Essay

Touched

I read Kate Bowler’s memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved, in two sittings last week. I want to read it again, more slowly, taking time to sift it through the sieve of my heart and…
May 23, 2018
Essay

Say, Was That, Like, A Sermon?

This past Saturday I was pretty busy, participating in the Commencement for Calvin Theological Seminary late-morning and then attending the Calvin College Commencement in the afternoon to celebrate my son's graduation with an English degree.    Those festivities were followed by…
May 22, 2018
Essay

Latent Hate and the Osage Murders

History can be downright depressing at times. And no, I’m not talking about reading final exams. In the book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and Birth of the FBI, journalist David Grann traces the story of the…
May 21, 2018
Essay

Evacuating Jerusalem

By Bill White Today, Pentecost Sunday, we often say we are celebrating the birth of the church. But as we celebrate, perhaps we can also mourn. In Acts 2, the Spirit was poured out and thousands were baptized. These new…
May 20, 2018
Essay

Growing Into Pentecost

By James Bratt When I was a kid, I never got the big deal about Pentecost. For one, it didn’t come along with any special songs or meals. Compare that to Easter, where you could get both of those in…
May 19, 2018
Essay

The Battle of the Spurs

There's something vintage Old Testament about the story, something decidedly like myth. But it happened; and just a bit north of Topeka, atop a hill along the road, a somewhat unkempt highway marker tells part of the story, the part…
May 18, 2018
Essay

Human. Holy.

Last week we marked Ascension Day, forty days since the resurrection of Jesus, and the day that his body was taken up into heaven. The writer of Acts makes a big deal out of the details here -- he gave…
May 17, 2018
Essay

A birthday gift for my dad

When I was a child, I never had any trouble believing in an absolutely loving God because I figured that if God was even half as amazing as my dad, everything would be fine. To be honest, I probably believe…
May 16, 2018
Essay

You Can’t Go Home Again

“You can’t go home again.” I’ve never read Thomas Wolfe and doubt I could answer a single a Jeopardy question about him. Nonetheless, his saying (book title, actually) rings true. When I told my dad, many years ago, that we…
Essay

She Needs Your Voice, Church

She leans forward, pressing her palms against the table. I see the fire in her eyes, a fierce tenderness. Or is it a tender fierceness, I know not the difference. I also see the sadness. “Something’s gotta change,” she says.…
May 14, 2018