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The artistEssays

We Speak through Nature; Nature Speaks through Us

“To an angel, art must seem a very foreign thing indeed.” —Nicholas Wolterstorff in Art in Action: Toward a Christian Aesthetic (Eerdmans, 1980) Imagine this: There is a woman in your congregation who is a talented quilter. She’s covered all the beds in her house and most of the beds in her children’s and grandchildren’s houses with her handiwork. Inevitably, she begins making quilts for members of the congregation – particularly those who are ill or grieving. Nothing says comfort,…
October 31, 2015
Barth's Church DogmatcsEssays

Listening to Karl Barth

Karl Barth's study, in Basel, Switzerland. In the last house where Karl Barth lived and worked and finally died, a charming residence on Bruderholzallee in Basel, there are several portraits that stand apart from the others. Portraying Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, these stand out because they hang above several doorways instead of on the walls with everything else. Barth’s singular love of Mozart’s music is well known. Bach and Beethoven each get a cameo appearance in his Church Dogmatics, but it…
October 31, 2015
Essays

Netflix’s Daredevil: Superhero with a Real Soul

The unexpected news that Netflix had produced and released 13 episodes of Daredevil filled me with a mixture of nostalgic hope and earned skepticism. I loved the Marvel comic as a kid, but I also dolefully recalled Kevin Smith’s 2003 film, latent with bad Ben Affleck and shallow Hollywoodization of Daredevil’s gritty mythology. I feared this second installment would again sanitize the melancholic beauty of Marvel’s dark morality tale. Upon viewing creator Drew Goddard’s inspired retelling, fear thankfully transformed into…
Robert J. Hubbard
October 31, 2015
Essays

When Singing Is Like Breathing

Twice in my reading life I have come upon descriptions of communal singing that have aroused in me a deep longing to join with the singers, descriptions of a kind of choiring so spontaneous and natural, so full of the joy or pain of the moment, that I thought, “Only this singing, nothing else, could so completely feed the bodies and souls of the singers.” I wish I could have lived in such a community, for singing, like nothing else…
Dave Schelhaas
October 31, 2015
As We See It

Gender and Grace 25 Years Later: An Interview with the Author

by Kristin Kobes Du Mez This year marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Mary Stewart van Leeuwen’s book Gender and Grace: Love, Work and Parenting in a Changing World, a book that has been a touchstone in the Reformed community’s understanding of sex, gender and feminism. Having gone through 14 printings, Gender and Grace has had remarkable staying power and has been translated into Korean, Arabic and Chinese. Perspectives: Tell us how you came to write this book.…
September 1, 2015
Essays

Gender Is Not a Virtue

When I went off to Bible college, all I wanted to do was serve God – in youth ministry or as a missionary, or (if I was lucky) by landing a contract with a contemporary-Christian-music label as a singer. Eventually, as I fell in love with biblical studies, theology and philosophy, I began to envision myself as an educator – teaching the Bible and theology in the university. But it was in college that I also began to receive mixed…
September 1, 2015
Essays

Transforming African Cultural Gender Relations through Christ

Theology, it is said, arises out of the lived and shared experiences of people within their cultures. Generally speaking, in Africa south of the Sahara, the communal way of life and connectedness among clans, families and communities ensure that gender relations are not just between an individual man relating to an individual woman; gender relations transcend marital, communal and church affiliations and bonds. However, the manifestations of patriarchy in Africa and its attendant powerlessness, poverty, exclusion, exploitation and oppression of…
September 1, 2015
As We See It

Building a Tradition of Christian Gender Studies

Twenty years ago, I was a college student attending a Christian college in the Reformed tradition. (Dordt College, in case you’re curious). It was my junior year, and I had yet to have a female professor, I don’t believe I had read a book by a woman in any of my classes, and I’m certain I hadn’t read anything about women – until I was assigned to read Mary Stewart van Leeuwen’s Gender and Grace. Until that time, the only…
September 1, 2015
Essays

Not Counting Women and Children

In Matthew’s telling of the feeding of the five thousand, he relates that after the crowd has eaten and were satisfied, the disciples gathered up the leftover loaves and fishes in baskets. The account concludes, “And those who ate were five thousand men, not counting women and children” (Matt 14: 21). Mark and Luke note that five thousand men were fed (Mark 6:44, Luke 9:14). Matthew’s is the only gospel to notice that women and children are not included in…
Christiana de Groot
September 1, 2015
The Adoration of the Shepherds/Geroges de la TourEssays

Desiring the End(s) of Salvation

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. –C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses…
July 1, 2015