although the Jewish holiday lasts all week, until sunset...

Learning from the Cornell Suicides

March 26, 2010 10:15 AM

The public image of Cornell University, the Ithaca, New York, Ivy League school, changed drastically this month when news broke that a third student in one month had committed suicide by jumping from Cornell’s famed gorges, following three other...

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...

'Femivores' and Food Ethics

March 16, 2010 2:20 PM

If a daily trip to the vegetable patch to harvest vegetables and to the chicken coop to gather eggs means a woman is a femivore, then so be it, though I think the term is rather silly. Historically speaking, folks...

Citing Modesty, Two Women Refuse Full-Body Scans

March 8, 2010 11:12 AM

Two Muslim women boarding a plane in Manchester, England, last week became trailblazers in the debate over full-body scanners by refusing to undergo the scan, citing religious and medical restrictions. They forfeited their £400 airline tickets to Pakistan, as such...

Are Chick Flicks 'Emotional Porn'?

March 5, 2010 9:34 AM

Nick Waters is your average Christian man who, in pursuit of becoming a better husband and person, did what some may consider extraordinary: he watched 30 chick flicks in 30 days. His blog project, which has picked up national media...

Why I'm Giving Up Counting Calories for Lent

February 17, 2010 9:44 AM

As one of the 40 percent of Americans who makes New Year’s resolutions, in January I started going to a local gym three times a week. Wanting to stay active during Chicago’s long winter, I soon saw those lectures about...

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...

Women at Halftime: Where to Go Next?

January 25, 2010 9:59 AM

Recently I was dining with a friend who, like me, works in the media. She is in her mid-40s and realizes that her days on the air are numbered. Putting aside the issue of why it’s acceptable for men in...

Iris Robinson, Jesus Loves You More Than You Will Know

January 22, 2010 10:18 AM

Sex. Money. Power. Words that call to mind the recent debacles of Tiger Woods and David Letterman and a host of other celebrities before them. And now Iris Robinson — a self-described evangelical Christian and the wife of Northern Ireland’s...

Dr. Grace Augustine: Avatar's Christian Character?

January 18, 2010 9:31 AM

James Cameron, writer and director of Avatar and winner last night of the Golden Globe for Best Director, does not score points for subtlety. The guns are big and loud. The love story is predictable. And the names? There’s unobtanium,...

Disney Croaks with Newest Princess Film

January 12, 2010 10:06 AM

When CT editor Sarah Pulliam Bailey e-mailed Her.meneutics bloggers to ask if anyone would be interested in reviewing The Princess and the Frog, Disney's newest princess film and the first to feature an African American lead, I wrote back right...

Police Arrest Woman Praying at Western Wall

January 7, 2010 11:24 AM

Last November, Israeli authorities arrested medical student and Women of the Wall (WOW) member Nofrat Frenkel for wearing a prayer shawl and holding a Torah at the Western Wall (Kotel), Judaism's most holy site. The first time a female worshiper...

Should Christians See 'Precious'?

December 4, 2009 4:00 PM

After reading Camerin Courtney’s 3½-star review of Precious for Christianity Today Movies, I knew I wanted to see the film. Well, kind of. Alongside other reviewers, Courtney made it clear that the film — about an obese, illiterate African American...

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.”...

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...

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...

In Their Own Words: Laura Ling and Euna Lee

September 4, 2009 9:21 AM

Much has been written about Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the two American journalists captured this March, imprisoned for five months in North Korea, and released on August 6. But on Wednesday, for the first time, their story was told...

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...

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...

The Urban Chicks Movement

July 24, 2009 9:03 AM

"What are you building?" the cashier asked as we paid for several sheets of plywood and some 2×4s. When we told her she said, "a lot of people are building chicken coops this summer." City ordinances are changing to allow...

Declining Female Happiness

June 4, 2009 8:54 AM

The data have been collected and analyzed and the determination made: Women are less happy than they were 35 years ago, less happy than men, and the gap between men's and women's happiness is growing. The National Bureau of Economic...

Is it a Sin to Nip and Tuck?

June 2, 2009 9:33 AM

"Beauty often wins love. It just does," write Karen Lee-Thorp and Cynthia Hicks in Why Beauty Matters. No wonder women and, increasingly, men are willing to endure the pain and risk of elective cosmetic surgery to attain it. New York...

Artist Profile: Anna Kocher

April 30, 2009 8:37 AM

Anna Kocher is an artist in the greater Philadelphia area whose work has been displayed at her alma mater, Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Church of the Good...

Blog Comments and Christian Courtesy

April 21, 2009 4:53 PM

When my children learned to talk, they began evaluating my cooking. Their commentary involved words like "I hate fish," "Don't make me eat that," and the all-purpose "Yuck." After a year or two of this, we decided it was time...

The Secret Life of Beekeepers

April 15, 2009 9:25 AM

Four students came over yesterday to help "hive" our second package of bees. (That's beekeeper lingo for shaking bees out of a shoe-size box into a book-size box.) I'm learning the lingo fast, hoping it will give me confidence....

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