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Book ReviewsUncategorized

Why We’re Polarized

Klein’s work is fascinating, compelling, and frightening. Christian leaders, in particular, should read this book to understand our times, and hopefully to prevent the Church from being one of the casualties of our divided culture.
April 28, 2021
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Reformed Theology and Evolutionary Theory

Book Review: Reformed Theology & Evolutionary Theory, by Gijsbert van den Brink, Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2020. By Tony Jelsma, Professor of Biology, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA Many of us who grew up in the Reformed tradition, with its value placed on the authority of Scripture, also inherited a young earth creationist (YEC) perspective. For those of us who then went on in the sciences, jettisoning that YEC perspective could be a traumatic experience. Some (like me) may have lived…
August 11, 2020
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Ending the Culture War: The Way of Saint Francis

The polarization of the United States is most recently symbolized by the mask—a small piece of cloth with two rubber bands that has become a symbol for a much broader conflict. (For an excellent theological discussion of mask wearing see Cambria Kaltwasser’s post.) Many Evangelicals have thrown their support behind President Trump as a calculated strategy to win what they see as a “culture war”. Feeling their way of life is in danger, they support President Trump to ensure conservative…
June 22, 2020
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Among Diversity Challenges, Science Textbooks Are Part of the Problem

Recent conversations about diversity initiatives in higher education include two complicated, interconnected issues: religious civility and progressive ideologies. For example, in October 2018, Eboo Patel wrote “Faith is the Diversity Issue Ignored by Colleges” for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and more recently, Inside Higher Ed published a piece by Patel in which he points to a noticeable difference between the views of “diversity progressives” and the minority groups they seek to elevate. More pointedly, he wonders whether diversity efforts…
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Let the Circle Be Unbroken

I got to church very late last Sunday. So late, in fact, that the minister was leaving the pulpit precisely as I arrived. I know that in many congregations people might think I’d missed the most important, the central feature of the service – the preaching of the Word. But at my home congregation in Michigan the central event of worship is communion, the eucharistic feast. And that central event is practiced in a way I’ve never seen elsewhere. Rather…
January 1, 2019
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Why is Fear an Evangelical Habit of Mind?

This past weekend, a man entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and massacred 11 people gathered for worship. The assailant was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, three Glock .357 handguns, and a heavy dose of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Minutes before entering the synagogue, he posted on social media that HIAS, a Jewish nonprofit helping to resettle refugees, “likes to bring invaders that kill our people.” He was likely triggered by theories bandied about by Republicans in recent days that the migrant caravan winding its way…
November 4, 2018
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Intellectually Engaging My Fundamentalist Students

As a scholar of physics, a product of Christian liberal arts education, and current physics professor at a Christian liberal arts college, I hold the value of critical thinking in high regard. In preparing my physics class material, my ultimate goal is to help my students achieve a higher level of problem-solving, which hopefully, they will retain even beyond remembering how to calculate gravitational attraction. In Colossians 2:23, Paul writes to those in Laodicea, “My goal is that they may…
November 1, 2018