Essay

A Worshipful End to History

All of us are aware of the biblical phrase, “they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” Some of us recognize that these words are found in the eschatological vision of Isaiah (repeated in Micah).…
Essay

The Emerald Temple and the Image of God

I spent this afternoon on a train with a gazillion other people in the heart of Bangkok. My big body and beard made me seem like Sasquatch standing in the midst of the Thai people. Last week, while traveling in…
Northwestern College
Essay

The Shadow of 2016

I haven’t gone to many academic conferences the last few years, having been out of the country, so it was good to return to the circuit last weekend. The occasion was the annual meeting of the American Society of Church…
Essay

Written into the Story

Toward the end of "The Two Towers", by J.R.R. Tolkien, Frodo and Sam, on their way to destroy the Ring, take a rest "in a dark crevice between two great piers of rock" on the stairs of Cirith Ungol. As…
Essay

Watching What We Say

A couple of months ago at a conference I was privileged to hear former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.  The conference was aimed chiefly at preachers and teachers of preaching and so in one of his lectures, Williams had a…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Steady On

There’s nothing like moving to give you concrete evidence of how much stuff you own. We moved from a rental to our own home and were forced to confront our possessions. Not only that, we had to pack it all,…
Northwestern College
Essay

Prayer and Politics

Give the king your justice, O God… May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. Psalm 72: 1, 4 What a prayer. Maybe I should wake up and…
Essay

Legacy Sorting the KonMari Way

I couldn’t even watch one whole episode. The first season of the new Marie Kondo television series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, dropped on Netflix this week. Obviously, Netflix timed this premier to capitalize on our New Year’s ambitions before…
Calvin College
Essay

Immigration

I snapped this shot at the Somalia exhibit at St. Paul's Minnesota History Center. I wanted a picture of the plow, that wooden contraption in the far corner, a venerable, ox-drawn ancestor of, well, this 21-bottom plow pulled along by…
Essay

Shoes on my feet

I've learned that New Year's resolutions are not my jam. One year, probably when I was especially enjoying the drinks at the party, I declared my intention to run a 10k. One especially lovely party-goer, who herself had run a…