Neil Carlson

About Me: 

As of first login in 2010, I am currently serving in my third year on Council and my first year as Elder for Education and Discipleship at Shawnee Park CRC.  I am early in my seventh year at the Center for Social Research at Calvin College. My wife LaVonne works in the offices of Friendship Ministries here in Grand Rapids. My boys Jay (now 7) and Colin (now 5) attend Our Savior Lutheran School in Grand Rapids. We are presently engaged in an effort to revitalize the church's connection with college students and young adults.

We are eager, hyper-active members of the church and love the Reformed tradition, but do not hesitate to remind our brothers and sisters that the church is bigger than the CRC and that Christian education is bigger than CRC schools. If we want to Reform the world, we have to engage it, including some of the other expressions of Christian faith. We are also products of public school education that did not undermine or dilute our faith as children; we support Christian education but strongly oppose demonization of public education.


Politics, especially the politics of Jesus as Lord and all human beings, including kings and presidents and CEOs, as his humble and gentle servants.

Books, especially historical fiction (especially Patrick O'Brian), fantasy (especially Tolkien) and science fiction (especially Neal Stephenson and Dan Simmons).

Computers, especially digital graphics and data visualization.

Science and technology, especially things that make life better and more fun (latest find:, recumbent cycle monorail pods from New Zealand).

Travel, especially to beaches (Michigan and Superior, Carolina Outer Banks, California, Dominican Republic)


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Pastoral Excellence in an Impatient Age

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