Discovery: A Report from the Final Frontier

Discovery: A Report from the Final Frontier

I hereby provide a public service by filing this scouting report for those of you wondering whether the new Star Trek series, airing on the subscription service CBS All Access, is worth the investment of your time and money. The answer is: maybe.

Inappropriate Halloween Costumes

Inappropriate Halloween Costumes

Hence, I set all niceties aside and present my suggestions for inappropriate Halloween costumes especially for church people. Deploy these with relish on that most wickedest of holidays, All Hallow’s Eve, and join in the gasp-inducing fun.

Ecumenism, Art, and Hope

Ecumenism, Art, and Hope

One finds good news where one can these days, and here comes some good news for the church: the work of ecumenism thrives in the field of theological aesthetics. Granted, we’ve had to float into a rarefied atmosphere to recover this news, but what’s going at the intersection of theology and the arts does promise hopeful, on-the-ground implications.

I Never Was An Evangelical, and I Never Want to Be

I Never Was An Evangelical, and I Never Want to Be

In any case, Evangelicals of the contemporary American variety have always felt to me like the cousins my family visits only once a year for a day or two on out-of-state road trips. We are related, of course, but when we get together our differences seem most glaring. We share some genes, but we don’t share the same story or ethos at all.

A World Still Stirred

A World Still Stirred

While prints made from woodcuts and engravings may not offer the immediate thrill of gigantic oil paintings, they do display curious combinations of grotesquerie and piety and, to the patient observer, a fascinating glimpse into the Reformation moment.

Any Tenderness?

Any Tenderness?

The show’s title makes it sound like one of those silly British slapstick comedies, but no. I would describe it as an historical drama with a loving heart. It has the same historical-immersion appeal as Mad Men, except with wholesome values, lots of babies, and nuns.

Monday at the Center of the Universe

Monday at the Center of the Universe

This past Monday, I peered into the humming center of the universe. I’m talking about Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Superheroes for the Real World: An Extended Universe

Superheroes for the Real World: An Extended Universe

But at present I am not losing any sleep over Penguin or Joker or Loki. I’m losing sleep over pressing problems right here in the ol’ real world. So: what if we had superheroes aimed a little more directly at day-to-day, same-size-as-life troubles?

To Love Michigan in Summer

To Love Michigan in Summer

Sumac and scrubby grass, dense-leaved oaks and maples, jumbles of every possible green. Blue spruce, Douglas fir, white pines, red pines, the astonishing symmetry of jack pine trunks in a sudden stand. Dead trees like skeletons rising from swamps. Everything stubby and scruffy and sassafrassy.

I have published books on motherhood, Christian spirituality, and language in worship. I write regularly about all sorts of topics for The Twelve, and I teach literature and writing at Calvin College, where I have served on the faculty since 1996.

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