Formulate Your Own Set of Christian Values

The values that I seek to foster on a daily basis reflect my understanding of God’s redemptive purposes on earth. I believe that as a “follower of Jesus,” I should seek to “partner with God” toward the realization of these purposes, which, in a manner that I cannot begin to comprehend, will be “fully realized” […]

Can I Always Give Jesus the Last Word?

My last Musing (“Seeing Through Partisan Politics or the Eyes of Jesus”) raised some important questions that were left unanswered; questions that beg for more in-depth analysis. What follows is a coherent set of four essays that provide this “deeper” analysis The first essay by Harold Heie poses and reflects on the overarching question posed […]

Seeing Through Partisan Politics or The Eyes of Jesus

For my new Musings into the near future, I will often  follow a pattern of posting two back-to-back Musings that are inter-related. The first Musing will be directed primarily to users of social media; it will be relatively brief, using “popular language” that can easily and quickly digested. The follow-up Musing will be geared to […]

The Power of Love Taught and Lived Out by Jesus

Jesus was not spared the temptation to become all-powerful.  Tim Alberta starts his thought-provoking book The Kingdom, The Power, and the Glory, by quoting the following words recorded in Luke 4:5-8 (KJ21): And the devil, taking Him up into a high mountain, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of […]

The Quest for Power

In our increasingly polarized and tribalistic culture, the desire to exert power over others is rampant. I point my readers to two examples. In the political realm, it appears that many politicians will do most anything to get elected to legislative office, or re-elected once in office. Why is that? It is my belief that […]

There is Hope for Evangelicals Returning to the Church

In the past 25 years, 40 million persons in America (15% of the USA population) who self-identify as “Evangelicals” have left the institutional church. Why is that? And is there a way to “bring them back?” In in their excellent book The Great Dechurching, Jim Davis and Michael Graham, with Ryan P Burge, wrestle with […]

A Broad View of God’s Redemptive Purposes and your Role (and Mine) in Accomplishing those Purposes

In the pietistic Lutheran sub-culture into which I was born and raised, we were led to believe in a very narrow view of God’s Redemptive purposes: God only wishes to redeem individual persons. In 1972 I began to seriously question that narrow view of redemption during a sabbatical leave while teaching mathematics at The King’s […]

My Search for Truth

My desire to understand the truth about all aspects of our world is insatiable. After 40 years of serving as a teacher and academic administrator at four Christian liberal arts colleges, I formulated a description of higher education at its best in just three words: “Conversations Seeking Truth.” But the goal of uncovering the truth […]

Imitating Jesus

I recently had the delightful experience of reading a book that beautifully captured a number of my deeply held beliefs about the nature of my commitment to the Christian faith. Especially gratifying was the fact that the author, Gerald L. Sittser, and I served together as members of the administration at Northwestern College in Iowa […]

A Redemptive Approach to Human Sexuality Disagreements within Christian Churches

Numerous Christian churches, and their denominations, are being torn apart by an inability to orchestrate respectful conversations among members who strongly disagree regarding human sexuality issues. This is especially true for the issue of same-sex marriage, where the major disagreement is between those who hold to a “traditional” view of marriage (God intends for marriage […]

Respectful Conversations in a Family that Disagrees

It cannot be denied that discourse these days is increasingly characterized by a rampant tribalism; which has been described as an us-versus-them mentality where it is believed that with regard to any contentious issue, “me-and-my-people” possess the “whole truth,” while “those other folks” have none of the truth; leading to the conclusion that there is […]

Tolerating Competing Truths in Politics

In his compelling book The Last Politician, Franklin Foer asserts that “Politics is … an ethos that requires tolerance of competing truths” (pp. 3-4). He portrays President Biden as tolerant of “competing truths,” which leads to Biden resorting to “old-fashioned politics: deal-making andcompromise.” Since the words “deal-making and compromise” have fallen on hard times. I […]

My Game-Changers Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

In the pietistic Lutheran Church in which I was nurtured as a young Christian, we never talked about homosexuality or same-sex marriage. The traditional view that marriage God intends for marriage to be reserved for a man and woman was just assumed. It was like the air we breathed. I now embrace a non-traditional view […]

My Dream for a New Respectful Conversation Beginning at my Church

After eight years of splendid ministry at the church I attend, American Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, our co-pastors, Mike and Elizabeth Hardeman, resigned to accept a call at another RCA church in Pella, Iowa. Verlyn Boone was then appointed as a transitional pastor, charged with the task of shepherding our congregation toward the […]

Telling Both Sides of the Story

The following text will be published as a “My Turn” column in the October 4, 2023 issue of the Capital-Democrat, a local newspaper serving Sioux County in Iowa. In our increasingly tribalistic us-versus-them culture, in which so many Americans believe that “me and my people” (e.g., my Church, my religious denomination, my political party, my […]