Blog Articles

NOTE: The content below expresses the views of the individual named as the author and does not necessarily reflect the position of the WRF as a whole.
About Horizons and Perspective

About Horizons and Perspective

On September 7th many friends around the globe saw in the news some of the images of the sea of people protesting peacefully in many major Brazilian cities over aspects of the political turmoil that has been brewing in that nation. Some were particularly impressed with the crowd that took over certain vast open spaces near the federal buildings in the heart of Brasília, the capital.  Having spent my early teens in that city, I had a sense that the masses were even larger than what the images might suggest. 

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YOU’VE NEVER HAD YOUR FAVORITE BEFORE

YOU’VE NEVER HAD YOUR FAVORITE BEFORE

I once had a family visiting for lunch, and their little girl came into the kitchen and asked what we were having for dessert. I said, “Caramel ice cream.” And she said, “Caramel ice cream? That’s my favorite!” I was impressed that she knew what it was. I gave her a serving, she tasted it, and said, “Wow! I’ve never had my favorite before!”

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THE SABBATH IS A WOMB

THE SABBATH IS A WOMB

I once started a list with just the title, “What I accomplish on the Sabbath” —and those words lay on a big blank page.

Actually, that captures most of my point.  At least in the world’s eyes, Sabbaths don’t accomplish very much, and I think that’s fine.

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Am I Responsible for My Husband’s Sexual Sin?

Am I Responsible for My Husband’s Sexual Sin?

Over the last few weeks, I have had several conversations with wives who were feeling guilt-ridden. Each feared that failing to meet their husband’s expectations for sex would push their husbands to satisfy their desires in sinful ways. This fear might seem extreme, but the belief that wives are responsible for keeping their husbands from sexual sin is more common than you might think, so I want to draw attention to it.

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Knowledge, Freedom & Jazz

Knowledge, Freedom & Jazz

As a child, I heard a church member tell my father: “Pastor, I do not wish to learn any more than I already know about the Bible.” Looking with a straight face at that gentle-giant of a man, Rev. Wadislau Gomes asked the reason for that statement and received a candid explanation: “Well, you taught me that the more I know, the greater my responsibility, and it is already hard as heck to carry the ones I have today—imagine if I learn even more…”

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If in Anything You Think Otherwise…

If in Anything You Think Otherwise…

The teenager listens while his teacher [re]affirms Nietzsche’s position regarding religious convictions: “every conviction is a prison…” The young man then asks if statements of convictions such as this one, or the one about God being dead would also be considered prisons.  “See, according to the philosopher, you must doubt every opinion, even this one,” the teacher replies at once.

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Comforting the Grieving

Comforting the Grieving

Recently we prayed for several of our hospitalized friends suffering from Covid.  After days of struggling with the disease they succumbed one by one.  We actually thought that some of them would pull through since we were getting frequent encouraging updates, but our hopes were dashed when we heard of the passing away of our dear friends. 

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An EPC Pastor's Review of the CRC Report on Human Sexuality

An EPC Pastor's Review of the CRC Report on Human Sexuality

The Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRC) and my Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) are fraternal, ecumenical partners. One of the purposes of the World Reformed Fellowship is the facilitation of dialogue and conversation across denominational boundaries. It is in that spirit that I share my pastoral appreciations and critiques of the CRC’s report on human sexuality.

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No Idols (part 3 of 3): A Confessional Approach to the State and Inequalities

No Idols (part 3 of 3): A Confessional Approach to the State and Inequalities

I certainly do not intend to exhaust the issue of inequality in this last article of the series on statism and idolatry. Yet, since I chose this as an illustration of the broader development, I will attempt to provide a very short sketch on how a specifically theological conception of the State in relation to society, in a discussion how to solve social and economic inequalities, would involve a combination of different areas of responsibilities by different spheres in the social order.

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No Idols (part 2 of 3): A Confessional Approach to the State and Shared Responsibility

No Idols (part 2 of 3): A Confessional Approach to the State and Shared Responsibility

In the first part of this series I set forth my contention that, “To invest our redemptive yearnings in anything other than God’s action in Christ and through His body, the Church, to expect the rectification of “structural sin” or any kind of resolution for the identity-group-defined injustices through political action, is both naïve and dangerous: it is idolatrous.” Now, as promised I want to outline an alternative perspective. First, however, let me give you some context.

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No Idols (part 1 of 3): A Confessional Approach to the State

No Idols (part 1 of 3): A Confessional Approach to the State

“Dr. Schaeffer, what is your biggest concern for the future of the church in America?” Robert Charles Sproul (1939-2017) asked the great Christian thinker of the twentieth century as they shared a cab in the early nineteen-eighties. Francis Andrew Schaeffer (1912-1984), already in his twilight years, did not hesitate: “Statism.” Sproul explains:

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Left, Right, Left, Right . . .  Marching to the Wrong Beat

Left, Right, Left, Right . . . Marching to the Wrong Beat

Things have changed. The difference between the political parties has grown and the heat seems to have been turned up in political debate. The Australian Electoral Study found that in 1996 almost 40% of Australian politicians described themselves as “moderate” – that is, centre-left Liberal and centre-right Labor politicians. By 2016 only 10% described themselves that way. Voters have followed the same trend — in 1993, 54% considered themselves to be  centrist. By 2016 only 42% did. This polarisation has been very obvious in the US. The same trends have impacted Australia.

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