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Divorce, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, and Kicking the Can Down the Road

How does a denomination resolve sharp differences of opinion? Can the denomination be a big tent where different views are tolerated? Some members insist that the RCA clearly articulate its beliefs about homosexuality, and make sure that all ministers act accordingly. Others insist that RCA members do not agree on this topic and that it is not the role of the denomination to make such statements. Should a denominational statement decide moral questions and church polity?
July 12, 2021
ChurchCulturePodcastPolitics

Justice Walk: Race, Protest, and Faith in a small Iowa Town.

https://youtu.be/pJNkKlHkz5w On Friday, June 5, a Justice Walk took place In Orange City, Iowa. Orange City is a rural Northwest Iowa community that is predominately white, protestant, and politically conservative. How does a conversation about race and justice happen in a town like Orange City? What does protest look like? I talked with Rahn Franklin and Caleb Arnett, two people involved in organizing the event, to find out. Click on the video above to hear the interview.
June 24, 2020
ChurchCultureEssaysTheology

Defense and Discernment: Bearing Witness in Suspicious Times

https://youtu.be/8bFkjb3txFY We live in suspicious times. I wore a mask during my most recent trip to the grocery store. As I was checking out, I noticed an unmasked woman glaring at me. No words were exchanged, and yet I got the distinct feeling that she was saying something like: “oh, so you’re one of them.” It is entirely possible that I misread her body language, or that I was feeling overly sensitive, or that she was the one feeling judged…
June 18, 2020
ChurchCultureEssaysTheology

The Life You Save May Not Be Your Own: Loving Our Distant Neighbors in a Time of Pandemic

https://youtu.be/NtMgj5fZN0A On March 27, the New York Times reported that although in some respects COVID-19 was uniting Americans in a common experience, it was also exposing fractures in our society: “A kind of pandemic caste system is rapidly developing: the rich holed up in vacation properties; the middle class marooned at home with restless children; the working class on the front lines of the economy, stretched to the limit by the demands of work and parenting, if there is even…
ChurchSexuality

The CRC is Not Ready for Status Confessionis on Homosexuality

CRC Synod 2019 meets June 14 through 20.  One topic which is likely to command a great deal of attention is that Synod will discuss the Interim Report of the Committee to Articulate a Foundation-laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality (page 403 of the Agenda for Synod).  The Committee was tasked in 2016 to provide a foundational Biblical/theological framework for gender and sexuality, to engage with rapidly proliferating interpretations of Scripture which support same-sex marriage, and to advise on whether…
June 12, 2019
ChurchCultureSexuality

My Time as a Methodist

My family lived in Southern Ohio when I was between the ages of five and ten, and after trying the local Presbyterian Church for a while we joined the Methodists because of a vibrant, vital pastor and congregation. Those were good years for my family. The Methodists were cool. The pastor had a teenage son who came to our house and tried to teach me how to play the guitar. George Harrison I was not. Once when my ancient great-grandfather…
March 13, 2019
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