All Posts By

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell

Essay

Without Guile

So Little Women didn’t win the Oscar for Best Film. It’s only win was for costume design. I’m in no position to claim it should have won. I liked the film. I think I appreciated the 1994 version more, if…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Crabs in a Bucket

I’d never heard the phrase before -- “Crabs in a bucket.” Robert Leonard, affectionately known around here as “Dr. Bob,” used it to describe these final days before the Iowa caucuses. When I googled it, I discovered it suggests chaotic…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Philately, Midrash, and Midwives

This story doesn’t have a beginning. I lost it. Maybe you can help me find it. I thought it began at the post office, a few Decembers ago. I’m a stodgy traditionalist who still buys the “religious” Christmas postage stamps.…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

The Power of Memes

Not that long ago, I didn’t know the word meme. Then, if I recall correctly, when I first encountered it, I didn’t know how to pronounce it or really what it was. Times have changed. Those simple, crazy internet postings.…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Please Give Blood

I’m a pretty regular blood donor. At a recent donation, I ran into an acquaintance. Not really a friend, but a good guy--genial, jaunty, exuberant. A thorough-going secularist. Somehow in our encounters that always comes across. Not in an aggressive…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

God is not Binary

“Why stop at three?” This was the question a Jewish religious scholar raised about a set of essays on the Trinity. It’s been many years now, but if I remember correctly his contention was somewhat akin to Gerard Manley Hopkins…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

God is/is not Liberal

You may wish to read my earlier post, God is/is not Conservative It’s only fairly recently that “liberal” became a bad word in the United States. After all, the US is the ultimate liberal experiment--born of the Enlightenment, about freedom,…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

God is/is not Conservative

Conservative. It’s such a loaded term these days. Every blog. Every sermon. Every prayer. Every comment. Every word is run through the conservative-liberal detecto-meter. We get tired of hearing how polarized and irate today’s America is. Red-blue. Republican-Democrat. Right-Left. Conservative-Liberal.…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Slouching Toward Augustine

"We worshipped Jesus instead of following him on his same path. We made Jesus into a mere religion instead of a journey toward union with God and everything else. This shift made us into a religion of “belonging and believing”…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA