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Church HistoryCultureFeatured

Haunted by Beauty: Novels and the Life of Dorothy Day

May 3, 2021
In her loneliness, she turned to books. In the novels she read she met all sorts of characters who became her “friends.”
American History

The Religion Thing: The 1988 Presidential Election and the Shaping of Conservative Evangelical Political Activism

Robertson’s campaign cemented the alliance between conservative evangelical activists and the Republican Party that had been evolving for decades.
FeaturedMusicTheology
April 19, 2021

The Underlying Note of Joy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Musical Theology

The theologian and the musician in Bonhoeffer continuously interacted – not only in the sense that his theology informed his musical judgments, but also that his musical knowledge and sensibilities helped him to think through and express some of his most significant theological ideas.
CultureFeatured
April 12, 2021

In Delight

Delight sneaks up on us in the middle of all that is intolerable, breaking in through despair.
EssaysFeaturedMemoirTheology
April 5, 2021

I Am Not Alone

As Sophie and I were painting and chatting she paused with paintbrush in hand and asked, “What does being a Christian mean to you”? It was such a basic question, yet it caught me off-guard.

Latest from the Blog

Daily blog by our regular bloggers & guest contributors.

  • A Psalm for those who languish
    The New York Times piece published a piece last week about a mental health state called “languishing” — a state...
    May 6, 2021 Kate Kooyman
  • The Calcagni Club
    Every time I am in Florence, I spend time meditating on one of my favorite sculptures: the pietà of Michelangelo, often referred...
    May 5, 2021 Jennifer L. Holberg
  • Falling Apart Together
    The pandemic has exacerbated all kinds of emotions over the last year. Our collective state of imperfection has also left a bit more room for us to admit when we’re falling apart.
    May 4, 2021 Dana VanderLugt
  • Mine Enemies
    Can I say that my enemies are a gift of God to me? I’m not sure, but I can certainly say that my having enemies is a benefit of God’s peculiar way with us
    May 3, 2021 Daniel Meeter
  • God in Our Senses: Smell
    Perhaps it is not about discovering what God smells like, but rather of slowing down enough to not miss God in the small, sometimes fleeting, simplicity of scents.
    May 2, 2021 Katie Alley
  • Sundays at Our House
    Our family was never late for church, though one time we were. I can smile about it now, but it wasn’t funny then.
    May 1, 2021 Henry Post
  • What’s The Plan?
    I’ve been feeling a lot of empathy for the Israelites lately. Out they come from Egypt, feeling energized and excited...
    April 29, 2021 Laura de Jong
  • Tree of Life
    Cedar swamps create stillness. In winter, their complex and dense overstories absorb the bitter wind, providing shelter for deer. But for her protection, the deer couldn’t be there.
    April 28, 2021 Tim Van Deelen

Poetry

Poetry
May 4, 2021

A Prayer for Belva

Holy Spirit guide her through her wilderness.
Poetry
May 4, 2021

It’s Morning. I’m Still Waiting

We must not make the maquette.
Poetry
April 27, 2021

Winter Geese

If Mary Oliver was right, and their south-bound invitation is simply to love what you love, perhaps it's okay to love the north, the cold, and winter too.
Poetry
April 27, 2021

The Hardest Part is Starting

But how can I do this without community, without worship, without routine?
Poetry
April 20, 2021

How to Pray

You place your hand on the pulse of the congregation, the nation, the world.
Poetry
April 20, 2021

Liminal Space

Richard Rohr says liminal space is "When you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer ... the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed."
Poetry
April 13, 2021

what can happen in a second

Connections, both simple and complex, can happen in a second.
Poetry
April 13, 2021

Lovesongs

There are as many different love songs out there as there are relationships.

Latest Podcasts

Podcast
April 30, 2021

Season 2:1 Marilyn McEntyre

Our guest for the first episode of our new season of the Reformed Journal podcast is one of our finest spiritual writers, Marilyn McEntyre. Marilyn has written over 20 books, and has three new titles being released in the first half of 2021. RJ editor Jeff Munroe talks with her about those books, her background, and her reading and writing practices.
PodcastPolitics
October 29, 2020

Reformational Politics: An Interview with Jim Skillen

With much attention being given to the evangelical support of President Trump, it's easy to become polarized and assume Christians must align with one side or the the other. In this interview with Jim Skillen, former director of the Center for Public Justice, the focus is on a reformational view of politics: politics as an important part of God's good creation that seeks human flourishing and the common good.
PodcastPoliticsUncategorized
October 28, 2020

Politics and Friendship: An Interview with Northwestern College President Greg Christy

In today's polarized climate politics can be difficult to navigate—especially with friends and family. In this interview, Steve has a conversation with President Greg Christy of Northwestern College in which he discusses his lasting friendship with the late George McGovern—former senator from South Dakota and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate.
Around the Web

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Cave Syndrome

We've talked a lot about Covid-deniers, mask-refusers, and reckless behavior during the pandemic. But what about those who now cannot reenter society, even though they've been vaccinated?

Cleaning Up “Prophecy”

Is there a way to hold Pentecostal prophets to some standard, some accountability? Conservative David French seems to think so, or maybe hopes so.

The key word missing from the climate movement

Absent from most of our climate-related emotional inventory is delight, contentedness or joy.

Adoption: Myths, Pain, and Trauma

"We have been trained to see adoption as a fairy-tale ending to a tragic story, one that elides the birth mother’s complex feelings about relinquishing a child and the adopted child’s complex feelings of loss and abandonment."

We have to be willing to begin again

Powerful wisdom from Kathleen Norris

Parenting and Children’s Religious Commitment

A new study explores what sort of parenting is most successful at passing along religious commitment.

Talking to my kids about the Derek Chauvin verdict

The United States demands too much wisdom from Black parents. We must walk that fine line between telling the truth about how cruel America can be toward Black bodies and souls and the hope that our children can be their free Black selves.

Barring women from leadership in church may be bad for their health.

A study in the American Sociological Review finds that women who attend churches with restrictions on their leadership roles are less healthy than women attending churches with women in leadership roles.

Schaap wins Sevareid Award from Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association

Congratulations to Jim Schaap, regular contributor to The Twelve. "The Story of Chief Standing Bear," a four-part series on "Small Wonders," his weekly feature on Siouxland Public Media took first place in the Audio-Documentary category/medium market -- radio. Listen to it here. https://www.kwit.org/post/standing-bear-story-omnibus

Hospital chaplain helps staff cope with Covid stress & trauma

“Things were so hectic, people didn’t really have a chance to say, ‘Hey, I’m hurting.' It took time. With PTSD and moral injury, when that tempo goes down, those things tend to come to the top."

The Making of Biblical Womanhood

NPR interviews Beth Barr, church historian, on her new book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became the Gospel Truth,

Seven years later, 111 Nigerian girls still missing

In 2014, 276 mostly Christian female students were kidnapped by an Islamic terrorist group. Some have escaped and some were rescued but 111 are still missing.