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A Quiet Influence: Remembering Eugene Heideman

Just before Gene suffered a stroke in 2019, I was sitting next to him in church on a Wednesday morning at a men’s breakfast and book study. We were discussing the current friction in the denomination, which he was able to put into a much larger context of denominational history and the forces at work in society and culture. “I have come to the point where I think for the good of the church and for many Christians it would…
May 30, 2022

A Pandemic of Mistrust

I’ve been looking for a theory of everything, that explains not just Trump, sexism, and anti-wokeism, but also explains things as different as climate change denial, bad behavior on airplanes, Brexit, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, church splits, anti-vaxxers, threats of violence outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, and our tolerance of mass shootings. I know that’s asking a lot, but I think I may have come up with something.
May 23, 2022

Abraham Kuyper for a Secular Age

Kuyper’s name and ideas (or at least versions of them) have spread beyond the confines of the Dutch immigrant denominations that originally laid claim to him, into the broader evangelical culture.
May 16, 2022

The Real Question in the Abortion Debate

Beneath this contorted, soundbite driven, raging debate is, in my view, the real question: When does a fertilized egg in its development acquire, in the view of the state, the status of a full human being deserving constitutional rights and protections, like any other person?

The Human Sexuality Report: What Does Scripture Condemn and Condone?

Exactly what is the harm being done to anyone’s neighbor by the relationship of an LGBTQ couple? On the contrary, the harm we do to these brothers and sisters when we ostracize and condemn them is obvious. The HSR advises that the church declare that these brothers and sisters have no place in the church or the Kingdom of heaven. Shame on us if we make such a proclamation.

Cane and Able: A Retrospective Leading Me Somewhere

My work with RCA Disability Concerns has forced me to wrestle in deeper ways with ableism—the subtle, pervasive bias evident in attitudes, actions, or systems that consider a person with a disability as defective, broken, and “less than.” When I was hired in 2009 to launch this new RCA ministry, I resisted emphasizing the church's many ableist practices because it seemed too difficult to start there. But as I’ve observed and repeatedly experienced ableist practices and systems over more than…
April 25, 2022

The Voice of your Brother’s Blood

Watching and listening to Eitan Haber, I felt the past and the present collapsing into each other. We were reliving the drama of Cain and Abel. Yigal Amir had murdered Yitshak Rabin, his brother in the faith, and Rabin’s blood was crying out to us from the text of Shir L’Shalom. One drama was interpreting the other. Rabin’s blood was crying out for peace and reconciliation, and I began wondering what the blood of Abel might have been crying. What…
April 18, 2022

Missing Easter

The theme I should have preached is that hardly anyone gets it right away. Like the disciples, most of us are a little slow. I was definitely on the slower side. Faith takes a while, sometimes a very long time, which doesn’t make for a rousing Easter sermon, the kind I thought I was expected to preach. It wasn’t until the sun was high overhead that a few of the earliest disciples began to catch on, and even then there…
April 11, 2022

Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough

We do have a gun violence problem in this country. In my view, both action and prayer can be appropriate ways to respond. But prayer alone, without active response has literally never worked to bring healing and wholeness to systemic issues in the United States. Ever.
April 4, 2022