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Inside Out

Exploring the Attic

When I was growing up, my parents would send me away for a week or two in the summer to my grandparents’ house. I looked forward to these weeks in the season of long light. Grandpa and Grandma had a tract of acres, a garden, an apple orchard to climb in, an old barn filled with tools, rusted machinery and tractors from a bygone season when the land was farmed. But my favorite place to explore was the attic. Upstairs,…
Trygve Johnson
July 1, 2015

A Letter from Despondent University

Below is a letter from an old friend, Karis, who now serves as dean of the chapel at Despondent University in up-state Washington, in WantMore County. We share a faithful correspondence through letters. Occasionally she writes something that I like to share. Despondent University, est. 1849 May 6, 2014   Dear Trygve, It’s graduation day at Despondent University. It’s typical Northwest atmosphere. The clouds hang low, and a slow drizzle threatens the moment. Yet, despite the concrete sky, an atmosphere…
Trygve Johnson
October 30, 2014
As We See It

Thick Lives, Thick Theology

The question of this guest-edited issue of Perspectives can be asked in two ways. First, we are asking a broad question: How does Christian theology illuminate the weight and depth of our day-to-day lives, such that our lives can be experienced and shaped in accord with that weight and depth? As David Bentley Hart has recently claimed in “The Experience of God” (Yale, 2013), “We have, in fact, no direct access to nature as such; we can approach nature only…

Turning the Page: An Interview with Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

In June, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson will step down as the general secretary of the Reformed Church in America after 17 years of service. In February, Granberg-Michaelson had this conversation with Trygve Johnson, Dean of the Chapel at Hope College. We join them mid-conversation, when the topic is Richard Wolffe's book Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House. WGM: I'm about halfway through Revival by Richard Wolffe, which is a story of the first eighteen months of the Obama…
Trygve Johnson
May 1, 2011

On Keeping Vocational Fidelity: The Secret of Ebey’s Landing

I believe place matters. No one lives in a vacuum, disembodied, or isolated from ecologic necessity. Existence requires location. Life has geography. Our contexts of land and culture matter for shaping who we are and who we might become. A place gathers our moments, collects our stories, even as it stores these memories in fragrances of the seasons. In our places we worship, go to school, work, sing, fight and forgive, fall down and get up, live and die. Despite…
Trygve Johnson
January 16, 2009