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FeaturedPreachingTheology

On Curiosity and War Stories

October 18, 2021
I have found great freedom in this gentle posture. It allows the space to get things wrong, continually learn, and recognize we always read scripture informed by our needs and cultural context. This means it is okay to grasp only part of what scripture might be saying. It is okay to get it wrong here and there. That’s why we work these things out in community.
Church

What Holds Us Together: A Conversation with Trisha Taylor and Jim Herrington

What holds us together? If agreement is what holds us together, then every so often when something emerges that we disagree on, we will have to go through this again and again, and again, and again. If what holds us together is our agreement, then just buckle up for serial conflict because we will have to slug it out often, because there's always a new question. There's always a new issue emerging. Think about your history, about how deep the…
ChurchFeatured
October 4, 2021

Standing on their Shoulders: An interview with Marchiene Rienstra

As the decades go by, pioneers are forgotten. It’s important to acknowledge we stand on the shoulders of those who came before. And, it’s very encouraging, if you’re one of those pioneers, to see the progress. We’re not doing this work for ourselves, but for everyone coming after us. I remember a conversation I had with another church leader about moving ahead, even when there isn’t consensus. He said to me, “We can’t always wait until we have a convoy.”…
ChurchFeatured
September 27, 2021

God’s Counterintuitive Calling for a “Contaminated” Church

What is going on with this “family” we’ve been adopted into? How am I to make sense of the dissension and conflict among God’s household, God’s people, the church—the bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, people of God’s covenant of grace?
ChurchFeaturedOld Testament
September 20, 2021

Whitewashed Images

In the Reformed tradition, worship is an encounter with the living God, who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, speaks to congregants through the preaching of the word and communes with them in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Without the location of God in a place or object, without encountering God in word and sacrament, how can a believer’s restless longing for communion with God ever be satisfied?
Featured
September 13, 2021

Poetry’s Mad Instead

We have a Creator who calls on the creation to create. We have a God who calls us to praise God’s marvelous deeds and summons us to sorrow over the sins of this world. Poets draw us into praise and sorrow through the songs they sing. They reconnect us with God’s world by wrenching this world awry. Their “mad instead” nourishes the faith of the faithful by making the familiar fresh.
ChurchFeaturedWorship
September 6, 2021

The Baptism of the Spirit

The church has been entrenched for centuries in disputes about baptism, and our confidence in our own baptisms can weaken in the trenches. In this essay I want to suggest one way out of the baptismal trenches. I will point to the trail of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.
FeaturedMemoir
August 30, 2021

Cosmic Companionship

If we practice slowing down and paying attention—if we truly take the Sabbath to heart—we will find that wild geese and herons and burning bushes are everywhere. The world is always offering itself to our imagination!

Latest from the Blog

Daily blog by our regular bloggers & guest contributors.

  • What I Saw at General Synod, II
    This week, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we will be hearing from six delegates to the Reformed Church in America's General Synod, just adjourned in Tucson, Arizona.
    October 21, 2021 Sophie Mathonnet-VanderWell
  • What I Saw at General Synod, I
    The Reformed Journal asked six delegates to Synod to share a glimpse of the meeting. For the next three days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we will be hearing from these delegates, two each day.
    October 20, 2021 Megan Hodgin
  • I Kissed Giving Up Faith Goodbye
    Deconstructing faith can be shocking and painful, a little bit gleeful and freeing. Often there’s a tendency to be somewhat sophomoric and self-important.
    October 19, 2021 Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell
  • Kayak Lessons
    That kayak, on my first full day at the cottage, called my name. And I couldn’t ignore it.
    October 18, 2021 Arika Theule-VanDam
  • Pay Attention: Life in the In-Between Place
    We’re in an “in-between” place when we no longer live in the farm country of Ontario but we’re not quite fully settled in the high desert of New Mexico.
    October 17, 2021 Betsy DeVries
  • “Not with Persuasive Words . . .”
    If like me you have ever made a donation to a political candidate or party, then you know that your...
    October 16, 2021 Scott Hoezee
  • (Un)finished Symphony
    There is something incomplete about the span of your life – no matter how young or how old you are...
    October 15, 2021 Heidi S. De Jonge
  • What About Hunting?
    As one moves from a commodity view of animals to a kinship view, hunting invokes an obvious moral tension.
    October 14, 2021 Tim Van Deelen

Poetry

Poetry
October 19, 2021

Juxtaposition

We praise the beautiful, the lovely, the kind. We love those who love us back, that which pays homage to our place in the universe.
Poetry
October 19, 2021

On Leaping

I want to leap like a raging fire, like the lame man who was healed.
Poetry
October 12, 2021

Letter

The upright scrawl of leaf cleaving last to the fig tree I mistake each daybreak for the bird-messenger, the one which I am sure will come flare the mouth of morning.
Poetry
October 12, 2021

Strawberry Supermoon

Orbits have pulled us to this moment. Blessed are you who call me out of darkness to feed me low-hanging light, waxed amber and plump.
Poetry
October 5, 2021

Invasive Species

They are not native, the Queen Anne's Lace, chicory, and birdsfoot trefoil that add so much to the country drive, as they wave back and from from the shoulder of the road.
Poetry
October 5, 2021

Fire and Rain

This rain, which falls so lovingly not too hard, not too soft, on leaves and grass and on itself in puddles, should fall on my beloved sister, whose dry forests are in flame.

Latest Podcasts

Podcast
October 21, 2021

Jeff Crosby

In this episode, Jeff Munroe, editor at the Reformed Journal, talks with Jeff Crosby, President and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association. Jeff C has been involved in the Christian publishing industry for nearly four decades, including 5 years as Publisher for InterVarsity Press (IVP). Listen to this week's conversation to hear about how Jeff C found himself in the Christian book business, Jeff's time at IVP, and the future of Christian publishing, as well as get great book…
Podcast
September 23, 2021

Neal Plantinga

In this episode, Deborah Van Duinen talks with Cornelius (Neal) Plantinga, senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian worship at Calvin University. Neal has written several books, including Not the Way It's Supposed to Be (Eerdmans, 1995), Christianity Today's 1996 "Book of the Year," and Engaging God's World (Eerdmans, 2002), the 2003 "Book of the Year." Deb and Neal discuss his newest book, Morning and Evening Prayers, why more Christians should use published prayers, how Reformed theology informed…
Podcast
September 9, 2021

Gayle Boss

In this episode, Deborah Van Duinen, book review editor at the Reformed Journal, talks with Gayle Boss, author of All Creation Waits (2016) and Wild Hope (2020). Gayle shares the stories behind the Advent and Lent devotionals rooted in her deep love for God's creatures, as well as how we can become better caretakers of Creation. More information on Gayle's work can be found at gayleboss.com.
Podcast
August 29, 2021

Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor

In this episode, Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell talks with Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor of The Leader's Journey, an organization that helps leaders and organizations grow their emotional intelligence so that they can be the healthiest, most effective versions of themselves. In this conversation, they discuss their Enneagram numbers, the evolving challenges facing the RCA and other Christian denominations in North America, and The Leader's Journey's work with pastors, congregations, and denominations.
Podcast
August 26, 2021

Makoto Fujimura

In this episode, Jennifer Holberg talks with Makoto Fujimura, a leading contemporary artist whose process driven, refractive “slow art” has been described by David Brooks of New York Times as “a small rebellion against the quickening of time”. He was a Presidential Nominee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003 to 2009, and served as an international advocate for the arts, speaking with decision-makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. In this episode, they discuss Fujimura's book,…
Podcast
August 13, 2021

Tim Van Deelen

In this episode, Jeff Munroe talks with Tim Van Deelen, who is a professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is also a frequent contributor to The Reformed Journal, regularly contributing the blog and writing essays. In this episode, they discuss Tim's work, as well as ways that individuals can make a difference around climate change, and more.
Around the Web

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Catholic Church in Sicily Bans Godparents

The DIocese of Catania in Sicily experiments with banning the practice of godparents, saying it has lost "all spiritual significance."

Nomadland, Van Life, Money, and Being Eccentric

I’m missing the friction that should exist between a faithful life and accepted normalcy. Maybe I miss the weirdness of my poor, Jesusy, hippie childhood when my faith felt uncontained.

Beth Allison Barr, Kevin DeYoung and the ESV!

Barr's strong reply to DeYoung, and even more a complete take down of the sexism and bias of the English Standard Version of the Bible.

“White” Goose

The progressive Christian festival in North Carolina's mountains struggles to address the deep racism built into so much of its assumptions.

RCA General Synod Convenes

Meeting in Tucson, Arizona, the widest decision-making body of the Reformed Church in America is on the verge of fracturing.

Comedian Norm Macdonald — crypto-Christian?

The acerbic comedian, who died last month, hinted at faith and became gentler in comedy, as he aged.

The Incredible Popularity of “The Chosen”

The show may not only be popular, it may be important and teach us about true discipleship.

A Warm Earth & the Church of the Middle Ages

From the 11th to 13th centuries, Europe experienced a warm period. How did it affect the Church?

Francis Collins on Faith & Science

Michael Gerson writes on the departing head of NIH, Francis Collins.

Ted Lasso and Caritas

What if the award-winning show is about more than simply a "nice-guy"?

A Pastor’s Case for the Morality of Abortion

Former blogger on The Twelve, Jes Kast, explains her changing understanding of abortion in this 2019 interview.

How different enneagram types handle their anger

What make you angry? And how might you process your anger? Do you know your enneagram type?