• As a woman that grew up in a patriarchal church and family, I have felt misunderstood, silenced, and oppressed by those who believe women are subservient to men. Men have responded to me with contempt or anger while women have responded with strong disapproval and avoidance. Although I could leave the church with those attitudes, I cannot leave my…[Read more]

  • <p class=”p1″ style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 23px; line-height: normal; caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”><span class=”s1″>“Does the gospel. . . as we presently preach it . . . have the power to deal with racial attitudes?” In many white churches, the gospel is preached as a formula to dia…[Read more]

  • After leaving a 20-year abusive marriage, God called me into ministry to women suffering from domestic violence.

  • “Does the gospel. . . as we presently preach it . . . have the power to deal with racial attitudes?” In many white churches, the gospel is preached as a formula to diagnose sin and prescribe a fire insurance policy for one’s soul. It is presented as a theological belief to assent to intellectually rather than permeating and transforming the entir…[Read more]

  • I related to the stories about being silenced and dehumanized by growing up in a patriarchal church system that subordinated women and kept them in their place. As bad as it was for me as a white woman, I was able to leave and find better treatment elsewhere. It is not that easy for my black and brown brothers and sisters because there are many…[Read more]

  • This was one of the best Zoom experiences I’ve had because I learned so much about how to use the program. As far as the book study and discussions, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more.

    Is there a way to view the comments we typed during the live session?  There was a book mentioned in the comments that I need to check ou…[Read more]

  • Brenda Branson changed their profile picture 1 year, 10 months ago

  • Brenda Branson changed their profile picture 1 year, 10 months ago

  • Hi everyone. I’m from Hanson, Kentucky—about 2 hours north of Nashville, TN. I’ve read over half of the book so far and look forward to the rest. The message of love and forgiveness is just what I need right now in dealing with some difficult people, and I want to understand more about what it was and still is like for my black brothers and siste…[Read more]

  • One of the most brilliant aspects of The Faerie Queene also makes this work inaccessible to most modern readers. For approximately 35,000 lines, Spenser writes in verse (tight poetic form).

    Because I’m a r […]

  • It’s mid-July and unusually hot for Oxford. Sweat rolls down your spine, and your feet are on fire. Half a block down, you see an indie bookshop. No air conditioning, but they have a basement.

    Eighteen s […]

    • Yes! The Faerie Queene is one of my all-time favorites. I’m mighty glad you’re doing this. And transposition…I’m so glad you hit on that word instead of “translation.” I was worried about that.

    • This makes me excited. Especially because my favorite young weirdo will be right in that sweet spot when it’s finished.

    • I’m in! Sounds like an epic worth reading!

    • I’ve loved The Faerie Queene since discovering it in college so many moons ago. But I confess to feeling a little bit miffed that I can’t get away with sneaking into The Order of the Red Cross…

  • The weird thing is, I’ve never liked U2. From the few short clips I’d seen, Bono seemed arrogant and intentionally obtuse. Pictures of U2 concerts felt too big and too flashy to be sincere. I didn’t like how u […]

    • Whew. This really spoke to me this morning. Thanks for these thoughts; I’ve has a similar journey with Bono.

    • I was a U2 from 1999 to 2015 – probably to an unhealthy level. I studied the music, analyzed the lyrics, found the touchstones of those lyrics in Scripture, memorized The Edge’s gear settings (down to how many milleseconds of delay for most of their songs – Streets? 354. Bad? About 437 for the main delay – there’s a second in series . . . and on and on . . .). I loved going to their shows, and I attended them all over the U.S: Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Nashville, Had tickets to Hawaii before Edge’s daughter got sick and they cancelled). I bought the books on Bono’s faith . . . I collected pastors’ sermon notes that incorporated U2’s lyrics. I did it all, even though I didn’t always agree with the more pronounced of U2’s political views.

      Then, in 2015, while at one of their Chicago shows at the United Center. That all came to a a screeching halt.

      Instead of U2 bending toward using their music to echo the Gospel (if not directly preach it), they took a huge negative turn and decided to trade truth for “love” (or, rather, what they perceived “love” to be). Right there, in the middle of the concert during “Pride” (a song that depicts Christ’s persecution and resurrection through the lyrics “One Man caught on a barbed wire fence / One Man he resist/ one man washed up on an empty beach/ one man betrayed with a kiss”) , Bono took a rainbow flag from someone in the crowd, wrapped himself in it, and declared to the audience “Gay Pride In the Name of Love”. Then, at the end of ‘Beautiful Day’, he pontificated that “[Ireland] did something very important . . . more people turned out to vote for marriage (sic) equality than turned out for anything before . . . This song goes out to . . . two beautiful girls who made their vows here in Chicago . . . this is for you.” He then went on to declare that if love wasn’t equal for all kinds of relationships, it wasn’t actually love.

      It broke my heart. Corruptio Optima Pessima.

    • @Rockne,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s a fair protest. But we can also disagree with Bono (and anyone else) on any number of things and still appreciate and laud them when they tell the truth well. Bono loves Christ and we agree on much more than we may disagree. That’s what we’re choosing to focus on here.

    • I’m a little late to this conversation, but I just came across this 8 minute clip from NPR’s American Anthem series, where they take an iconic American song and analyze it, along with its social and cultural impact on the country: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/26/743620996/u2-i-still-havent-found-what-im-looking-for-american-anthem.

  • I wrote this post before starting to read Mark Meynell’s book A Wilderness of Mirrors. Now I wish I had another six months to process what I’m learning so that I could integrate his wisdom here. After reading his […]

    • You just explained deconstructionism, recent evangelical history, and Ephesians 3 in a clear, helpful, and entertaining fashion – using Zelda. I formally invite you to write more books.

  • I remember what it was like to want a baby.

    I remember how it felt to walk through the grocery store
    watching others dispose so recklessly
    of everything I ached to be.

    I remember mothers
    (or so-called […]

    • I have blessed with two little boys who call me “Mommy.” But this year on Mother’s Day, I thought about all of my students (I work with struggling readers in middle school) and the ways I have mothered them, long before I held a baby. This year I got a note from a girl thanking me for being “the mother she never had.” And it reminded me that I am accountable as a mother to so many, not just two little boys.

    • 😭😭😭
      This is beautiful.

  • If you haven’t seen Endgame, stop reading now. I’ll try not to post any spoilers until I get a few paragraphs deep, but I am eventually going to drop a few. Consider yourselves forewarned.

    So, I loved End […]

    • My goodness. Thank you, RR.

    • RR, by which I mean, “Rebecca Reynolds.” And, come to think of it, “The Rabbit Room,” too.

    • Saying “well said” is a massive understatement. Thank you for pointing out how we as a human race elevate our virtue as an end in and of itself, but God is still on the throne and He alone is worthy. Thanos of the story doesn’t represent our Lord, but is more of a representation of our own self righteousness paired with power.

    • I have chills. And I feel like I just read holy ground, if such a thing is possible. Thank you for writing and sharing this, Rebecca!

    • When you called Shazam one of your all time favorite superhero movies, I almost stopped reading! But I’m so glad I knew you well enough to read on.
      Thank you for diving deeper and being unsatisfied with less. Keep sharing! You are doing better and better at capturing the deep. For those of us who sense it but cannot put words to it, you are a great blessing.

    • Oh. I want to print out a stack of this and hand it out to everyone leaving a showing of Endgame. That a movie based on comic books can call forth something like this, I will be forever grateful.

    • “…who spread a glove full of Infinity stones wide and allowed humanity drive a hard stake right through it.” That is the crux. Well put. Much the same point as is fleshed out in “The Long Silence.”

    • My goodness, how did you put that so clearly?! Yes, yes, yes. Yes. God is the power of Thanos (only more) and the heart of the Avengers (only better). Thank you a lot.

  • Jonathan Rogers was one of my favorite writers long before I received his writing help through an early online class. When looking for a coach for Courage Dear Heart, I knew he would be clear and solid. I’m so t […]

    • Really excellent post, thank you. While I don’t necessarily consider myself a writer, I read The Habit every week and love the grace, wit, and gentle instruction that is reflected in every word.
      And I’m just waiting for a book all about alligators.

    • the first comment was posted an hour into the future. at least for me… spooky… great post, love jonathan rogers. not very many authors talk about the importance of correct grammar they kind of just expect other writers to have it. not him. can’t wait to see what he has for us..
      but I will probably just check out the free stuff. I’m not in the whole full time job thing yet.

    • That’s a wonderful interview, thanks to BOTH heartbreakingly-brilliant writers. It goes a long way to showing why we all politely ignore the alligator thing: Jonathan is just giving so much of himself to the writing community. (Peter Bannister, though…I’ll have to pray through that one.)
      I would encourage anyone to come join us at the stately pleasure-dome. The caverns of knowledge aren’t quite measureless but are already extensive, and Jonathan’s tirelessly adding to them.

    • Aaron Roughton is a proud Three Percenter.

    • Who’s there?

    • Loved this interview! I have gotten so much from The Habit and now Field Notes. Both feel like real gift. Grateful for Jonathan’s generosity!

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