Confessions from a Reluctant Evangelist

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

I flirted with fundamentalism during my college years. I’d met a group of Christians who talked about their faith with the same zeal as a weight lifter, all beefed up on steroids and vanity, might talk about his health regimen. They called this “being on fire for Christ.” I still wince every time I hear the phrase. I mistook their […]

The Waning Value of Men

Father and his son

I began my theological studies at a mainline Protestant seminary during the height of the third wave of feminism.  By that time, the classification of sex and gender into two distinct forms of male and female had been thrown out the window along with most moral distinctions regarding sexual activities.  And Feminist Theology had taken hold of every corner of […]

Book Review: “Dear God, I Don’t Get It”

They say that the measure of a good children’s book—or a young reader’s chapter book, as the case may be—is that both children and adults find the story compelling, that it stirs within them a desire to be something more than what they already are.  Patti Maguire Armstrong’s new book, Dear God, I Don’t Get It, certainly does just that.  […]

Great Expectations

At the end of last Christmas, as we bid farewell to our visitors and reluctantly packed away the tinsel, the ornaments, and our treasured nativity sets I vowed—in my typical cynicism—to write an article the following Advent about disappointed expectations. It seems as though every year my family and I go into the Advent season with magical memories of Christmases […]

Our Children: Just Another Statistic?

Maybe it was Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of the “Year of Faith” that got us thinking.  Or perhaps it was a knee-jerk reaction to the frequent attacks upon our faith from an increasingly post-Christian society that put the idea into our heads.   Whatever it was, my husband, Dan, and I recently came to the conclusion that sending our children to […]

Along the Journey Home

Communion of Saints

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the front porch sipping my coffee and watching the children play in the yard when the delicately sweet, clean scent of a nearby gardenia bush drifted by.  I was suddenly taken back to the days I spent as a child 70 miles east of Dallas in the small town of Winnsboro, TX. […]

The God of My Fears

Woman Praying in Church

In the summer between my first and second years of seminary, with a string of failed relationships under my belt and an emerging sense of internal pandemonium eroding the fragment of my self-confidence that remained intact, I retreated to the forested hills of Burgundy, France amongst the brothers of Taizé (an international and ecumenical community of monks devoted to prayer […]

Black and White or Simply Shades of Grey?

Much has been written of late about the rapidly increasing consumption of pornography by men and the devastating effect it has upon the lives of addicts.  Though society may view the use of pornography as fairly innocuous—what I do on my own time is my own business as long as I’m not hurting anyone— the truth is that pornography is […]

Where is God in the Midst of Our Suffering?

Christ on the Cross (detail) by Velazquez

Not long ago, a close friend of mine confided in me about a particularly difficult time through which she was struggling.  In the depths of her darkness and despair she’d begun to question both her faith in God and the effectiveness of prayer.  She wanted to know where God was, if there really was a God, in the midst of […]

An Unlikely Convert

Rebekah Durham Hart

I was drawn to the Catholic Church while attending a Presbyterian seminary during my mid-twenties.  As the daughter of a United Methodist minister, I was raised in an orthodox, evangelical home and naively assumed that the majority of mainline Protestant seminarians believed just as we did.  At the very least, I reasoned, they could affirm the tenets of the Apostle’s […]