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Was it all Worth It?

August 8, 2022
I didn’t solve the world’s problems, or the church’s. But maybe, just maybe, not because of me but in spite of me, God used my attempted faithfulness somewhere, somehow, for something bigger than me, beyond my own limited vision; and on that, someone else is building, blossoming, growing. Living out their own calling.
Featured Articles
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Prayers for a Post-Roe World

The ethics of abortion are contentious, and many of the loudest voices belong to men. We invited five women who are CRC and RCA pastors to share their prayers for our post-Roe world.
EssayFeatured
July 25, 2022

The Journey to a Home with Structure

Without a denomination, figuring out church order is difficult. What happens when a minister leaves? What makes a person qualified to be a minister in the first place? What happens to the assets of a church that closes? The leadership of a church with no denominational structure is a lonely place. Being a part of the RCA and having order and connections with other congregations gives me a peace and assurance that was lacking in my other church experiences. It…
EssayFeatured
July 18, 2022

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN . . .

I invite readers to imagine a world where things turned out differently. Such a world is not very distant from the world we live in.  If a few individuals in each body had assessed the relevant reasons and conditions and come to a different conclusion, we might now be on the path toward a dramatically different future. 
Featured
July 11, 2022

The News From Oak Forest

It’s been a quiet week in Oak Forest, my hometown, although there’s been a lot of hoopla over at my local church, the Hopeful Reformed Christian Church.
Featured
July 4, 2022

We Are Better Than This

Of all the work involved in interpreting the Bible, this heart-work is the most demanding and the most significant. It is relatively easy to accumulate factual knowledge about the context of the Bible; it is harder for us to understand the context of our own hearts, examine them, and open them to the Spirit’s influence.
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June 27, 2022

Two Synods

I am not optimistic, but we are compelled, like Van Raalte, to hope. Not in ourselves, but in our Lord. And that requires humility and penitence all around. What I deeply wish is that the RCA and CRC would stop looking at each other sideways and start meeting face to face.
Featured
June 20, 2022

Solidarity

Russia’s present invasion of Ukraine is about to enter its fifth month, and once again the world is grappling with a multivalent crisis that is producing massive human suffering and displacement. Millions of Ukrainians have been driven from their land and untold numbers have lost their lives because Vladimir Putin is hell-bent on forcing them to conform to the madness of his imagined narrative and the lust for power that fuels it. Once again the complicated stories of borders and…

Latest from the Blog

Daily blog by our regular bloggers & guest contributors.

  • The Lord’s Army
    Some of those jingly jangly camp songs still pop into my head from time to time (this one, in the...
    August 8, 2022 Rebecca Koerselman
  • A Letter to Arie and Hattie (and all who are baptized)
    Being a family always involves a risk. But being a family of adoption brings special challenges and maybe even greater adjustments, along with special blessings and rewards.
    August 7, 2022 Sophie Mathonnet-VanderWell
  • At What Point Do I Get Rid of This?
    I did not realize that carpet replacement would be a spiritual experience, but it turned out to be a massive exercise in crap management.
    August 6, 2022 Debra Rienstra
  • What I learned from Mrs. Grierson*
    That Alice Kirk Grierson loved her husband is clear from the letters she sent him, full of devotion that wasn’t...
    August 5, 2022 James C. Schaap
  • Impractical Love
    Impractical is a dodge, it gives cover to the status quo. It’s a failure of imagination.
    August 4, 2022 Tim Van Deelen
  • Nothing Blue Can Stay
    I’m technically on vacation right now. “Technically,” because I did spend time finishing a syllabus on Saturday and I did go into work today...
    August 3, 2022 Jennifer L. Holberg
  • Anti-Climactic Communion
    Does 31 years ago count as “not long ago”? This was the first thing I ever had published in Perspectives -- our predecessor.
    August 2, 2022 Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell
  • A Few Notes from the Editor
    Today’s entry is not an opinion piece but a hodge-podge of things I want to make sure our readers are aware of. We’ll be back to the regular blog tomorrow. In the meantime, do click on these links.
    August 1, 2022 Jeff Munroe

Poetry

Poetry
August 2, 2022

East River, South Dakota

Our Desert Fathers & Mothers deserted Rome to pray and work in the wild ...
Poetry
August 2, 2022

Expecting

How the body betrays its mortality. The monthly ebb and flow of sex hormones; the cyclic keeping of charts, temperatures, hope ...
Poetry
July 26, 2022

Wanton

I understood the word to mean a deep and deperate want—to be waifish and lacking ...
Poetry
July 26, 2022

incidental company: a poem by Jonah’s fish

fugitive and scaled captor linked by appointment more than accident more than appetite ...
Poetry
July 19, 2022

Little Apocalypse

The kitchen radio's whine intones catastrophe--whildfire, speices loss--all breakfast long.
Poetry
July 19, 2022

The Last Good Day

The backyard maples speak in fire-tounges, filling the windows with gold light ...

Latest Podcasts

Podcast
August 2, 2022

“East River, South Dakota” by Cameron Brooks

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews Cameron Brooks about his poem "East River, South Dakota." Cameron is an MFA candidate at Seattle Pacific University, and his poems have appeared in Poetry East, North Dakota Quarterly, Third Wednesday, and more. Check out his website at https://www.camerondavidbrooks.com/.
Podcast
July 26, 2022

“Wanton” by Anne Marie Holwerda Warner

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews Anne Marie Holwerda Warner about her poem "Wanton." Anne Marie is a divinity student at Western Theological Seminary and a postulate for priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Her poems have appeared in 15 publications, including Earth and Altar, The Hour, Impossible Task, and The Last Stands of Poetry Journal.
Podcast
July 21, 2022

Tom Boogaart

In this episode, Jeff Munroe interviews Tom Boogaart, Dennis and Betty Lou Voskuil Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary. Tom talks becoming a sheet metal worker at 10, the emptiness of achievement and recognition, his approaches to scripture and teaching, the beginnings of the current Reformed Journal, and the future of the Church.
Podcast
July 19, 2022

“Little Apocalypse” by Maryann Corbett

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews Maryann Corbett about her poem "Little Apocalypse." Maryann is the author of five books of poems, including her most recent collection called "In Code.”
Podcast
July 12, 2022

“Snow and Aspergillum” by Paul Hooker

In this episode of the Poetry Edition, Rose Postma interviews Paul Hooker about his poem "Snow and Aspergillum." Paul, a retired pastor and former Associate Dean of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has authored two volumes of reflections and poetry, “Days and Times: Poems from the Liturgy of Living” and The Hole in the Heart of God: Stories of Creation and Redemption
Podcast
July 7, 2022

Jared Ayers

In this episode, Jeff Munroe interviews Rev. Jared Ayers, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in North Palm Beach, Florida and one of the writers for the Reformed Journal Blog. Jared recounts his experiences in ministry, starting with being the child of a pastor, sharing the gospel in Eastern Europe, and church planting in Philadelphia, to serving a large, politically diverse church population in a polarized America. He also shares some of his mentors and literary influences. 
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Brooklyn Bishop robbed of $1M in jewelry

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No, Christian Nationalism and Patriotism aren’t the same thing

Relevant Magazine's Senior Editor says Christian should be patriots but not nationalists.

Mary the Tower from Diane Butler Bass

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Deb Rienstra on the January Series in July

Our regular blogger, Debra Rienstra, was a recent guest on Calvin University's January Series in July Series, speaking on her new book Refugia Faith.

Fifty of the most anticipated Christian books in the fall of 2022

The Englewood Review of Book shares the most anticipated books for Christians this fall -- theology, church, fiction, poetry, young readers

United Church of Canada elects first Indigenous woman to head denomination

Rev. Dr. Carmen Landsdowne, a pastor in Vancouver, elected to head the United Church of Canada.

Small tablet from 1300 BCE stirs divide between scholars and evangelicals

Haaretz reports on a small lead tablet that may contain the earliest Israelite inscription. Who does it belong to? And to how significant is it?

An ‘imposter Christianity’ is threatening democracy in the US

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Ron Sider, evangelical activist, dies at 82

Best known as the author of "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger" (1977), Sider died on July 27 of cardiac arrest.

The Pope’s Penitential Pilgrimage to Canada’s Indigenous People

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7 Micro-practices for rest and refreshment

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Biden’s visit to Bethlehem

A report on President Biden's private time at the Basilica of the Nativity during his recent trip to the Middle East, from America: The Jesuit Review.