Deep Skimming: What Would You Recommend?

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In the last few weeks, we have been focusing on beginnings. We have begun a new academic year at Calvin Seminary. One of those days began with faculty processing in their academic regalia for Convocation and ended with some of those same faculty members wearing shorts for a seminary-wide picnic. It has been a good beginning. Last month I asked for your help in … [Read more...]

Tears and Joy

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At the Synod of 2010, I was interviewed and affirmed as the 7th President of Calvin Theological Seminary.  That Synod was held at Trinity Christian College which is about a half-hour drive from the church where I was the founding pastor – New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. At the morning session of Synod after I was affirmed as President-Elect, the children of New … [Read more...]

Leadership in Ministry Course – Listening to the Church

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  I have the privilege of not only being President of Calvin Theological Seminary, but also being given the post of Professor of Church Planting and Leadership.  For the last few years, I have shared a week with entering students in our Gateway class with Center for Excellence in Preaching Director, Scott Hoezee, as we discussed the preparation and presentation of … [Read more...]

It’s Not Just a Car

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The year was 1970.  My dad and mom went car shopping and came home with an Oldsmobile Delta 88.  It was a big boat of a car.  Eventually that car was gifted to me as a college sophomore and was the car that Jackie and I took on our honeymoon drive after we were married on June 11, 1982.  One memory we have is that the timing chain of the car broke down on our “honeymoon” … [Read more...]

Commencement Reflections to the Class of 2013

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On Saturday, May 18, 2013, we celebrated the graduation of 77 students from Calvin Seminary. Ten countries were represented on that day: Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States. Today I want to share with you a portion of my commencement address. “In your seminary education, you have been challenged as … [Read more...]

Gleanings from Readings – You are a Theologian!

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Did you know that you are a theologian?  Whenever you think or hear or read or say anything about God, you are doing theology. When I started Calvin Seminary as a student, I was asked to read a short book by Helmut Thielicke entitled A Little Exercise for Young Theologians.  This classic was written in 1959 and was translated into English in 1962.  This little book was … [Read more...]

Gleanings from Readings – The Value of Theology

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A few months ago, I read four books in five days.  I relished this seasonal opportunity (over Christmas) to do a lot of reading and reflecting.  As I promised in my initial Medenblog, I will share some of the gleanings from these readings. Spiritual Theology:  The Theology of Yesterday for Spiritual Help Today by Diogenes Allen. Dr. Allen died just a few months ago, … [Read more...]

Church at Work

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Many articles and books make the judgment that the church is “not working” or is “out of touch”. I have the privilege of visiting a number of churches and I want to share a story about seeing a church (actually two churches) at work. Maranatha CRC is located in Cambridge, Ontario. This church was organized in 1958 and experienced growth initially due to migration and … [Read more...]

Boomerang Wisdom

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I write this Medenblog as the United States sits on a fiscal cliff.  (On January 1, the United States avoided this particular cliff, but there will probably be another one in the near future.)  There is enough “blame” to go around at the fiscal cliff, but is there enough “wisdom” to see beyond and beneath the cliff? Michael Lewis is the best-selling author of Moneyball, … [Read more...]

Broken

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Broken.  Newtown, Connecticut is broken.  Families are broken.  Sandy Hook Elementary School is broken.  We are broken. In this Advent Season, the plans of many for a simple celebration of Christmas have been drastically altered.  This past Sunday, I sat in a church where songs were sung and prayers were prayed and words were spoken in an attempt to frame tragedy and … [Read more...]