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As We See It

Feeling Minnesota: The Art of Not Winning

MAY/JUNE 2014: AS WE SEE IT by Jason Lief "So who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?" All week it was the same question. "I hope they both lose," is the response I gave. "Oh, but Peyton Manning—" Blah, blah, blah. Yes, great football player, even better Saturday Night Live host—his United Way skit is comedy gold. Still, I wanted him to lose. "But the Seahawks, come on, they've never won a Super Bowl. Surely you'll root for…
May 1, 2014

The Faithful Work of Pastor Jack

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012: INSIDE OUT by Jason Lief "Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.... I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:19, 22-23 "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't…
August 1, 2012

Stuff My Uncle Told Me

More than a year ago already, my uncle Rodney died of cancer. He never had a family of his own, living with his parents until he died--which is probably why he would call me like clockwork every two weeks. The phone would ring in my office. I would check the number, notice the area code and brace myself for the voice on the other end. "Hello?" I would say, knowing full well who was calling. "What the h*ll's going on?…
April 1, 2011

The Scary Love of Homer Simpson

A few years ago I was involved in a heated conversation about the portrayal of fatherhood on television. This took place during the heyday of those movements dedicated to getting men to be more manly, which usually entailed climbing rocks or jumping around like W WF wrestlers. This particular argument started when I was asked whether I thought Homer Simpson was a good father. Without hesitation I emphatically answered "yes"--and the debate was on. How could I justify believing that…
October 1, 2010

Coming to the Table: Discussing Food in the Middle of Farm Country

Sioux Center, Iowa is a small agricultural community in northwest Iowa where food production is central to economic and cultural life. Drive around Sioux Center and it becomes obvious that corn, soybeans, hogs, and cattle production dominate the farming scene. Industrial mechanized farming is a way of life in this area, which makes having a conversation about organic food, factory farms, and high fructose corn syrup complicated. Not only has the political polarization of the food issue erected barriers that…
August 1, 2010

Atonement Conversation…Continued

In the February issue, three Reformed theologians, George Hunsinger, Gabriel Fackre and Leanne Van Dyk, held a conversation about Christ's atoning work and current challenges and questions about it, "A Discussion of the Atonement: Abuse, Violence Sacrifice and the Cross." To keep the discussion going, here are five brief responses to that conversation.Too High a View of the Atonementby Thomas R. Thompson My compliments to professors Van Dyk, Hunsinger, and Fackre for their stimulating round-table discussion on a doctrinal topic…

Stephen’s Speech: The Tabernacling of God in Grandfather’s Kitchen

Stephen's speech in Acts 7 gives the impression that the temple was not a very good idea. On trial before the Jewish leaders, Stephen accuses them of being no better then their ancestors who in the desert abandoned Moses and offered sacrifices "in honor of what their hands had made." His criticism implies a connection between the golden calf and the temple as he argues the Most High does not live in "houses made by men." What are we to…
October 16, 2007