Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering

Kelly M. Kapic (IVP Academic)

Kapic, a theologian teaching at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, suffered a shock when his picture-of-health wife, Tabitha, was diagnosed with cancer. Then, shortly after the cancer disappeared, Tabitha experienced sudden, intense leg pains while attempting to drive home. Doctors eventually discovered that she was suffering from a connective tissue disorder and a rare “man on fire” syndrome. In Embodied Hope, Kapic reflects theologically on his family’s acquaintance with pain, in a manner that avoids “boast[ing] triumphantly of conquest over a great enemy or giv[ing] a detached philosophical analysis that neatly resolves an absorbing problem.”

Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

Mark Regnerus (Oxford University Press)

In his 2011 book Premarital Sex in America(coauthored with Jeremy Uecker), Regnerus, a University of Texas sociologist, applied an economic lens to the sexual and marital patterns of young adults: Broadly speaking, men, who want sex, “pay” for it with commitment and stability, while women, who want commitment and stability, “pay” for these goods with sex. His latest book,Cheap Sex, shows how readily available options in birth control, pornography, and online dating—among other cultural developments—have made sex “cheaper” across the board.

Redeeming Ruth: Every Life Takes, Love Restores

Meadow Rue Merrill (Hendrickson)

Merrill, a journalist living in Brunswick, Maine, had sensed a call to adopt a child. But she wasn’t sure she was equipped to care for Ruth, an orphaned 16-month-old Ugandan girl suffering from cerebral palsy. Her memoir, Redeeming Ruth, tells the story of bringing Ruth to the United States six years later and the many joys and challenges that ensued. Through all the trials of raising Ruth, Merrill discovered afresh how “God loves us regardless of where we are born or how well our bodies work or what we accomplish. He loves us despite our brokenness, the way we loved Ruth—simply because we are his.”

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