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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.

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All posts from “theology”

Sex! Outrage! The Internet! Doug Wilson, Rachel Held Evans, and The Gospel Coalition

July 20, 2012 9:33 AM

Perhaps I’m just getting old. I did turn 40 last week. But I must admit, my first read of Jared Wilson’s now infamous post, “The Polluted Waters of 50 Shades of Grey, Etc.,” didn’t outrage me. It didn’t even...

God’s Wrath and Natural Disasters: Whom Do We Blame?

July 2, 2012 9:29 AM

While I worked 500 miles away from my family, I got word that my dad’s office and my aunt and uncle were evacuated because the Waldo Canyon fire burned closer and closer. Eager for up-to-the-minute news on the fire and...

Why the Bodily Resurrection Matters—Especially to Women

June 27, 2012 9:23 AM

A few months ago I spoke to a women’s ministry about the importance of theology for women in the church. The event went well, and the women peppered me with many challenging questions. However, I was a little unprepared for...

Why Jesus Isn't Your Boyfriend: A Critique of Dating God

June 25, 2012 9:39 AM

It’s no secret that marriage is on the decline in the United States. The most recent Census revealed that 32 million Americans are now in single households, and that married people are no longer the majority. Some are single by...

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...

For the Love of Pinterest? A Her.meneutics Hangout with Rachel Held Evans, Sarah Bessey, & More

May 18, 2012 10:00 AM

Christianity Today serves as a unique place for evangelicals of all stripes to convene, where thinkers from a variety of backgrounds can discuss and engage in ideas. We wanted to experiment with CT's "village green" format and extend the conversation...

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...

Where Are All the Women Apologists?

May 2, 2012 8:37 AM

Apologists have a reputation for being obnoxious know-it alls. I should know. I am one. An apologist is a person who defends something. I’ve sat next to apologists for veganism and rode horse-back with apologists for fashion. You might sleep...

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...

'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...

Exotic Animals and Kingdom Ethics

October 21, 2011 3:06 PM

In the tight-laced society of 18th and 19th-century England, bull baiting, bear baiting, and cock fighting were popular forms of entertainment. Thanks to the efforts of William Wilberforce and other evangelical Christians (who were hard at work abolishing slavery at...

Why It’s Your Job to Break the Women’s Ministry Stereotype

October 11, 2011 10:11 AM

I remember the day I parted ways with the old model of women’s ministry. I was sitting in a hotel ballroom full of women. The speaker shared a gut-wrenching testimony that elicited a few sniffles from the crowd, which gradually...

Ben & Jerry’s ‘Schweddy Balls’ and Scatological Humor

September 27, 2011 11:30 AM

So, one million moms are up in arms over “Schweddy Balls,” the, uh, gutsy, name of Ben and Jerry’s newest flavor: rum-flavored vanilla ice cream adorned with fudge-covered malt balls. One would think such an unsavory name for something that...

Welcoming Doubt to Christian Education

September 16, 2011 8:43 AM

I started school at age 5 and never left once. My formal education was entirely secular: public schools, then a private college, followed by graduate school at a state university. My teaching career began in Sunday school, continued in a...

PETA to Launch Porn Site

August 31, 2011 10:39 AM

Shock and disgust. Those words best describe the public’s reaction to PETA’s most recent campaign. In a decision that can only be described as true to form, the 31-year-old Virginia nonprofit has once again chosen a campaign method that overshadows...

The Her.meneutics Gender Debates (Part 2)

August 23, 2011 10:49 AM

Yesterday on the blog, we heard from theologian William Webb, an egalitarian who says the Bible's "redemptive movement" shows that because of Christ, women are more, not less, free to exercise gifts in church ministry and beyond. Today we hear...

The Gender Debates Come to Her.meneutics

August 22, 2011 11:41 AM

Submissive wife and president of the United States — an oxymoron, if you ask many journalists analyzing the faith of 2012 hopeful Michele Bachmann. In a recent GOP debate, responding to the question of whether she as president would submit...

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...

An Open Letter to Donald Miller on Your Engagement

June 23, 2011 9:44 AM

Dear Donald, First of all, I’m a fan. I’ll admit I’m not young enough or hip enough to have discovered you on my own, but the college students I teach help me to keep up with the times, and they...

Anthony Weiner, Gnostic

June 9, 2011 11:40 AM

The technology is new, but the sin is so, so old. The latest “victim” betrayed by the very technology he thought to have harnessed for his own nefarious ends — in case you’ve been fast asleep under a rock somewhere...

Working for the (Son of) Man

June 3, 2011 8:51 AM

“You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone." So goes Tina Fey's advice in her new book, Bossypants, to young women in the workplace. Fey’s advice couldn’t be more true. Every day seems to bring more...

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...

For Those Grieving on Mother's Day

May 6, 2011 9:09 AM

Mother's Day is a tricky holiday. Like any holiday, it is sweet for some and bitter for others. For some, it’s both. I remember feeling on the outside looking in on Mother’s Day, first as a single woman and then...

Sin, Grace, and the Royal Wedding

April 28, 2011 1:23 PM

I’m just going to say it: I can’t wait for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. One, I love weddings. (The dresses! The flowers! The dancing!) Two, I love pomp and circumstance. Probably because much of my life feels chaotic,...

'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...

How Do I Explain Easter to My Children?

April 20, 2011 11:30 AM

I don’t know how to explain Easter to my children — Penny, 5, and William, 2. I’ve tried two approaches so far. I’ve talked about it directly: “Some people killed Jesus and he died and God made him alive again.”...

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 State of Sex

February 11, 2011 9:00 AM

When it comes to attitudes about sex in America, I often find myself somewhere between cynical and hopeless. I read statistics about 95 percent of adults losing their virginity before marriage. I look at the magazine rack in the grocery...

A Tarnished Silver Anniversary

January 4, 2011 9:30 AM

A silver anniversary isn’t what it used to be. I know this from experience, having celebrated mine last month, but the data speaks for itself. According to a 2005 U.S. Census Bureau report, only 33 percent of us reached the...

What Is the Stay-at-Home Daughters Movement?

December 20, 2010 10:50 AM

The blogosphere has been agog recently over one feminist journal’s feature-length article, “House Proud: The Troubling Rise of Stay-at-Home Daughters.” If you are like me and hadn’t heard of the stay-at-home daughters (SAHD) movement, here’s a primer. SAHD is connected...

'Hallelujah' Comes to the Food Court

December 3, 2010 11:00 AM

Bored mall shoppers eat in a food court that could be anywhere in North America. Innocuous holiday music plays in the background. Suddenly, a woman poking at her fast-food tray, cell phone held to her ear, stands up and begins...

Steve Johnson's Genie-in-a-Bottle God

December 1, 2010 11:38 AM

Steve Johnson was having a very bad, horrible, terrible day. The 24-year-old wide receiver had the opportunity to give the Buffalo Bills one of their sweetest victories: an unexpected win against the Steelers in overtime. But he dropped the ball,...

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...

A Course in Dying 101

September 7, 2010 10:19 AM

My grandfather turned 90 last week. The past two years have been ones of declining health for him, including a botched surgery and shingles and Bell’s palsy and a broken hip. A few months ago, my mother sat down to...

James Lee and 'Filthy Human Children'

September 3, 2010 9:57 AM

This week ended very badly for James Lee. Maybe the 43-year-old militant environmentalist expected September 1 to be his last day — a suicide mission seemed consistent with the activist’s manifesto that humans, particularly babies, are pollution and are polluting...

Preserving Man and Beast

August 23, 2010 9:34 AM

Jeffrey Kluger’s recent Time magazine cover story, “What Animals Think,” explores new research about the human-like intelligence of animals. A Bonobo (cousin of the chimpanzee) can learn hundreds of words. Dogs demonstrate social skills by following a pointed finger to...

Have We Forgotten Haiti?

August 19, 2010 11:07 AM

The hubbub has died down. Other tragedies have struck; our attentions have been averted. A little over eight months ago, Haiti experienced one of the worst natural disasters in history. Since then, Chile, Turkey, and now Pakistan have faced their...

A Theology of Jiggly Thighs

August 18, 2010 10:07 AM

Splattered across the media this week is Kristen McMenamy, a supermodel and mother of three who was featured on the August cover of Italian Vogue. She appears inside in a striking (some say offensive) photo spread, lying on her back...

Why I Can't Boycott Mel Gibson

July 22, 2010 9:37 AM

From Arizona’s controversial immigration law to Mel Gibson’s recorded rants, I’ve heard a lot about boycotts lately — and I can’t get over who’s encouraging them. For me, boycotts conjure up my childhood, when trips to K-mart were rare because...

Sexy Evangelism

June 15, 2010 10:32 AM

My husband runs a dormitory of 30 high-school boys. Recently two of them lounged on our living room floor, asking questions about our faith. It started with theodicy (If God is good, why do bad things happen?). We covered confession...

I Once Was 'Lost' But Now Am Found

May 25, 2010 10:56 AM

My husband and I consciously choose to watch only one television show at a time, which we watch, well, religiously. For the past few years, our show has been Lost. Its dramatic plot and love stories and perpetual mysteries all...

No Right to Rest for Weary Anglicans

May 24, 2010 11:19 AM

Such is the fatigue over the Anglican-Episcopal splintering that two weekends ago, when the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles consecrated the denomination’s second partnered gay bishop, the event didn’t make a blip on many evangelical news websites. Also largely unnoticed...

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...

Perplexed by the Pill

May 5, 2010 10:30 AM

The Pill turned 50 this year, and Time magazine commemorated the anniversary last week with Nancy Gibbs’s cover story, “Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill." Gibbs thoroughly and thoughtfully provides a scientific and sociological history of birth...

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,...

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,...

Where Was God in the Earthquake?

January 15, 2010 8:17 AM

At the time of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, David Bentley Hart, the Eastern Orthodox theologian, wrote a column in The Wall Street Journal that attracted wide attention. Bill Eerdmans, of Eerdmans Publishing, contacted Hart and asked him to...

The Real Problem with Mary's Baby Bump

December 18, 2009 8:01 AM

This Christmas you may hear a sermon or two comparing today's unwed mothers with a well-known one from the ancient Mideast: Mary, the mother of Jesus. Reflecting on the alleged public shame Mary endured as an unmarried mom-to-be, we...

The Trouble with Depicting Jesus

December 15, 2009 10:34 AM

When the New Community Bible first released in 2008, it sold 15,000 hardcover copies in a few short weeks.Yet the resulting hue and cry over certain aspects of the Bible, the first to be produced by Indians, for Indians in...

The Joys of a False Positive

December 8, 2009 11:38 AM

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released recommendations on breast cancer screenings November 16, stating that too many women were given unnecessary tests based on an initial “false positive” mammogram. The task force discouraged women ages 40 to 49 from...

Stanton Jones, CedarvilleOUT Come to Campus

November 13, 2009 10:04 AM

Last spring, John* asked if we could meet at the Hive, our college campus snack shop. After a bit of small talk, he confided, “My friends said that you’re someone I’d feel safe talking to. And this is what I...

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...

Anne Graham Lotz, the Church, and Me

September 17, 2009 9:25 AM

Renowned evangelist Anne Graham Lotz recently told Amy Sullivan at Time magazine, “Religion can be one of the greatest impediments to finding God.” Newsweek took that as Billy Graham’s daughter “slamming” churches. Actually, I think Lotz is expressing the difference...

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...

The Lutherans and Twister Theology

August 25, 2009 9:39 AM

When is a warning from God not a warning from God? Or a "we can't tell whether or not it's a warning from God"? This question came up last week while I was covering the church-wide assembly of the Evangelical...

The Persecuted Rifqa Bary?

August 13, 2009 9:15 AM

Fathima Rifqa Bary's story is quickly circulating on blogs and Christian media as proof of Islam's violent roots and the cost of following Christ. While the latter is true no matter who's doing the following, the former is disputable in...

Corrupt Clergy and Forgiveness

July 28, 2009 8:51 AM

In New Jersey this week, the news is corruption. Forty-four people, including three mayors, a state assemblyman, and five rabbis, have been arrested on various charges, including bribery and organ brokering. Shocking, even for New Jersey, many say. Ho hum,...

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...

Women's Ordination: A Crack in the Cathedral?

July 2, 2009 12:15 PM

After the Anglican Church in North America's (ACNA) momentous inaugural gathering, the verdict is out on whether the issue of women's ordination will inhibit the budding alliance from moving forward. Last week more than 800 men and women gathered in...

Humans in Creation: Another View

April 29, 2009 8:41 AM

Earth Day came and went last week, represented on Her.meneutics with a flurry of commenters responding to Kay Warren's piece, "Puppies Aren't People." On the same day, DisneyNature released Earth, a film blending spectacular beauty, heart-warming scenes of animal families,...

Kay Warren: Puppies Aren't People

April 22, 2009 8:42 AM

Recently, Rick was trimming a vine around our patio cover and accidentally dislodged a bird's nest with two blue speckled eggs. He brought it to me to see if I thought our grandkids would like to have it. Instead of...

Christians Urge Obama to Keep Conscience Clause

April 9, 2009 9:29 AM

Several media are reporting that today's the last day the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will hear arguments against President Obama's intention to rescind the "conscience clause" regulation that former President Bush put into place weeks before...

Priest Who Professed Islam Defrocked by Episcopal Church

April 2, 2009 4:23 PM

An Episcopal priest who professed two years ago that she was also a practicing Muslim has been defrocked by the Episcopal Church. Rhode Island Bishop Geralyn Wolf informed Ann Holmes Redding, who lives in Seattle, of the decision on Wednesday....

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