All Posts By

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell

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
Essay

Crazy Eights

Anticipation has been growing. The excitement is almost palpable. Yes, it is true. Back despite absolutely no popular demand, for the fourth time, here is my most recent collection of profundities, oddities, trivialities, and observations. This year, eight of them.…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

My Bus Ride

This summer we’ve been preaching on food, meals, and banquets in the Bible. What comes to your mind? What stories and passages would you include? I was given Luke 14:7-11. Here Jesus gives some advice: how-to-behave at dinner parties. Don’t…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

The Incarnation Principle

“Hey, could you help me put together some key verses about women in leadership in the church, and maybe too, how to answer some of ‘their' verses? A complementarian guy I know wants to debate.” Wow! My mind spun trying…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Zacchaeus and the Church Elves

If you’re of a certain age, (or possibly any age?) you can’t hear the story of Zacchaeus without breaking into song. Zacchaeus was a wee little man… I think I know the story well. I’ve known it since childhood. I’ve…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Waltzing with the Trinity

Yesterday was Pentecost, meaning that this coming Sunday is known as Trinity Sunday. I used to make fun of Trinity Sunday. Exactly what event are we celebrating? “Of course, that's the day we read our favorite Trinity story!” We all…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Is No Thing Sacred?

The adult discussion group at church was talking about “Faith and Creation Care.” As expected, the creation stories of Genesis and some of the robust creation psalms (8, 65, 104, 148) were in the mix. Edith, a spry woman in…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA