The Lucky Son of a Barber-Philosopher
News | Reformed

The Lucky Son of a Barber-Philosopher

Albert Wolters was my Greek professor, a columnist for Christian Courier, expert on the Copper Scrolls and a preacher, but he is best known internationally as the author of Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview – what philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff called “The best statement I have come across of the ‘reformational’ Christian worldview.”…

Songs of longing
Church Life | News | Reformed | Uncategorized

Songs of longing

How can Christians celebrate Christmas without singing?! In my own congregation, in a survey seeking wisdom on whether, when and how to worship in person again, one person confessed, “I’m not a good singer, but that is what I miss the most.” That comment touched my heart. God loves to hear our praises, and our…

J.I. Packer
Arts & Culture | Bible | Reformed

J.I. Packer

While the mainstream media often portray North American evangelicals as easily-led sheep blindly following the most notorious of television preachers, those in the know will recognize that a handful of British authors have been far more influential, including C.S. Lewis, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John R. W. Stott and James Innell Packer, all of whom have now…

The Church & Human Rights
News | Reformed | Social Justice

The Church & Human Rights

Perhaps it is not a surprise that the mere installation, at Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of a deacon who is in a same-sex marriage has stirred a controversy in the CRC. However, as a lawyer and member of the CRC, it concerns me that my faith community routinely lags…

Tradition Shapes the Heart
Bible | Opinion | Reformed

Tradition Shapes the Heart

Remember the song “Tradition!” from the Fiddler on the Roof? Tevye sings the play’s theme of how to have balance in life in a rapidly changing and threatening world. Tradition gives structure and stability. Tradition forms our identity (being) and direction (doing). Christian Courier is a tradition, and this issue explores other traditions. Tevye says that, “without…

What is an ‘ICSer’?
Education | News | Reformed

What is an ‘ICSer’?

As chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS), I would identify as an “ICSer.” “What’s that?” you might ask, especially if you’re younger. To me, being an ICSer means taking part in a sub-culture, sometimes referred to as the “Reformational movement,” developed by post-WWII Dutch immigrants to North America.

‘Two National Expressions’
Church Life | News | Reformed

‘Two National Expressions’

On April 9, the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) cancelled its annual June Synod due to COVID-19. The CRC’s smaller Council of Delegates will have an online meeting in June for any agenda items that cannot be postponed until 2021. Meanwhile, February feels like years, not months, ago, so it’s hard to remember the week when proposed changes to the CRCNA’s governance structure were front page news.

Communion In The Time of COVID-19
Church Life | Reformed | Science & Technology | Theology & Spirituality

Communion In The Time of COVID-19

Ironically, the week that COVID-19 shut the door to in-person classes at Calvin University, our capstone computer science course was scheduled to discuss the importance of embodied community. One of the points that we were scheduled to explore is how electronic communications should not be preferable to embodied community. However, as we have seen with COVID-19, when that is not possible, digital communications are a blessing. Our current situation brought an unexpected “experiential learning” opportunity to engage this topic.

Pillarization and Pluralism
Media & Culture | Reformed

Pillarization and Pluralism

One day many years ago, I was sitting in my living room with some friends. It was Sunday afternoon and we had just gotten back from church. We were drinking strong, black coffee in cups with little windmills on them and eating Dutch pastry – gebakjes – when the subject turned to immigration.

“I don’t mind all these immigrants coming here,” my friend said, balancing her gebakje on her knee. “I just wish they’d give up their culture and become more Canadian.”