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

Biblical Womanhood: What Is a Woman?

By | Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, Women | No 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

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Abuse: Rise Up, Church!

By | Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, Women | No 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. …

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Seminary Online: Isn’t That an Oxymoron?

By | Life In The Body, Writing | No 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, …

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Fathom Magazine interview w/ me about Vixens

By | Arts, Blog Interviews With Writers, Books, Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, Women, Writing | No 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 …

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Interview with a Charlotte Pastor/Author

By | Arts, Beauty, Justice, Life In The Body, Writing | No 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 …

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“No Greater Love” film headed your way?

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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. …

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#MeToo: Just Another Trend?

By | Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, Women | No Comments

My post for October 24 on the Engage blog at bible.org:

A lot of people think it all started on October 5, 2017, when the New York Times first broke the story accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. Actually, as far as I know, the real first “Me Too” movement started a decade ago by the African-American activist Tarana Burke. And ten years from now, we’ll probably still need one.

But about the recent one… Ten days after the NYT story hit, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

Soon, the #MeToo hashtag took over social media. Twitter alone had more than 500,00 uses. But Facebook had 12 million. Twelve. Million.

I almost didn’t put the following post on Facebook. But I mustered the courage to hit “return”:  “So many have been groped,

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Help Yourself to Mental Health

By | Life In The Body | 2 Comments

Carrying a lot of stress? There are lots of ways you can help yourself cope.

Tell yourself the truth. Treat yourself with the same grace you would extend to others. If you make an error, instead of berating yourself, replace, “I’m an idiot,” with “Oops. I took a wrong turn.”

Confess. Quit living with guilt. Acknowledge sin to God and apologize to people you’ve wronged. Make appropriate reparations.

Care for your body. Take walks, jog, hit the gym. Physical health and aerobic exercise have a direct effect on mental health.

Snack on veggies. Good nutrition affects physical health and outlook, too. So replace chips and sour cream dip with crackers and hummus.

Sleep. Get to bed on time and transition off technology well before you need to be falling asleep.

Get regular check-ups. See a doctor for hormone and mood checks and to monitor health conditions.

Live in community. …

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The True Beauty of Women

By | Beauty, Life In The Body, Women | One Comment

Whatever is true…think on these things.

The Thai branch of a Japanese lingerie company, Wacoal, doesn’t feature scantily clad models in their ads. Instead, they tell true stories with life-affirming messages that everyone can watch and appreciate. The ads emphasize women’s true beauty. And the men in the stories are the kind of guys who appreciate goodness, and are not necessarily sexually involved with the women whom they admire and whose stories they tell. Check out the “My Beautiful Woman” ad campaign.

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On Feminism and Evangelicalism

By | Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, Women | No Comments

As part of my PhD research, I read Betty Friedan, heard Gloria Steinem in person, and spent a bunch of semesters exploring the history and teachings of feminism. And after I did so, I reached the conclusion that evangelicals in general need to pull back and regroup both in our representations of feminists and in our approach to reaching them.

Just as there is not one “Christianity” but many Christianities (e.g., Orthodox, Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran, Armenian, Calvinist), there are many feminisms (liberal, radical, Marxist, socialist, lesbian, biblical, difference feminists [we are women—viva le difference! from men] and sameness feminists [we’re the same except for biology]), and more.

Liberal feminists came out of the Equal Rights Movement. Betty Friedan was one of them. They are interested in equality, not to be confused with sameness. That is, they want the law to quit “seeing gender,” i.e., being biased against …

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Drowning? Chris Can Help…

By | Life In The Body, Uncategorized | One Comment

Today I’m happy to have as my guest Chris Maxwell, who has recently authored a new book about some deep trials he and his family have experienced and survived with some wisdom to share. 

Question: Tell us about your newest book, Underwater: When Encephalitis, Brain Injury, and Epilepsy Change Everything.

Chris: Underwater takes readers through my battle with encephalitis—a time I almost died, but lived and became a much different person. I now live with severe brain damage and epilepsy. Many things that were easy for me before I cannot do, or I find them difficult.

My wife, Debbie, and all three of our sons contributed to the book. We included stories about how our lives changed as well as stories from others who live with epilepsy.  We also included advice from a counselor for caregivers—those family members and friends who are often forgotten in underwater stories.

Question: Underwater

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