Essays

Siding with an Oppressor

If we must refer to Advent, then let us hear the Palestinian cry for deliverance from bondage. Both ideologically and municipally, Israel considers Jerusalem to encompass greater Jerusalem, which includes West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem (the Palestinian side, illegally annexed by…
Essays

Of Aliens and Embassies

American visitors to the Holy Land often “run where Jesus walked,” a Palestinian friend from Bethlehem likes to say. One need only watch the crush of tourists pouring out of buses at the Church of the Nativity to observe the…
Essays

Distance

1,284.5 miles: The distance from my front door to Charlottesville, Virginia. In the second weekend of August, I woke to the sound of a crop-duster plane zooming over our family’s tent in the middle of a Minnesota state park about…
Essays

Canada Geese and Gerasene Swine

I saw them across the water in the early morning, on our lake in Ontario, just beyond Paquin’s Point: a band of geese, maybe half a dozen. What I actually saw, just barely in the low-angled light, was a passing…
Essays

Theology in Bronze

T.S. Elliot wrote that at the end of all our journeying we will arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. For me, it took moving to Calvin College, in the heart of Dutch Calvinist West…
Essays

Olivier Messiaen: Music as Prayer

VISIONS OF AMEN: THE EARLY LIFE AND MUSIC OF OLIVIER MESSIAEN STEPHEN SCHLOESSER EERDMANS, 2014 $50 570 PAGES CONCURRENTLY RELEASED AUDIO RECORDING: MESSIAEN, VISIONS OF AMEN HYESOOK KIM AND STEPHANE LEMELIN, PIANO WWW.EERDMANS.COM/SCHLOESSER_AUDIO Few composers of the 20th century were as…
Essays

Plan A

We’ve all heard a story that goes something like this: In the beginning God created a beautiful and perfect universe. To crown his creation, he made humanity in his own image. Human beings were perfect and immortal. Life was serene…