All Posts By

Debra Rienstra


On Shaving and Shaming

Earlier this week, Gillette dropped a new advertisement called “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” Well, you would think they had dropped a match in a puddle of gasoline. Using all the slick production values a $17 billion corporation can muster—including a lush musical…
January 19, 2019

Legacy Sorting the KonMari Way

I couldn’t even watch one whole episode. The first season of the new Marie Kondo television series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, dropped on Netflix this week. Obviously, Netflix timed this premier to capitalize on our New Year’s ambitions before they fade into Februarian disappointment.…
January 5, 2019

Advent in the Twilight

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. -- Gen. 1:2 I’ve been enjoying darkness this year. Not minding the winter darkness is a helpful survival skill in Michigan,…
December 22, 2018
college life

How To Achieve Syllabus Efficiency

On a typical day, I prepare to teach three different texts for the three courses I’m currently teaching: Shakespeare, Early British Literature, and introductory creative writing. This seems inefficient, don’t you think? What if I could prepare only one reading for all three courses?
October 27, 2018

Dwelling: A Scriptural Survey

Some quick work with online tools surprised me: the Bible is full of dwelling, from the Pentateuch to Revelation—at least in English. It turns out that dwell is one of those rich, Anglo-Saxon words that composts together several related concepts into a fertile loam.
October 13, 2018
cultural commentary

The Weight of This Sad Time

Shakespeare is right to show us that there is no guarantee of reward for choosing integrity and mercy. Over against the example of his sources, Shakespeare eschewed a reparative ending. In Shakespeare’s final scenes, the noble among the younger generation pay a heavy price for…
September 29, 2018

O Rejoice in All Your Works

The red planet and seed pods: an odd juxtaposition. But as I padded quietly through the gallery, it seemed to me that what the two exhibits have in common is the way they, like those two scripture passages, invite us into altered perspective.
September 15, 2018
cultural commentaryspirituality

True Forms

Part of my fascination, I suppose, is that we are talking about a face here. The article nicely rehearses the significance of the human face while visually explicating the devastating destruction of Katie’s. What’s compelling here is the idea of coming face-to-face, so to speak,…
September 1, 2018