Skip to main content

The Opera del Duomo di Orvieto (Orvieto Cathedral) in Orvieto, Italy, celebrates physicality, especially the human body, a distinctive mark of Christianity. The incarnation of Jesus Christ, the very act of God becoming flesh, celebrates the physical world that God created and pronounced “good” and “very good.”

Blog Posts About Life In The Body

9-11 Twenty Years Later

By Life In The Body, UncategorizedNo Comments

 Today I have a guest columnist—my friend Ryan Ho, who was there…. Is there a parade today? I looked out the window with a bit of confusion as paper fluttered down from the sky. Working on the twentieth floor of an office building in downtown New York City, I didn’t often see objects fall from above. I stood up from my desk, moved into another room to get a better view. . . and gasped in horror at the gaping, burning hole that I saw in the side of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. So began one of the most consequential days of my life. When the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2021, the world changed, and so did I. Up to that point, I was in no rush to do anything significant or meaningful. I had intended to go into ministry since I was a boy, but after…

Read More

Shepherd Like a Girl

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

Does your nativity set have any female shepherds? Mine doesn’t. And it’s amazing how much I have picked up unconsciously from art….  I didn’t realize that—without anything being said outright—I had internalized the idea that “shepherd” was a “guy” job. So, if I saw a Christmas pageant with girls dressed in bathrobes holding crooks, I told myself the real nativity story lacked girl roles so the directors were taking creative license. But now I know those girls in bathrobes more closely represented reality than did my misinformed imaginations. My understanding about shepherds shifted radically when I traveled with my husband and daughter to Kenya’s Rift Valley. My husband is a U.S.-based missionary serving national leaders there. And while we were in Kenya, his ministry partner, Joseph, a Maasai warrior, introduced us to some of his friends.   The Maasai are pastoral people—shepherds. Like Joseph, they live in individual huts inside bomas—enclosures made…

Read More

On True Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries featured a podcast/webinar in which I talked with host Sharifa Stevens about biblical manhood and womanhood. Lots of teachings floating around on the subject are rooted in stereotype rather than scripture. If something is scriptural, it must be timeless and not bound to a specific culture. Have a listen. Podcast link  

Read More

Little Things Matter: A Story of Suffering, Survival, and Legacy

By Beauty, Life In The Body, WritingNo Comments

When Barry Annino set out to write a book on life after a terminal diagnosis, his wife, Debora, embarked on her own writing journey. Their new memoir chronicles their experience in “suffering, survival and legacy” from their two very different perspectives. In this Q&A, Debora (seen below with one of the girls whose lives she is working to improve) shares insights about keeping the faith during her own recent battle with breast cancer and the steps she’s taking to continue her journey of writing and service through the Little Things Matter Foundation. Debora, you wrote this book after your husband’s diagnosis with a terminal illness. What was your original intention behind it? Writing about suffering was never my original plan. Before Barry was diagnosed with Stage IV liver cancer, I was writing about my journey along El Camino de Santiago, the ancient route of pilgrims and seekers across Northern Spain….

Read More

What Is Church? On the pod…

By Life In The BodyNo Comments

I love traveling internationally with Kate Boyd, podcast host of Happy and Holy. She’s a seminary-trained writer and thinker. Recently, Kate and I had a conversation in which we explored “What is Church?” especially in light of global limitations due to COVID-19. You can find her podcast on your favorite podcast player or search for Happy & Holy in your player of choice.

Read More

COVID-19: A sign of the last days?

By Bioethics, Justice, Life In The BodyOne Comment

The entire world is shut down in various forms. Never since Noah’s flood has the whole globe at one time endured the same catastrophe. So, publishers are seeing a spike in sales of books about the end times. And people are asking: Does COVID-19 signal the end is near?   As it turns out, before all eyes turned to Wuhan, LifeWay Research already had questions in mind about the last days. So, they surveyed 1,000 people from two groups: evangelical pastors and historically Black denominational pastors. Between January 24 and February 11, 2020, Lifeway asked some questions about these pastors’ perceptions. And the results revealed that even before everyone’s least favorite pandemic, a lot of pastors in the USA felt that current events indicate Jesus’s return is imminent. 88 percent saw at least some current events matching those Jesus said would occur shortly before He returns 70 percent saw the modern…

Read More

Are the “Widows” in 1 Timothy 5 Leaders, Needers, or Both?

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, Marriage, WomenNo Comments

One of my students, Corinne Samuelson, has spent the summer investigating what’s happening with “widows” in 1 Timothy 5. At first glance, one might think Paul was simply instructing Timothy about how to handle the many hungry older women in the Ephesian church (1:3). But on closer exploration we see a description of what might look like an office. That’s a challenging question. As Corinne notes, “While Timothy would have surely understood Paul’s instructions about widows in the Ephesian Church, 1 Timothy 5:3–16 leaves today’s readers with many questions.” Each of the questions below (most of which she crafted) are worth considering when making interpretive decisions about this passage: Meaning of “to honor” (τίμα, v. 3) – (“Give proper honor to those widows who are really in need.”) Does “to honor” imply interpersonal respect, financial support, or both? Is this a parallel to granting “double honor” to elders who teach (v. 17)?  Placement of…

Read More

Biblical Womanhood: What Is a Woman?

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

What a woman is. She is an image-bearer. It was the first day of a class I was teaching on the role of women in the home, church, and society. Driving in to the seminary where I teach, I thought through the material I planned to cover, and honestly I feared that some of what I’d prepared to say was too elementary for graduate-level students. Many of them were raised in church and have heard messages all their lives. Did they really need to hear again that Genesis 1:26–27 teaches that both male and female were made in the image of God? Nevertheless, I determined I’d better make sure. So I repeated what I assumed they all knew. And sure enough, a woman present was thrilled when she heard my words! She was made in the image of God? And not only that—she did not have to marry to fully image…

Read More

Biblical Womanhood: Part 2

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, Marriage, Women3 Comments

Several weeks ago, I wrote about biblical womanhood. Afterward a theologian posed some good questions for clarification. So I’m using that conversation as a Q/A here to help further explain what it means to be a woman as God designed her. His statements are bold; my explanations follow:  You say of woman that, “She is an image-bearer,” but then argue that because “she” is an image-bearer the female bears that image completely in and of herself. The underlying assumption is that an individual human being, whether male or female, carries the whole divine image.   Woman is indeed an image bearer, completely in and of herself. But that does not mean she expresses the full range of image-bearing. Our humanity is a good parallel example. Are women human? Fully and completely in and of themselves? Absolutely. But do they bear the full range of humanity? No. We need man and woman…

Read More

Abuse: Rise Up, Church!

By Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

Today I have a guest writer whose story you need to hear:  <<I’m not even sure if the Hebrew is correct. But it doesn’t matter. It means something to me. This is where girls would have scars from cutting themselves in attempts to escape the pain of abuse. But by the grace of God, and by His grace alone, my wrist doesn’t have cuts. It says “Daughter of the King.” There have been a few accounts and testimonies of abuse circling around social media lately, including the Larry Nassar case and sexual assault on campus in my hometown. And I want to help raise awareness for the sake of many victims and survivors of abuse who are being driven out of our churches. My mom worked in the sex industry. I have seen, heard, and experienced just about every type of abuse. That kind of life was my norm. People who know…

Read More

Seminary Online: Isn’t That an Oxymoron?

By Life In The Body, WritingNo Comments

I confess, I’m a slow convert to distance education. But I’m coming around. My reservations have stemmed from my commitment to embodiment. Genesis starts with God’s dignifiying of physicality in the first chapter, and that theme runs clear through the Incarnation to the bodily resurrection. Isn’t our faith unique in its appreciation for physical presence? And if that’s the case, how can any kind of decent education happen without embodiment? How can people possibly learn about our God without engaging five senses in the content? Doesn’t the Eucharist include taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound? As does baptism. How can somebody grow in Christ without the senses? Yet, as I said, I’m coming around…. Of course, I still believe face-to-face is best. After all, the elder John wrote, “Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you,…

Read More

Fathom Magazine interview w/ me about Vixens

By Arts, Blog Interviews With Writers, Books, Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, Women, WritingNo Comments

This interview with me ran in the latest issue of Fathom Magazine.  Today we’re happy to have as our guest Dr. Sandra Glahn. Sandi earned her ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and her PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in Humanities–Aesthetic Studies. A professor in the Media Arts and Worship department at DTS, she teaches courses in writing, medieval art/spirituality, gender, and sexual ethics. She is the author of more than twenty books, including the Coffee Cup Bible Study series. But today we want to talk with her about her latest book Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting the Sexualized, Vilified, Marginalized Women of the Bible (Kregel Academic), which just came out. Tell us about Vindicating the Vixens. Vindicating the Vixens has been on my heart and mind for more than a decade. As I studied history and cultural backgrounds at the doctoral level, I ended up revisiting some…

Read More

Interview with a Charlotte Pastor/Author

By Arts, Beauty, Justice, Life In The Body, WritingNo Comments

I’m happy to have as my guest today pastor/author Winn Collier, whose writing I love. His latest project is an epistolary novel—that is, a story told through the medium of letters written by one or more of the characters. It’s titled Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church. SG: Did you have in mind any specific congregations as you wrote? Winn: I carried all the people and churches I’ve been part of my entire life. And of course, All Souls Charlottesville, the people I serve now, is so interwoven with my life that they are always with me. SG: Charlottesville has been at the epicenter of America’s culture wars in recent months. How has your church continued to be a voice of hope in the midst of such toxic events? Winn: The Klan rally in July, then the Alt-right rally in August, were horrific. I’ve never encountered such…

Read More

“No Greater Love” film headed your way?

By Arts, Beauty, Life In The BodyNo Comments

NO GREATER LOVE—the first theatrical documentary filmed and directed by an active-duty soldier—brings to vivid life the battles of the “No Slack” Battalion of the famed 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan. And the battles he shows us didn’t just happen in the field. They continue after soldiers return home. One of the coolest parts about this for me is that its writer and that active-duty soldier/producer was one of my writing students. Friday, Nov. 10, for Veterans Day weekend, his multiple-award-winning NO GREATER LOVE premieres in select cities nationwide. NO GREATER LOVE, after one round of cuts, is still a contender for Documentary Feature in the 2017 Academy Award®. You can bring this excellent film to a theater near you. It takes less than 30 seconds to put in your request: REQUEST THEATERS TO SHOW NO GREATER LOVE IN YOUR AREA The film will help raise awareness about PTDS. Consider that:…

Read More
%d bloggers like this: