The Holy Ghost in a Gluten-Free Host

Jes Kast Uncategorized 9 Comments

When I was five years old I would line up my stuffed animals into pews. I would grab bread and juice from the kitchen and I would administer the Sacrament to my stuffed animal congregation. Even at five years old I knew something special happened in this moment at church. At that time I went to a Roman Catholic Church. …

Commemorate, Note, Celebrate, Mourn?

Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 4 Comments

I expect that by October here on The Twelve–and all over the place–we will be writing and reading many’a post on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.   Half-a-millennium is nothing to sniff at and represents nearly a quarter of church history so it makes sense that this will be treated as something of a big deal. …

Making Rudeness Normal

Rebecca Koerselman Uncategorized 7 Comments

Whenever I watch reality TV, I am struck by how often reality TV participants explain their bad behavior as “truth-telling” or “just being honest.” Since when is rudeness and bad behavior excused as “truth”? Reality TV “stars” find all kinds of ways to excuse their poor behavior. I am continually fascinated by the lengths people go to in order to …

Home Places

the12 editor Uncategorized 6 Comments

by Katy Sundararajan My family and I arrived at Bengaluru International Airport at around 11:30pm. We navigated the immigration lines, baggage claim, and customs for the next two hours, and were finally released into the cool night air of Bangalore, India to hug and kiss our family and make our way home by cab and by car. We walked into …

Narratives, Evangelicals, Abortion, and Ourselves

the12 editor Uncategorized 9 Comments

by Allison Vander Broek A few months ago I presented a paper at a fascinating conference. The conference was a reconsideration of “The Year of the Evangelicals,” a story on American evangelicals published forty years ago in Newsweek magazine that’s now seen as a major milestone in the history of American evangelicalism and a precursor to their ascendancy as part …

The Zen of Caddyshack

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

This morning we welcome Dordt History professor Paul Fessler as a guest contributor to the 12. Paul is a New Jersey native living in the cornfields of Iowa, trying to play golf. I love golfing and, thus, can quote far more from the movie Caddyshack than I should. For non-duffers, it is a 1980 movie starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, …

Your Church Isn’t Going to Fix Poverty

the12 editor Uncategorized 13 Comments

by Kate Kooyman My job is to talk to churches about social justice. So I’m no stranger to the argument that is so often levied against programs like welfare and food stamps: “Let’s let the church handle that.” Along came the Trump budget, though, and now I feel less comfortable letting that argument go. I think it’s wrong. If you hold …

Journey

the12 editor Uncategorized 4 Comments

by Norman Kolenbrander As we drove out of the city of Krakow, Poland, strips of ripening barley, oats, and rye unfurled outside the windows of our van. Our driver knew the road well and negotiated it effortlessly. Rows of foot-high corn, blooming potato plants, and red raspberry bushes now joined the tapestry. Vineyards and orchards began to appear on hillsides. …

Making Peace with Patriotism

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell Uncategorized 8 Comments

Patriotism comes easily to people. We all innately like and appreciate the place we are from. Contrary to voices we often hear, patriotism doesn’t need to be promoted and groomed. It grows plenty well all by itself. When I was young, my room was decorated with little cardboard patriotic placards—the kind teachers often use on classroom bulletin boards. I can …

Should We All Be Feminists?

the12 editor Uncategorized 8 Comments

By Brian Keepers This past Christmas my sister-in-law, an ordained minister in the RCA and a Ph.D. student at Wheaton, gave me a compelling little book titled We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie is a Nigerian award-winning novelist, and this little book is actually based on a talk she delivered in December 2012 at TEDxEuston, an …