Essay

The Transformative Power of Friendship

It’s not every Sunday that a journalist from the New York Times visits your church. At least not the church I serve, tucked away in rural Northwest Iowa. This happened two Sundays ago. The journalist’s name was Elizabeth (a Wheaton…
Essay

How Do I Know?

It was a mixed shopping bag this week for Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based retail giant Target. After stock prices had surged this year to record highs on robust growth, the company reported Wednesday that holiday sales increased…
Essay

Feeling Minnesota: The Case for Klobuchar

Iowa is a great place to be during an election year. Yes, the rest of the nation pisses and moans about Iowa getting to go first, but what do they know? Iowans are dismissed as monolithic, back water, goat herders,…
Northwestern College
Essay

What the Pope Said

Monday night I finally got around to watching The Two Popes on Netflix. Directed by Fernando Mereilles, the film centers around Pope Benedict’s surprising resignation from the papacy in 2013, and Pope Francis’ unlikely ascendancy into the same role. It’s…
Essay

The Long Defeat

A few nights ago, I sat down into the worn blue chair crammed into the corner of my sons’ bedroom, and opened the book. The radiator hissed softly, and Philadelphia’s night skyline stretched across the window to my right. My…
Essay

This Fractured Moment

Near as I can tell, there has not been a lot of engagement here on The Twelve with one of the biggest religious news stories in a while: the publication of—and then the reaction to—Mark Galli’s editorial in Christianity Today…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

A Transfiguration at Pine Lake

Nearly every summer since 1983, my extended family has rented summer cabins on Pine Lake near Wellston, Michigan. The cabins are what is left of an old lumber camp, the oldest ones made of logs and the “newer” ones of…
Essay

Looking Backward

"You live life looking forward, you understand life looking backward." ~ Soren Kierkegaard For a few of you, perhaps, the byline you just passed may or may not be familiar. The person it names spent 31 years as a member…