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ChurchCultureSexuality

My Time as a Methodist

My family lived in Southern Ohio when I was between the ages of five and ten, and after trying the local Presbyterian Church for a while we joined the Methodists because of a vibrant, vital pastor and congregation. Those were good years for my family. The Methodists were cool. The pastor had a teenage son who came to our house and tried to teach me how to play the guitar. George Harrison I was not. Once when my ancient great-grandfather…
Jeff Munroe
March 13, 2019
Book ReviewsCulture

Treating a Literary Icon with Dignity

A Light So Lovely A LIGHT SO LOVELY: THE SPIRITUAL LEGACY OF MADELEINE L’ENGLE SARAH ARTHUR ZONDERVAN, 2018 $13.38, PAPERBACK 224 PAGES If she were alive, Madeleine L’Engle would turn 100 at the end of November. Her centenary, along with the release of a version of A Wrinkle in Time brought to us by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling earlier this year, has brought this formidable and prolific author back into the spotlight. Sarah Arthur, a prolific writer…
Jeff Munroe
October 31, 2018
CultureEssays

In Praise of Quitting

There’s a billboard out by the highway featuring a picture of John Wayne in all his western glory with the caption “Don’t Much Like Quitters, Son.” It’s one of the omnipresent “values” billboards that line our motorways. Every time I see it, I’m filled with questions. I probably shouldn’t take billboards so seriously, but I can’t help myself. Wouldn’t John Wayne have lived a longer, healthier, happier life if he’d been a quitter? What does it say about our culture…
Jeff Munroe
October 31, 2018
Book Reviews

Probing America’s Premiere Youth Ministry

Making Jesus Attractive: The Ministry and Message of Young Life MAKING JESUS ATTRACTIVE: THE MINISTRY AND MESSAGE OF YOUNG LIFE GRETCHEN SCHOON TANIS PICKWICK PUBLICATIONS, 2016 178 PAGES $23 A friend who is a senior ministry leader with Young Life tells the story of the reaction he received at a high school reunion from a former classmate after they swapped details of what they were up to now. “You work for Young Life?” the classmate asked. “Hey, I liked marching…
Jeff Munroe
June 30, 2017
As We See It

A Theological Community Speaks

We hear a lot these days about the impending demise of print media. Isn’t it remarkable that in such a difficult market, Perspectives keeps chugging along? There are two secrets to our success: On the expense side, the writing and production of the magazine are labors of love. Our writers don’t get paid, and our co-editors, review editors, poetry editors, board of editors and contributing editors all are volunteers. We pay a proofreader, and we do pay our managing editor…
Jeff Munroe
February 29, 2016
Fiction

Bobby and Bobbi

I pull out my fifth-grade class picture and my eyes land on a chunky kid who looks like the Big Boy hamburger mascot – without the rosy smile and checkered overalls. Bobby Graham already has the chubby cheeks and wavy black hair. He’s got a pair of Clark Kent glasses on, too, and in the picture he wears the universal expression of the self-conscious. The corners of his mouth are almost turned up, but the rest of his face shows…
Jeff Munroe
October 30, 2014
As We See It

Never Enough

Gayle Boss This fading picture is of my mother and her three sons, from about 1966. It was in the boxes of my mom's papers and pictures that got sorted several weeks ago, after her death. I'm the one standing closest to her, the boy smiling too hard. I remember a day around the time this picture was taken, a school day when I discovered I didn't have a lunch. I was so angry. My little stomach rumbled and grumbled,…
Jeff Munroe
March 1, 2014