We Need to Talk about Sex

the12 editor Uncategorized 10 Comments

by Chuck DeGroat Pardon the length of this piece, but we really need to talk. It’s become inevitable that I’ll get a call or email once or twice a month asking to consult with a church on an LGBTQ dialogue. Most often, I’m grateful that churches seek to be more informed, engaged and conversant. But this blog is not about …

Men Behaving Goodly

James Schaap Uncategorized 7 Comments

If I heard it once, I heard the story a dozen times. It was all about the gendered shape of conversation. Went like this. One of his early novels included a racy scene or two the relatives, his own kith and kin, found distasteful. And there were such. His first homecoming after publication was not particularly heartwarming, a bit chilly, …

Politics of Fear

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

by Kate Kooyman We’re doing a little craft after dinner during Advent — I read parts of the story of Jesus’s birth, and then my kids work on painting a rock with a different character from the story each night. They’re making a little rock nativity scene of their own. Gabriel was the first one. We read from Luke, and …

Pirsumei nisa

Jennifer L. Holberg Uncategorized 1 Comment

Yesterday evening marked the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Many of you are no doubt aware that it commemorates two miracles at once: the Maccabees’ triumph over their Greek oppressors as well as the discovery of oil that seemed sufficient for only one night, but burned instead for eight. (If you’d like an excellent refresher, check out …

But I Don’t Want to Be an Idol-Worshipper!

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell Uncategorized 6 Comments

One Christmas, I was probably about ten years old, I made a last-minute switcheroo in what I wanted for Christmas. Instead of the tabletop football game that involved strategy and play calling, but was not visually interesting, I changed my mind and asked for an annoying electric game where the players vibrated and buzzed in senseless circles. Still, it did …

The End of Palestine

the12 editor Uncategorized 4 Comments

Dear Readers, Last Wednesday President Trump “made good” on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, which will mean eventually relocating the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This announcement has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders, including some of America’s closest allies. As feared, we’ve seen an …

Advent and Rhododendrons

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

By Tom Boogaart My house once had a carefully designed garden. Azaleas, rhododendrons, hostas, a dogwood tree, a rose of Sharon bush, and evergreen shrubs, all in appropriate places. When my wife Judy and I bought the house, however, the garden was overgrown and had lost its original power to delight. One day in early summer, I was cutting the grass …

First Person

the12 editor Uncategorized 1 Comment

from Debra Rienstra–I’m sorry that I have to be away today. But I would like to remind you of our sister blog, the post calvin, and introduce you to one of the new regular contributors there, Jenna Griffin, a 2017 Calvin College graduate. For the month of November, the 28 regular writers for the post calvin chose the theme of …

Incarnation Revolution

jasonlief Uncategorized 1 Comment

Listening to NPR the other day I heard a story about a metal band from New Zealand with the name Alien Weaponry. What makes their story unique is the language they use in their songs—Te Reo Māori, the language of the indigenous Māori people. Here’s a snippet of the NPR story: “Brothers and bandmates Henry and Lewis de Jong, 17 and …

Giant Inflatable Baby Jesus

the12 editor Uncategorized 0 Comments

Raise your hand if you have one of these in your yard. C’mon. Some of you do, be real. Enormous Santas and Rudolphs and elves looming over the hibernating rhododendrons, swaying gently in the crisp winter air, benignly surveying their vast suburban domains–you know you love ’em. When I was a girl–in the mists beyond time and history–we didn’t have …