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

Faith and Science

Among many evangelicals (or whatever they should be called these days), the tension between science and faith is real. Today, many are dismissive of ‘silly’ young earth creationists, but human history has long demonstrated the significance of this strain between faith and science. In a U.S. context, I am puzzled and intrigued by the lack of tension between faith and…
January 15, 2018
Essay

Just Say “No!”

By Lynn Japinga Sometimes the only moral lesson to be found in a biblical story is “Go and do NOT do likewise.” Or, more concisely, “This is revolting.” Or, even more concisely, “NO!” The story of the concubine and the Levite in Judges 19 is one of those stories. You may have never heard of it, because it is not…
January 14, 2018
Essay

A Birthday with the New York Times

By Keith Starkenburg Let me offer a confession. I don’t like growing older. On my birthday, I needed a little encouragement. Time seemed a great burden. So, I caught up on my New York Times reading. I found Nicholas Kristof’s column claiming that “2017 was probably the very best year in the long history of humanity.” Taking his cue from…
January 13, 2018
Essay

Couteau de prairies

  I wasn't born and reared here. My home--I'm not sure how anyone finally defines that word--is really the western shore of Lake Michigan, where sunrise is almost always worth catching, but sunsets are, well, meh. When, initially, I lived out here on the emerald edge of the Great Plains, my most immediate adjustment was to realize that there was an…
January 12, 2018
Essay

Call it a Family Reunion

By Kate Kooyman Today I got to hold a baby who was less than a day old. I got to watch big sister look with pride and a little suspicion, the first glances of a life-long relationship. I got to hug smitten, exhausted mom; got to watch dad’s careful and calm acts of support. I got to see a brand…
January 11, 2018
Essay

Encouraging the Right Kind of Conversation

It often feels like these days that there's a great deal of lamenting about a dearth of good conversation, a lack of places where intelligent discourse takes place. We all can certainly point to many examples, of course. And yet, as part of the work we do at the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing (which I co-direct), we operate…
January 10, 2018
Essay

First Communion

By Norman Kolenbrander On a leafy Sunday morning, the girls adorned in lacy white dresses, the boys in immaculate suits and ties, excitedly joined their families in a colorful parade to Our Lady of Grace on Avenue W in Brooklyn, New York. Our son’s second grade friends and their parents had spent weeks preparing for the big day—First Communion. Following…
January 9, 2018
Essay

Let’s Play

By Brian Keepers We were trying to have a serious conversation, but she kept interrupting us. A little girl—maybe two or three years old. We made the mistake of picking the table in the coffee shop close to the corner with kids’ toys. This little girl would play for a bit, and then come over and pester us. It was…
January 8, 2018
Essay

Wisdom from Women: Good Sense

1 Samuel 25 By Lynn Japinga Two men with sizeable egos engage in a power struggle. Neither will back down. Neither wants to appear weak or be humiliated. A violent ending seems inevitable. A recent political headline? Yes, but also a story in the Bible. In the years after he was anointed King of Israel, but before he actually took…
January 7, 2018