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Essays

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?”…
January 1, 2019
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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…
September 1, 2013
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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.…
April 1, 2012
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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…
November 1, 2011
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New (and Dull?) Apologetics

Debra Rienstra Two doctrinal sermons every Sunday, hymns thick with theological import, Bible class at school, and catechism class every Wednesday. That was my religious upbringing, heavy with Bible knowledge and theological terminology. This appealed to my bookish nature, and for the most part I lapped it right up. The…
October 16, 2008
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Get Thee Behind Me, Fat

NOVEMBER 2007: AS WE SEE IT "Thou shalt place outside thy door a vat of fat. And this shalt be a sign unto the angel of heart disease to pass over thy house. Purge thy dwelling of trans and saturated fats (polyunsaturated is OK in smallish amounts) and purify thy…
November 15, 2007
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Always Beginners

It is only human nature to grip too tightly and compress the certainties into too-limited, too-simple formulations. Part of us wants truth to come in portable sizes. In trying to explain who Jesus is, for example, Christians can manage to reduce him to the good moral teacher in sandals, the…
November 16, 2005