Stories, theology, and cultural commentary related to disability.

"Looking for Ways to Build Bridges"A conversation with CT editor Katelyn Beaty about blogging, books, and what's next.
"Looking for Ways to Build Bridges"
Image: Kuster & Wildhaber Photography

Fifteen months ago, this blog began with a conversation with Katelyn Beaty about my hopes and dreams for Thin Places. As I conclude this blog, we thought it fitting to have a concluding conversation as well. Katelyn and I had a chance to talk about the most exciting and most challenging aspects of ...

Nine Favorite Posts from Thin Places The best of faith, family, disability, and culture as I say goodbye to blogging.
Nine Favorite Posts from Thin Places
Image: flickr

One of the wonderful aspects of blogging is that I get to write about pretty much anything that is on my mind and might connect with readers. Over the past 15 months of blogging for Christianity Today, I've written or edited nearly 200 posts. As I wrote last week, many posts soar to the top of ...

When My Son with Autism Didn't Drop the BallWhat one night at lacrosse practice showed me about who he is becoming.
When My Son with Autism Didn't Drop the Ball

April is my bittersweet month, when the world turns blue for autism awareness, when it’s more conscious of the thing that is my constant companion. But after April, the world sometimes forgets.

I cannot.

When he was little, our neurologist commended us for being proactive in seeking Noah’s ...

True or False: 90% of Babies with Down Syndrome are AbortedA new study demonstrates the role of culture in welcoming children with Down syndrome.
True or False: 90% of Babies with Down Syndrome are Aborted
Image: kudaker

For years, I have read news headlines in Christian and secular outlets, from conservatives and liberals alike, stating that “90% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted.” As I have argued before, and as a new study demonstrates, it’s just not true. Correcting this common misconception ...

Joy for a Little Girl with AutismEveryone can experience God’s presence through worship
Joy for a Little Girl with Autism
Image: michelle.parker52

In honor of autism awareness month, Jared Kennedy reflects on his daughter Lucy's experience as a part of a church community:

Kelly couldn’t wait to talk after the service. She met Megan and me in the stairwell on our way to the children’s wing. “I have to tell you about Lucy’s ...

Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: What Would You Choose?One woman's decision and what it teaches us.
Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: What Would You Choose?
Image: tomazstolfa/flickr

I received a call a few weeks ago from a mother of two who was pregnant with her third child. “I just had a prenatal screening test and they say there’s a 99% chance our baby has Down syndrome.” She had spent most of the previous few days crying.

I talked to her for over an hour, ...

Father of Baby with Down Syndrome Raises $500,000 through Gofundme And yet we couldn't raise $2000 to help 500 families. A guest post by Stephanie Meredith
Father of Baby with Down Syndrome Raises $500,000 through Gofundme
Image: Leo Forrest. PHOTO: GoFundMe, courtesy Samuel Forrest

A few years back, friends of mine began an adoption process for a little boy with Down syndrome who lived in an institution in Russia. The adoption got caught up in the limbo of the dispute between Russia and the United States over adoptions, and Timofei never came to the United States. But the story ...

How a Pro-Life Bill Could Lead to More AbortionsA new bill in Indiana could undermine efforts to get accurate information into the hands of expectant mothers.
How a Pro-Life Bill Could Lead to More Abortions
Image: j carter/flickr

Pro-life legislators in Indiana recently introduced a bill to ban abortions based upon the knowledge of sex or disability. In other words, although the bill would not ban abortion altogether, a woman could not choose abortion based upon the knowledge that she was having a girl, say, or based upon ...

Disability Is Different in AfricaWhat one family has learned from serving families in Zambia through the Special Hope Network.
Disability Is Different in Africa

About six years ago, the Nelson family came over to our house for dinner. Holly and Eric Nelson have three children—Maggie, Mollie, and Sam. All three were adopted as infants, and all three have Down syndrome. I met them for the first time when they were teenagers, and when their family was about ...

How to Talk to Parents of Children With Down SyndromeI am much more inclined to tell the whole truth when you assume she is someone to celebrate.
How to Talk to Parents of Children With Down Syndrome

When people discover that I have a child with Down syndrome, I often receive a murmur and a sympathetic nod of the head. I almost immediately feel something tighten inside my chest, as if I am steeling myself for a fight my opponent doesn’t even know they’ve initiated. Most of the time, ...

Have Christians Made an Idol of Life?Ezekiel Emanuel says he wants to die at 75. Why we can support his reasoning.
Have Christians Made an Idol of Life?
Image: Moyen Brown/flickr

In some ways, the title of Ezekiel Emanuel’s new essay for The Atlantic says it all: "Why I Hope to Die at 75." But this already over-commented (2,500 comments and counting) and widely read article deserves some attention here because Christians have distinct reasons both to pay attention ...

Me and Richard Dawkins--Not That Different After All?The temptation of utilitarianism.
Me and Richard Dawkins--Not That Different After All?
Image: Matthias Asgeirsson/Creative Commons

A few weeks back, Richard Dawkins got the Twittersphere up in arms. When a woman asked what she should do with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, Dawkins replied, “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” He provoked a somewhat ...

Are 90 Percent of Babies Diagnosed with Down Syndrome Really Aborted?Dispelling the myths about Down syndrome, and telling the good story.
Are 90 Percent of Babies Diagnosed with Down Syndrome Really Aborted?

My husband Peter and I were walking on the beach the other day. Even though she was far away, with her back to us and her body halfway submerged in water, we knew. She turned around and her face assured us. She had Down syndrome, just like our daughter Penny. We were away from our kids for a few ...

Sorrow Needs a HistoryWriting About the Death of My Son. A guest post from Aaron Cobb.
Sorrow Needs a History

I first met Aaron Cobb online when he shared his eulogy for his son Samuel. Since then, we have corresponded every so often, and I was very glad when he told me he had decided to put his reflections about Samuel into a book. When I finished reading the manuscript of Loving Samuel, I wrote: "'A ...

The Surprising Gift of WorkHow Costco gave my brother the dignity we all need--A guest post by Chris Horst.
The Surprising Gift of Work

Jokes are my brother's love language. If you know a good joke, or even an average joke, telling it to my brother Matthew is probably the best decision you could ever make. Even if you fumble the delivery, as I'm wont to do, Matthew won't hold it against you. His deep contagious laugh ...

How My Son with Autism Transformed my BusinessA guest post by Randy Lewis about Walgreen's new initiative to employ people with disabilities
How My Son with Autism Transformed my Business

I picked up No Greatness Without Goodness, by Randy Lewis, because I was intrigued that a senior VP at Walgreen's had successfully created hundreds of jobs for individuals with both physical and intellectual disabilities. I was even more intrigued to find out those jobs paid an equal wage to the ...

A New Kind of Missions TripSustainable, inexpensive, local, and relational in nature. Part two of my interview with Cameron Doolittle
A New Kind of Missions Trip

Yesterday I interviewed Cameron Doolittle, President and CEO of Jill's House, a respite care ministry for families with children with disabilities. Today's post is a follow up from that interview, focused on Oxygen3, the program Jill's House has developed so that other churches and individuals ...

A Ministry for Parents at the End of Their RopeJill's House President Cameron Doolittle talks about a rhythm of respite for families in need
A Ministry for Parents at the End of Their Rope

I first learned about Jill's House—a respite care facility for children with disabilities—at a Q Conference in 2012. I've stayed in touch with Cameron Doolittle, Jill's House's President, since then, and I'm running an interview with Cameron today and tomorrow in which ...

Please Don't Call My Daughter an AngelThe twin problem of low expectations and angelic expectations undermine what we all have in common
Please Don't Call My Daughter an Angel

I received a music video from a friend yesterday. It's about children with special needs, and the singer means well. She wants to affirm children with intellectual disabilities. She wants to reassure parents. She wants to cast a spotlight on her own flaws and failings and point out the good qualities ...

The Story of my Broken, Redeemed BodyHow giving birth made my broken body strong and beautiful. A guest post by Ellen Painter Dollar
The Story of my Broken, Redeemed Body

Eight years ago, when my three children were still very young, we traveled to Omaha for an Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Foundation conference. Both I and my oldest daughter have OI, a genetic collagen disorder that causes brittle bones, short stature, and other symptoms. As we were checking in at ...

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