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Why the Church Cares

Learn more about God's call to do justice as an integral part of Christian mission, vocation, and discipleship. Find out where the CRC stands on justice issues and the deep theology motivation those decisions.

COP23: One Faithful Voice on Climate Change

Negotiations at the COP23 climate change conference have been slow, but some progress has been made. The ACT Alliance, along with leadership from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), who together have combined constituencies of more than half a billion Christians worldwide, have been proactive throughout COP23 calling for action by governments on climate change.

The Sanctity of Life in the Heidelberg Catechism: The Sixth Commandment

In his comments on the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder,” John Calvin writes, “The purport of this commandment is that since the Lord has bound the whole human race by a kind of unity, the safety of all ought to be considered as entrusted to each.” As creatures made in God’s image, we are called to do whatever is required to “defend the life of our neighbor; to promote whatever tends to his tranquility, to be vigilant in warding off harm, and, when danger comes, to assist in removing it” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.8.39).

The Belgic Confession: Speaking from the Heart

This is the third post in our Justice and the Reformed Confessions series. Subscribe here to make sure you don't miss a post and to view the other posts in the series

Justice for the Poor in the Heidelberg Catechism: The Eighth Commandment

This is the first post in our Justice and the Reformed Confessions series. Subscribe here to make sure you don't miss a post

Why Arpaio Matters to the Church

Just after a bombshell hit the immigrant community – the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona – I had the chance to sit down with Rev. Ricardo Tavarez for a cup of coffee. We talked about immigration, hospitality, racism, ministry, and Arpaio. Check out our conversation to see why, a month later, this decision still has deep implications for the immigrant community and our country. Here are some highlights of our conversation.

Porn Use: It's about More than Personal Sin

“You, Lord, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.” (Psalm 10:14)   

Comedians, TV shows, and movies refer to online pornography casually as a normal part of everyday life. As porn educator and researcher Gail Dines says, “Porn is accessible, anonymous, and affordable.” And so most men in North American churches, as well as an increasing number of women and youth, are regular or occasional porn users.  

Calvin's Theology of Social Justice

One of the dismaying trends within evangelical Protestantism in America is the growing divide between those evangelicals who emphasize the church’s responsibility to proclaim a gospel of individual conversion and those who emphasize the church’s responsibility to advocate for social justice. It is a trend that featured prominently at this summer’s synod of the Christian Reformed Church.

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Diversity and Discernment

I want to tell you about friends of mine, Harouna and Marie Issaka. He is from the Hausa people, and she is both Hausa and Mori, ethnicities of their native Niger. They have followed Jesus through situations that I can only imagine, and I learn more about what it means to follow Jesus through them.

John Calvin and Holy Resistance

John Calvin does not always receive the best press outside of Reformed circles. He is often portrayed as an archconservative and an ideological father of capitalism. Most recently, the topic of Calvinism returned to mainstream debate when Betsy DeVos was nominated Secretary of Education by Donald Trump.

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Is Health Care for the Poor a Requirement of Justice?

It just so happens that as Congress considers dismantling Medicaid as we know it – as well as an end to the law that requires health insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions – I am preparing to explore the theme of “Good News for the Poor” with my seminary ethics class. One of the things I do with my students is to walk through the New Testament to show them just how continuously and emphatically Christ and the apostles call Christians to take responsibility for the poor.

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