Essay

Being Seen

I remember the day so clearly. I left a staff meeting during which our district announced plans to cut $2 million from our budget after the State of Michigan made sweeping cuts to schools. The meeting outlined the particulars: eliminating…
Essay

Wicked Rulers and Refugees

This week three international news stories caught my attention with a common denominator that affects the lives of millions of people worldwide – a common denominator I have seen in my work with refugees. The common denominator is corrupt rulers…
Essay

Dwelling: A Scriptural Survey

“Why don’t they just move?” After the second hurricane in a few weeks, it’s hard not to ask this question about people who live in the swampy, vulnerable lowlands of America’s Southeast, especially Florida. It’s a callous question, as an…
Calvin College
Essay

The Politics of Worship

This morning I propose that the increasing fatalism within the Christian community, the resignation that the world is as it is, is a product of our thin worship. I'm suggesting there a connection between the evangelical yawn in the face…
Northwestern College
Essay

Neo-Calvinism: From “Whence” to “Whither”

Last Friday I had the honor of speaking at “Sharply into the Wind,” the program marking Cornelis van der Kooi’s emeritation at the Free University (VU) of Amsterdam.  I’ve written about Kees’s theological contributions before in this space, particularly about…
Essay

Conversations Contained

What if we had a different kind of conversation? That's what I've been wondering. I watched a good bit of the hearings a couple of Thursdays ago, when Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford and then Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh both…
Essay

Now I See

My friend Frederick Dale Bruner loves teaching the big narratives in John's Gospel.   When he and I used to do a preaching seminar together, a favorite story Dale taught was of "The Man Born Blind" in John 9.   Or as…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Who has the Courage?

As an alumnus of Michigan State University, I am deeply upset by the appalling abuse of Larry Nassar. When people say something to me about being a Spartan, I am compelled to acknowledge that I am not very proud to…
Northwestern College
Essay

Caring for Refugees as True Worship

Isaiah 58 Fall is such a conflicted season for me. Growing up in Iowa and living in agricultural communities in Michigan and New York, fall signifies the harvest—a time when hard work comes to fruition and we reap what we…