Well-preparedness

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

by Katy Sundararajan I am the one who prepares for the trips that we take in our household. My husband might dream up the trip, and he is always the one who buys the tickets. But, like it or not, I am the one who thinks about the intricacy of the journey itself and gets our family of four ready. …

To Love Michigan in Summer

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 12 Comments

  Sumac and scrubby grass, dense-leaved oaks and maples, jumbles of every possible green. Blue spruce, Douglas fir, white pines, red pines, the astonishing symmetry of jack pine trunks in a sudden stand. Dead trees like skeletons rising from swamps. Everything stubby and scruffy and sassafrassy. Highways headed north, corridored by trees. Wide, grassy, wildflowered medians. Undulating country roads sliding …

Hope and Horror–Horror and Hope

James Schaap Uncategorized 1 Comment

The word lobotomy strikes terror in the heart of most of us today, despite the fact that the procedure was once the darling of mental health professionals–and the fact that Antonio Egas Minoz, inventor thereof, won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1949 for his contribution. In this country 40,000 lobotomies were performed in the two decades when the procedure was considered a …

Apocalypse, Now

the12 editor Uncategorized 1 Comment

For several summers I’ve taught a course on global literature organized around the topic of “Apocalypse.” But the course material isn’t what you might expect–no dystopian or scifi novels, no action-packed blockbuster movies. Instead, we read the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy’s “Waiting for the Barbarians,” the surprise turn of which is that the barbarians never arrive, leaving us no option …

Bless

Jes Kast Uncategorized 2 Comments

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. – Numbers 6   There is a man, seasoned in years, who is a member of my congregation who is generous in his blessing. Leaving or entering …

Masters of Chaos

Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 4 Comments

When I studied the Book of Genesis in seminary, one of the first things my professor, Ray Van Leeuwen, pointed out was that cosmos is the opposite of chaos.   Before God created his cosmos, the spirit of God hovered over the waters and all was (in Hebrew) tohu we bohu.  Some of us grew up with the translation of “formless …

Raising Questions

Rebecca Koerselman Uncategorized 0 Comments

I’ve noticed an uptick in alternative history stories. Maybe this is connected to “alternative facts.” Then again, people have always enjoyed alternatives to reality. Is fiction preferable to reality? A historian friend of mind was surprised to learn that I enjoy reading fiction. Why would you prefer fake history to real history, especially as a historian? she asked. Good question. …

You are Going to Hell

the12 editor Uncategorized 11 Comments

By E. Hughes You are going to hell. At least that’s what the white church planter tells you over Facebook when you ask God to judge America about one week after Philando Castile’s murderer is set free because he’s a cop and three days after watching that same man (in a newly released video) shoot seven bullets in to a …

Strikeouts are Fascist: Crash Davis and The Body of Christ

jasonlief Uncategorized 2 Comments

Tom Verducci recently wrote a fascinating article in Sports Illustrated in which he laments the demise of baseball. He examines the statistics that show baseball is falling into the lazy trend of relying on concentrated power in the home run and the strikeout. Increasingly, the nuances of the game are being lost. Fewer “hit and runs”, fewer stolen bases, fewer innings pitched, with …

This Is What We Mean

the12 editor Uncategorized 14 Comments

photo credit: Michigan Immigrant Rights Center by Kate Kooyman Yesterday, a judge in Michigan heard arguments on behalf of a group of Iraqi immigrants who are facing deportation. If they are deported, they will probably die. The majority of these immigrants are Chaldeans. Chaldeans are Catholic Christians in the Middle East. Their liturgy is written in a language that derives …