Grateful for Mom's Blessing

                                                                                    Grateful for Mom's Blessing

This year has been a long year.

As many of you know, my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in February, 2016--the Monday after SuperBowl Sunday. We lost her on Sept. 27, 2016. 

I was grateful to be able to put most of my work on hold this summer to be with mom and my kids during this excruciating and sacred time. But I also know that mom believed in me and in the work that I do and that she wouldn't want me to stop. Knowing how controversial this work is, this is something I have never taken for granted. So, knowing I had her blessing, I pressed into what became a very busy Autumn.

Falling Upward: rebirth of a blog

Falling Upward: rebirth of a blog

Welcome to the new blog where you’ll find a few older posts which folks have found helpful over the last few years as well as new ones in the days to come.  

This new website marks another bend in the path I have been traveling finding a way to live into the multiple vocations and passions that are my life. These last few years have been good but, I should also admit, they have been hard too. 

Transgender 101 (for conservative Christians)

Transgender has come into the spotlight in recent days with the debut of Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair. Since then Christians in my newsfeed are all over the map in their responses.

My work on intersex (biological evidence of mixed-sex characteristics) has made me more willing to lend a compassionate ear to the stories of transpersons. I have been asking others to do the same. Here are a few reasons why I have been reticent to pass judgement on Jenner and other trans folk:

Transgender 102: practical advice for conservative Christians (a dialogue with Mark Yarhouse)

Continuing the conversation on Transgender I will consider recommendations from Mark Yarhouse, the leading conservative Christian voice in this conversation. Yarhouse is chaired professor of psychology at Regent University, where he directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. His most recent book is Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture (IVP Academic) which he helpfully summarizes in this article in Christianity Today.

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Let's consider the following recommendations he gives to in his article:

Transgender 103: Sex Stamped on the Body (continuing the dialogue with M. Yarhouse)

Continuing the series on Transgender.

In this post, I want to begin to address the theological concerns Yarhouse raises. The the first is summarized in these excerpts:

Cross-gender identification is a concern because it threatens to dishonor the creational order of male and female—“the sacred integrity of maleness or femaleness stamped on one’s body.” It is a “denial of the integrity of one’s own sex and an overt attempt at marring the sacred image of maleness or femaleness formed by God.”

“Be a Man!” : Manliness as Christian Perfection

In these days when many are calling for a return to “biblical manhood” or “biblical womanhood” or hoping for a perfected masculinity or perfected femininity (as Stephen Holmes writes about as he interacts with my book), it’s helpful to have a little historical perspective…

So I thought I’d pass along my recently published article in Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought, entitled “Gender is not a Virtue.”

Why do some Christians welcome marriage equality? Resources to consider

I won’t try to summarize it into a blog post. I attempted to do that already. But I know it is a complicated argument—about how to interpret the Bible, how experience plays into our ethical and theological decisions, and much, much more.

So, if you would like to understand why some Christians have changed their minds, here are a few resources that might help you see why many Christians are rejoicing today, rather than lamenting, over the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm marriage equality in all 50 states.

There are many, many resources available. Here are a few that I have found helpful coming, as I do, from a conservative Evangelical background.

Male and Female: the ONLY options or the MAJORITY story? Dialogue with Preston Sprinkle (pt. 2)

Thanks again, Preston, for another thoughtful post exploring the possibility of interpreting Adam and Eve not as a pattern into which all other humans must squeeze themselves, but as the beginning of the story of God’s redemption¸ a story that will bring many more kinds of humans into the conversation—different races, languages, tribes, nations, and, yes, even differently sexed and gendered human beings.

We know that Genesis is a theological text, not a science book

On starting to blog

Despite the prodding of husband and friends I have avoided the blog-o-sphere for some years now. Who has time to blog when nursing babies, writing a dissertation, raising kids, investing in community, serving at church, teaching courses, putting food on the table, clearing it off, and starting all over again? I figured I’d better get exercise into my life again before taking up blogging…

But there were other reasons, too. Reasons I’d rather not mention…

Fear.

Fear of mediocrity—perfectionists are never satisfied with their work. Why put half-formed ideas out for all to see?!?

Fear of pride—who am I that I think I have something to say to the world?

Fear of criticism—it’s easier to present ideas to a small academic audience of ten, especially when half of them are there because they know and like you.

Fear of falsehood—of the artificial me that I will be tempted to create.

How do I introduce myself to you who may never sit with me at my kitchen table—the one in the nook overlooking the river, that brackish, muddy river that swells and fails twice a day, unfailingly? What images should I project before you who may never walk with me to the park at the end of the street to help me push my girls on the swings and hear me yell at them when my patience wears thin, yet again? What pithy phrases can I craft for you with whom I may never pray, or cry, or laugh, or challenge to a game of bananagrams? How can I show you hospitality without coffee, clean sheets, and a hot meal?

I don’t know yet… but I will try to share with you what little of myself is able to transcend these worn keys because I believe there is grace even here, grace enough to cover all my fears, grace that reaches though you to me, through me to you, holds us up, and helps me take myself a little less seriously.

Grace and peace to you,

Megan