An “Ordinary” Pastor

JulMedenblog

I once read that we are changed by the people we meet and the books we read. I am a person changed by Pastor Case Admiraal. Pastor Case served three congregations: Bethel CRC in Fulton, Illinois; Immanuel CRC in Ripon, California; and 2nd CRC in Fremont, Michigan. On Saturday morning, September 20, 2014 Pastor Case died at the age of 66 years old. The family knows … [Read more...]

The Best Advice I Have Ever Received

JulMedenblog

What is the best advice you have ever received? Was there a word of wisdom or an insight that helped shape your life? At the start of this new academic year at Calvin Seminary, I started to recall my markers of “best advice.” A favorite was brought to mind as I reminisced about marriage counseling. Mel and Dorothy were a retired couple that began to attend the church … [Read more...]

What’s in a Name?

JulMedenblog

It looks like a list. It reads like a list. At the end of his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul sends a personal greeting of affirmation and gratitude to 27 separately named co-laborers. Yes, the letter to the Romans is filled with memorable verses and overarching themes that were foundational to the Reformation and is still foundational to framing the theology of the … [Read more...]

D-Day and the Accreditation of Calvin Theological Seminary

JulMedenblog

Last week leaders from over 260 theological schools met in Pittsburgh for the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) 49th Biennial meeting. Together we represent God’s “big tent” of Christian traditions in North America, both Protestant and Catholic. As I prepared for this conference, Academic Dean Ronald Feenstra told me about an interesting and enlightening … [Read more...]

“Photos and Perspective”

JulMedenblog

On May 4 Jackie and I left for a week-long visit to South Korea where we were welcomed by four different schools.  This was my third trip to Korea and Jackie’s first.  We were ably accompanied by Rev. Christian Oh from Han-Bit Christian Reformed Church (Rochester Hills, MI).  While there we took many pictures and we were in many pictures.  The key to photography is to have … [Read more...]

The Search for a Self-Help Messiah

JulMedenblog

How did we get here in Western Culture? When did we shift from an emphasis on character to personality? What is behind an understanding of achievement and material success as a type of secular salvation? Steven Watts’ new book, Self-Help Messiah: Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America, discerningly unpacks the “ministry” of Dale Carnegie who lived from 1888 to … [Read more...]

How Do You Measure Impact?

JulMedenblog

“You Are There” was a Walter Cronkite hosted television series from 1953 to 1957.  I do not remember those programs presented by the former CBS News Anchorman, but I do remember some Saturday morning revivals (in a shortened format) of this concept in the 1970’s. The idea was to bring the viewer into the times and context of events as they unfolded.  In a similar … [Read more...]

After Bavinck, Berkhof, and Barth: Now What?

VanDerKooi-Lecture-Webslide

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Lenten Season Reflections – “Remembering Names”

JulMedenblog

My colleague Rev. Scott Hoezee, who is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching, recently posted a blog on Lent. He recalls how Lent was not part of his training as he grew up in a Christian Reformed Church, but he also invites us into the season of Lent. Click here to view his blog entry. I will confess that my upbringing was very similar to Rev. Hoezee. … [Read more...]

An Adventure in Ecumenicity

AdventureInEcumenicity

Berkouwer and the Nouvelle Théologie Presentation and Panel Discussion on Reformed Theologian G. C. Berkouwer as Ecumenist Does ecumenical dialogue among evangelicals, Reformed Protestants, and Roman Catholics advance Christian unity? Is it possible for Roman Catholics and Protestants to be open to the common truths that come out of serious theological dialogue? Or, … [Read more...]