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Essay

Essay

Private and Personal?

In the midst of this Advent Season when radio stations and mall Muzak are willing to cut loose with songs that celebrate Jesus as the one who "rules the world with truth and grace," an Op-Ed in Sunday's New York…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

A Son of a Shepherd and Joy

We light the third advent candle – the curiously pink candle – for the shepherds and the quality of joy. Friends from Europe were visiting and after a long day we were discussing what to do for dinner. Sergio, whose…
Essay

The Tree of Life

To startle man, God becomes for an instant a blasphemer; one might almost say that God becomes for an instant an atheist.  He unrolls before Job a long panorama of created things, the horse, the eagle, the raven, the wild…
Northwestern College
Essay

What are you giving up for Advent?

It's pretty common to hear people, not least Protestants, talk about what they might give up for Lent. Some of them even follow through and make a commitment. And while some of the resulting privations can have nice utilitarian consequences—weight…
Essay

Nicholas

I didn’t believe in Santa Claus as a child, and I raised my own children without any focus or emphasis upon Santa either.  We weren’t virulently anti-Santa.  It was more that he simply didn’t come up.  We didn’t tell Santa…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Learning to be Reformed from a Jewish Novelist

As you'll note from my recent Perspectives article, "A Peculiar People," I've been thinking a lot about the dynamics of immigration and how that intersects with my own experience of being an immigrant--and being Reformed.  That's not just because my Reformed community…
Essay

an evening at Occupy Boston…

Occupy Boston was just a few weeks old when I trekked downtown to check out the encampment at Dewey Square. MIT professor Noam Chomsky was speaking on that Saturday night, and I figured it was as good an occasion as…
Essay

Little Pagans

I spent this first week of Advent thinking about idolatry.  It started with a This American Life podcast on the Penn State disaster, in which reporters from the radio show interviewed the stunned residents of State College, Pennsylvania, as they…
Calvin University
Essay

This old house

My wife, who's now retired and therefore been home more often these days than she's been in the 25 years we've lived in this old house, claims there's one gorgeous female cardinal in a bush just off the deck that wants…