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Theology

Reading Ecclesiastes in a Pandemic

This is an excerpt from a sermon I recently preached at the CRC’s Campus Ministry at the University of Toronto (my alma mater!).

Words spoken by the wise bring them favor, 

    but the lips of fools consume them.

The words of their mouths begin in foolishness,

    and their talk ends in wicked madness;

yet fools talk on and on.

The Three Hardest Moral Acts

At nine years old, I decided I wanted to become a journalist. It was the same time my brother Fred and I started delivering the Chicago Daily News. The newspaper was the third largest circulation behind Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Fred and I had twelve streets of subscribers.  We’d deliver the latest news of crime, sports, and advice from Ann Landers. My brother and I tied the papers into travel size and threw them on the porches of two storied brownstones or trekked into apartment building mazes to make sure seniors had their sacred crossword puzzles. 

Ontario Healthcare Workers Need Conscience Protection

I want to bring to your attention a matter of importance from the healthcare community.  Last month, Federal Parliament passed Bill C-7, further expanding euthanasia* access in Canada.**  As a rural family physician, I have had a front-line view on the implications of the changing legislation regarding euthanasia.  I recently sat in the home of an elderly man in my practice.  His body is failing, and he is facing the reality that he can no longer live independently.  Though not terminally ill nor in pain

What the World Needs Now

As the world is beginning to reopen and life picks up again, I’m asking the questions: Should life go back to normal? If not, what is the new normal? Have we learned what we should have? Where do we go from here? 

The answers to these questions hold lots of implications. From a political stance- what have we learned? From a racial reckoning stance- what is the new normal? From a pandemic stance - where do we go from here? While I don’t have all the answers to these questions I think I have a starting place. 

Re-attachment: Creation AND Humanity

I have been following a few different topics that, I believe, have a common intersecting point: re-attachment.  The Canadian government is discussing a newly proposed Bill C-15 to implement UNDRIP.  And the global pandemic has caused further struggles in seeing action to counter climate change.  As the Christian Reformed denomination is working to renew both the relationship to land and Indigenous Peoples I believe we must look to principles of engagement and re-attachment in order to see positive change.  To

Pursuing a Faithful Witness: Christianity, Nationalism, and the Middle East

As a pastor and the executive director of an organization focused on peacebuilding in the Middle East, I have seen firsthand how the ideologies related to Christianity, nationalism, and the Middle East intersect. From teachings in Scripture to the missional mandate of the church, the Christian faith is integrally connected to the ways we engage with both nationalism and politics. Our civic engagement has profound impacts on the world. 

Soil People

It may be tempting to think that the call to care for creation is more political than theological, and at best whisked away to a few obscure passages of Scripture; that all the talk about churches and solar panels, reducing carbon emissions to love the creation, and reconnecting to the land are outside of the purview of the church. And yet, a deep dive into the Scriptures shows that the people of God and their well-being are intimately tied up in how they treat the land, the creatures, the sea, and the sky. 

Rhythms of Justice and Mercy

True confession: I lack rhythm. Somewhere between what my ears hear and how my hands clap, my feet tap, and the rest of my body moves, the beat gets distorted. It’s like watching a video with delayed, out-of-sync audio. Nothing lines up the way it’s supposed to. 

Are you a Mary or Martha?

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.

Facing Disappointment

We’ve all responded to the heartbreaks and disappointments of this past year differently. Disappointment has left folks questioning God. Like the driver who ignores the service lights on their dashboard, others have ignored the emotional toll 2020 has brought and continued into their life without adjustments.

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