The Banner

No Safe Spaces

Department: Author: Trevor DenningThere is a growing sense in the United States that we’re not getting the whole story. Here, where freedom of speech was born, some voices are being muted. Just ask Dennis Prager. His 5-minute PragerU videos, which cover subjects like economics and history, have mor

Engaging the World with Abraham Kuyper [Lived Theology Series]

Department: Author: Todd StathamAbraham Kuyper (1837-1920) is one of the pillars of the Christian Reformed Church, but—as with another pillar, John Calvin—he is more revered than actually read. Michael Wagenman’s small book Engaging the World with Abraham Kuyper might change that. “But what about y

Everything You Ever Wanted

Department: Author: Rod HugenI interviewed a businesswoman for a magazine article I was supposed to write. In the course of our conversation, she told me about a mentor who had paid her way through school, and tears fell.She apologized. “I don’t cry,” she said. “I’m normally all business. I know wh

Why Christians Should Observe Black History Month

Department: Author: Michelle Loyd-PaigeBlack History Month is a time when people across the U.S. and Canada reflect on all the ways in which people of African descent have affected our culture and our world in big and small ways. We at The Banner wanted to explore the value of this month for Christ

How Can You Be Less Distracted by Your Phone?

Department: Author: Dean R. HeetderksWhat’s the one best thing you can do to be less distracted by your phone?This is an easy one: turn off all alerts.It’s been about a year since I turned off all the alerts on my phone save two: my morning alarm and texts from immediate family. No more blinking li

Stated Clerks Meet in California

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaThe role of stated clerk is probably the most unsung task in the Christian Reformed Church. They are the hardworking souls that keep classes (the CRC’s 49 regional groups of churches) running. They receive mountains of information and make sure it gets sent to the

Inmates’ Artwork Displayed in Michigan Church

Department: Author: Anita Ensing BeemFor 20 years, Marianne Tanis has been teaching art classes for inmates at Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Mich., and recently exhibited some of her students’ art at First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Tanis said the exhibit was

I Was Hungry: Cultivating Common Ground to End an American Crisis

Department: Author: Lorilee CrakerAs Christians, we sometimes (perhaps often) read Matt. 25:35, “For I was hungry, and you gave me food …” and add our own qualifiers. “I will give you food if you deserve it, and I decide you aren’t lazy.”Prior to reading this astonishing little book, I hadn’t reall

Marriage Story

Department: Author: Jenny deGrootViewing Marriage Story, the recent Oscar Best Picture nominee, is like being a voyeur into the slow and painful ordinariness of a marriage breakup. Nicole Barber, played by Scarlett Johannsen, and her husband, Charlie, played by Adam Driver, are a couple still in lo

The Fisherman & the Whale

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen Feddema In this wordless children’s picture book, a fisherman and his son haul in nets of fish on their boat. The boy glances up and, to his dismay, sees a whale floating nearby. He urges his father to investigate. As their boat approaches the whale, father an

Through the Eyes of Jesus

Department: Author: Parry StelterAs I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the

Liderazgo de muchas voces

Department: Author: Rev. Darren C. RoordaCuando serví como pastor principal en una iglesia local, uno de mis domingos favoritos cada año era el "Domingo de la Amistad". Era una oportunidad de relajarnos para mí y para toda la iglesia. Cada Domingo de la Amistad, el servicio de adoración contenía so

El "cómo" importa

Department: Author: Shiao ChongAlgo que aprendí de 15 años de ministerio universitario es que el "cómo" importa. Cómo llevamos a cabo nuestras buenas intenciones para alcanzar buenos fines marca la diferencia. El por qué y qué hacemos es importante, sí, pero el cómo lo hacemos también le importa a

Editor’s Picks

Department: Author: Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:“I’m Still Here”: Theodora Kleisma survived a WWII prison camp, radical extremists, a devastating flood, and moreNew Blog: Behind the Bannerpublishes first post, The People Behind The BannerFilm review: The Two PopesPrison Church Seeks Or

In Memoriam: Rev. Gerrit A. Bieze (1936-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusPastor and historian Gerrit (Gary) Bieze died Dec. 15 after a brief struggle with cancer. He was 83.Born in Chicago, Ill., Bieze graduated from Calvin College and Seminary and was ordained in 1962. It was rare in those days for a minister born in the U.S. to se

In Memoriam: Rev. Rodger James Buining (1931-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusA compassionate, loving, and humble man, “Rodg” Buining loved the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind. He died Nov. 26 at the age of 88.Buining grew up in Muskegon, Mich., graduated from Calvin College and Seminary, and was ordained in 1955. Over the followi

An Open Door for Shared Leadership

Department: Author: Denise PosieJill Ellens and I both arrived in the parking lot of Brookside Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., at 7:50 a.m. Ellens is the member and community life coordinator at Brookside. As director of the denomination’s new Leadership Diversity initiative, I wa

Sharing the Call

Department: Author: Katy JohnsonFor many, the word “calling” prods thoughts of personality and strength: What am I good at? What do I enjoy? What spiritual gifts has God given to me?Rarely do we think of our calling as a single defining moment. Yet sometimes that is how it happens. Ida Kaastra Muto

A Long Time Comin’

Department: Author: Ann ByleRobin W. Pearson’s debut novel is a multi-faceted tale that will have readers turning it one way and another to get the best glimpses of its many lessons and messages. There are the mother-daughter relationships throughout as three generations of women struggle to come t

The Two Popes

Department: Author: Cynthia BeachThe Two Popes is a spiritually keen marvel. It wades into the deep: the difficulties of being merely human while navigating a spiritual journey.As the title suggests, the film concerns itself with the relationship—initially tense—between Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (P