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Recent Stories by Jack Van Ens

Van Ens: Why doomsday predictions are dying

December 13, 2019

The Evangelical Free Church of America adjusted its biblical clock ticking down the time remaining until Jesus returns to Earth. This denomination no longer treats as a major doctrine the belief in a literal millennium...


Van Ens: Show gratitude at your fingertips

November 23, 2019

Browsing a folder in which some first-grade elementary school report cards were stored, I noticed receiving an “A” for an activity seldom offered today: penmanship. Teachers instilled pride in students whose fingertips held ink pens....


Van Ens: Thanksgiving with no strings attached

November 16, 2019

Although Latin is a dead language, it enjoys a rebirth in American conversation. The term quid pro quo, which stands for “getting something for something,” or more colloquially, “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch...


Van Ens: Hit the Second Amendment’s bull’s-eye

October 19, 2019

Ask a U.S. citizen what the Second Amendment stands for. Some respond this amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a gun. Like a shooter who misses the target, they are confused as to the...


Van Ens: Who controls Congress’s purse?

September 14, 2019

Does your heart beat bolder or race wildly because of the constitutional struggle between the president and Congress over monetary authority for funding a border wall? Delegates signed the United States Constitution on September 17,...


Van Ens: Losers bet on winning by intimidation

August 17, 2019

What strategy works best when relating to people: offering a receptive hand or threatening with clenched fists? Christianity opts for handshakes, not hammer blows. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described a Roman centurion...


Van Ens: Fear, and the changing face of a nation

July 20, 2019

“What do you see,” asks a psychologist. After looking at a pen and ink drawing, a client responds, “A vase.” “Look again at the sketch from a different angle,” suggests the psychologist. The client now...



Van Ens: Determine what’s right by what helps the helpless

June 15, 2019

What’s the highest ethic? Protect people’s liberties when enemies menace them? Or, promote “law and order” to protect those in political power? Winston Churchill defended the first option at the beginning of World War II in 1939....


Van Ens: What U.S. wars win God’s support?

May 24, 2019

Those who exalt our nation’s wars usually have never experienced combat or haven’t heard military officials rap on their doors, carrying grim news of a beloved’s death or crushing wounds on a battlefield. On Memorial...


Van Ens: Don’t duel with your adversaries, dine with them

April 27, 2019

If you can’t stomach your opponents’ religious or political arguments, dine with them. Digest this folk wisdom: It’s difficult barfing at an opponent whose story you know. Once you hear an adversary’s story during a...


Van Ens: Every Sunday is Easter Sunday

April 20, 2019

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. `Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning,” quipped Mark Twain, whose verbal asides aren’t glib. His...