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Pagans, Puritans, and Putting Christ Back in Christmas

Department: Author: Justin Ariel BaileyPresident Donald Trump has a familiar trope: thanks to his administration, we are saying “Merry Christmas” again instead of “Happy Holidays.” The sentiment plays well with many Christians who have long felt angst over a perceived “war on Christmas” and have en

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

The Cult of Normalcy

Department: Author: Sara PotIn the fall of 2005, my husband, Ralph, and I announced the impending arrival of our third daughter. We were the parents of two preschoolers, 4-year-old Emily and 2-year-old Sophia, and we looked forward to being outnumbered by our children. Our anticipation turned to tr

Christlike Masculinity

Department: Author: Shiao ChongMen’s razor company Gillette released an ad in early 2019 that encouraged men to embrace a healthier masculinity by attacking some elements of toxic masculinity, including bullying, harassment ,and “boys will be boys” fighting. It created a storm of controversy as tho

Visions and Illusions in Political Life: Guidance for Voters

Department: Author: David T. KoyzisIt's not easy to know who to vote for at election time. We can be thankful we live in a democracy where we enjoy the right to vote, even if joy might not be what we are feeling as we cast our ballots. So what do we do when we vote? Are we voting for a candidate or

A Depression Story

Department: Author: Mary S. HulstThere is a significant rise in mental health problems among emerging young adults. This short story is a glimpse into what this might look like on our Christian college campuses. (All characters are fictional.)It was the third snooze. She was going to be late. Again

Gambling with Your Faith

Department: Author: John Van SlotenWarning: The following doctrinal statement may ruin your next gaming experience. Read at your own risk.According to the Christian Reformed Church of North America, “Pastors and church councils are urged to expose all destructive influences on people's lives that s

Extra Costs Bring Extra Blessing

Department: Author: Tony KamphuisIf you are the administrator of an independent Christian school, there are two fears that can spring up when a family arrives to enroll a student who has a disability. First, are we going to be able to provide the best situation for this student’s education? What ab

A Bold Gospel

Department: Author: Harry SpalingAfter 10 years of integrated ministry, the Christian Reformed Church closed its mission among the Krim people in southern Sierra Leone because of lack of conversions, among other factors. Unlike its better-known mission among the Kuranko people in the north that res

Candidates 2019: Anonymous?

Department: Author: Rev. David KollWithin this article, you will find the names and photos of persons approved as candidates for Minister of the Word by Synod 2019. One striking feature—a first in recent years and perhaps ever—is that some of the candidates have requested public anonymity. That’s b

The Christian Religion and Civil Religion

Department: Author: Dr James D. Bratt“Idols” are not necessarily bad all the way down. Many, in fact, are good things that have gotten out of place, which we have inflated to take a place above or next to the Creator.The Old Testament is very hard on idolatry, and so have Reformed Christians over t

A Reluctant Missionary

Department: Author: Ruth Moblard De YoungKen Lee’s journey to fulfill his calling as a missionary in Japan was unusual and challenging. Born in 1959 as Ha-Jin, Lee was the fourth son of a struggling atheistic family in South Korea, a country still recovering from the Korean War. With Ha-Jin's birth

Restorative Justice: A Better Way

Department: Author: David LaGrandIn the United States and Canada, we hand over to governments the job of responding to crimes. After a crime is committed, governments primarily ask: Who is guilty? How should that person be punished?The restorative justice movement began with Mennonite Christians in

The Ordinary Work of Justice

Department: Author: Jonathan Nicolai-deKoningNot long ago, when I worked as a reintegration chaplain with men leaving prison, I would often talk about my work in local churches and schools. I could count on a few people to come up afterward to say, “I’m so glad you’re doing that work. It’s so impor

Me and the Black Dog

Department: Author: Theresa E. MiedemaI have chronic major depression.Sometimes it feels like depression has me. Depression does that to you: it envelops you, suffocates you, drowns you.I remind myself that I have depression, but I am not depressed. I’m not this illness, even when it has swallowed

Life Beyond Limits

Department: Author: Christina Brinks ReaAt one of the stores where I shop, there was a product display with the slogan “Life without limits.” The product was some brand of headphones; the idea was that the sound quality is so good that it gives consumers the power to hear beyond the usual human abi

The Elephant and the Grass

Department: Author: David A HoekemaWhen two elephants are fighting, it is the grass that suffers. The government and the LRA, of course, are the two elephants, and the people are the grass. The grass is crying out, “I am innocent! I am innocent!” And we are the voice of this grass. —Monsignor Matt

Pew or Canoe: The Unexpected Black Hole

Department: Author: Gary M. BurgeIn 2007, Chicago Tribune columnist Ross Werland raised a provocative rhetorical question in the title of an editorial: “A pew or a canoe: Not a tough choice.” He cited statistics from the Barna Group, a Christian research firm, indicating that fewer and fewer men ar

When Words Fail

Department: Author: Heidi De JongeIneffable: too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words“Excuse my language!” This is often one of the first things people say when, in the course of conversation, they find out I am a pastor. Whether they’ve taken God’s name in vain or used barnyard e