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Stewardship Is Not Good Enough

If we are partners in earth-healing, we need to ask different questions about any place that we own or live on or love. For millennia, humans have mostly asked, “What do we want and need from ‘nature’?” In this age, we need to ask instead, “What healing does this place need, and how can I help?”
February 14, 2022

More Bread than We Bargained For

“Did you know that the phrase ‘daily bread’ in the Lord’s Prayer really means ‘supersubstantial bread’? Like, supernatural?” This is the sort of tidbit that gets dropped casually at my house from time to time. It’s what happens when you live with a seminary professor. “Where did that come from?” I asked my spouse. “I dunno. The interwebs.” Classic. Turns out it’s true. How many times have I prayed the Lord’s Prayer – thousands? And I never heard this before?…
January 1, 2019

My Summer Vacation: a Report

Late in a recent summer, I spent an entire day with my departmental compatriots working on Student Learning Outcomes. This is merely the latest manifestation of the assessment mania now gripping our college – and higher education as a whole. Naturally I came home with a crushing headache. Meanwhile, many of us had seen each other only in passing for the previous few months, so we engaged in some pleasant chit-chat and catching up with one another: “How was your…
October 31, 2018

Learning to See Life’s Ecstatic Dance

The Overstory, by Richard Powers THE OVERSTORY RICHARD POWERS W. W. NORTON & COMPANY. INC., 2018 $27.95 512 PAGES Richard Powers, a National Book Award winner, has been writing science- and tech-related fiction for more than 30 years. In his latest novel, The Overstory, he displays his mastery of the craft with an innovative interplay of theme, structure and style. The first 150 pages trace nine characters – nine “roots” according to the section heading – each equally compelling. The…
October 31, 2018
As We See ItChurch

I Never Was an Evangelical, and I Never Want to Be

Those of us in this little Reformed tribe: Do we, or do we not count ourselves as Evangelicals? Since the rise of the current American Disgrace-in-Chief, flung into power on a trebuchet constructed by white Evangelical voters, the Reformed/Evangelical dilemma has become the subject of some urgent consideration. On  the Reformed Journal's blog, The Twelve, Kristin du Mez wrote  back in April 2015 about Rachel Held Evans’ defection from Evangelicalism, and du Mez described her own youthful forays into Evangelical culture,…
October 31, 2018

Told You So, Dad

Debra Rienstra Obviously, even in my late forties, I still have some father issues to work out. I realized this afresh as I was reading through Daniel Pink's 2005 book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, because I kept thinking of my poor dad and how I wanted to show him the book and say, "Ha! See? I was right all along!" How immature of me, since these days it is more pointless than ever to…
September 1, 2013

Knowing Stuff

APRIL 2012: AS WE SEE IT by Debra Rienstra I admit there's something romantic about woodstoves and typewriters and horse-drawn carriages and other technologies of the past—for about ten minutes. Then, get me back to my central heating, my laptop, and my minivan. And definitely, definitely: give me the internet. There's nothing romantic about not knowing stuff. Questions I have asked the internet this week: What's the weather going to be in Albany, New York? Should I be worried about…
April 1, 2012

The Divine Regard

Psalm 121 is the sort of psalm we might post on our refrigerators and bulletin boards, right alongside "I know the plans I have for you" and "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord." A personal affirmation of faith, a soaring word of assurance about our great and good God: "Nothing will harm you. God is the maker of heaven and earth, and all is well. You'll be safe." On good days, we rejoice in…
November 1, 2011