The Wycliffe Blog - Vestigia Dei

Vestigia Dei  – is a Latin term meaning “traces of God.” As a theological term it is associated with natural theology – that is, the view that there are vestiges of God within creation. We’ve chosen this term as the title of the Wycliffe College blog because our hope is that through these writings, readers might glimpse evidences for God as our writers interact with the wider world. 

Bread and Chalice (photo credit: James Coleman, Unsplash)

Cup of Blessing: On Missing the Chalice at Communion

By Joseph Mangina

One of the sure signs of “Covid-tide” in Anglican churches is the absence of the common cup at Holy Communion. The priest partakes of both the bread and wine, while the congregation receives the bread only. It’s a commonsensical public health measure, regrettable, no doubt, but absolutely necessary under the circumstances.

But it raises an interesting question. If you receive only the bread of the Eucharist, are you “getting” only...

Mon, October 19, 2020

People looking down on their mobile phones (Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash)

Spiritual deformation: the faith community’s losing battle with social media?

By David Kupp

We’ve all had enough, it seems. And yet we only want more. Shoulders curled forward, phones in our hands, eyes fixed to the screen, our brains wired to thumb endlessly deeper into the digital matrix: this is becoming the posture of humanity. In January 2020, in the early days of COVID-19, 3.6 billion people on earth were using social media. Amidst the lockdowns of the pandemic, that number surged to...

Tue, October 13, 2020

Ann Jervis

Society’s Fitting Anger at Evangelical Christians

By Ann Jervis

Why is it that Christians—particularly evangelical Christians—are increasingly seen as the enemy of the common good?  A Google search for “evangelical” in The New York Times quickly locates numerous articles about the evils of Christian evangelicals. Evangelical Christians are blamed for discounting climate change, for distrusting science, for supporting systemic racism, for equating unfair capitalist structures with Christian principles, and so on. Reading mainstream media is often a chastening and...

Mon, October 05, 2020

Alan Hayes

How Some Indigenous Students Changed Me

By Alan L. Hayes

Students generally expect to learn from their professors, but I can attest that professors also have a great deal to learn from their students. I want to say a bit here about some things I’ve learned from Indigenous students in particular, and how I’ve been changed as a result. 

Now, a fundamental reason why I’ve had so much to learn from Indigenous students is that, before they came into my...

Mon, September 28, 2020

Peter Robinson

Prayer in the face of fear

By Peter Robinson

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

In his inaugural speech as president of the United States (March 4, 1933) Franklin Roosevelt began by saying “let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is ... fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror…” 

Is there anything more powerfully destructive in our lives and in our world than fear?

Fear causes us to do extraordinary things—to lie,...

Mon, September 21, 2020

white clouds and blue sky - Photo by Ingmar on Unsplash

Exploring the mysteries of the first two verses of the Bible

By Glen Taylor

As a scholar of ancient Hebrew, I have spent decades puzzling about how best to translate the first two verses of the Bible into English. Finally, I have settled on the following:

1At the starting point (in which) God created the heavens and the earth2—the earth was a desolate void, with darkness over the surface of the deep, yet with the spirit of God hovering over the surface of the...

Mon, September 14, 2020

Stephen Andrews

The value of routines in managing the new normal

By Stephen Andrews

THE NEW NORMAL IS NOT NORMAL. So read a sign held aloft by a protester who appears regularly on the north side of Queen’s Park. I don’t pause to understand what the protest is about as I make my way to the market for some shopping, but I judge by the fact that they are not wearing masks or practicing “social distancing” that they disapprove of government policies which they...

Mon, September 07, 2020

Professor Glen Taylor

Professor Glen Taylor reflects

By Patricia Paddey

After more than 30 years, Wycliffe College Professor of Scripture and Global Christianity Glen Taylor, has signalled his intention to retire at the end of the calendar year. He expects to remain closely connected to the College.

Describing Glen as "a great asset to Wycliffe’s mission," and "one of the students’ favourite profs," in an email to faculty and staff, Principal Stephen Andrews observed that Glen has always taken a personal interest...

Wed, August 26, 2020

Steven Xu

Wycliffe graduate leads international outreach ministry

By Connie Chan

The following story was written prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. We recently caught up with Steven, who reports that the ministry it describes has continued via video conference. In fact, he has seen it flourish. New participants have started joining online, some from out of the province, and some from out of the country who hope to learn English with a group of Canadians. During this...

Wed, July 22, 2020

Sileen Phillips

Words: The Power of Life and Death

By Sileen Phillips

In the wake of anti-Black racism protests around the globe, people have been questioning the public statues and other works of art that surround us for the statements they make, overt or otherwise. In this blog post, Wycliffe student Sileen Phillips responds to news of a call to redesign one of the Queen’s highest honours, saying that the values it communicates are the epitome of evil.


There is a...

Mon, June 29, 2020