The Banner

Shunned: A Call to Restorative Grace

Department: Author: In the wake of horrific revelations of sexual abuse in society and in the church, we stand in solidarity with those whose lives have been forever harmed by abuse. At the same time, churches are wrestling with how to be Christ-like to those who have abused others. As part of that

Beyond My Comfort Zone

Department: Author: Shiao ChongAs of the time of writing (October), our fundraising efforts toward our $450,000 goal have broken the $400,000 mark for the third year in a row. Thank you all for your generosity. The more money we raise, the less we need to draw from ministry shares. Your strong supp

A More Perfect Union: Politics, Singleness, and Thanksgiving

Department: Author: Emily Joy StrobleMy Thanksgiving traditions include cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and the question, “So Emily, anybody special in your life?” As a single young adult, I sometimes wonder if my most significant contribution to holiday meals is not sweet-potato casserole

Can you have a calling if you don’t believe in a divine Caller?

Department: Author: Douglas J. SchuurmanCan you have a calling if you don’t believe in a divine Caller?Many of my students ask whether you can have a calling if you do not believe in God. Can there be a calling without a Caller? As more and more secularized students come to the college where I teac

Unresolved Tensions in West Africa

Department: Author: Brian ClarkThe first time Bahati* heard biblical radio messages at her home in Niger, she was intrigued. She began listening as often as she could, but always in secret. Then one day, her father caught her.Hearing the words from the radio, Bahati’s father began questioning her.

Editor’s Picks

Department: Author: Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:The True Courage of Johanna Veenstra: She had an unexpected battle in her quest to bring the gospel to the tribes of Africa 100 years ago. Inheriting Privilege: How do we respond?Student Art Exchange between Americans and Syrians promotes

She Said

Department: Author: Cynthia Beach“Be sure your sins will find you out” may encourage those who know the real story of power abusers, yet decades can sweep past with little or no justice. The story of famous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was nearly that: a dark secret of alleged harassment, ab

Church Hosts Conversation About PTSD

Department: Author: Phil de Haan"PTSD," said Roger Bouma, "is a little like the national debt. Everyone realizes that it's a problem, but nobody knows what to do about it." He was standing in front of a room of 80 people at Hillside Community Church, microphone in his right hand, his left hand by h

The True Courage of Johanna Veenstra

Department: Author: John MedendorpIt is good to celebrate our accomplishments as a church, especially in the areas where God has blessed our work. This is one of the vital duties of the church: to recognize where God has used the saints to spread the gospel and further his kingdom message on the ea

Reply All

Department: Author: Extra BlessingsI want to thank you very much for the articles in the September Banner about the body of believers helping parents who have higher education costs due to the abilities of their children (“Extra Costs Bring Extra Blessing,” Sept. 2019). As we promise parents at bap

What’s the Best Way for Church Government to Work?

Department: Author: Henry De MoorOur council meets only six times a year and basically just rubber-stamps everything presented to it by the Executive Committee of four: two elders and two deacons. The consistory and diaconate meet once a month but just follow the lead of these four, thus basically

Is it Wise to Will Money to Children With No Direction?

Department: Author: Rolf BoumaMy parents have set up bequests to each of their grandchildren in their will. Some grandchildren are very responsible and will use the money wisely, but we’re afraid others will just spend it on wasteful things. Is it smart to give money outright like this to young peo


Department: Author: Trevor DenningSometime in the 19th century, the Enlightenment came to fruition. Science offered explanations for everything. Darwin’s theory provided creation without a Creator, and Nietzche said God was dead anyway. Conversely, the Romantics were putting greater emphasis on emo

The Woman in the White Kimono

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen Feddema In 1957 Japan, 17-year-old Naoko Nakamura has fallen in love with an American sailor and is pregnant with their child. In a culture that scorns interracial marriage and mixed-race offspring, Naoko is aware that these children are “a living reminder tha

In Memoriam: Rev. Gordon Lee Van Enk (1940–2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusGordon Van Enk served in parish ministry for 25 years and was hoping to also serve 25 years as a hospice chaplain. That was cut short by ten months, however, when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer June 30, 2017. Van Enk received treatment that extended hi

Art Exchange Promotes Peace

Department: Author: Maia VanderMeerSpreading peace for students at Rehoboth (N.M.) Christian School can look like a unicorn, a waterfall, or a forest. This fall, 128 of the school’s elementary students are participating in a program developed by the Memory Project to create artwork to mail and shar

Building Community, Unlocking Hope

Department: Author: Matt Kucinski “I had a buddy who had just left a year before—not a great place to be,” said Mark Urban of the Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich., where he is incarcerated.“It was considered gladiator school, the worst of the worst,” added fellow inmate Crisanto Esca

Inheriting Privilege

Department: Author: Melissa KuipersAs 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 t

In Memoriam: Rev. Russell Van Antwerpen (1954-2019)

Department: Author: Janet A. GreidanusA beloved chaplain, Russ Van Antwerpen was a humble man with an open, ready smile, who dedicated his life to serving God and God’s people. He died Oct. 3 at age 65 following a brain aneurysm.At Calvin Theological Seminary, Russ increasingly felt called to cross