Like Catching Flies with Chopsticks

Maybe it really is just about catching flies with chopsticks. Often ministry is not what you think it will be. That’s a fair and probably patently obvious statement. Isn’t it? I mean, in preparation to be a Minister of Word…
October 18, 2012


A colleague whom I respect very, very highly has a theory with which I disagree.  My friend thinks that it is fully possible to teach people how to be curious.   Even given an individual who evinces precious little by way…
October 16, 2012

A Married Messiah?

Why is it important that Jesus wasn’t married? Allow a personal disclosure first.  I don’t think Jesus was married.  But in the past month or so since a textual fragment was discovered that suggests he was married, I’ve asked myself…
October 15, 2012

Communal Journalism

Spent an enjoyable mid-afternoon today talking with the board of Perspectives, the journal that’s the mother of The 12 blog. I served on the Perspectives board for twelve years, six as one of its co-editors; plus I’ve written a lot…
October 12, 2012

The Sandusky Sentence: Is this Justice?

Eleven months ago, I blogged about the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State Football coach who then had been accused, now convicted, of sexually abusing a slate of vulnerable boys over a period of decades—45 counts of sexual abuse…
October 11, 2012

Assessing the Hill

I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage.  When they are real, they are not glass threads or frostwork, but the solidest thing we know. --Emerson, “Friendship” This week I’m teaching Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s magnificent poem,…
October 10, 2012

Stop Shooting

Jeff Japinga is substituting today for Lynn Japinga, who is substituting for Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell while he is on sabbatical. Jeff serves as associate dean for doctor-of-ministry and continuing-education programs at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and is moderator for the RCA’s…

More than a cosmetic fix

Several months ago I recommended the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. A documentary based on the book aired on PBS last week; you can watch part 1 online through…
October 8, 2012