All Posts By

James C. Schaap

Essay

Moving Drama

Rained here Saturday night. My father-in-law's little gauge--the old farmer in him couldn't really live without one--registered three-quarters of an inch, a healthy rain. In town, where we live, a good rain is nice on the lawns but a curse…
Essay

Epitaph

Just a week or so ago, Frederick Manfred would have celebrated his 100th birthday, had he lived. He didn't.  He died in 1994, from the complications of a brain tumor. Manfred was a Siouxland original, a CRC boy, Calvin grad, a…
Essay

Jesus on the Street

Of its origins, I'm not quite sure--some freak shop in Old Town, Chicago, circa 1968.  I remember being with my then-girlfriend on what was some kind magical mystery tour of the burgeoning counter-culture, a young Iowa Calvinist amid all the…
Essay

Dick Clark–may he rest in peace

I was born in 1948, but it took me a while to understand the world into which I was, that year, so healthily delivered, or so my mother reports. I'm still learning. Twenty years before my first post-partum howl, the…
Essay

Good Friday

I envy monastics--sometimes. I envy their intent to zero in on the Christian faith, to delete every iota of worldly pain and pleasure from hearts and souls and minds. I envy that--sometimes. Today is Good Friday. A big crucifix hangs…
Essay

That searing stemwinder

  Our lindens are just about the tallest trees in town, I swear.  And there he was, high up top, singing his heart out, that searing melody so perfectly "cardinal" that it couldn't be mistaken for anyone else's.  Even with…
Essay

In just spring

Maybe a good teacher could have tried it, some whirling dervish with Obama’s eloquence, Solomon’s wisdom, and Tina Fay’s comic touch.  Someone young, for sure.  Someone connected, someone who says, as if by instinct, “my bad."  I really wanted to,…
Essay

Take it from Mother Teresa

". . .to the great God, nothing is little. . ." You know?--I really ought to imprint that line on a t-shirt: "to the great God, nothing is little." It's hers--Mother Teresa's--and it's just plain beautiful, isn't it? But then…
Essay

What little I know about monarchy

  Last summer, we’d just passed the bridge at Nijmegen where, 600 yards to the west, hundreds of GIs paddled flimsy Brit boats with their rifle butts in order to cross a river flowing with current fast enough to knock…
Essay

Of Gods and Men

  "The 150 evangelical leaders who met behind closed doors on January 14 to anoint a Republican candidate for President were wise not to have invited me.”  So wrote David Neff of Christianity Today in what I thought was a brave overview…