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. 

Toronto's cityscape reflected in a side mirror of a car (photo credit: Daniel Novykov - Unsplash)

A New Age of the Spirit

By Ephraim Radner

The ventilator may well come to be one of the sorrowful symbols of the time of the Virus. We will associate it, as even now we do, with intense suffering, loss, and even death. The root of “ventilator” is the Latin ventus, which means “wind” or “breath.” When our breath is under threat, we are filled with enormous fear. As a child I suffered from asthma, and on more than...

Mon, November 02, 2020

Archangel Gabrielf struck dumb Zachariah, painting by  Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1824

The Joy of Interruption

By Tom Power

Many people in ministry and others could sympathize with the declaration of Rev. John Newton (1725-1807), author of the famous hymn, Amazing Grace, that he had:

“seldom one hour free from interruption, letters that must he answered, visitants [visitors] that must be received, [and] business that must be attended to. I have a good many sheep and lambs to look after, sick and afflicted souls dear to the...

Mon, October 26, 2020

Wycliffe College MDiv student Jonathan Kang and his family at the lakeside

Reflection and Encouragement from a First Year Wycliffe Student

By Yong-Sung Jonathan Kang

We invited Jonathan Kang, a first-year Wycliffe College MDiv student, to share his thoughts on what it is like to start seminary during a global pandemic, and to offer a word of encouragement to fellow students.

It feels disingenuous, and even presumptuous, to write to a community that I (as yet) only see through a glass, darkly. Literally, through a monitor in my basement. Nevertheless, if that dim perception is...

Mon, October 26, 2020

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