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Essay

Essay

I Don’t Want Peace

I had a professor in seminary who was the first to reveal to me that sanitized picture of Martin Luther King that we have created in American culture. He was the first to teach me about the “three evils” (not…
Essay

Figuring Among the Instruments

When my dear friend and frequent collaborator Jane Zwart recommends something, I listen. Particularly when it comes to poetry--because, as an accomplished poet herself, she knows whereof she speaks. We're teaching together during Calvin's January term, a class on Faith…
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

The Transformative Power of Friendship

It’s not every Sunday that a journalist from the New York Times visits your church. At least not the church I serve, tucked away in rural Northwest Iowa. This happened two Sundays ago. The journalist’s name was Elizabeth (a Wheaton…
Essay

How Do I Know?

It was a mixed shopping bag this week for Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based retail giant Target. After stock prices had surged this year to record highs on robust growth, the company reported Wednesday that holiday sales increased…
Essay

Feeling Minnesota: The Case for Klobuchar

Iowa is a great place to be during an election year. Yes, the rest of the nation pisses and moans about Iowa getting to go first, but what do they know? Iowans are dismissed as monolithic, back water, goat herders,…
Northwestern College
Essay

What the Pope Said

Monday night I finally got around to watching The Two Popes on Netflix. Directed by Fernando Mereilles, the film centers around Pope Benedict’s surprising resignation from the papacy in 2013, and Pope Francis’ unlikely ascendancy into the same role. It’s…
Essay

The Long Defeat

A few nights ago, I sat down into the worn blue chair crammed into the corner of my sons’ bedroom, and opened the book. The radiator hissed softly, and Philadelphia’s night skyline stretched across the window to my right. My…