Faithful Fathers

Reports of the death of fatherhood have been greatly exaggerated. There are many good dads, like mine, quietly blessing their children. Problems with fathers are nothing new. They go back to the beginning. Genesis alone is a vast catalog of fathers’ sins, whether those of Adam, Noah, and Lot, or the patriarchs themselves. What about good fathers, though? Here is C. S. Lewis, writing in the 1940s: We have learned from Freud and others about those distortions in character and errors... Read More

You Abused and Oppressed Me, Dad. I Forgive You.

How a community’s example of radical forgiveness helped me relinquish my own rage. Father’s Day is a multibillion-dollar affair. In the weeks leading up to it, men’s ties, BBQ aprons, and golf-themed gifts fly off the shelves. My own view on Father’s Day has a complicated history. After an abusive, impoverished childhood (detailed in my recent memoir, Motorhome Prophecies), I sometimes felt an anger toward my dad as intense as what Salvador Dalí, the Spanish... Read More

PCA Will Investigate ‘Jesus Calling’ Book

The author of the bestseller died last year. The investigation will determine if the book is appropriate for Christians. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) at its annual meeting on Thursday voted to investigate the Christian appropriateness of the best-selling book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, who was part of the PCA and died in August last year at age 77. Young was one of the most-read evangelicals of the last 20 years. Pastors in the denomination are concerned that Young’s... Read More

Interview: A Writer’s Creative Calling Isn’t Found in the Middle of a Crowd

Award-winning author E. Lily Yu speaks about her faith, her deep love of language, and the perils of “moving with the majority.” E. Lily Yu is that rare creature: a writer of exceptional skill who is grounded in faith, literary history, and a lifetime of reading. Her short story collection Jewel Box was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, her novel On Fragile Waves won the Washington State Book Award for fiction, and Yu herself has received the LaSalle Storyteller Award and... Read More

3 Ways I’ve Learned to Support China’s Christians Better as an American Pastor

Don’t let political rivalry define our perspectives of each other. I serve as senior pastor of a medium-sized church in Cary, North Carolina. Besides being multicultural and multiethnic, we are also politically diverse: There are Democrats, Republicans, and many politically “homeless” people who have a difficult time identifying with either party. This year, like many pastors and church leaders in the United States, I find myself yet again leading my congregation through a... Read More

Southern Baptists’ Nuanced Divides on Display at Annual Meeting

From a wider slate of six candidates, president Clint Pressley takes the “strange honor” of leading the convention’s growing factions toward missional unity. In the weeks before the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting, newly elected president Clint Pressley finished reading Malcom Gladwell’s book on precision bombing in World War II, Erik Larson’s bestseller set in the lead-up to the Civil War, and a history of a 19th-century mutiny on a Royal Navy vessel. A... Read More

Why Does Southern Baptist Abuse Reform Keep Hitting Hurdles?

Leaders and advocates are grateful for the convention’s support but frustrated at the inability to enact their plans. Jules Woodson remembers the spark of hope she felt when a sea of yellow ballots went up across the hall at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in 2022. The vote in favor of abuse reform following a watershed abuse investigation was her sign that the messengers cared about victims like her and were willing to listen and make changes. At this year’s... Read More

Love in an Attention Crisis

Readers of the Latin Bible could see how close love and diligence are. Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows the fun of stumbling across a word that looks familiar. It’s like a treasure hunt. In my first weeks of high school Latin, I found that my own surname, Vincent, was a Latin word for “conqueror,” which gave rise to the word vanquish. That’s a pretty cool find for a slightly bored 15-year-old! It was my enthusiasm for surprising derivatives that... Read More

Kids Aren’t Cheap. That Doesn’t Fully Explain Why We’re Ambivalent About Having Them.

A new book explores why what was once a default life stage now feels like an increasingly fraught choice. In a recent Guardian article about “America’s premier pronatalists,” the journalist mentions her own assumption that “the main thing that hard that it’s now so incredibly expensive to raise children.” “No,” the father of the profiled family replies. “Not at all”—and in a significant sense, I think he’s right. So... Read More

All Churches Should Require Background Checks

As a former police officer and PCA elder, I believe this basic step can protect congregations from predators. For years, Jimmy G was seen as great guy and a leading member at his local community church—he was the go-to volunteer for all the ministries others avoided. On most Sunday mornings, you would see him serving alongside his wife in children’s ministry. But then something happened. Jimmy was suddenly arrested for multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault—some of... Read More