Earlier this month the Christian Reformed Church concluded a six-year debate on human sexuality by voting not only to uphold its traditional view that sex is reserved to man-woman marriage, but to confirm that belief’s “confessional status” — as pertaining to the Heidelberg Catechism’s statement against “unchastity.” I’m no expert on Reformed polity or theology, but … More Why, More Than Ever, Christian Colleges Need to Inhabit the “Messy Middle”
Coming out of a year as scary as 2020, fear doesn’t sound all that Christmasy. After all, one of the great canticles of Advent celebrates that Christ’s coming fulfills God’s promise that “we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days” (Luke … More Twelve Days: The Fear of the Lord
All month my family is joining others in our congregation and denomination in reading through a version of the New Testament that has no chapter or verse markings and has been resequenced in roughly chronological order. In part, that’s to get you to notice things you’d otherwise miss. For example, I’d never noticed that Luke occasionally switches to the first … More A Ministry of Encouragement
As a result of Trump’s election conservative Christians (a larger group than evangelicals, but including most of them) will see fewer trespasses on institutional religious liberty from the executive branch. They will be able to support judges more amenable to their rights. They will be welcomed at the White House and have access to the … More The Spiritual Dangers of Living under the Trump Administration
During our travels over the holiday weekend, we visited a church and witnessed an odd, telling moment. Looking for a negative sermon illustration at one point, the pastor spontaneously mentioned “the presidential candidate who says he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness.” As best I can recall, the pastor didn’t even say Donald Trump’s name, but he clearly thought he had crossed … More “Tell It Like It Is”: How the Church Should Respond to Trump
So what’s causing the decline of humanities disciplines in evangelical colleges? And why is it significant for those institutions’ constituencies? I think the answer to both questions may hinge on one word: fear. Now, I’m sure no single factor can explain why English, history, and philosophy accounted for only 5.5% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2014 by members of … More If There’s a Crisis of the Humanities in Christian Colleges, What Does It Tell Us about Evangelicalism?
“This is going to be on the blog, isn’t it?” This post is about to prove my friend Will right. But honestly, as we stood in front of the climbing wall at Covenant Pines Bible Camp this past Saturday afternoon, all I could think was, “I can’t believe Lena wants to go up that thing!” My daughter is … More What My Daughter Taught Me This Weekend about Courage… and Education
They certainly doesn’t exhaust what I have to say about the life and legacy of G.W. Carlson (1943-2016), but given four or five minutes of his memorial service yesterday, these were the comments I chose to share. My first conversation with G.W. Carlson took place two weeks shy of fourteen years ago: I was in town for my … More “I Was a Stranger” (For GW)
“What’s wrong with Christianity in 2016?” Yikes. As I wrote here last week, I’ve been dreading this question since we decided that our book on “Pietism and the Future of Christianity” would mirror the structure of Philipp Spener’s Pia Desideria, whose first major section is a “Conspectus of Corrupt Conditions in the Church.” As I mused … More Thursday’s Podcast: What’s Wrong?
I’ve already written one post criticizing the president of Liberty University for making imprudent comments at that school’s convocation. So I’ll leave it to others to say what’s on my mind about Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s introduction to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday: This would be hilarious if it weren't so counter to the mission of … More The Pastoral Challenge (and Opportunity) of Donald Trump