All Posts By

Scott Hoezee

Essay

Their Eyes

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” contains sentence after sentence of searing and memorable prose. But already years ago when I first read the letter, one part leapt out and grabbed my heart more than others. Even before I had children of my own—much less in the quarter century since I became a parent—this part really got…
January 16, 2018
Essay

The Cancer of Prejudice

"We have heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King calling us to cut the cancer of prejudice from our souls and from our land.  But we have never heard his voice so eloquently as in his death. We have never heard his voice so eloquently as in our grief at his assassination." So began an open letter to the people…
January 2, 2018
Essay

Not Enough Time?

In Marilynne Robinson's luminous epistolary novel Gilead we read the musings of the Rev. John Ames.   Ames is coming to the end of his days but wants to leave behind a testament for his young son who had been born when Ames was already an older man.  The novel is Ames's extended letter to this son, reflecting on everything from…
December 19, 2017
Essay

Wilderness Shalom

Note: As we begin Advent, I offer this meditation based on Mark 1:1-13 that  I gave in the Calvin Seminary Chapel at the head of Advent.  In a time of anxiety, tension, fear, and anger, I hope something here shows us the true meaning of Christ's coming and, just so, lends us some hope. "He was with the wild animals…
December 5, 2017
Essay

The Living Tradition

By Scott Hoezee Our blog here at The Twelve is closely tied to Perspectives Journal, whose history also intertwined in many ways with the old Reformed Journal. In the end, this blog and those two magazines have a lot in common in ways that demonstrate the importance of something like The Twelve  today. The Reformed Journal emerged as a thoughtful…
November 28, 2017
Essay

Preaching in Public

Chewed up, spit up, barfed out.   Not a few preachers would tell you this is how it feels sometimes after preaching a sermon (and most particularly after enduring various comments at the church door afterwards).  Not every week.  I hope not.   But now and then . . .    This is something preachers know well, which is why I was immediately…
November 14, 2017
Essay

It’s Grace

As the luck (or the providence) of the calendar would have it, I get to blog here on The Twelve on the precise 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and all it entailed and still entails.  I dimly suspect that by now in most Reformed communities, we will be just fine with Refo 500 observances, hymn sings, lectures, and…
October 31, 2017
Essay

Poverty Up Close

I have been working my way through Matthew Desmond's searing and award-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.  Although he changes people's names and a few details to protect people's identity, Desmond tells the story of what it is like to be poor in America by focusing in on Milwaukee and by following the lives of a…
October 17, 2017
Essay

Las Vegas, Roy Moore, and American Madness

This is not the first time I have blogged about guns in America.   A couple of years ago I suggested that people whose ultimate vision is the beating of swords into plowshares (or to invoke Neal Plantinga's riff: turning Howitzer tanks into John Deere garden tractors) ought not spend the run-up to that day of shalom celebrating and promoting people's…
October 3, 2017
Essay

Dysfunction and Grace

Yesterday I preached at the Calvin College Chapel service as part of a series looking at biblical characters.   My assignment was Jacob.  The day before I heard a sermon on the first part of the Joseph cycle also in Genesis.  So the descendants of Abraham and Isaac have been much on my mind of late.    And here's the thing: that…
September 19, 2017