Essay

Building up the body of Christ

Every year during the third weekend in November, I attend a conference that attracts thousands of biblical and religious scholars from around the globe. This year, I presided at a session on the history of biblical interpretation where senior scholars…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Out of the Bubble

It’s not an infrequent occurrence that my friends will reference a song from the 1990s or early 2000s and I have no idea what they’re talking about. My response is usually along the lines of “No, I’ve never heard that…
Essay

A story we need to hear

  A Mormon monument stands out there in the middle of nowhere. You have to hunt to find it, search hard simply to get up close. It's been at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers for 110 years,…
Essay

The Gate

I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have…
Essay

Jane Zwart: Our Ordinary Wonderfulness

Last night, my dear friend Jane Zwart was the host of Calvin's Named Scholarship Dinner--a time when college donors gather with the students whose scholarships they fund to celebrate together. As part of the evening, Jane gave a beautiful speech…
Calvin College
Essay

A Jesus-Shaped Hole in Our Hearts

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard the phrase. In a backyard Bible school. Yes, that was a thing for a while, holding Vacation Bible School in neighborhood backyards. Some sort of outreach emphasis, I suppose. “Everyone…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

We Need More than Veterans Day Parades

It’s been my practice over the years to take a moment in worship, on Veterans Day Weekend, to acknowledge our veterans and their families. This sort of thing can be tricky, especially when civil religion so often gets confused with…
Essay

Who’s Blessing Whom?

According to Acts 8, the angel of the Lord told Philip to go to the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. On his way, Philip happened upon an Ethiopian eunuch, an official in the court of the queen of…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Tragic Virtue Ecologies

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people, that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  --- Book of Common Prayer, 1559,…
Calvin College