As another year comes to a close, I rejoice in the ways God worked in and through our ministry to the students, faculty, and staff at Iowa State University. We hosted Dr. David Koyzis, who delivered our annual Areopagus lecture. I spent the summer ministering at Newton Correctional Facility and served as a delegate to the synod of the CRCNA in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We saw God bring a number of new students to our ministry this fall, and I began leading Bible study at Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity. And we continue to love and serve our friends from around the world, providing meals (including a Thanksgiving meal for more than 60 at Trinity CRC!), opportunities to explore the Bible, and a community during their time in Ames.
Each of these are an expression of our ministry’s goal: to reflect the gospel and a Christian worldview into all facets of university life. It is a privilege and joy to minister at ISU, and I look forward to the ways God will continue to work to advance the good news of Christ and the Kingdom on our campus and around the world.
So, being that it is that time of year again, here is my annual review of the most popular content on the blog, as well as some book recommendations for your new year.
Top 4 Blog Posts From the Past Year:
- The Gospel and My Father’s Same-Sex Attraction (June 12, 2019)
- Serving at Stellenbosch International Fellowship (November 27, 2019)
- Engaging the World with the Creeds and Confessions (July 11, 2019)
- The Psalms of Praise and Contemporary Music (February 20, 2019)
FOUR BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
Honey from the Rock: Daily Devotions from Young Kuyper (Abraham Kuyper)
This recently translated collection of devotions show the spiritual side of Kuyper, and his concern for holiness and a vital relationship with God. Though written over one hundred years ago, many of Kuyper’s reflections remain relevant and insightful for us today.
Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing In Christ Through Community (James C. Wilhoit)
A valuable volume that engages the topic of spiritual formation in the context of the community of faith: the church. Using a helpful outline—receiving, remembering, responding, and relating—Wilhoit makes a compelling case for the importance of the church and its work in worship, education, and community for our formation in Christ. Also comes with a practical assessment tool that churches can use.
Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up (Simon Chan)
Writing out of the Pentecostal tradition, Chan concisely, yet systematically, examines the central tenants of the Christian faith as understood and applied in Asian contexts. Chan’s unpacking of the communion of saints in relation to ancestor traditions, as well as his application of the sufferings and victory of Christ, are particularly fascinating and may prove useful in bridging gaps in communicating the Christian faith with people from Asian cultures/backgrounds.
Pilgrim and Priests: Christian Mission in a Post-Christian Society (Stefan Paas)
Though I am only half way through this latest work by missiologist Stefan Paas, I have thoroughly enjoyed it and believe it is an important work addressing the changing world (and ministry context) in which we live. With an engaging style that draws on both his research and personal experience, Paas evaluates the predominant models of church and ministry being promoted and practiced today, and presents an alternative—drawing on the imagery of pilgrim and priest in 1 Peter 2—that may prove vital to church faithfully fulfilling her mission in post-Christian Europe (and beyond).