We don’t need a better guidebook or a different set of rules. We need to change the way we approach the conversation. I wish I still had my copies of the popular sexuality and dating books from my youth so I could see which quotes I highlighted as a 15-year-old. I’m sure there is a list somewhere in my handwriting titled “What I Want in a Future Husband” (though, to be honest, it was probably pretty short: Jonathan Taylor Thomas). While writing Talking Back to Purity Culture, I reread fresh copies of those books. As I revisited the words that…

Old-school evangelical leaders once knew the value of “care” over “cure.” “You know, Mike, I used to be gay,” I said. Mike stopped moving his paintbrush as the words fell clumsily from my mouth. He was painting the St. Louis apartment I called home in the summer of 1997 as I began working toward my PhD in historical theology. He’d asked me about my schooling, and we got to talking about faith. Mike had explained to me how he felt he could never go to church because he was gay. “I know they say that’s not supposed to happen,” I…

King Nebuchadnezzar sets up a statue of himself and says, in essence, “I have had this amazing image put up, and I want universal submission and worship, from everyone, or else.” Unsurprisingly, everyone says, “Ok—we will bow.” Perhaps for most of them the sight of this magnificent image was sufficient to cause them to bow. Perhaps for some of them, the sight of everyone else bowing made it clear that it was the right thing to do. And for the rest of them, the thought of the furnace was more than enough to get their knees to bend: “As soon…

Joy invades the most sorrowful spaces. It reminds us that beauty and goodness and life can grow even in the most unpromising soil. Today’s musical pairing is Saint-Saëns’ The Swan performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott. Note that all the songs for this series have been gathered into a Spotify playlist here. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”James 1:16–17 (ESV) “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”John 15:11 Day 12. 1,056,777 confirmed cases, 55,781 deaths globally. At first it felt…

Montenegro’s Orthodox and evangelicals debate if new religion law is a blessing or a church-stealing curse. Deep within the Orthodox heartlands of the Balkans, one might expect local evangelicals to celebrate the passage of Montenegro’s first religious freedom law. Instead, as tens of thousands fill the streets to protest against it, the relative handful of believers find themselves on the sideline of a struggle between giants. And the stakes could further shake the greater Orthodox world. Europe’s 6th-least evangelical country is also one of its newer nations. Having achieved independence from Serbia in 2006 through a tightly contested referendum, Montenegro…

Bareback bronc rider Will Lowe is a three-time national champ. He, like other riders, sees himself as an extreme athlete preserving a legacy he loves.

European elections’ biggest surprise was not the rise of the far-right, but that of the Greens, who seem to be riding a new European environmentalism.

Some Democratic hopefuls want to foreground their Christian faith in seeking the nomination, arguing Republicans should not have a monopoly on religion.