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Mary, Martha, and Phoebe: Leaders in the Church

Department: Author: Callie FeyenWhen synod decided 25 years ago to allow women to be ordained to the offices of pastor and elder in the Christian Reformed Church, many wondered what the future would hold for the denomination.Now there is a generation of ordained women who recount stories of living

Are We Evangelicals?

Department: Author: Rev. J. Cameron FraserIn 1975, Charles Colson published Born Again, the story of his conversion from Richard Nixon’s “hatchet man” to evangelical Christian and founder of Prison Fellowship. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter was running for President of the United States. Carter made no se

Managing Anger in Troubled Times

Department: Author: Judy Cook It may come as a surprise to you to learn that excessive anger or rage is not a characteristic you were born with. Although anger, as one of the five primary human emotions (anger, sadness, joy, fear, guilt), is just as much a part of us as our five senses are, rage

Former Things

Department: Author: Didy PrinzenAs I sat there in the back of the church, attending the funeral of a dear friend in the church where I had started my life in Canada almost 70 years ago, I found my thoughts drifting back to the first post-war immigrants of that church, including my own father and mo

Finding Narcissism in Church

Department: Author: Chuck DeGroatI was sitting in an airport about two years ago when I overheard a conversation between a mom and her pre-teen daughter. As the anxious mother scurried to repack a carry-on before boarding, she kept calling out, “Maddie! … Maddie! … I need your help, Maddie!” Meanwh

Reimagining Celibacy

Department: Author: Jenna Fabiano“I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:35).After reading 1 Corinthians 7:25-40, a number of instinctive thoughts might come to mind. “Paul hates marriage.” “Paul’s u

Feliz Navidad

Department: Author: Felix Fernandez“Feliz Navidad!” These are the Spanish words for “Merry Christmas” that we love to say and sing in December. Feliz means merry or happy, and Navidad is connected to the English word “nativity” and means “arisen from birth.” So when we say “Feliz Navidad,” we are c

A Theology of Listening

Department: Author: Sara Korber-DeWeerdSome of us are better at listening than others. My youngest child, who has Down syndrome, often finds himself in the position of listener. He needs extra help learning new skills, so he listens for guidance. It takes him more time to process language, so he li

Same-Sex Relationships and the CRC

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaNote: Readers are strongly encouraged to read the reports referenced here for fuller understanding. A summary of the CRC’s position can be found at bit.ly/2Zl97Ro. In 1970, after Canada decriminalized homosexuality, synod (the broadest governance body in the Chri

How Do We Love One Another in Times of Deep Division?

Department: Author: Lorilee CrakerWe are living in a time of increasingly toxic conflict, exacerbated by not one but two social upheavals: the pandemic and racial tension boiling over. Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference, by Tim Keller and John Inazu, shows believers how to

Financial Literacy: We Can Do Better

Department: Author: Dirk PruisWe live in a time when a healthy financial life is increasingly difficult, particularly for young people. One big reason is that our culture has changed. We’re bombarded daily with thousands of messages pushing the benefits of consuming, teaching us to want more of eve

Hope for the Politically Homeless

Department: Author: Chelsea Langston Bombino, Katie ThompsonThe world today feels as divisive as ever, with a variety of topics pitting neighbor against neighbor and even Christian against Christian, as many cling to their tribes while others find themselves without a political home. Where does tha

Model Kingdom Disciples

Department: Author: Shiao ChongIt seems to me that Christians often under-appreciate, under-rate, and under-use the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:1-12. They are not read as often as the Ten Commandments, for instance. They are rarely mentioned in confessions or catechisms. Yet, the beatitudes paint for

The Church Life Chose Me

Department: Author: Emily Joy StrobleIt’s a well-known and often-quoted statistic that young people are leaving the church in droves during college. LifeWay Research published an article in January 2019 stating that 66% of Protestant American teenagers who attended church regularly as children (at

Writing Contest First-place Winner: Christian Love

Department: Author: Adam VanderleestThis year, The Banner sponsored an article contest for young adults aged 16-25 on the topic of “Christian Love in Divisive Times.” We wanted to hear what young people had to say about the difficult conversations being had in North America right now. We received 2

Young Adults Writing Contest Second-place Winner

Department: Author: Rheanna RosenthalThis year, The Banner sponsored an article contest for young adults aged 16-25 on the topic of “Christian Love in Divisive Times.” We wanted to hear what young people had to say about the difficult conversations being had in North America right now. We received

Writing Contest Third-place Winner: In the Flesh

Department: Author: Courtney ZonnefeldThis year, The Banner sponsored an article contest for young adults aged 16-25 on the topic of “Christian Love in Divisive Times.” We wanted to hear what young people had to say about the difficult conversations being had in North America right now. We received

What Really Counts?

Department: Author: Rev. David KollIn Acts 2, as the Pentecost story concludes, we’re told that “about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:41). And in Acts 11:24, speaking of the diverse church in Antioch, we’re told “a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” In be

A Death Without a Funeral

Department: Author: Gayla R. PostmaOn March 25, 1987, we lost our youngest child. Gone forever was the 2-year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed joy named Steven Richard. We prayed, our community prayed, our family prayed that God would heal him, but that didn’t happen. We didn’t have a funeral. Instead

Combating Anti-Semitism

Department: Author: Rev. Doug BrattI remember little about my visit as a 12-year-old to Germany’s Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. But I will never forget the silence of my parents and grandfather who visited it with my sister and me. That silence stretched out for what felt to me like hour