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Essay

Essay

Shine, Perishing Republic

Memorial Day deserves a poem. Not the civil religious strains that once caught me at the altar rail at a small-town Episcopal church, receiving the sacrament to “America the Beautiful.” I almost chose Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard…
Essay

Significant Soil

I don’t think I’m going to be able to plant a garden this year—which bums me out. But too much travel means I’ll not be at home to help things take root. Guess it’s time to give the soil a rest—and…
Calvin University
Essay

Uncommon Grace

Averagely scrumptious. Tolerably ravishing. Mediocrely luxurious. Do such phrases make sense you? How about “common grace.” A bit oxymoronic, perhaps? Is grace ever common and ordinary? As of late there has been much here on “The Twelve” about a possible…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Matthew 2.0

Thanks to my colleagues, this blog has been hitting its stride in the last two weeks (IMHO), day after day taking on challenging, serious topics with admirable insight and forcefulness. So it’s time for something silly.  I’ve been out in…
Calvin University
Essay

Body Ascension

Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened…
Essay

Epitaph

Just a week or so ago, Frederick Manfred would have celebrated his 100th birthday, had he lived. He didn't.  He died in 1994, from the complications of a brain tumor. Manfred was a Siouxland original, a CRC boy, Calvin grad, a…
Essay

Recovering Civility.

Confession I feel a bit awkward in writing this post. It is probably because I feel insufficient to be the one writing on this topic. I hold views about which I could easily get polemical...but I don't, or at least…
Essay

Coercion?

Perhaps not all readers of "The Twelve" will be aware of it but in some circles within the Christian Reformed Church these past ten days there's been some serious dust-ups surrounding "The Form of Subscription." The Form is the document…
Calvin Theological Seminary