Ideologies and Idols

the12 editor Uncategorized 0 Comments

By Jason Lief When I think about the future of Perspectives I’m optimistic. Why? We’re still here! So many journals have disappeared, unable to survive the technological revolution. Maybe Perspectives is like an indestructible weed that resists every attempt to snuff it out. Or, maybe we have something to offer as a voice of Reformed Christianity. There are advantages to …

Making Sense, Creating Some Order, and Some Hope

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by James Schaap People who knew him claim that the late great President of Dordt College, Dr. John B. Hulst, a very proper man who traveled extensively, used to make his bed every morning before he left his motel room. That’s not gospel truth, but it’s gossip you can trust. After all, nothing on his desk was ever out of …

Stop Saying Thank You.

the12 editor Uncategorized 5 Comments

by Kate Kooyman When I was in the hospital, the day my first baby was born, news had just broken of the earthquake in Haiti. I remember deliriously watching the footage, unsure how to navigate the awareness that my exhausted happiness was happening at the same moment as that immeasurable suffering. This wasn’t the first time I became aware of …

The Spirit of Sister Leo’s Cookies

Jennifer L. Holberg Uncategorized 1 Comment

Every morning among all my email is a small gem: a blessing from the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids. Mostly penned by Maxine Shonk, OP, the blessings focus on a characteristic of God and how that part of God’s multitudinous character models and transforms us; for example: May the God of Transition be with you, inviting you to the new …

I Never Was an Evangelical and I Never Want to Be (Part 2)

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell Uncategorized 8 Comments

A few weeks back, the ever-eloquent and oft-droll Debra Rienstra stirred up quite a tempest here on The Twelve when she wrote “I Never Was an Evangelical and I Never Want to Be.” It was her “and I never want to be” that seemed especially to irritate some readers. I’ve never wanted to be Methodist, Bulgarian, or a St. Louis …

Filled with God’s Spirit to be an Artist

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

Dear Readers, I’m pleased to share with you this thoughtful reflection written by Karen Barker as part of a fall sermon series our church has been doing on the book of Exodus.  Karen’s honest wrestling with her vocation as an artist and its tenuous relationship with the church resonates with so many of us who believe that art is more than …

Trading & Investing

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Proper 28 Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 25:14-30 The Reformed Church in America’s roots in Oman go back to 1891 when Samuel Zwemer met with the Sultan of Oman to discuss ways that we could help his country. In 1893, Peter Zwemer and James Cantine came, and we have had people here ever since. What started with hospitals, schools and …

Zechariah’s Dream

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 2 Comments

At first it was awful, the silence. I was angry, of course. I fumed around the house, slammed doors, felt sorry for myself. After a few days, when it was clear this condition—did it qualify as a disability?—wasn’t going away, the HR office at the temple urged me to take a leave of absence. What could I say? Nothing, obviously. …

Refusing to Pray

jasonlief Uncategorized 9 Comments

  As I greeted members of my church following a morning service, a woman came up to me, shook my hand and thanked me for the message. She was a visitor who lived in the community a long time ago. After she finished talking about how much she enjoyed the service, she pulled me in close and half whispered, half …

In Praise of Laziness

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

When I teach Milton’s Paradise Lost I am at pains to point out to students that Milton’s Eden is not a place of unmitigated leisure. It’s not some divine all-inclusive resort where Adam and Eve spend their days drinking Mojitos poolside and Instagramming sunset pics. Milton’s Eden is a place of work, work appointed by God, daily work. Here is Adam, explaining …