Essay

A Jesus-Shaped Hole in Our Hearts

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard the phrase. In a backyard Bible school. Yes, that was a thing for a while, holding Vacation Bible School in neighborhood backyards. Some sort of outreach emphasis, I suppose. “Everyone…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

We Need More than Veterans Day Parades

It’s been my practice over the years to take a moment in worship, on Veterans Day Weekend, to acknowledge our veterans and their families. This sort of thing can be tricky, especially when civil religion so often gets confused with…
Essay

Who’s Blessing Whom?

According to Acts 8, the angel of the Lord told Philip to go to the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. On his way, Philip happened upon an Ethiopian eunuch, an official in the court of the queen of…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Tragic Virtue Ecologies

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people, that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  --- Book of Common Prayer, 1559,…
Calvin College
Essay

Post Election Blues

This past week I took my son and daughter to see Gary Clark Jr., a blues guitarist from Austin Texas. The timing was fitting, it was the day after the election. There I was, in Omaha, NE, listening to the…
Northwestern College
Essay

The New Reformed Journal

Quo Vadis promo still, 1951 I’m on the road again and so have to write this the day before the midterm elections even though it will be posted two days after. Probably best, then, not to prognosticate, and to save…
Essay

Elected: the morning after

Election Day 2016 was a 27 hour day for me. I spent most of the day in the air and in airports. I was traveling from Kingston, Ontario, through three time zones, to San Diego, California, to speak at the…
Essay

These Times

As the schedule would have it, election day in the U.S. coincides with my turn here on The Twelve.  I spent a long while Monday morning staring into space, wondering what to write. It would be great to bracket and…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

How did we get Here?

As I hear the partisan language connected to the midterm elections, I cannot help but reflect on how we got here. It may be difficult to think of anything except current red and blue debates over the role of the…
Northwestern College
Essay

Rising Out of Hatred

In his book, Rising Out of Hatred, Eli Saslow documents the journey of Derek Black, and how this prominent white supremacist and leader of the white nationalist movement ultimately came to renounce his beliefs. Prior to his conversion, Black had…
Calvin Theological Seminary