Essay

Rendezvous with Destiny

It’s a bit daunting to follow up Heidi De Jonge here every two weeks. Heidi plumbs her personal and pastoral experience in a deep yet direct way that—to judge from responses—many of you find her posts to be just the…
Essay

Healed

On these days surrounding the second Sunday of Advent, I wear a chain around my neck. The chain holds the wedding band that used to be worn by my first husband, Layton. He wore it from the day we were…
Essay

Important Place: Part II

Two weeks ago I did a short blog here as part of our annual fundraiser (and thank you to all who chipped in!).   In it I described “The Reformed Journal” and “The Twelve” as an important place to discuss ideas…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Long Dark Nights with No Christmas Lights

Not only did the Puritans not celebrate Thanksgiving, they firmly banned Christmas. (Spoiler alert: the Puritans did not celebrate Easter either.) The Puritans rejected Christmas as a pagan celebration, full of bawdy revelry and tainted by Catholic association. The Puritans…
Northwestern College
Essay

Advent Calendars & Mr. December

The first Advent calendar appeared in 1851, and featured a biblical-character-a-day to count Christian worshippers down to Christmas. It featured, among others, John the baptizer, since John features in the stories of Jesus’ birth and ministry beginnings. Indeed, John is…
Essay

What was and wasn’t said

Apparently, millions of evangelicals believe the Christian faith is greatly imperiled in America, more than it has ever, ever been. I don't share their fears, but if, this weekend, they still believe that's true, then they didn't witness the funeral…
Essay

At the Kennedy Center, 1985

You have probably seen the famous photo of a high school-aged Bill Clinton meeting President John F. Kennedy (I've included it, in case you haven't). In the photo, you'll see that Clinton (and the boys around him) are wearing polo…
Calvin College