The Gospel as Divine Template

“if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9 ESV) By Stephen W. Hiemstra Christianity began with the resurrection in a graveyard (Ps 16:10). Without the crucifixion, the resurrection could not have occurred. Without Jesus’ life […]

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Re-examining Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture

Richard Niebuhr. 2001. Christ and Culture (Orig. pub. 1951). New York: HarperSanFrancisco. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra Niebuhr’s classic book, Christ and Culture, helped define the conversation around the sweeping changes in society that have occurred over the past generation. It is accordingly helpful to review Niebuhr’s writing before diving into the new world that […]

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Poet Gary L. Alston Dreams Big, Shares Pain

Gary L. Alston.  2011. Dreams—Poems and Short Stores.  Xlibris:  United States. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra Pastors love to illustrate their points by telling stories.  Stories communicate—we remember stories—because stories define who we are and why.  We all tell stories[1]. Earlier this month I attended an interesting presentation on non-fiction, Christian narrative[2]. Author Catherine Claire […]

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Bothersome Gaps: Life in Tension

“Be holy because I am holy” (Lev 11:44) says the Lord God. By Stephen W. Hiemstra To become a Christian, we must invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. The spirit of holiness becomes part of us and we begin the journey of faith.  To be holy means to be set apart; to be sacred.  We take […]

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Younger Brings Life to the Books of Judges and Ruth

K. Lawson Younger, Jr. 2002. The NIV Application Commentary: Judges/Ruth. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra Commentaries are important to our faith.  Commentaries provide the lens through which we understand scripture either through personal study or the preaching that they are exposed to.  When I am not teaching, I read commentaries devotionally. The author of […]

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Jepson Explores Spiritual Practices in Writing Craft

Jill Jepson. 2008. Writing as a Sacred Path. Berkeley:  Celestial Arts. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra The journey home requires travel in foreign lands.  The prodigal son could not love his father until he had left him; his older brother never came to love his father (Luke 15).  Much like contrast reveals the outlines of what […]

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How Do We Nurture our Walk with the Lord?

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Col 3:12–13) By Stephen W. Hiemstra We must nurture our walk with […]

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¿Cómo Nutrimos Nuestro Camino con el Señor?

Entonces, ustedes como escogidos de Dios, santos y amados, revístan se de tierna compasión, bondad, humildad, mansedumbre y paciencia (tolerancia); soportándose unos a otros y perdonándose unos a otros, si alguien tiene queja contra otro. Como Cristo los perdonó, así también háganlo ustedes. (Col 3:12-13 NBH) Por Stephen W. Hiemstra Debemos nutrir nuestro camino con […]

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