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FeaturedOld Testament

Barefoot on Holy Ground

July 26, 2021
I have spent my life studying the Bible and trying to teach it in such a way that students could experience it as living and active in their lives. That is a high bar that more often than not I failed to clear; I was powerless to implement the deeper learning that I desired for my students. I could not make them love anything, or care for anyone, or open their hearts to the word of God. But I could…
Culture

Snapchat, Anti-Asian Hate, and Meritocracy

If the snap in question is any indication, many white working-class Americans believe that ethnic identity is destroying meritocracy. According to this logic, being born non-white bestows unfair advantages over white people. Thus, I read the snap my daughter received as a claim of reverse discrimination.
ChurchFeatured
July 12, 2021

Divorce, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, and Kicking the Can Down the Road

How does a denomination resolve sharp differences of opinion? Can the denomination be a big tent where different views are tolerated? Some members insist that the RCA clearly articulate its beliefs about homosexuality, and make sure that all ministers act accordingly. Others insist that RCA members do not agree on this topic and that it is not the role of the denomination to make such statements. Should a denominational statement decide moral questions and church polity?
FeaturedPreaching
July 5, 2021

Preaching Eschatologically: How the Form of a Sermon Can Help Stir Up Gospel Hope

Eschatology has traditionally been a doctrine of Christian hope. Somewhere along the way, fire and fear edged out new creation and hope as the basic principles of Christians’ understanding of the end-times.
FeaturedMemoir
June 28, 2021

Lunch with My Mother

What I wanted to think about in that moment was this: my mother and I had somehow survived a pandemic and our lives seemed to be getting started again.
EnvironmentFeatured
June 21, 2021

Disrupting Nature: Both the Problem and the Only Option Left

Elizabeth Kolbert’s "Under a White Sky" finds both violence and beauty in our responses to climate change. But the moral dilemmas will only grow.
ChurchFeaturedGenderSexuality
June 14, 2021

It Looks Like it all Boils Down to Love, Doesn’t It?

Working with Bible Pride on that sunny spring day, it hit me that scripture itself had been one of those weapons. For thousands, nay millions, of Christian LGBTQ+ people over the years, the very words that are intended to train, encourage, and enliven have been used to shame, abuse, and ultimately even kill.
American HistoryFeaturedPoliticsWhite American Evangelicalism
June 7, 2021

Subversion & Sabotage: The Right-to-Life Movement, the Consolidation of Conservsative Power, and the End of Compromise

Right-to-lifers understood the arguments and goals of the women’s movement and were willing to engage with feminists to a certain extent . . . Unfortunately, a growing conservative contingent in the antiabortion movement viewed the women’s movement as an existential threat to their larger goals and actively sabotaged and undermined attempts by right-to-lifers to work with feminist groups.

Latest from the Blog

Daily blog by our regular bloggers & guest contributors.

  • Ted Lasso: A Man For This Season
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    July 26, 2021 Jeff Munroe
  • Shepherd of a Diverse Flock
    As I looked at one of the pictures, I noticed something that I hadn’t before. The sheep that Jesus the Shepherd is tending are fluffy, pure white—except one.
    July 25, 2021 Emily Ratering-Youngberg
  • Mark Driscoll and Me
    Mark Driscoll is an example of how not to lead, and that is not news to those privy to his meteoric rise and fall.
    July 24, 2021 Nathan Groenewold
  • The Last Question
    The time came on Monday night, November 2. Instead of moving Mom into her own bedroom, my siblings and I helped her walk three steps across the room. We tucked her into that hospital bed, right in her happy place. My sister remembers that Mom asked, “Why are you putting
    July 23, 2021 Heidi S. De Jonge
  • A House of Wings
    In the group that had crossed that day were Venezuelans, Cubans, and many Haitians, along with a few Russians, Romanians, and Syrians, all fleeing conflicts that had put them in danger at home.
    July 22, 2021 David Hoekema
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    Mostly I find the internet to be a soul-sucking place lately. But yesterday I discovered something that was so utterly...
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    It is not requests from others I need to say “no” to. It is my own compulsive nature. We have to admit that in our society, we virtually train our children to go, go, go.
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    I have to admit that the title was a turn off. For me, it conjured up saccharine stories in the...
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Poetry

Poetry
July 20, 2021

Sacred Incipience

Then I saw the tree—dead, fallen years before, limbs snapped raw like broken bones, its trunk a shroud-less corpse still teeming with life.
Poetry
July 20, 2021

E Pluribus Unum

I measure, saw, drill, and rummage for more scrap wood, the garage air redolent with the sudden grace of Christmas tree, the gift of century-old spruce when cut.
Poetry
July 13, 2021

Jeremiah

God touches my mouth and promises, "I'll give you words and fill your head with wisdom. I'll never desert you."
Poetry
July 6, 2021

The Road Not Always A Straight Line

I drive into the plains when the moon is full.
Poetry
July 6, 2021

The Woodchoppers’ Ball

The beasts walk single file, saying hallelujah, eating bones.
Poetry
June 29, 2021

How To Meet This Difficult Day

Today the prayer is words I can't yet find, words that flit away like spring juncos, like chickadees.

Latest Podcasts

Podcast
July 15, 2021

Reggie Smith

In this episode of The Reformed Journal Podcast, Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell talks with Rev. Reggie Smith, the Director of Diversity for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Rev. Reggie Smith grew up in Chicago, Illinois, then attended Calvin Seminary. He then pastored Northside Community CRC in New Jersey for almost two years before moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he pastored Roosevelt Park Community CRC for 20 years. He has also taught urban ministry and urban development classes at Calvin…
Podcast
July 8, 2021

Charlie Lowell

In this episode, Jeff Munroe talks with Charlie Lowell, a founding member of the band Jars of Clay. Charlie is a three-time Grammy winner and most recently produced and co-wrote a song called "The End" that was streamed over five million times and featured in the Netflix series, Bridgerton. They discuss his life, career, and play a segment of his most recent song.
Podcast
July 1, 2021

Meredith Anne Miller

In this episode, Kate Kooyman talks with Meredith Anne Miller, a mom, pastor, and writer with over 20 years of experience in children’s ministry and curriculum. Meredith holds a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary, as well as a B.A. in Religious Studies and Spanish Language & Literature from Westmont College. Meredith and her husband started Pomona Valley Church in 2019, and she has been involved with the work of the Fuller Youth Institute since 2007.
Podcast
June 24, 2021

Thomas Lynch

In this episode, Reformed Journal editor, Jeff Munroe, talks with Thomas Lynch about his life, career, and poetry. Thomas Lynch operated the Lynch and Sons Funeral Home in Milford, Michigan for decades. He's an accomplished essayist and poet, and he has been the subject of a documentary on PBS. He's written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and a host of others. He's also done spoken word pieces for the BBC. At the end of this…
Podcast
June 17, 2021

Joel Schoon-Tanis

In this episode, Reformed Journal book review editor, Deb Van Duinen, talks with Joel Schoon-Tanis about his art and his most recently published book "40: The Gospels."
Podcast
June 10, 2021

Brian Allain, Todd Deatherage, and How to Heal Our Divides

Brian Allain and Tood Deatherage are co-collaborators (along with several others) in the new book How to Heal Our Divides: A Practical Guide. In this episode, Reformed Journal editor Jeff Munroe talks with Brian and Todd about the book. They especially focus on Todd's work in peacemaking with Telos and the latest round of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Around the Web

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Pope restricts use of Latin Mass

Reversing his predecessor, Pope Francis restricted the use of Latin Mass, saying it was divisive and a tool used by Catholics opposed to the reforms of Vatican II.

(Post?)-Pandemic Pilgrimages?

Wes Granberg-Michaelson wonders if the pandemic has made us hungrier for physicality and place. Maybe hungrier for pilgrimages?

Why Christians Fight Systematic Racism

"A Christian theology of human fallibility leads us to expect structural and personal injustice. It is in the texts we hold dear. So when Christians stand up against racialized oppression, they are not losing the plot; they are discovering an element of Christian faith and practice that has been with us since the beginning."

A Surprising Best-Seller

Jesus and John Wayne, Kristin DuMez's book continues to sell and attract media attention.

“Factional” faux friends contributing to our polarized society

David French writes that its easier to have "factional" friends -- people we don't really know but agree with our opinions and politics, than face-to-face friends who might differ from us.

Hope College aiming to go “tuition free”

The liberal arts college in Holland, Michigan, associated with the Reformed Church in America, aims to raise its endowment to $1 billion and then to offer tuition-free education. Some pilot programs are already underway.

Sermongate!

When does borrowing from others become plagiarism in preaching? A controversy among the Southern Baptists touches on a larger question.

Orthodox Jew Selected in MLB Draft

Believed to be a first, Jacob Steinmetz, a hard-throwing pitcher from Long Island, New York and an Orthodox Jew, was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the recent baseball draft.

Collective Effervescence

We've been missing a specific kind of joy during the pandemic -- the joy of being together, a joy that multiplies.

ESV Bible Found to be “softening” and “becoming PC”

The proudly conservative Bible translation, that has accused other English translations of cultural accommodation and going PC, is found to be doing its own editing to modern sensibilities.

Not Interested

I’m angry that Christians are not just complicit in but actively blameworthy for the earth’s ruin. I’m angry that well-meaning, well-educated people take comfort in meaningless half-measures. I’m angry that no one will ever be held accountable.

White mainline Christians pass white evangelicals in US survey

Two surprises in a huge survey of religion in the US: white mainline Christians overtake white Evangelicals as the dominant Protestant group, and the growth of the "nones" slowed.