Magazine

Across the Divides

A caveat: I know and adore the authors of Impossible Love. I used to work with Craig and Médine Keener when we were all associated with Eastern University near Philadelphia. So if you’re looking for an objective, dispassionate review of this book, then mine will likely not do much for you.

Strength in Numbers

If you’ve participated in a leadership conference, team building event, or spiritual direction retreat in recent years, you’ve probably heard talk of the Enneagram. It’s a frequent topic among my friends and colleagues, both in casual conversation and in discussing our work in ministry.

Discovering God the Good, Good Father

Choose and Choose Again is a mosaic of personal stories collected by author and Covenant pastor J. Kevin Butcher, who founded Hope Community Church in Detroit, Michigan. The stories he shares (as well as his own testimony) display the complexities of people who live their lives as prisoners and prostitutes, as well as those who are lawyers and in business.

Success. Can’t Find It? Don’t Grind It.

Sometimes preaching can have unintended consequences. I recently had the privilege of preaching through the David and Goliath story, and it illustrates an important distinction in biblical interpretation. Bible stories like that one can be either descriptive (describing the world and the Lord who created it) or prescriptive (instructive toward the way God’s people should behave). There are strong elements of both in 1 Samuel 17.

Justice or Mercy

This summer a controversy raged over the White House administration’s decision to separate children from parents at border crossings from Mexico into the United States. People were outraged that young children were incarcerated, away from their parents, in circumstances characterized by some as “prisons” and others as “concentration camps.”

Compass Bearings: Bon Voyage

The standing name for this column has been “Compass Bearings.” The metaphor may be lost on a GPS generation, but the imagery hearkens to the old seafaring maxim “Whoever has the discipline of the compass has the freedom of the seas.” When we have tools for navigation, we progress on course, even in the face of heavy seas or tricky currents that could otherwise cause perilous drift.

Where Is It Written?

A number of years ago I overheard an interesting conversation at my local Starbucks. From what I could gather, it seemed that a sincere Christian was struggling to field questions from an ardent atheist: How can you take the Bible seriously when there are inconsistencies within it? How can you trust a God that would command genocide? Partly I was tempted to chime in, but truthfully, I didn’t have great answers to the questions myself.

Five minutes with Devyn Chambers Johnson and Rukiya Davis

Recently Devyn Chambers Johnson, co-pastor of Community Covenant Church in Springfield, Virginia, hosted a daylong seminar called Talking with Children about Race. She invited fellow Covenanter Rukiya Davis from Windsor Mill, Maryland, to be the presenter. Davis earned a master’s in Christian ministry from North Park Theological Seminary and recently earned her master’s of social work. “From my perspective,” Davis says, “there aren’t a lot of clinically trained people who work with children and families in need inside the church. I want to advocate for people who are caught up in the foster care or assistance systems.”