God’s Garden: Pleasing to the Eye and Good for Food

Department: Author: Cody J. Zuiderveen, Grady H. ZuiderveenSince the creation of the world we have depended on plants to sustain and nourish our bodies. Given plants’ importance, we can understand why God placed humans in the first garden “to work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15). God recognized

Why Christianity Still Matters

Department: Author: We’re pleased to present the winners of our first-ever essay contest for college students. Our thanks to all 46 young writers who wrote deeply and honestly about their Christian faith, and to judges Deb (Van Brenk) Flaherty, who worked in daily journalism for more than two decad

Elders Are Called to a Ministry of Presence

Department: Author: Andrew BeunkIn my former life as an engineer, at the age of 26, I was asked to let my name stand on the ballot as an elder nominee. In my mind I had every reason to say no: I’m too young! I’d be doing home visits with my friend’s parents—how awkward is that? Moreover, I was at t

Prayers of the Infertile: Longing, Hope, and Solidarity

Department: Author: Cory B WillsonFor nearly two years now, my wife and I have been praying for God to give us a child. Every month we go through the repeated cycle of hope, then fear and disappointment. Two years of numerous medical appointments and tests; hope deferred 24 times. The question we d

When Words Can’t Do It Justice

Department: Author: Dr. James R. Payton JrI recently spoke with a friend who had just seen the Grand Canyon for the first time. Articulate and eloquent as she is, she recognized that what she’d beheld was so awe-inspiring, so jaw-dropping that words couldn’t begin to do it justice.To celebrate a sp

Creating Space to Serve

Department: Author: Lisa Van EngenThe film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring begins with the phrase “The world is changed.” The world is changed—and it continues to change with rapid momentum. Keeping pace while living a life reflective of Jesus is challenging. The messages young pe

Uncomfortable Conversation

Department: Author: Chuck DeGroatIt’s a Sunday evening, and my friends Bart and Katie are reading the text. They’re reading from the book I am preaching through—Song of Songs—a sacred text filled with lust and longing:How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind yo

Why Read the Bible? (And How to Do It, With a Little Help from Lila)

Department: Author: Benjamin LappengaIn Marilynne Robinson’s novel Lila, old Reverend John Ames finds himself worried by his new wife’s approach to the Bible. Ames is the son and grandson of pastors and has spent the better part of his many days reading and preaching the Bible. Lila, on the other h

Why I Am Christian Reformed

Department: Author: Luke EndersJoyce SuhA friend recently asked, “Why do you care so much for the CRC?” The Christian Reformed Church hasn’t always been the most hospitable place for me. I did not go to a Christian school and was always a bit of an outsider growing up. I have a painful childhood me

Faith and Feminism

Department: Author: Amanda W. Benckhuysen#MeToo. At the end of 2017, this hashtag went viral as woman after woman disclosed that she too had experienced sexual harassment or assault. The sheer number of women who shared stories of being shamed, demeaned, and mistreated serves as a powerful reminder

Faith and Climate Science

Department: Author: Clayton CarlsonAs someone who teaches and writes about faith and science, I’ve noticed a troubling disconnect between many Christians and the work of scientists. The problem is apparent in a variety of scientific disciplines, but the consequences of the widespread rejection of c

‘All Together in One Place’

Department: Author: Rev. Scott Hoezee It was one of the most striking things I ever experienced.In 2005, after 15 years of pastoral ministry (12 of them spent at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.), I went to Calvin Theological Seminary to become the director of its Center for

Song of Redemption

Department: Author: Felix FernandezGrowing up in a Dominican home in Miami meant that when dinnertime rolled around, I could expect a plateful of rice and beans with a serving of news headlines from the Spanish television network Univision. While my mom was working her magic with sazón in the kitch

#MeToo and Becoming a Safer Church

Department: Author: Amanda WorstLast October, actress Alyssa Milano suggested, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘me too’ as a [social media] status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” While the hashtag may be relatively recent, the mov

Everyone Welcome

Department: Author: Barb Newman Grace Church wants to be known as a welcoming place for all who enter. The words “Everyone Welcome” are prominently featured on the congregation’s website, bulletin, and entryways.Let’s check in with some of the worshipers and experience that welcome together.Worsh

Making Black History in the Christian Reformed Church

Department: Author: Reginald SmithMika Edmondson was speaking with his doctoral advisor, Dr. Ronald Feenstra, at Calvin Seminary one day. His work was winding down, but he had a question. Edmondson asked Feenstra if he was the first African American to receive a doctorate from the school. Feenstra

Ny Ly: ‘Life Is All the Proof I Need’

Department: Author: James C. SchaapBy way of a life story so unimaginably full of war and horror, Ny Ly, once a young Buddhist monk in Cambodia, came to believe in the God of the Bible, a God he knows loves him.His story holds mysteries so incomprehensible, he claims the questions they beg can be a

‘Help Us Help Houston’

Department: Author: Rev. Marc NelesenIn late August 2017, when many families were buying last-minute school supplies, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. It stayed in place for four days and spun a year’s worth of rain. Many of us saw the devastation from a distance through our television screens. We pra