Reformed and Podcasting

Back in 2004, Camden Bucey had a morning ritual. He’d get up, hook up his iPod, sync his podcasts, jump in the car, and hit “play” on the way to his job at Caterpillar in Peoria, Illinois. “That was my life for years and years,” Bucey laughed. Now pastor of Hope OPC in Grayslake, Illinois, Camden Bucey is not just listening to podcasts, he’s hosting one. He launched Reformed Forum, which currently produces three separate podcasts, in 2008. For Bucey, Reformed Forum is a combination of two interests: tech and theology. When he first began listening to podcasts in the early 2000s, techies were the only ones producing them because techies were the only ones who knew how. Bucey was still listening in 2007, while also preparing for seminary and diving into Reformed literature. He recalls wishing for a few other theology nerds to discuss what he was reading. “People take it for granted that there are Reformed churches and that people can just have conversations about theology. But I didn’t ... Read more

Out-Of-This-World Poetry

In C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , the story begins with Lucy stepping through a great wooden wardrobe, her empyreal entrance into another world. This new world, similar to our own but also gloriously different, surprises and delights Lucy as she wanders and explores. Like the wardrobe that Lucy steps through, poetry can be a door we stumble through into a whole new world that surprises and delights us. We may discover exquisite collections of well-wrought words that bring ingenious new worlds to life in our imagination. Like Narnia, poetry can be a world of excitement and evil, of wonder and witches, of imagination and idolatry. Like Narnia, poetry can also be dangerous. How do we discern what is good and beautiful and true in the poetry of those who don’t share our convictions? Do they have something to share with us that we can appreciate without fear of being captivated by their unbelieving aptitude and artistry? If you know the Narnian story, you know that a lighted ... Read more

Good Stories, the Best Stories, and the Greatest Story Ever Told

Stories are the most natural way in which we come to know God’s created world and our place in it. Whether we are young or old, our desire to tell and hear stories is a fundamental part of our human nature—of being made in the image and likeness of God. Good stories reveal God’s beauty, affirm the meaning of life and its purposes, and give needed recreation and refreshment to tired souls. Good Stories Good stories teach us to live well, but it’s not a crash course. Unlike books that lay out ten steps to a better life, a good story will not provide a formula to plug into a given situation or problem. The plethora of self-help books available these days are no substitute for good literature; they may be easier to read and give a temporary motivational boost, but to the degree that they deconstruct and demystify life while claiming false promises, they will be ineffective and potentially detrimental. Good stories don’t tell you directly what to do or how to do it; rather, they use the ... Read more

"He Appeared to Simon"

Perhaps we have all put ourselves in the place of Jesus’s disciples on Easter morning and imagined their fear, wonder, and joy at seeing the Lord, back from the dead. We have tried to imagine what that reunion must have been like, after witnessing the brutal death and hasty burial of Jesus three days before. It heightens our own joy to imagine theirs on that day. There is one disciple whose first encounter with the risen Lord is particularly edifying to consider: Simon Peter. Just as the biblical record underscores the prominent place Peter had among the disciples in general, so it emphasizes the special attention Jesus gave to Peter in his resurrection appearances. Why is this so? The Unique Despair of Peter The death of our Lord left all of his disciples, including Peter, in a state of grief and despair. The gospels record this in various ways: women were mourning and lamenting for him on his way to the cross (Luke 23:27), many left the crucifixion beating their breasts (Luke 23:48), and the ... Read more