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EssaysPolitics

The Hollander Files

Clannish, insular immigrants who refuse to assimilate ... large families and achieving kids who quickly overshadow other residents ... loyalty given to foreign, even adversarial, governments ... houses of worship where foreign languages are spoken ... dominating clergy who browbeat their people ... houses of worship set afire by arsonists. It is time for us to awaken to the reality that our American institutions are in danger from these foreigners who persist in bringing their un-American ideas with them, and…
CultureEssays

In Praise of Quitting

There’s a billboard out by the highway featuring a picture of John Wayne in all his western glory with the caption “Don’t Much Like Quitters, Son.” It’s one of the omnipresent “values” billboards that line our motorways. Every time I see it, I’m filled with questions. I probably shouldn’t take billboards so seriously, but I can’t help myself. Wouldn’t John Wayne have lived a longer, healthier, happier life if he’d been a quitter? What does it say about our culture…
October 31, 2018
EssaysTheology

Please, Don’t Pray for Me

When my daughter was seven months, I took her to the local aquatic center. She loved the splash zone so much that she lunged for the water when I finally carried her out. We proceeded to the locker room to put on our dry clothes. I set her down on a bench and reached for her diaper bag. In that split second, she rolled over and flopped onto the hard concrete floor. I heard her skin smack and saw her…
October 31, 2018
Essays

In the Beginning Was the Talk

Can a Reformed denomination interpret Scripture collectively to discern God’s will? A Reformed denomination such as the Reformed Church in America is fundamentally a network of churches holding each other accountable according to a shared interpretation of Scripture. We allow divergence in interpretations, but we recognize our divergences as legitimate. Yet this is not what happened at the RCA General Synod of 2016, where I was a delegate. We did not interpret God’s Word together. We did not share a…
Daniel Meeter
September 1, 2018
Book ReviewsEssays

Bringing Balance to the Missional Church Movement

As is felt in the pews on Sunday mornings and reported statistically, the American church is in decline. While this raises a lot of anxiety among church leaders, there are resources and movements attempting to change this trend. One of the most compelling movements is the missional-church movement. However, the word “missional” is so ubiquitous that it can be difficult to discern what people mean when they use it. One helpful tool for understanding is the book The Permanent Revolution.…
September 1, 2018
EssaysMagazine

Paying Attention: Sexual Violence on Our Campuses

I recently spent a week in the beautiful little town of Bathsheba on the eastern coast of the island Barbados. Upon telling people I would be traveling to Bathsheba, I received a look – and then “ooooh, Bathsheba.” Can you hear it? By “ooooh, Bathsheba,” they seemed to imply that risqué, adulterous Bathsheba from the Bible, wink wink. Of course, because I do research in the area of sexual violence, this kick-started some mental gymnastics. (To all of the religious…
June 30, 2018
EssaysMagazine

Sexual Assault and the Collision of Cultures on Christian College Campuses

It’s 9 a.m. on a Wednesday. Two female college students sit across from me on the leather couch in my office, placed strategically in a private corner of the student life suite at a small Christian college, precisely for moments like these. The young woman on the left looks compassionately at her friend, whose eyes are fixed on my floor, and then looks nervously at me. She explains that last night, her friend, “Carrie,” might have been raped by a…
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 Israel from 1967 to 1980) and many of the Israeli settlements (also illegal according to the Fourth Geneva Convention) to the north, south and east of Jerusalem. Since 1967, Israel has allowed and/or encouraged the illegal settlement of Israelis in…
April 30, 2018
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 pattern: place one tentative foot into the West Bank, check the landmark off the list after superficial engagement and zip back to the sunny places on the other side of the checkpoint with nary a glance at Bethlehem as it…
April 30, 2018