My 2017 in books

In 2017, I watched a lot less series and movies than the year(s) before, and by consequence, I started reading a lot more again. Next to reading a lot online for both work and pleasure, I finished 29 books and read just below 10,000 pages. What were the highlights and why did I read those […]

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 Quest for 666

Every year at the Grand Meetup, when our whole company gathers in the same physical space, we give flash talks: 4-minute talks about any topic. Two months before the 2016 Grand Meetup, we sat in an Ethiopian restaurant in Berlin with a few of the WooCommerce team and we chatted about all sorts of things, […]

Syrian refugees & selective memory loss

There I was, sitting at a B&B, having breakfast. The other guests were a French elderly couple living in Durban. So the host and the guests started talking about Syrian refugees. “I had a chat with someone high up the ranks in the South African government,” our host explained to them. “We were supposed to have […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ethical Leadership

Peter G. Northouse’s Leadership is internationally considered as a standard introduction of leadership. One thing the book makes very clear is how many perspectives there are on leadership. “Good” Leadership One of those perspectives that is very high to my priorities list is the focus on ethics. While trying to have students and scholars engage for different […]

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 […]

E.T. Alii, “Godsdienstpedagogiek: Dimensies en spanningen”

A group of Dutch scholars focusing on religious pedagogy compiled this work, showing the current state of affairs in their field and pointing towards the future. The book had a lot of promise but it didn’t deliver entirely. This review was published in the Nederlands Dagblad on Oct 13, 2009.

N.T. Wright, “Surprised by Hope”

N.T. Wright is know for his “new perspective” on Paul but also is playing a major role in challenging contemporary thinking about the eschaton (the end of times). He points towards the new earth (and not heaven) as the end point and focuses a lot on the practical implications of taking care of this world […]

Jan Krans, “Beyond What Is Written” (unpublished)

For a seminar in Historical Theology we had to choose a scholarly book. I choose to look at Jan Krans’ PhD dissertation on the different approaches Beza and Erasmus, two contemporaries, had towards conjectures in the New Testament; alternative readings of the Greek text that have no backing in original manuscripts, but that make more […]

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