'Christianity Today' editor rethinks contraception
Early in my job as an editor at CT, I worked on a piece by a just-married couple, Sam and Bethany Torode, which they later developed into a provocative little book titled Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception (Eerdmans, 2002). It was a personal narrative about how they—somewhat irresponsibly, I thought—had had unprotected sex since their wedding. They were so cute, so Bible times!What finally led Tennant to dump the pills? A lecture she heard by Duke Divinity moral theologian, Amy Laura Hall. Tennant writes ...
I had to wonder, though: Did no one tell them that newlyweds are supposed to secure some essentials before risking the intrusion of a baby? Didn't they want to make love without visualizing cribs? Didn't they need to get used to one another as husband and wife before succumbing to the asexual roles of sleep-deprived young parents? How would they find time to travel, to secure academic degrees, well-paying jobs, and a mortgage? And would they be able to afford Starbucks?
Hall taught me that being pro-life isn't only about opposing surgical abortion. It's about opening ourselves to the risk and mess and uncertainty that accompany any God-sent guest we allow into our lives. The least we can do is leave our doors unlocked. Like Rahab did for the spies. Like Mary did for Jesus.
For Hall, this openness to divine interruption extends beyond defending embryos to adopting a child, lobbying workplaces to offer generous maternity policies, making sure to work as a professor no more than 40 hours a week, and sharing baby clothes.
I want my faith to be as imaginative.
When Jesus appears on my doorstep—disguised as a cluster of 128 cells or a single mother who could use some free baby-sitting —he'd better find an open door.