“Just Make It a Good One”

One of my favorite lines from my favorite science fiction series, “Doctor Who,” is uttered by the Doctor, sure that he is about to consign himself to oblivion as he saves the universe. “We’re all stories in the end,” he tells a redheaded ten-year-old as she sleeps, and as he leaves the story of himself […]

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The Righteousness of Anger

I have a confession to make: I have a problem staying angry. This is not a “humblebrag”—a word which a wise pastor from Brooklyn recently taught me. My mother spent most of my childhood trying to convince me that it was a virtue. It certainly worked out well for her, I suppose, because I wouldn’t […]

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The Problem of Literate Worship

This doesn’t seem like a title that I might put on a blog post. After all, I am a minister in a tradition that values literacy. The magisterial Reformation in Europe was a Reformation of learned people, educated people; instead of listening to others sing for them, instead of accepting what others told them that […]

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Bishop Chrysostom—or, How I am Learning to Stop Worrying and Trust the Holy Spirit

As we are all abundantly aware—and those who are not should switch to CNN and check out Wolf Blitzer in full Earth-Shattering-Breaking-News-24/7 mode—there have been a few big and unpleasant events on the world scene this past week, the most noteworthy of which have been Israel’s commencement of a ground offensive against Hamas into the […]

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Number Worship and Strategic Salvation

“The church is dying!” In my corner of the the last remnants of Christendom, I hear this or something similar regularly. There is concern because our denomination, much like most North American mainline denominations, has a numerically declining trend. There is a fear that because the church is losing the privileged position that it has […]

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The Trouble With Separation

At the end of May, a congregation in my denomination—the Reformed Church in America (RCA)—voted to leave for another church body, and there was public discussion of the departure, most especially, I think, because there are many congregations considering such departures. For the purposes of this post, the reasons for the departure are not important, […]

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Wounds in the Body of Christ

Eendracht maakt Macht These words adorn the banner at the bottom of the crest of the Reformed Church in America. Often the translation into English is, “Unity makes strength” but, as I understand it, a better translation is “Concord makes strength” — a pulling together like a team of horses. *** The Christian church today […]

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I’m Not That Kind of Reformed

Recently, I’ve noticed that the word reformed means very different things depending on who you are talking to. For some, reformed is a negative word that is thrown around to describe the kind of Christians you should hope you never become. For others, reformed is a word used to describe people who hold to a […]

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