Essay

Dogged

A week and a half ago, our family adopted a puppy from the Kingston Humane Society. Nevada is a three month old Siberian Husky mix and we love her. And just as we anticipated, she's turned our lives inside out and…
Essay

Losing Religion

If you have been involved in most any aspect of ministry in the church, then sooner or later you confront some tough realities. Probably pastors experience this more often--and perhaps more intensely--than do others in church leadership but sooner or…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Blackface. Again.

The controversy surrounding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 year book photos has caused many to ask questions about blackface. Again. According to a recent headline from The Onion, a satirical news site, “Every Baby Boomer in Country Urged to Resign…
Northwestern College
Essay

A Culture of Sufficiency

A decade or so ago it was all the rage, at least in the world I inhabit of theological education, to urge one another to reject a “culture of scarcity” and instead occupy a “culture of abundance.” We would critique…
Essay

Buffalo Soldiers in the Trenches

By the time American troops got to Europe in 1917, African-Americans had an established, but not celebrated history in military service of our country. In 1862, under the direction of Thomas Wentworth Higgenson, the sworn abolitionist and literary heartthrob of…
Essay

Never the Stranger

When I go to churches for my job (which is to educate congregations about immigration reform so they’re equipped to be advocates to change the system), we often get to talking about hospitality. It’s a big deal in Scripture. I…
Essay

Seeing Again

We're just on the other side of the centennial commemorations of the "Great War" that have been taking place over the last several years--culminating in last fall's Armistice Day remembrances, such as the particularly moving tribute at the Tower of…
Essay

Heresies I Have Loved

“A good sermon should skate right up to the edge of heresy. Make your point to the extreme. You’ll have other sermons to pull in the other direction. Dare to go out on the thin ice. You’ll hear some cracks…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Hidden in our Hearts

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11 “Jeff, I’ve got an idea,” I pulled him aside after the worship service one Sunday. “We’re going to preach through Jesus’ Sermon on…