Lots of days I feel like I live a double life.
I think lots of working moms feel that way. Even my voice sounds different before 9 a.m. and after 3 p.m. than it does between those hours. Right now, if you were to catch a glimpse of me with my children you would probably find me handing out Bambas to one and explaining myself to the other.
That’s because my youngest can’t seem to ever actually fill her stomach, and my almost-four-year-old has moved from simply asking questions for curiosity’s sake to questioning my every move. And she isn’t so sure about my choices sometimes.
“Mom, why did you go this way? That’s not how we get to dance,” she says with a certitude that’s borderline sass as I take a right on a one-way road—the only option after leaving the Starbucks drive-thru window where I just purchased a chocolate milk and a small vanilla scone to fill her smart mouth. I explain that this street is made for cars to only drive one direction and that we will do a U-turn as soon as possible.
At times, her questioning may need to be tempered with an attitude adjustment, but she does it because she understands more than she used to. She knows enough to realize that there are times when choices don’t line up with knowledge and facts.
Dance is, in fact, the opposite direction than I turn when we leave Starbucks. When we drive-thru Starbucks we’re still a couple miles away from her class. I’m impressed that her internal compass alerts her that something’s off. And that she’s aware enough of it to question me at all.
This issue of Fathom encourages that kind of questioning. It’s an issue where we explore those hold-on-a-second feelings, recognize that our compass seems to be pointing in a different direction, and lean into what gives this issue’s contributors pause.
In our feature piece, “Dying before We Reach the Promised Land,” Tyler Huckabee explores the questioning many evangelicals are doing among their Trump supporting spiritual leaders and influencers.
Juli Cooper questions our telling of history and points us to a list of spiritual greats that includes the often missing female voice. I feel like I’d be holding back on you if I didn’t admit that I cried going through her piece—I was struck by how few spiritually strong women from history we’ve put in front of our daughters as models.
I am stoked to publish our first excerpts from a newly released book, Barnabas Piper’s The Curious Christian. We will release three excerpts over the course of three weeks. Each will encourage you in the foundations of humble questioning—curiosity. I’ll warn you, these excerpts won’t be enough. You’re going to want to purchase the book.
If a movie review is more your style, Paul Maxwell takes on the highly debated film The Shack. In his review he questions much of the evangelical world’s framework for viewing the movie.
Our own editors do some questioning as well. Brandon asks the hard questions in the darkness of faith. I took some time to ask if we’ve misplaced the reasons why women, or anyone really, go to seminary. This month’s Conduits of Conversation will engage your internal compass on everything from writing your senator to Bill Simmons’s podcast.
And later this month, Jonathan, Brandon, and I will explore our scripture questioning with a review of two reader’s Bibles and a newly released Bible translation.
This month, what’s between my nine-to-three matches a little closer to what’s before and after it. And that’s a good thing.
Cover image by Lydia Harper.