On debt-free virgins and tattoos

“Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men?” So begins a recent and now widely quoted blog post by Christian author Lori Alexander. I’m sure she wrote these words with love, seeking to give women good advice.  I'm sure, in particular, that she desires for Christian women to be more committed to Christ and less swayed by other influences. But when we look closely at the scriptures, I believe that Alexander's claim turn out not to be the godly instruction she intends. Here are three reasons why: 1. Women should not be deprived of education When I read the words “debt-free” my thoughts flew fast to college debt: surely this was not an injunction t

Is church (literally) good for you?

This article was published by Desiring God Ministries on 7/22/2018 “If one could conceive of a single elixir to improve the physical and mental health of millions of Americans — at no personal cost,” wrote Harvard professor Tyler VanderWeele and journalist John Siniff in a USA Today OpEd, “what value would our society place on it?” The article goes on to summarize an extensive body of research showing that religious participation correlates with multiple measures of mental and physical health: those who attend services have lower rates of depression, are more optimistic, are less likely to commit suicide, and are 20% to 30% less likely to die over a fifteen-year period. Flip this data on its

The other Rebecca

Last night, I met another Rebecca. She was about my age. Like me, she had three kids: two girls and a boy. But she is homeless and her kids are in care. She hasn’t seen them in two years. The other Rebecca and I both had tattoos. Hers were real, encrusting her arms. Mine had been applied by my daughters at a kids party the previous day. As we sat and ate together, Rebecca was given clothes: second-hand clothes to help her through the next few weeks. Trying to relate, I told her I had also been given clothes this weekend. A kind French woman whose name I did not even know had asked me if I wanted her maternity clothes. I accepted, gratefully, as it saved me the time and energy of shopp