Beware the Yeast of the Pharisees

Department: Author: Shiao ChongRecovering hypocrite. That’s what my student leaders had printed on T-shirts for orientation days when I was a campus pastor. The point was that all Christians are recovering hypocrites. None of us has always been consistent in following Jesus.Some disagree, arguing t

Pro-Life Discipleship

Department: Author: Matthew J. TuiningaLong ago the prophets Isaiah and Micah pointed to a future day when the nations “will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3)

The Gift of Retirement

Department: Author: Judy Cook People in stressful and challenging vocations often begin to look forward to the season of life we call retirement. The thought of having the luxury to rest at will begins to appeal. Or for those whose work life is all about the paycheck, with the actual work being b

‘Son of David’

Department: Author: Rev. Leonard Vander ZeeMore than anything else, the Bible is a story. It contains other kinds of literature, of course— sermons and poems, letters and proverbs—but mostly it’s a story. There’s one grand, complex, unified story that runs like a backbone from Genesis to Revelation

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