Nationalism vs. Christianity

Belgium’s elections are fast-approaching. Dries Van Langenhove is heading the list for the Flemish nationalist party, Vlaams Belang (“Flemish Interest”), as an independent candidate in one of the provinces. That in itself is scary. Last year, Van Langenhove and his organisation Schild & Vrienden – “Shield & Friends”, a reference to a slogan of Flanders’ […]

Will the real Sodomites please stand up?

When the word “Sodomites” is used, in most cases it’s by some Christians addressing what they perceive as perverted sexual activity. In a lot of cases, the word is used for LGBTQ people in the sense that these Christians believe homosexuality is a sin and that “Sodomite” is an appropriate label for LGBTQ people. In […]

The Justice Conference (Cape Town)

South Africa is a country in pain, the wounds of centuries of colonialism followed by the brutal system of Apartheid have left deep wounds that are only now starting to scar before they can start to heal. Questions The Justice Conference tried to address some of the questions our country is grappling with from a […]

Damaging effects of short-term missions

During my MA in theology, I wrote a paper on short-term missions (STMs) in January 2010. Seven years later, not much has changed: too little critical reflection on STMs is happening. One of the most prominent Christian mission organisations, YWAM, still includes STMs as part of their discipleship training school’s outreach part. Having just finished […]

James K.A. Smith, “You Are What You Love”

Originally published on CULTURESHOCK. Since the publication of his 2009 Desiring the Kingdom, James K.A. Smith has been developing his anthropology of the human being as lover. That the first part of that book was subtitled “We Are What We Love”–almost exactly the title of his latest book–shows the continued focus of his work. With You Are […]

Studying Scripture: Lectio Divina

One of the dangers of studying Scripture is that the focus can be too much on the cognitive side. While this is an important aspect of being human, it is only one aspect. Applying different methods for studying the Bible can help avoid these pitfalls. An approach that has helped me a lot in catering to various […]

Lent: Why on Earth?

On Wednesday (10 Feb 2016) most traditional Churches start a six and an half weeks of fasting called ‘Lent’. Though this is a lot less popular in Evangelical contexts, I’ve been part of a group of friends who has been partaking for several years now. So what is Lent and why on earth would anyone […]

Studying Scripture: Manuscript Studies

I’ve learnt a lot during my time at Ichtus Vlaanderen, and one of the many things was a Bible study method we called “Manuscript” study. Preparation It’s a reasonably simple approach in the sense that you can study Scripture this way with just about anyone. You take a decent translation (not too far from the source […]

The Importance of Reading Scripture in Community

Our church is Cape Town is running an Alpha Course. While these materials are great of exploring Christianity with interested people, the materials also have their shortcomings. One that stood out for me so far was the lack of community-focus when talking about Scripture. Today the ideal way to read the Bible is considered to be […]

Being a Blessing: An Overview of Salvation History

At the young adult camp of NewGen Stellenbosch in Franschhoek (May 2014) we wanted to give the young people in our church a vision for their lives. Often people ask themselves: “What’s God’s plan for my life?” With this study I tried to alter that question to “How does my life fit into God’s plan?” […]

Kelly R. Iverson & Christopher W. Skinner (eds.), “Mark as Story: Retrospect and Prospect”

When Mark as Story by David Rhoads and Donald Michie came out in 1982 it wasn’t received well at first but two decades later it has become clear that the book helped lay the foundation for a new approach in biblical studies: stepping away from the historical-critical approaches to focus on the literary aspects of […]

Enjoy Life in the Simple Things (Ecclesiastes 2,11-26)

For the course in Advanced Homiletics we had to follow a specific format to prepare a sermon. Since I had done an exegesis of Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26 a few years before, I had fallen in love with this passage. Ecclesiastes encourages the reader to not think too special of himself, but at the same time to […]

Je Bent Jong & Je Wilt God

Raymond Hausoul and I edited a book, Je bent jong en je wilt God (“You’re Young and You’re Desiring God”) in which several authors tried to address hot contemporary topics for youth and youth leaders. It was published in 2010 by Medema. Writing Next to editing, I also wrote two chapters: A chapter on multiculturalism […]

Do Good Despite Suffering (1 Peter 3,13-22)

One of the most challenging human experiences is suffering. Every human faces it (although not to the same degree), and most of us struggle to channel it. In his first letter, Peter encourages his readers to take an example in Christ and endure in doing good despite of this suffering, in the realisation that it […]

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