About Michelle Van Loon

Review: Of Stillness And Storm

My husband and I once had a pastor whose wife had never signed on with her husband's calling. She married a businessman, not a downwardly-mobile spiritual entrepreneur who had meetings 4 nights a week and dealt with congregational crisis what seemed like 8 nights a week while she was left to function as a single parent to their three young kids. She stood by his side gamely, but his calling took a toll on her during the years we knew her. When I think of her face during those years, it is of a … [Read more...]

What Do Your Kids Know About Communion?

I taught Sunday School for years. The experience taught me a few things. One essential lesson was to avoid any craft project involving glitter. I found glitter in my clothes, hair, and Bible for days after creating sparkly Noah’s Ark rainbows with my class of first-and second-graders. A word to the wise: no matter how cute it looks in the curriculum guide or on Pinterest, there’s really no sane reason to drag glitter into your Sunday morning.A second, more serious lesson had to do with how in … [Read more...]

Reflection: The Sound of a Million Dreams

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? – Proverbs 20:24 I worked at a college for five years and developed friendships with a few students that extended beyond their graduation day. As a result, I was part of the lives of a couple of them when they had what has been dubbed the "quarter life crisis". The big dreams and plans of their college years crashed headlong into the painful realities of young adulthood - a young adulthood filled with big co … [Read more...]

True Influence: The Mordecai Option

The Jewish feast of Purim took place this year from sundown Saturday, March 11th through sundown of the 12th. It is for me an opportunity each year to revisit this remarkable story of survival in the face of super-size, demonic anti-Semitism. The book of Esther found in our Bibles never once mentions God’s Name, yet his unseen hand is visible in every moment of this drama. I’ve always loved Queen Esther’s brave words when faced with the news from her uncle Mordecai. He informed her that her peopl … [Read more...]

Touch Not The Lord’s Anointed?

Those who’ve attended a spiritually-abusive church have more than likely heard some version of a warning drawn from the pages of Scripture about not challenging a leader’s authority: “Touch not God’s anointed.”There are a couple of big problems with this kind of talk. First, in an authoritarian church system, challenging a leader’s authority might mean anything from not showing up every time the church doors are open to daring to ask a question or express a doubt about something a leaders has … [Read more...]

6 Things Christians Can Do Right Now To Combat Anti-Semitism

A few days ago, I wrote about the relative silence by Evangelical leaders in regards to the uptick in anti-Semitism we're seeing in this country. I have been appreciative of the expressions of concern and support by Gentile believing friends, but discouraged by the lack of attention this problem has been given by Evangelical church leaders. Martin Niemöller's well-known words are a prophetic warning for all of us when it comes to acting on behalf of the marginalized and persecuted. First they … [Read more...]

The New Christian Zionism: A Review

For decades, it seemed that there were only two basic options in the Church when it came to discussions of Israel. The first, dispensationalism, objectifies the idea of Israel both now and in the future, and requires elaborate charts and the entire fictional Left Behind canon to unpack. The second, supercessionism, says that the Church has replaced Israel. The first two-thirds of the Bible, the Old Testament, becomes nothing more than a long preamble to the “real” salvation story, and the pro … [Read more...]