Lake Michigan

An old cat and the fish

James Schaap Uncategorized 0 Comments

During my college years, the highest I ever rose on my summer job was about five feet off the ground aboard an army surplus caterpillar. I’m not sure why the boss made me the designated driver, but he did. So there I was, most days, at hand levers that controlled the old beast, a faded yellow wonder whose huge engine …


Shellac Me, Baby

the12 editor Uncategorized 7 Comments

At a certain moment in middle age you realize that the old nursery rhyme “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” has its origin in the body. In particular, the middle-aged female body. The change is sudden, or at least seems sudden. One day you blissfully believe tweezers were invented for the removal of splinters, the next day …


The Church Alive is Beautiful

Jes Kast Uncategorized 0 Comments

One of the pleasures I have is that I travel as a public theologian to different conferences and preach and teach. This weekend I was in Minneapolis with The Forum for Theological Exploration helping cultivate young people as they discern their vocational call. It is invigorating being around 20-somethings. I learned this weekend that the new voices being supported in …



Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 14 Comments

Of all the many, many (many) things Donald Trump said in the run-up to his election–and since then too–that should have bothered Christians more than they apparently did, one stands out.  I am thinking specifically of his claim that he has never asked God for forgiveness in that, apparently, he cannot seem to find any sins to confess.   In this …



rkoerselman Uncategorized 8 Comments

When I think about key words to describe 1950s America, I often think of the word conformity. I do not consider the 1950s some bygone golden standard of ‘goodness,’ because any person who has lived through or read accounts of life in 1950s knows it was a mix of good and bad, like most decades. Some scholars dub the 50s …

Dix carrying

Jesus Carrying the Cross

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose heir life for my sake will find it.      Matthew 16:24-25 by Trygve Johnson When I was young, I had baseball coach whose daily mantra was “play …

April Fool's Day

April Fool

the12 editor Uncategorized 16 Comments

by James Vanden Bosch It started out innocently enough. Andrew, a friend of mine and a fellow grammarian, had been asked if he knew of anyone who would be willing to teach traditional grammar for students at Handlon Prison, where Calvin Theological Seminary and Calvin College had paired up in what is now called the Calvin Prison Initiative. In the …

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John Calvin and Roads Not Taken

jasonlief Uncategorized 4 Comments

It’s that time of the semester when I try to help students appreciate John Calvin. It’s a difficult task for a variety of reasons. Many students don’t know anything about him, nor do they really care. That’s not a knock on them, it’s just not their tradition. Others have grown up with a weird distortion of Calvin’s theology. I usually …


I’m sure.

the12 editor Uncategorized 6 Comments

by Kate Kooyman “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 We bought a cooler this week. It was stressful for me. I felt this deep need to read every review that was ever written about this cooler and its competitors. I felt a bit paralyzed by all the …


Knowing Eve: Genesis 2-4

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

Jennifer Holberg is away today. We welcome Maggie Rust to The Twelve. Maggie is a student at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Thank you, Maggie. He named me Eve, Mother of all Living. The Gardener told him he was free to name all the living creatures of the field and the air. “Cattle” “Sheep” “Bird” “Fish” Even that disgusting …