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Politics

The White Working Class, Trump and “the Least of These”

In the days right after Donald Trump’s election, lots of us were saying things such as “I need to understand this. These people can’t be that different than we are. If we just reach out, they are our neighbors.” That lasted about two weeks for me. What I found seemed simply nasty, atrocious and hateful. What was I doing wrong? How should I have done it better? I turned for answers to Jon Witt, a sociologist who teaches at Central…
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
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
Book Reviews

Becoming a Church that Learns

Future Faith FUTURE FAITH – TEN CHALLENGES RESHAPING CHRISTIANITY WESLEY GRANBERG-MICHAELSON FORTRESS PRESS, 2018 261 PAGES (PAPERBACK) $18.99 The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson has dedicated his adult life to understanding how the church relates to a Western culture that appears less and less interested in the gospel and its core values. Granberg-Michaelson is in a true sense both a global citizen and follower of Jesus. With the publication of Future Faith – Ten Challenges Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century, he…
September 1, 2018
Inside Out

The Hinge in the Lord’s Prayer

hos en ouranō kai epi gēs One of the greatest joys of teaching Greek is having students memorize parts of the New Testament in its original language. My favorite is reciting the Lord’s Prayer together each time we meet. We do so standing up – as did our early Christian ancestors when they recited it three times daily. Then, sitting down, we discuss it in detail, luxuriating in this tightly packed prayer which Cyprian said “omits absolutely nothing but includes all”…
September 1, 2018
Poetry

Striving

When the kitchen table becomes a confessional and the combat with demons in the heart hears conversation turn toward tired despair, How many more years, Lord?; I’ve tried to overcome, my spirit scrambles to defend motivation by considering itself a hero from Homer, say god-armored Achilles, some mother’s son once immersed in immortal streams who might famously vanquish the mightiest foes with a blade whetted true upon the Word and protected by a shield of faith, but then I remember…
September 1, 2018
As We See It

A Godly Act of Disruption

On Oct. 1, 2017, the wider body of believers celebrated the Eucharist through our annual World Communion Sunday. This is a wonderful tradition that deepens the faith of the many as they come to the table in celebration for unity and ecumenical work. This once-given spilling of blood means blood is not shed between neighbors or between God and us. I love communion. This remembrance and feast strengthens and sustains the body, calling us to be reconciled to those we…
September 1, 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