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Resource Guide to Speakers and Programs

November 2014: Please note that this information is in the process of being updated.

Search these pages for speakers from Calvin College who are willing to make presentations for church, school and community groups. Please contact speakers by e-mail with your questions and requests. The inviting party is responsible for travel costs and honorarium.

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Aay, Henk
Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, Emeritus

  • Dutch FIlms shown in America
  • Selected Topics in the Geography of the Netherlands: A geographical analysis of important aspects of Dutch culture
  • Mapping Dutch American History and Culture

Abadeer, Adel
Professor of Economics | website

  • The dilemma of Christian minorities in majority Muslim countries
  • Diversity in Christian institutions
  • Gender discrimination in less-developed countries
  • Modern-day slavery
  • A Christian's view on Islamic teaching/thoughts
  • The good side of globalization: it is good for the poor
  • Macroeconomics & macroeconomics policies

Adams, Joel
Professor of Computer Science

  • Building Your Own Supercomputer: How supercomputers work, and how you can build one yourself
  • Iceland: Land Of Fire And Ice: A photo travelog around Iceland's ring road
  • Digital Creativity: Demonstrations of software packages that simplify computer
    animation, unleashing creativity
  • How to write software that uses all of those cores in your computer (aka How to get your computer to "walk and chew gum at the same time.")

Baron, Henry
Professor of English, Emeritus

  • Lent: The Lenten Journey Toward Jerusalem: from witness to worship; with readings, art and music.
  • Christmas Faith—confronting the beauty and the burden of the Incarnation through readings, art and music
  • WWII Remembered: the war years in Holland through the eyes of a child:  Stories of courage and fear, violence and faith; and reflections on its lasting impact.
  • The Immigrant Experience: the quest to belong. A personal story of parents and children encountering the challenges and mishaps of a new language, culture, and opportunities.
  • Reminiscing with Sietze Buning: truth through tears and laughter.  Readings (with comments) from Stan Wiersma's unique folk poetry that celebrates and sometimes censures the special character of the Dutch immigrant culture and tradition from which he came.
  • Prayer: what makes praying hard. A searching look at the meaning of John Bunyan's words: "In prayer it is better to have a heart without words that words without a heart." Examples of how we are practicing the presence of Christ when we talk with God from the heart.

Bierling, Marilyn
Professor of Spanish

  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Bolt, Robert
Professor of History, Emeritus

  • The Call of the Wild—a slide illustrated visit to Churchill, Manitoba, in October when polar bears are roaming about
  • The Influence of Religion on Certain 20th Century American Presidents.
  • Abraham Lincoln: His Humor and His Religion.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Involvement in His Hyde Park Church.
  • Humor of Presidents Ford and Lincoln is compared and contrasted
  • Prelude to Pearl Harbor
  • President Abraham Lincoln on his Religion

Boonstra, Harry
Theological Librarian, Emeritus

Bosma, Carl
Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Seminary| website

Bouma III, Hessel
Professor of Biology

The following computer-illustrated talks, each 40-60 minutes, are on topics in Christian biomedical ethics:

  • Human Stem Cells: Promises and Perils (2 sessions).  The current science, ethics and public policy issues surrounding human adult and embryonic stem cells that are being touted as the long-sought treatment of most chronic conditions and diseases.
  • Euthanasia: Dying Amidst Technology.  I. Withholding and withdrawing Medical Treatments.  Under what circumstances might we forgo medical treatments and how can we make our wishes known through advance directives if our capacities are diminished?
  • Euthanasia: Dying Amidst Technology.  II. Physician-Assisted Suicide and/or Voluntary Euthanasia.  Under what circumstances, if any, might we contemplate ending our own lives and seeking the assistance of health care practitioners through physician-assisted suicide (e.g., states of Oregon and Washington) or voluntary euthanasia (e.g., Netherlands) to do so?
  • Neither Male nor Female, God Created Them: Biomedical and Ethical Issues in Intersexuality (1 or 2 sessions). Each year, a small number of children are born with ambiguous genitalia—intersexed rather than clearly male or female.  Why does this occur, and what can and should be done, and ought we to understand our sexuality? 

Bratt, James
Professor of History

  • Abraham Kuyper: A single talk or a series on the life and work of this giant figure in Reformed history.
  • Churches in Grand Rapids' History. Major people, places, and themes as laid out in the book I co-authored, Gathered at the River.
  • The United States: A Christian Nation? This two-part series explores the issue of whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation--and the persistent controversy over that question. The first session shows why the answer to the question is negative. The second session shows how, by the time of the Civil War, the answer had turned into a positive. That is to say, the US was not founded as a Christian nation but it soon became one. From the two sessions together, we should get a better understanding of what is (and what is not) at stake in the question and the answers; of why the argument on the issue has gone on for so long and with such heat; and what the proper stance of a Christian ought to be--for the good of the church as well as of the nation.

Bratt, Kenneth
Professor of Classics, Emeritus

  • The Mediterranean World at the Time of Christ (illustrated)—a study of the 1st century political, cultural and religious factors which contributed to the spread of the gospel.
  • Archaeology and the Acts of the Apostles (illustrated)—a study of Paul’s missionary journeys (especially the second), with special attention to the archaeological evidence.
  • Corinth (or Rome or Philippi): Archaeology and the Epistles of Paul (illustrated)—a study of the earliest European churches, drawing on the epistles of Paul and recent archaeological discoveries on site.
  • Advent (or Lent) in Early Christian Art and Literature (illustrated)—a meditative presentation on the principal feasts of the Christian year, using poetry and art from the early Christian tradition.
  • The Ancient Olympics (illustrated)—Ancient Greek athletics, contrasted with the modern games in both their athletic and cultural aspects.

Bratt, Wallace
Professor of Germanic Languages, Emeritus

  • The East German Church 25 Years After the Fall of the Wall

Carlson, Neil
Director, Center for Social Research

  • Making Peace with Political Ideology:  Why All Christians Should be Liberals AND Conservatives AND Moderates
  • Religious Congregations and Social Services in Kent County, Michigan
  • Measuring Spiritual Health among CRC Congregations and Pastors
  • Data Analysis and Visualization with Tableau
  • Technology Tutorials on a wide range of software and services

Cooper, Dale
Chaplain emeritus; Calvin Institute for Christian Worship

  • A Few Things I’ve Learned Since the Time I Thought I Knew it All
  • Reflections from the Seat of a 1941 John Deere “B”
  • Spiritual Companionship:  Learning to walk together—in Christ
  • Joy: The Serious Business of Heaven
  • Hope: The Serious Business of Earth
  • Ten Things I’d Like to Teach My Spiritual Children 
  • Aiming to Grow Old Well

Cooper, John
Professor of Philosophical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

Gordon, Bethany A.
Assistant Professor of Nursing and Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse Educator, Emerita

•Parish nursing/faith community nursing: another opportunity for ministry.
Learn about this additional avenue to enhance the health promotion of congregation members and friends. Most persons spend more time in church than at a doctor or health care provider's office. The church then can be a natural place to offer programs about and visit with members about their health --body, mind and spirit.

Greidanus, Anna
Professor of Art

  • 20th Century Women in Art
  • The Cutting Edge of Contemporary American Ceramics
  • Exploring Personal Creativity Through Mixed Media Visual Art Exercises – This hands-on workshop can be presented in a single session or series. For various age groups and levels of experience.
  • Art and Spirituality

Groenhout, Ruth
Professor of Philosophy

  • Care and Justice in Medicine
    Suitable for an academic audience. Disciplines: Philosophy, Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences, Religious Studies, Sociology.
  • Medical Dilemmas: Care and Technology
    Suitable for generally educated audience. Of particular relevance for those interested in Health Care, Public Policy, and Ethics.
  • Christians, Technology, and Health Care
    Suitable for general audiences, Christian and non-Christian alike, with an interest in the relationship between faith and the culture of medicine.

Haarsma, Loren
Professor of Physics and Astronomy

• Origins: Creation, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
• Where Science meets Worldviews: Science, Atheism, and Christianity.
• Neuroscience, the brain, behavior, and the soul.
• Science and God's providence: natural laws, chance, and miracles.
• Science as a Christian vocation

Harms, Richard
Curator of the Calvin Archives

  • Black Baseball in West Michigan, 1900-1960
  • Grand Rapids Church Architecture, 1846-1945
  • The History of Grand Rapids
  • Grand Rapids Goes to War: The World War II Homefront
  • The Lumber and Timber Industry in Lower Michigan During the 19th Century
  • Grand Rapids During the Great Depression
  • A Postcard Tour of Grand Rapids, 1900-1920
  • Ramon Park: West Michigan’s Amusement Park, 1876-1955
  • America’s Pastime in West Michigan: Baseball 1880-1960
  • The Native People of West Michigan
  • Flooding in the Grand River Valley, 1886-1950
  • The History of the Christian Reformed Church
  • The Netherlands: How it Came to Be

Hoekema, David
Professor of Philosophy

Available to speak on topics related to social justice, peace and war, and the arts in society; also on religion, politics and culture in West Africa, South Africa, and Russia.  Sample titles of some recent church and community presentations (some illustrated with photographs):

  • “Africa’s Wealth:  Some Lessons on Tradition, Family, Religion and Politics”
  • “Christianity and Toleration:  Why Christians Should Stand Up for Their Enemies  As Well As Their Friends”
  • “Who Are the Peacemakers?  Christian Witness to War and Violence” (with reference to the Study Report on Peace and War adopted by the 2003 Synod of the Christian Reformed Church) 
  • “The Inevitable War That Wasn’t:  Achievements and Challenges in the New South Africa”

Katerberg, William
Professor of History

  • Connected Critics:  The Vocation of the Christian Scholar and Teacher
  • Deepest Peril, Last Stands:  Violence and Power in American History
  • Loyalists & Revolutionaries? Canada and the United States Compared
  • Intelligent Barbarism: The Cultural Psychology of Violence in the American West
  • Get Real? Visions of Utopia and Apocalypse in American Science Fiction
  • Holy Terror:  Religion and Violence in the American West

Kim, Young Richard
Associate Professor of History

  • History of early Christianity
  • Heresy and Orthodoxy in the early Church
  • The Church Fathers
  • The ancient Greeks
  • The ancient Romans

Klooster, Beverly
Professor of Biology, Emerita

  • Use and Abuse of Antibiotics—How is it that the antibiotics developed to treat infectious diseases no longer work?
  • Microorganisms: Our Unseen Friends and Allies
  • Nutrition: Which Approach is Better? Vitamin pills or foods
  • Christianity and Politics

Luttikhuizen, Henry
Professor of Art History

  • Art and Compassion: Depictions of Christ’s Passion in the history of art
  • The Nativity in the Visual Arts: Images of Christians in the history of art
  • How Art Reveals God in Nature: Pictures of general revelation

Maag, Karin
Director, H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies; Professor of History

  • Life in Reformation Geneva: a vivid account of the transformations that the reformation caused Geneva in the 16th Century
  • Pastors and Churches in the 16th Century Calvinist communities
  • Geneva Under Siege (with slides): Describes in detail the attempt to attack Geneva by night in December 1602. Suitable for young people and adult classes
  • The Reformation and its significance for today (focusing on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 theses and the start of the Reformation in 1517)

Mellema, Gregory
Professor of Philosophy

• Business Ethics: A Christian approach to decision making in business organizations.

Meyer, Nancy
Professor of Kinesiology; Athletic Director

• Leadership

Miller, Daniel
Professor of History

  • Two Versions of the Cold War in Latin America—conservatives and liberals have very different memories of US-Latin American relations. Who’s right?
  • The History of Christianity in Latin America
      a. The Colonial Catholic Church
      b. The New Catholic Church
      c. The Growth of Protestantism
  • America Before Columbus—a slide presentation on the Maya & Aztec civilizations of Mexico and Central America.
  • Latin American Updates—a discussion of particular nations and topics with emphasis on issues of concern to North American Christians.
  • After Appomattox: What Ken Burns and Glory Didn’t Tell You about the Civil War—race relations in the U.S.
  • U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction:
    • Southern Slavery, National Racism
    • "A war to preserve 'The Union as it was' becomes a 'War to end slavery' and "War to the last ditch.'"
    • "Grant's Virginia Campaign of 1864: Strategic Brilliance or Organized Butchery?"

Monsma, George
Professor of Economics and Business, Emeritus

  • Poverty in America: A Christian Economist’s View—a discussion of the causes of poverty in the United States and options for Christians who want to work to alleviate it.
  • Economic Stewardship and Justice—one talk or a series on our callings as stewards of God’s world.
  • Access to Health Care in the United States.
    The U.S. is the only moderate or high income country that doesn't provide all its citizens with financial access to health care. This situation will be discussed in one or two talks in light of Christian principles of justice. Policies which could increase justice in this area will be evaluated.

Mulder, Mark
Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Work

  • Poverty in the United States: A discussion of the foundations of poverty in the U.S.
  • Spirituality in U2: An analysis of the role of spirituality in the art/music of U2.
  • Congregational Adaptation to Neighborhood Change in Southeast Grand Rapids: A report on congregations from one denomination pursued various strategies in response to changing neighborhood demographics.
  • Reconciliation in Cities and Neighborhoods: A talk about how reconciliation in urban neighborhoods might begin with taking "places" more seriously
  • Latino Protestant Congregations: A discussion on what we do and what we don't know about this growing wing of Protestantism in the United States. Specific attention is given to the complexity and heterogeneity of LPCs
  • Congregations, Race, and Neighborhoods: A look into how congregational practices have shaped urban neighborhoods

Noe, David
Associate Professor of Classical Languages

  • General classical topics, include church history, St. Augustine, and Hellenistic philosophy.
  • Augustine and the Donatist Controversy: One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
  • The Persecutions of Diocletian: How Christians Learned to Live (and die) in a Roman World
  • Classical and Christian Virtues: Charity and the Development of Christian Community
  • Pleasure, Pain, and Living according to Nature: Understanding Paul's Audience in Acts 17
  • The Origin of Original Sin: Augustine's Arguments with the Pelagians
  • Post-Reformation Scholastic Theology: Franciscus Junius and the Development of a Protestant Method

Overvoorde, Chris
Professor of Art, Emeritus | website

  • Art as a Necessary Occupation: Why Every Community Needs Artists (a slide lecture)
  • Beyond Images: Art and the Christian Life (a slide lecture)
  • The Christian Artist: Art as a Response (a slide lecture)
  • The “Grace” Story: What We Have Done Visually at Grace Christian Reformed Church (a slide lecture)
  • Dutch Art: The Art of the People (a slide lecture)
  • History of Dutch Painting (a series of slide lectures)
  • How Fine Art Prints are Made (slide lectures)
  • The Foundation of Van Gogh and Mondrian: 19th Century Dutch Painting (a slide lecture)
  • My Journey in Art: A Personal Reflection (a slide lecture)
  • Stories of Faith: Fifteen Heroes of Calvin College and the Christian Reformed Church (an illustrated lecture on the residence hall paintings)
  • Prairie Visions: A Prairie Study of Space and Productivity

Post, Arden
Professor of Education, Emerita

  • Retirement: It's Not All It's Cracked Up To Be
  • Handling Chronic Illness: Perspective of caregiver and patient
  • Aging: Has Life Passed me by?
  • Inspring kids and teens to read
  • Book Ideas for babies, toddlers, children, and tweens
  • What to give a teacher for Christmas, birthday, end of year
  • Motivating Kids to Read: some practical steps
  • How to Read with your child, whatever age s/he is

Schaefer, Kurt
Professor of Economics | website

  • The Lord's Prayer as a Hebrew Psalm
  • Husband, Wife, Parent, Child, Master, Slave: The Economic Context of the New Testament Household Codes

Scheer, Greg
Research Development Specialist, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Greg Scheer's website with more workshop options

  • From Global Song to Heart Song
    From the German carol “Silent Night” to the Swedish hymn “How Great Thou Art,” our faith has always reverberated with the voices of the saints in all times and in all places. In this session we will explore how voices from all over the world can enrich our worship here in North America. We will sing examples from the new Global Songs for Worship songbook and CD.
  • Art of Worship Team Leadership workshop
    Your church has a worship team, but how do you help them reach the next level? This intensive training includes instruction in the role of the worship team, vocals and vocal harmony, guitar, piano, bass, drums, putting all the instruments together, and a demonstration rehearsal. The curriculum is aimed toward team leaders, but anyone who is on a worship team or hopes to lead one in the future will benefit.
  • The Psalms in Modern Worship
    Theoretically we see the importance of the Psalms in worship, but in practice how often do we use any more than short quotations from the most “user friendly” Psalms? This session will look at different methods of Psalm-singing through the ages, making suggestions for adapting and combining those techniques for modern worship settings.
  • Mentoring Worship Artists
    How can we move from directing people to helping them grow? Greg Scheer’s story of mentoring and being mentored is a launching point for a discussion of how we can best grow those who are involved in our worship ministries for the good of God’s kingdom.
  • The Other 87.5% of the Worship Iceberg
    Too often we concentrate only on the things we see in worship. If you want to affect worship renewal in your church, work below the surface. This is an especially good session for pastors and musicians from the same church to attend together.
  • Worship: What's Next?
    People tend to see the 60s (Jesus People, CCM, P&W) as worship’s watershed: either the renewal of worship or the end of tradition, the beginning of narcissism and the collapse of quality. Placing recent worship trends in a larger context allows to more accurately predict future trends.
  • Congregational Songwriting Workshop
    If we are to "sing a new song to the Lord," we must first compose them! This workshop will begin by outlining the traits of great congregational songs throughout the ages, and then move into a discussion of participants' songs. Bring one or two completed (or nearly completed) congregational songs of any style that you would like to present and discuss with the class.

Schoone-Jongen, Robert
Associate Professor of History

  • Biblical Kings and American Presidents
    Since George Washington first swore to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” on April 30, 1789, forty-three people have occupied the office of president.  Some rose to historical immortality, others sank into the ranks of villains.  And some have been assigned to both camps.  Many simply have been forgotten.

    What were the presidents like--as people, politicians, and public figures? 

    For Christians this leads to the question of what we should seek in our leaders.  One way to approach this question is to look at one of the Bible’s lengthier portraits of a godly ruler found in Psalm 72.  Then comes the hard part of the assignment—comparing our personal measures of good leadership with the standards scripture presents for our consideration.

  • Sojourners in the Land: America and Immigration, Then and Now
    People have been on the move since the beginning of recorded history.  That means immigration is an old, old story, one that touches each of us. This historical theme can promote a better of understand who we are and where we came from.  The Bible also speaks of immigrants and how they were to be treated.  By looking at both the Bible and history we can come to a better appreciation for the process of immigration, its causes and its results.  We can examine both the role immigration has played in molding the United States and the current issues that surround immigration.  Finally, it is important to look at immigration with reference to biblical advice about hosting the “strangers that are within your gates.” 

Selles, Otto
Professor of French

  • Charismatics or Fanatics? The French-Calvinist "Multiplier" Sect (Montpellier, 1720-1723)

Shoemaker, Allen
Professor of Psychology

  • Christian Perpectives on Self-Esteem—how compatible is self-esteem with humility and pride? What factors affect our self-esteem?
  • The humor of Christ—Sayings of Jesus that the Jews of His day found humorous but are lost on Western audiences
  • Apologetics for EveryDay Life—how to be ready to defend your faith in a non-offensive way (one talk or a series).

Smidt, Corwin
Professor of Political Science, Emeritus; Research Fellow, Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics

  • Christians in Politics or Christian Politics: Issues in Transforming Culture for Christ
  • The New Religious Order of American Politics
  • The Political Characteristics of American Evangelical Christians
  • The Politics of Protestant Clergy in Contemporary America
  • The Role of Religion in Fostering Civic Virtues among Americans
  • The Role of Religion in American Presidential Elections
  • Islam and Politics
  • The Role of Media in the Presidential Selection Process

Smith, David
Professor of Education; Director, Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning | website

  • Spiritual Development Across the Curriculum (1 or 2 talks or a workshop, with practical examples from several curriculum areas)
  • How should Christians teach? (And related topics regarding Christian education and the relationship of faith to teaching and learning. Material ranges from an overview lecture to a week-long workshop. See also )
  • Learning from the Stranger: Christians and Cultural Diversity (1 or 2 talks)

Smith, James K.A.
Professor of Philosophy | website

Here are some topics that Prof. Smith is available to speak on:

  • Postmodernism
  • Secularism
  • Worship, worldview, and "secular liturgies"
  • Christian faith and public life
  • Public theology and political theology
  • Christian cultural criticism

Steenwyk, Steven
Professors of Physics and Astronomy, Emeritus

  • Now That’s Cool—demonstrations with liquid air, intended primarily for youth groups aged 9–14 to experience the amazing effects of extreme cold on material.
  • An Electrifying Performance—demonstrations of some of the amazing effects of electricity—intended for youth groups aged 9–14.
  • Comets, The Swords of Heaven—Legends and facts about comets, meteors and asteroids with video illustrations highlighting their potential threat to life on earth.

Tiemstra, John
Professor of Economics, Emeritus

  • Recycling: Is Recycling Economically Wise? Do we do too little or too much?
  • Regulating and Deregulating Business—the purposes and problems with regulation of business and the record of deregulation since the late 1970s.
  • Christian Responsibilities of Consumers and Business—one talk or a series on the Biblical themes concerning economic life and how we can apply them today.
  • Organ Building in Northern Europe—one talk or a series with slides and recordings on the development of the organ and its music in France, Germany and the Netherlands from 1400 to 1900.
  • Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff or the Big Easy?—how increasing equality in the U.S. economy and taking better care of the poor will make the economy work better.
  • Globalization—The growth of global trade and investment raises ethical questions about the environment and poverty.
  • Financial Crisis and the Culture of Risk--How have Christians' attitudes toward risk changed over the last fifty years? How has this affected our financial system? Is financial globalization a good thing in a world where the assessment of risk has become more difficult?

Timmer, James
Professor of Kinesiology; Athletic Director

  • A Christian Perspective on Interscholastic Athletics
  • A Christian Perspective on Physical Education
  • Intercollegiate Athletics and Higher Education—a lecture on the inconsistencies between the goals of higher education and Division I athletic programs

Triezenberg, Glenn
Director of Career Development

  • Creating Enemy Images: An Inside Look at Interpersonal Problem-Solving and Conflict Management—this one to three hour presentation/workshop focuses on how individuals, groups, and organizations produce conflict and what each can do to manage and grow in the face of conflict.
  • Where the Jobs Are: Fantasies, Facts and Forecasts—Does a college degree, particularly one from Calvin, make a difference in today’s job market? Which careers are hot and which ones aren’t? How should a student decide on a career? This session will address these and other real world questions as well as provide the opportunity for questions and group discussion.

Van Der Weele, Steve
Professor of English, Emeritus

  • A Study of the Poem “The Hound of Heaven”—the classic literary account of the working of God’s irresistible grace.
  • An Overview of Dante’s Divine Comedy—Dante, the pilgrim, goes on a journey which teaches him the effects of sin, and shows him how to practice the virtues and how to achieve eternal life.
  • Vondel: Part of our Literary Heritage—Vondel’s achievement in his biblical play Jepthah.
  • Samuel Johnson as a Christian Warrior, 300th Anniversary—Samuel Johnson, in his life and work, emerges as an 18th Century servant, sage and saint
  • C.S. Lewis: Man for all Seasons—why does Lewis still appeal to many readers decades after his death?
  • Our Hungarian Experience—slide illustrated.
  • Impersonation of Albert Einstein
  • Impersonation of Benjamin Franklin

Van Reken, Calvin
Professor of Moral Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

Van't Hof, Ellen
Associate Professor of Kinesiology

  • Dance and the Arts in Elementary Education
  • Sacred Dance Workshop—a single workshop or series of workshops to introduce sacred dance—learning dances and creating our own.
  • The Klompendance: Tulip Time in Holland, Mich.—An investigation of the origin and history of the wooden-shoe dance.
  • Finding Their Own Dance: Reawakening the Alutiiq Arts—a discussion and presentation of a documentary film produced in Alaska

Weima, Jeffrey
Professor of New Testament, Calvin Theological Seminary

Whitekettle, Richard
Professor of Religion

  • The Psalms: The Mirror of the Soul—a look at how the Psalms grapple with the joys and sorrows of life
  • The Triumphs and Tragedies of Saul, David and Solomon—a look at the political and spiritual life of the first three kings of Israel
  • Thus Says the Lord: The Prophets of Israel—a look at those Israelites who were called by God to speak to a nation and world gone awry
  • Sexual Intercourse, Menstruation and Childbirth in Old Testament Law—a look at why sexual intercourse, menstruation and childbirth made men and women “unclean” according to Old Testament law (Lev. 12 and 15)
  • The Ant, the Hippopotamus and Israelite Wisdom Literature—a look at how the Old Testament wisdom writers answered the two questions, “How does the world work?” and “How should I live?”
  • The Sacrificial Theology of Dead Lambs and a Living Jesus—a look at how God used the sacrificial system to restore the divine/human relationship, and how the death of Jesus Christ is the culmination of this process of restoration
  • Creation, Fall, and Disintegration: The Stories and Story Line of Genesis 1-11
    Why is only the man kicked out of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24?  Why does God not like the fruit that Cain brings him in Genesis 4:5?  And why, in Genesis 11, is the Tower of Babel story followed by a boring genealogy?  These days people spend a lot of time and energy thinking and arguing about whether the stories in Genesis 1-11 are true or not.  We won’t do that.  We will look at things like plot and setting and structure and themes.  In other words, we’ll look at the stories in Genesis 1-11 as stories…stories which were and are intended to tell the reader something about how the world was made, about what the world is like, about what went wrong with the world, and about what God did and did not do about that wrongness.  Thus, we’ll look at the stories as the foundational opening of the entire biblical story which finishes well over a thousand chapters later.

Zylstra, Uko
Professor of Biology, Emeritus

  • Biotechnology and Food Security: The Ethics of Genetically Modified Foods
  • Environmental Stewardship and the Kingdom of God
  • Creation, Evolution and Life—A critical examination of the meanings of creation and evolution.
  • The Christian and World Hunger—An examination of population, environmental resources, and their relation to world hunger.
  • The Genetic Age: Are we ready for it?—A review of the recent developments and potential of biotechnology and a consideration of the ethics of genetic engineering.
  • Intelligent Design: Is this the appropriate response to how we should understand how God interacts with the creation?