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The College-Compromised Christian

I remember it clearly even though it was six years ago. I was sitting on a bench outside a lecture hall at Grand Valley State University, waiting for my class’s turn to enter. A young man sat down next to me wearing a shirt that had the words “Covenant Christian.” I didn’t recognize him, but […]

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I Believe

The familiar words of Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism are beautiful. In summary, they are: “I am not my own, but I belong to my Savior.” When we make confession of faith publicly, we are saying not only “I belong to Jesus,” but also “I belong to the body of Jesus Christ, his […]

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Two Faces

Last summer my wife was at a local park. She observed another young mother sitting on a bench, clearly engrossed in her phone while her children played. After some time of not paying attention to her kids, she got up and took a selfie with them near the playset. This picture, if shared on social […]

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Issue at Hand, July 2020

“I know it’s in here somewhere. I just have to remember what it looks like and where I put it.” Everyone has a place in their house where they store things that don’t get used very often. Maybe it’s an actual storage room in your basement. Maybe it’s your garage or a spare bedroom. Maybe […]

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Issue at Hand, June 2020

What is the church? This issue of Beacon Lights attempts to answer that question by explaining several aspects of the church. There are many things that characterize the church. The church is characterized by the pure preaching of the gospel. The church is described as the bride of Christ. The church is described by adherence […]

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Issue at Hand, March 2020

The Issue at Hand, March 2020 Ryan Kregel   If you are a young man, you probably fit into one of three categories of men. Man #1: You are a big, bad, brazen, beer-drinking individual. You are the cool kid at school. Weaker boys fear you. You have no problem with cutting them down with […]

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Right Now

Right Now Ryan Kregel   It’s been a month since you read the last issue of Beacon Lights, an issue devoted to spiritual discipline. Now might be a good time to check in with how you are doing in the disciplines. Maybe you are thinking, “Come on, do I really need to do that already? […]

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I Kissed the Church Goodbye

Whether you realize it or not, there is a brutal war being waged against you. The battleground is your mind. Your foe? Not a physical army seeking your death, but the philosophies of this world. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of […]

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Issue at Hand, Oct 2019

The Belgic Confession of Faith, being a confession, begins with a heart-shattering confession of faith that ought to bring us to our knees. “We all believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God” (Art. 1). The article continues with a description […]

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On the Origin of Religion

Charles Darwin, known today as the father of evolutionary theory wrote his well–known book, Origin of Species in 1859. Through this book Darwin opened a door that has gotten wider and wider since that time. He suggested an entirely natural process to explain the variation of life forms we see in creation: evolution by means […]

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Issue at Hand, Aug 2019

Your education is valuable.  That statement is easy to say, but it’s something that’s even easier to lose sight of in the middle of a long school year.  If you are (or were) like me, your attitude toward your education and the school year looks something like the following timeline.   August: I’ve got some new […]

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United to Christ: The Believer’s New Identity

The superstitious Athenians to whom Paul preached wanted to make sure that they didn’t miss out on identifying with a god that could possibly be the all-powerful God. They sensed an empty space that they felt compelled to fill with an idol “to the unknown god” (Acts 17:23). To say that the Athenians were missing […]

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Issue at Hand, April 2019

A whole issue of Beacon Lights devoted to marriage? Yes. It does not matter how young or old you are. It does not matter what stage of life you are in. It does not matter if you are married or not. Reading about marriage is timely for anyone, anytime. If you are unsure about the […]

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Issue at Hand, March 2019

“We just need to stick it out until we get married, then all our issues will be resolved.” Have you or your significant other said something like that? It’s not true. Marriage—after the “waiting period” (dating) your parents impose upon you and always seem to want to know too much about—is not a switch. Flipping […]

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An Ever-growing Acronym

It used to be just four letters: LGBT. Now there are seven. And a symbol. The latest rendering of the ever-growing acronym of the sexual revolution is LGBTQIA+. You are probably familiar with the first part of the acronym, but maybe not the last part. In full, it stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, […]

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Issue at Hand, Jan 2019

Is there a better way to begin a new year than by taking account of the time you have been given—past, present, and future—and meditating on how you use it as a child of God? Within the incomprehensible vastness of eternity, God formed a creature called time. Have you ever stopped to meditate upon that? […]

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Dying Well

How will you die? Will you die well? “What silly questions to ask,” you say. And then you lose a loved one. Tragically. Or you receive the doctor’s report that you will not live as long as you expected, and your life comes to a screeching halt. Suddenly. Now you are forced to think about […]

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Issue at Hand, Sept 2018

I remember as a child hearing about the Canons of Dordt. Being a child and not knowing what the word “canon” meant, I often imagined cannons as you would find on a ship or a fort. I knew that the Canons of Dordt couldn’t be referring to actual cannons, but that image always stuck in […]

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A Day in the Life of a Prospective Teacher

I considered a different title for this editorial. “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Prospective Teacher” while certainly more catchy and accurate would probably have faced some copyright issues for ripping off the title of the popular book written by an “unlikely convert,” Rosaria Butterfield. So, what you see is what you get. At least […]

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Reflecting Back for Living Now

I still remember it like it was yesterday. My grandfather had passed away after a long struggle with dementia and after one of the visitations, I brought my grandmother home. During that car ride, she said with an unwavering voice about the man to whom she had been married for the majority of her existence, […]

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The Strange Woman and the Simple Young Man

Proverbs 7 paints for us a vivid picture of a young man being led astray by a strange woman. He is described as “simple” and “void of understanding” (v. 7). Knowing exactly where he was going, he walked down the street to her corner. No surprise, there she was. “There met him a woman with […]

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Bullying

Bullying is an intentional, unprovoked, repeated action by one person to hurt or domineer a weaker person. Bullies often think of themselves as superior to the person they are attacking. A 2013 study conducted by UCLA in a public middle school uncovered some chilling facts about bullying. Middle school students who bully more are described […]

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The Game

On Sunday evening, February 4, millions of people will gather around their TVs to watch the Super Bowl. Sadly, many Christians will also sit down and watch “the game that everyone has to watch.” Some might even scornfully ask you why you will not join them. What is our response to this massive event that […]

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Revelation and Science Education

Article 2 of the Belgic Confession states that God reveals himself to us by two means. “First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe” and second, “by his holy and divine Word.”[1] The truths laid out in Article 2 must permeate the entirety of Christian education. A truly Christian education does not concern […]

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