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Essay

Essay

These Times

The sabbatical of my colleague Lyle Bierma this Fall presented me the chance to teach the half-semester “Christian Reformed Church History” class for the first time. A couple weeks into the course we were up to the point of tracking…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Hospitable Discourse

In twentieth century America, hospitality began to regain some cultural footing. Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker movement in the 1930s and offered soup kitchens, communitarian farms, and voluntary poverty as a way of expressing Christian hospitality.…
Northwestern College
Essay

Advent I

I love Advent. I love the stillness and longing, the waiting and yearning that stir in the songs and in the liturgy of the season. There is an expectancy in the worship services that enlarges the soul. Kathleen Norris writes:…
Essay

The Generosity Option

This story is true, but I have changed some details to protect identities, because revealing identities goes against the spirit of the story. A while back, my company went under new management and it didn’t take long for me to…
Essay

Angel Cakes

Poor Elijah. He’s had quite a week. One minute he’s staging a spectacular god-smackdown on Mt. Carmel, calling down fire from heaven, condemning idolatry, slaughtering the priests of Baal. The next minute, he’s running a marathon trying to beat a…
Calvin University
Essay

Christianity is Political: Taking A Stand

As I travel around the area talking about immigration reform, a common response is the fear the church will become too "political". I get it—we're living in trying times, where everyone is polarized and few are willing to listen. Both…
Northwestern College
Essay

This Gizmo

It was my idea to bring in an expert. For a couple of years in the 90s, I was chair of a board that ran a media ministry, and I thought it might be a good idea to bring in…
Essay

November

Thanksgiving in November still feels a bit foreign to me. In the “true north, strong and free” Thanksgiving is celebrated in early October, free of the impingement of Christmas carols and the threat of snow (usually). But I’m not one…
Essay

What is Left Behind

For most of his life, my grandfather managed an apple orchard. We called it Grandpa’s Orchard, though technically the 200 acres of apples (plus 50-some acres of peaches, cherries, and plums) never really belonged to us, never belonged to Grandpa.…