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Grace in Practice


Fischers of Men (or, a Chessay)

Bobby scanned the board one last time, drew in a breath, and gently grabbed a black bishop that looked slightly unnatural in his small hand, moving it three squares to e6. A huddled group of spectators suppressed a gasp. Journalists began to quietly scribble notes while onlookers cast skeptical glances at each other. Was it […]

Miriam Toews Has Something to Say

Miriam Toews (pronounced “taves”) first came to my attention in 2015 with her book All My Puny Sorrows, a moving novelization of her sister’s suicide. Her newest book, Women Talking, is a response to the real-life story of mass sexual assault in a remote Mennonite colony; its cover art (see below) is both elegant and […]

If Jesus Were a Dietitian

“I was my sickest and loneliest when I appeared my healthiest.” How’s that for an admission? Yet it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jessica Knoll’s recent op-ed for The NY Times, the provocatively titled “Smash the Wellness Industry.” She describes a somewhat harrowing relationship with food and body that sounds […]

The Only Places on the Streets That Understand

Way back on Christmas Eve of 2013, The Guardian ran a piece by photographer Chris Arnade under the provocative title, “The People Who Challenged My Atheism Most Were Drug Addicts and Prostitutes.” It remains one of the best and most heartening things I’ve read on that intersection. Arnade recounts how thoroughly his unbelief was challenged […]

PZ’s Podcast: You Little Trustmaker, Lazy Susan, and The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle

EPISODE 270: You Little Trustmaker So I was looking high and low for a little peace the other day. An article I read had upset me, and I thought to myself, “Well, if that’s true, then why not just go to sleep for the next ten years, say, and not be conscious.” Then suddenly, an […]

The Special Waffle: Something Like a Parable

By Nathan F. Elmore: Occasionally, you get handed the Special Waffle—rectangular pieces of brie topped with thin, crescent-moon slices of Granny Smith apples, drizzled with honey and resting on a modest, square-shaped buttermilk waffle. Without paying for such things. Without any birthright for such things. Without having ordered it or even wanting it. Without deserving […]

A Very Brady Holy Week

The most famous episode of The Brady Bunch is the one where Marcia takes a football to the nose.[1] In the beginning of the episode, she is asked out by the school’s star football player and breaks off a date with her friend Charley, a rather unremarkable suitor by comparison. In breaking off the date, […]

My Daddy Is Big and He Can Carry Me

This sweet reflection comes to us from Juliette Alvey. This picture was drawn by my daughter, Devyn, and the words she expressed are very literal. My husband is 6’4” and is strong enough to pick her up and carry her (or even swing her upside down). She says she loves him because of this, which […]

Seculosity Has Landed!!

Beyond excited to announce that my new book Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What To Do About It is officially out today! So excited, in fact, that we made another video to celebrate #markbabikowisagenius: A few ways to support the cause (after you’ve purchased the book): […]

PZ’s Podcast: Soul Searchin’ Time, Blowing Away, Seasons in the Sun, and Soul Trajectory

EPISODE 266: Soul Searchin’ Time The previous cast, “Surprise, Surprise”, raised the vexing question of exceptions in the practice of grace to sinners and sufferers. I spoke about the chronic inability of Christians who emphasize grace to embody it in relation to specific sinners and specific sins. One example I chose was from the Reformed […]

Things We Cannot Say

There are things we cannot say. This is a fundamental truth about life. It is not a lesson we learn explicitly, but early in our childhoods we learn that some things are not to be spoken. Social pressure or the desire for social status cause us to keep our mouths shut. We learn that we […]

How Not To Raise a Daughter in Purity Culture (According to Sarah’s Parents)

One night in high school, my very Baptist boyfriend and I had plans to attend Black Light Night with the Baptist youth group at the local bowling alley. If you are unfamiliar with this ritual of youth, it involved a dark bowling alley, the neon glow of black lights, and loads of N’Sync. We decided […]