A White Cop and a Black LadyTalking After Ferguson, Hands Down, a guest post by Patricia Raybon
A White Cop and a Black Lady
Image: The All-Nite Images/Flickr

First I noticed his kilt. A man in a skirt.

Then I learned he was a police officer. A California motorcycle cop. So this white man stood out for certain at a platform-building conference we both were attending in mid-November in Colorado Springs.

Then Jason Hoschouer, ...

Grateful for GraveyardsWhy we took our children to a funeral.
Grateful for Graveyards
Image: smila4/flickr

I receive an email from my mother in the evening. Nana is having trouble breathing. The Hospice nurse says she will die soon.

I have been expecting this news for weeks. My grandmother, Nana, just celebrated her 93rd birthday. In recent years, she has lost thirty pounds, ...

This Odd American HolidayWhat the strange beauty of Thanksgiving has taught us about dependence
This Odd American Holiday
Image: JD Hancock

It strikes me as both odd and beautiful that America—this nation of fiercely independent citizens—slows down to give corporate thanks each year. Our other national holidays either come laden with controversy (consider the secular/sacred divide of Christmas and ...

Limping through ScriptureAn interview with Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani about Disquiet Time
Limping through Scripture
Image: Patrick Feller/flickr

Released in late October, Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels is the brainchild of Jennifer Grant (a fellow contributor to her.meneutics) and Cathleen Falsani (an award-winning religion writer and journalist) ...

Talking with Kids about the Problem of EvilA Small Talk guest post by Jennifer Grant
Talking with Kids about the Problem of Evil
Image: memories_by_mike/flickr

As I told my friend Jennifer Grant when I read the introduction to her newest book, Wholehearted Living: Five Minute Reflections for Modern Moms, "I'm ordering this book for all my mom friends this Christmas." Jen is the author of a number of books I've ...

Surprised by Religion at the National Book Awards Why literary culture in America should cause hope and concern
Surprised by Religion at the National Book Awards
Image: Florin Gorgan/flickr

It felt kind of like the Oscars, well, like the Oscars for book nerds. An evening with awards in different categories, a host who made witty remarks, and palpable excitement in the air. Two nights ago, I sat in an auditorium at the New School in Manhattan, for the privilege ...

"These Christians Are Weird . . . But They Love"An interview with Philip Yancey about his new book, Vanishing Grace
"These Christians Are Weird . . . But They Love"

I had the privilege of talking by phone with Philip Yancey about his new book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? A few of the questions we discussed made it into the November issue of CT Magazine (A Church for Outsiders), but today I get to offer you another ...

When I Can't Calm My Son's FearsA Small Talk guest post about fear and peace by Micha Boyett
When I Can't Calm My Son's Fears
Image: John Morgan/Flickr

This week, our Small Talk guest series continues with a post by blogger and author Micha Boyett. Micha's post about her son's fears and her inability to calm them through reason reminds me of something my husband said to me: "Every emotion is an opportunity to pray." ...

Three Months After Michael Brown's Death in Ferguson, MissouriAn interview with local pastor and professor Michael Higgins
Three Months After Michael Brown's Death in Ferguson, Missouri
Image: peoples world/flickr

Back in August, I hosted a series of guest posts about racial reconciliation within the church. As it happened, in the initial week of that series, Michael Brown—an unarmed African-American teenager—was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. ...

Heaven and the Theology of ButterA Small Talk guest post by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson
Heaven and the Theology of Butter
Image: Snugg/flickr

As the writer of the fifth installment in our Small Talk blog series, I am delighted to welcome Natasha Sistrunk Robinson. Natasha first wrote for this blog back in August, and I invited her to turn her attention to the theological lessons learned from the little voices in our ...

Want a Free Copy of Small Talk? And other book news this week...
Want a Free Copy of Small Talk?

I mentioned the title of my book to an old friend who is in his 60s last night. He said, "Oh. Small Talk. Help for conversations at cocktail parties?" He wasn't kidding. I then told him the subtitle--Learning from my Children about What Matters Most, and I think ...

Jesus Loves the Little ChildrenAnd yet I've resisted being like a child my whole life.
Jesus Loves the Little Children
Image: Wilson X/flickr

Last week I started to wonder if I was the only adult who hates Halloween. I hold no religious objection to this holiday. I don’t even mind the candy. I just don’t like decorating or costumes or the self-imposed pressure and implicit competition with other mothers ...

My Son's First Brush with RacismA Small Talk guest post by Helen Lee
My Son's First Brush with Racism
Image: Shutterstock

A few weeks ago, my friend and colleague Helen Lee wrote a note on Facebook about her son experiencing derogatory comments related to his race for the first time. I reached out to ask her to reflect upon what God had taught her during that experience for the Small Talk blog ...

Happy Birthday, Small Talk Lots of exciting news about my book this week, but the best was a note from my son.
Happy Birthday, Small Talk

In my limited experience, the day a book launches often proves to be pretty much the same as any other day. Except for feeling kind of silly because it's supposed to be a special day. My newest book, Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most, released ...

Why We Still Go To ChurchIt's inconvenient and inefficient and sometimes doesn't even feel spiritual. But I'm glad we keep showing up.
Why We Still Go To Church
Image: pdbreen

According to a 2010 Gallup poll in 2010, 32 percent of people in the state of Connecticut attend church weekly or nearly every week. The numbers look similar for the rest of New England. In our small Connecticut town, about 60 people show up to church on a typical Sunday, ...

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