Pothole Culture Shock

By Elaine Schnabel Note from Debra Rientsra: I’m away this weekend so I’ve engaged a guest writer from our sister blog, the post calvin. I’d like to introduce Elaine Schnabel, a 2011 Calvin graduate who has been writing for the post calvin since their founding in 2013. This month, the 28 regular writers on the post calvin are working with…
March 17, 2018

Giving John the Baptist a Hair Cut

This semester I'm teaching a spiritual formation class—we meet in the local Episcopal church. It's a small church but it's a place to light candles, pray, and look at icons. The front of the church has these beautifully painted icons of Jesus and a crew of the usual suspects. John the baptist is there, all disheveled and crazy eyed. Very…
March 16, 2018

The Neverending Happening

“What are The Questions, mommy?” I’m cuddling with my youngest son as he’s drifting slowly to sleep. I don’t know what he means by this meta-question. He clarifies. “The questions. Five w’s and one atch.” “Ah. Who, what, when, where, why, and how.” He asks me to repeat them, so I do--at least ten times. “You know, sweetheart, some people…
March 15, 2018

The Pursuit of Power

It was the first day of my fifth grade year and I was already excited about becoming a member of the safety patrol squad. That’s the responsibility and honor that fifth graders received as the oldest students of elementary. There was power, there was authority, and there was protection in the name of justice in that orange belt that wrapped…
March 14, 2018

Not Even a Hint

Probably we underestimate the long odds faced by the Christian faith among its earliest disciples and congregations.   The ancient Greco-Roman world in which the Gospel needed to be preached and where its followers needed to do things like bear the Fruit of the Spirit was a tough pagan environment.  Sexual immorality was high, debauchery common, ritual worship of gods and…
March 13, 2018

“Won’t you be…my neighbor?”

In the early hours of a Saturday morning, our baby provided us all with a wake up call. As we stumbled toward the kitchen and living room, I flipped on the television, looking for an English Premier League soccer match so I could enjoy a hot cup of earl grey tea and properly wake up after feeding the baby. Instead,…
March 12, 2018

Beyond Doctrine

By Joshua Vis Peter Rollins, a philosopher and theologian, makes this incredible observation, “As we approach the festival of Easter we aim to experience something of what Jesus experienced on the Cross. In his cry ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ God confesses the absence of God.” That statement is confounding and wonderfully unsettling. It moves me…
March 11, 2018

Failed Evangelical: Reflections on Suicide

By E. Hughes I was naked and balled up in fetal position on a bathroom floor when I heard the voice of God. I perhaps have felt nothing more terrifying than being suicidal while experiencing an intervention from the Divine. *** We called Amber “Ambro.” She wore her hair in a low pony tail, slicked back tight with gel. Although…
March 10, 2018

The river in winter

The first matter of business when white folks came to the region was roughing out claims so they knew where each of the others was going to put down roots. Once that task was done, some of ye olde pioneers made sure to cut paths to the rivers, life lines really, because it was not at all difficult to get…
March 9, 2018

The Kids Are Not All Right, And It’s All Our Fault

Nihilism. It’s the only explanation I can come up with, and I’m thinking more and more lately that it’s all our fault. It’s the only explanation for why kids are using semi-automatic rifles to slaughter their classmates in shockingly routine fashion, and why the adults with the power to stop it are too feckless and compromised to do anything. It’s…
March 8, 2018