Now at the dawn of a new decade in a relatively new century, I wonder about our ability to see beyond the assurances of amazing apps and devices that promise us increased productivity, free entertainment, better communication, and enhanced lives.
Every New Year’s I go through the same thing. I fail to come up with a good resolution. I scroll through everyone else’s resolutions and read articles about all of the goals I could be setting. I subconsciously add each person’s resolution to a list that lives in my head.
As we enter a new year, we want to say thanks you to, our readers. We are grateful for our consistent and growing readership around the continent and the world. Here is a list of the top ten most read articles on iAt in 2019.
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” ends with a shout and a whisper and a promise. First the undeniable joy of hymns and chants and high thanksgiving, a fellowship of worship that invites us all into this moment—no, this eternity—of jubilee. It’s a no holds barred, throw the doors wide, raucous celebration of the Father’s love perfected in the sacrifice of his son and fulfilled in the sanctification of his bride.
Honestly, Joy seems like too much to ask for right now. It is the most difficult of the Advent virtues: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. It feels like an unlikely indulgence for the privileged, unconscionable in light of today’s news.
In addition to the fact that I apparently have a soft spot for Christmas carols with the symphonic “O” in their title, I love “O Come” because it is achingly beautiful. The minor key quiets my frenzied brain even as it stirs up deeper longings in my soul—a hunger and thirst for righteousness, to see Jesus face-to-face.
I love the hymn “O Holy Night” for its drama, for its soaring melody, and mostly for its seemingly impossible theological and historical claims.
With these three short essays, three members of iAt’s Editorial Board bring a fresh perspective to what it means to practice thankfulness through journaling, prayer, and song.
It’s 1944. Otto Steinke is too old to be drafted, his son just a few months too young. Besides, both are needed because the Allied cause requires mountains of food, food the Steinkes can produce on their Iowa farm. Not everyone can be a soldier—even some who really, really want to be.
“You hypocrites!” says Christ in Calvin Seerveld’s paraphrase of Matthew 23:24, “You strain gnats out of your wine but swallow the American, suburban way of life whole, like a camel.” Jesus, of course, directed his stinging dart at the Pharisees, but Seerveld applies his to suburban Americans, and probably more specifically, suburban American Christians.
This is how it often feels to work for an institution like the church in 2019. Trends so much larger than myself make my prayers and pastoral work feel meaningless. I’ve been feeling this way about my denomination, the RCA, recently. Each week in our church, we say some version of this refrain: When the person of Jesus Christ is at the center of our lives and our worship, there is space for loving one another in disagreement.
What lessons might we, as Christian stewards of the creation, take from this story of the ozone hole?
The clash between “religious freedom versus LGBT rights” may best be framed as an issue of pluralism: now that our society harbors these opposed views about marriage and sexuality, will—should—the freedom of religion protect the dissenting view?
As more people of all ages take the plunge into online learning, many Christians wonder how to choose quality courses and programs that help them to grow not only in their academic, technical, or professional knowledge, but also in the development of their faith and their practical ability to live as followers of Christ.
Parents and teachers have had to become much more intentional about scheduling in playtime for kids and in some cases, kids are being forced to “go outside and play.” We know that play is good for kids’ mental, emotional, and physical health, but what about for adults?
As a society, we often ignore psychological, social, and spiritual health, focusing on the much more objective biological health. Doing so is a disfavor to ourselves, because humans encompass all four aspects.
As the demographics of our churches have changed and society has become more and more diverse, interpreting languages for church services has become increasingly common. Churches try to be more welcoming.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Alex Vasquez, director of Young Life in Sioux County, about his work in the community. He is speaking from several platforms that allow him to serve as a “bridge builder” between cultures within Sioux Center.
Coming up soon—from Thursday evening, October 24, through Saturday noon, October 26—the Andreas Center and Political Science Department of Dordt University will be hosting the Presidential Politics Conference of Iowa (PPCI). PPCI is a unique event involving scholars, students, candidates, reporters, and citizens. It will occur in the context of an academic conference, but will be more than that—it will …
Whether it’s because we’re more aware of how often and to what degree people are being violated, or if the sexualized culture has dramatically increased the rate in which people are being abused and hurt—the fact is, it’s hard to trust people like we want to.
At the Christian school where I teach, children learn about and participate in intruder drills at an appropriate level for their age. I have had several conversations with my students about being safe in various situations. It invites children—and adults—to ask, “Are we safe in our homes or at school? What about at church?”
Only six years ago, a Christian publisher wouldn’t include a chapter I wrote on the Enneagram for fear of its reception by evangelicals. Today, you’re apt to find Enneagram discussions in many evangelical churches. You’ll find podcasts up-and-down your podcast dial. The internet offers dozens of free tests. Perhaps that’s why I’ve transitioned from enthusiastic to cautious.
In my experience, the Enneagram is taken more seriously by its advocates than any other personality tool I’ve encountered. This is primarily because it aims at the heart of things—rather than identifying clusters of traits it asks why we feel the way we feel, think how we think, and do what we do.
Few things will give you a better glimpse at total depravity in action than browsing the comments section of an online publication. How do we disrupt the cycle of unproductive, unloving public dialogue and resist the impulse to hide behind relative anonymity?
I can’t help but think of Labor Day as the side-eye holiday—as in, it’s the holiday to which we give the side-eye. We distrust it, or don’t quite know what to do with it. This is not true everywhere, of course, but on the whole, Labor Day is the holiday we’re most ill-at-ease with here in the US.