Editorials

  • Looking Back: Experiences at CTS May 7, 2015 We want to thank the CTS community for a great year! Amidst the business of papers and exams, students have taken the time to both to read the Kerux, and to share their insights and articles on a variety of topics that interested them. We couldn’t have had such interesting editions if it wasn’t for the support and hard work of many students in the CTS community. For our final edition, we wanted to hear some of the stories of second or third year students. We tried especially hard to get the stories of graduates  – we thought this might be one of our last                    opportunities to really hear their voices – but didn’t factor in the many burdens seniors carry this semester: most did not have time to add an autobiographical article to their workload! However, four seniors (Elaine May, James Magee, Robin Rhodes, and Hannah Smele) were able to share pieces with us. Three of those pieces are stories of their experiences here, while a piece by Hannah Smele is a heartfelt prayer for future growth of Calvin Seminary. We ask that we listen especially closely to the voices and suggestions of those calling for needed changes, and to be a part of an ongoing conversation about how to make CTS equally welcoming and beneficial for all of our community. At the same time, let’s continue to celebrate the stories of growth, accomplishment, and joy shared as well here at CTS. Some other offerings in this edition of the Kerux: You can check out which internships students are participating this summer! Editor Robert Van Lonkhuyzen offers, in continuation with March’s theme, his journey leading to his time at CTS. Paula Seales, a first year ThM student, also shares her story and decision take on another, even more intense, degree at CTS. ...
  • Stress and Faith Formation May 7, 2015 Stress can really bring students down. Especially when there are graduation plans, paying attention to calls from churches, PhD applications, and  staying in touch with the Calvin Theological Seminary Registrars office. Yeah, that’s exciting, but stressful. What happens to the ongoing faith formation? For students who have a few more years ahead of them, we take those times of meditation on God’s word, contemplation on call, and sincere prayers of adoration for God for granted. When the hands of time get spinning too fast during our last semester, we need to remember that what we learned about faith formation is important to pastors caring for themselves. We need to exegete ourselves with the above spiritual disciplines before beginning to exegete any sermon. From the way it’s presented here at CTS, it would seem that the languages and resources are the most important. In my opinion, the spiritual disciplines are formational factors of determining who we are as missionaries, pastors, and community developers.  In the programs, business, and administration of ministry let’s not get oddly shaped into being someone who is not identifiably a servant of Jesus. Stress and faith formation are to be dealt with in a healthy way. And spiritual disciplines are part of a staying in touch with the important things in your community. There is more to the big picture of being a pastor than juggling the hats of hermeneutics. It’s being a genuine person who God can use as a servant minister. By Ronald Hunsucker
  • Kerux Editors on Diversity February 6, 2015 When we as an editing team first discussed our sense of a timely and meaningful theme for the January edition of the Kerux, diversity was a topic we kept returning to. We had some initial misgivings about the theme because of the ambiguous and misleading way in which the word is often used. The concept of diversity is a hot topic in the church; it is how churches like to describe themselves. As “proof” of diversity, churches and schools offer stats about the range of countries of origin and ethnicities and religious backgrounds represented. In itself this trend is a good thing: for much of its history, the church has reinforced class distinction and separation. We now want to do better. Yet often it doesn’t take long to scratch below the surface of that claim of diversity and notice how little people of different backgrounds and convictions are truly sharing life together. The phenomenon of lives lived apart, grouped in cliques of commonality which rigidly reject and attack difference  – even in supposedly “diverse” communities, is something our previous book of the semester, Some of My Best Friends Are Black, tried to explore, specifically in relation to the deep and painful race divisions in our country. As an editing team, we have concluded these questions are too important to avoid. The tragedies of recent events, and the diametrically opposing reactions to them in our country, have made very clear the degree of nation-wide division and misunderstanding of others’ experiences and the need to address in concrete ways the gap between the ideal of “diversity” and the realities most of us have seen and experienced. We wanted to talk less about the reality of ethnic and religious diversity at CTS, and more about the how of further uniting in Christian community. In ...
  • A Call for Hospitality February 6, 2015 It’s uncomfortable at times to talk with and get to know someone who is different from yourself. It is easiest to remain within your own culture, age, race, or nationality. Even though we would never want to be inhospitable, we often are not hospitable because that requires us to open our homes, lives, and persons to someone who we fear might not understand us or who we are afraid that we won’t understand. As Christians, particularly as future and current leaders of the church, we must show Christ’s love and hospitality to all people. The first place to start stepping out of your comfort zone might be right here at CTS with international students (or conversely, international students hosting national students, but that isn’t the focus of this article). While you might think hospitality is a word that is easy to define, think again. While we can probably agree that hospitality means being friendly, welcoming, and entertaining when having visitors or friends over this looks very different in different cultures. For most white U.S. nationals it seems that hospitality, or being hospitable, means being friendly in general and, when someone is at your house, making sure they have a good meal and enjoy themselves. We rarely think about inviting anyone over except those that we would consider friends already or those we are seeking a greater relationship with. Sometimes we have expectations of our guests such as that everyone will hug at the end of the visit, that someone will help in the kitchen to prepare the food, or that the guest will have at least offered to bring additional food with them. These things may seem normal but not in many cultures where having someone over looks very different. When the person comes in they are greeted by the whole family, ...
  • Editorial on Diversity February 6, 2015 This previous book of the semester, Tanner Colby’s Some of My Best Friends Are Black, has sparked some thoughtful questions such as “Just how diverse is Calvin Theological Seminary?” “What are some misconceptions about diversity?” And lastly, “Are we as students burned out from talking/thinking about diversity and social justice?” I would like to say that Calvin Theological Seminary students are tired and burned out from academic work, not from moving out in grace to address diversity and social justice. In this editor’s opinion, diversity and social justice are very important to Calvin Theological Seminary. This is an urgent point to be made in an age when people are losing their grasp of Christian theology and becoming cold and apathetic. As students of Reformed Theology we must proclaim in our institutions of learning and worship, as well as outside them, that we consider the goal of studying theology to empower Christians to bring about the betterment of all, not a few. To leave theology simply to the realm of study without any spiritual movement happening is ignoring why we are theologians. Making theology only an academic discipline promotes seeing of God as we want to rather than he truly is. This is resisting the movement of the Holy Spirit.   To be clear moving forward from the events of police brutality in 2014, diversity and integration are important to Calvin Theological Seminary. We must continue to grow in this area, because ignoring social justice and racial reconciliation really does leave Abraham Kuyper’s theology of engaging every sphere of life stunted. This is one reason the Christian Reformed Church should be invested in racial reconciliation, so there is clear missional engagement of urban areas and rural areas, so when we bring the gospel it will also bring healing for people who hurt ...
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