It's a modern day Cinderella trope, isn’t it? The long-suffering, virtuous-and-talented high schooler is visited by a talent agent/scout/special teacher/fairy godperson who provides them with the means to zing through the Dress Ball of Admissions and be whisked off to Handsome Prince University, which of…
Our worry about fake news is more corrosive to our trust in media and in institutions than actual fake content has been. We wonder if we can trust anything we see.
Debra RienstraMarch 7, 2020
“Is this the end of the world?”“It usually is.” That zinger appears near the conclusion of the kooky and wonderful Post-Rapture Radio, Russell Rathbun’s 2008 novel, which inventively satirizes American Evangelicalism for its shallowness and materialism. Toward the end of the novel, an eccentric, quasi-prophetic figure…
Debra RienstraSeptember 14, 2019
While I am normally happy to flop on the sofa and watch mindless TV on Friday nights, last night I pulled myself together and attended the 21st annual Paul B. Henry Lecture, sponsored by the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics. The lecture was a…
Debra RienstraApril 27, 2019
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.
Debra RienstraSeptember 15, 2018
But neither Toller’s problems nor religious despair in general are particularly Calvinist, nor do I think that’s what Schrader means to suggest. Schrader has long thought about what it means to capture the holy in art, and a portrait of despair is one stunningly effective…
Debra RienstraJune 9, 2018
This is just a tiny sampling, and I’m only one person. I’m scribbling in my notebook as fast as I can, and I’m not even telling you all the clever jokes and tender stories and dear human connections I am witnessing in this extraordinary space.
Debra RienstraApril 14, 2018
It’s time to “Make Reading Great Again” at the 2018 Festival of Faith and Writing. Every two years, the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing and the Calvin English Department host a three-day celebration of books, writing, publishing, reading, and faith.
Debra RienstraFebruary 3, 2018
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.
Debra RienstraSeptember 9, 2017