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‘Son of David’

I would like to thank Leonard VanderZee for the article “‘Son of David’” (Dec. 2018). Very good! The majority of us who read The Banner are not theologians, and we so appreciate a good, down-to-earth article. Keep writing, and thanks again.

Leona Stukkie // Grand Rapids, Mich.

I was disappointed to see the picture on the cover of the December issue (illustrating the “‘Son of David’” article). I also found it ironic that the following article was about the importance of the Heidelberg Catechism, which suggests in Lord’s Day 35 that this cover is a clear violation of the second commandment. I expect that the denominational magazine would be consistent in their convictions and would adhere to the Ten Commandments as taught in the catechism.

Peter Beimers // Woodstock, Ont.

Editor’s Note: As the Heidelberg Catechism’s Lord’s Day 35 clearly suggests, the second commandment’s prohibition is tied to the context of worshiping or serving God through those images.

The Mind of Christ

As a candidate for ordination and as someone who is married to a minister, I can feel the tension Shiao Chong is talking about in not being able to please everyone (“The Mind of Christ,” Dec. 2018). I also appreciate the pastoral wisdom he gives in challenging readers to set down our pride and listen to one another for the sake of the gospel and Christ’s kingdom.

If I could sum up my call in a sentence, it would be to create spaces where people can be vulnerable with one another and listen well to each other so that we can better love God, each other, and ourselves.

Abby DeZeeuw // Moline, Mich.

Upon reading Shiao Chong’s December 2018 editorial “The Mind of Christ,” I was reminded of Mark 3:25: “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Jesus’ words describe the CRCNA’s current trajectory. Missional and evangelical vitality have been lost, regular attenders remain in cultural cliques, and the denomination hemorrhages membership. Any discussion of Christian love is meaningless without considering God’s just wrath on humankind. This concept has been lost to many, with eternal consequences.

Wesley Kwong // Portland, Ore.

Thank you for your work as Banner editor. As you mentioned in your latest editorial (“The Mind of Christ”), you cannot please everyone. God has well-equipped you for the job. Your appeal to us to have the mind of Christ is very much needed. Your call for progressive and conservative Christians to practice Christ-like humility with each other is right on. What may help us do so is to get beyond politically charged terms. The Bible calls for a balanced life of three integrated emphases: piety, doctrine, and transformation. These can be seen in the name Christian, sharing Christ’s anointing as prophets, priests, and kings. So much of our division is the result of one emphasis devaluing the other two. Christians are to cherish all three integrated roles.

Doug Aldrink // Dublin, Ohio

Hebrew (Mis)spelling

Great article and interesting observation about the link between beauty and covetousness (“God’s Garden: Pleasing to the Eye and Good for Food,” Dec. 2018). I noticed that the spelling of “chamad” in Hebrew on page 13 didn’t look right. The “dalet” and the “chet” are reversed. Since you read Hebrew right to left, the first letter should be the “chet.” It’s been 45 years since I first studied Hebrew, so I am stunned that my eye caught the error!

John Terpstra // Fort Collins, CO

Languages in the CRC

I noticed in the December issue that some materials were printed in both Spanish and Korean but not in French. Neither Spanish nor Korean are official languages in the U.S., but French is one of the two official languages of Canada. Please note that I have nothing against publishing stuff in Spanish or Korean, but if you’re going to do that, you should also publish it in French. The French-speaking community in Canada is one of the founding communities of this country, and there are more francophones attending Montreal CRC now than in the past. They are gradually replacing the Dutch immigrants who have moved away.

Michele Gyselinck // Montreal, QC

Editor’s note: Currently, there are 40 Spanish-speaking and 109 Korean-speaking CRC churches but only three French-speaking CRC churches.

Word Play

Thanks for the fantastic work you do month after month in producing The Banner. I read it nearly cover to cover. Thus I was prepared to complete the crossword puzzle (Word Play) in the Nov. 2018 issue until I realized the clues didn’t match the puzzle. I made notes, counted spaces, tallied letters, and re-read articles looking for missed details. But alas, I could not solve the puzzle. Woe is me.

Kerrie Howard // Hettinger, N.D.

Editor’s note: Alas, woe is us! As we confessed in our December issue, we messed up on the November Word Play. Please try again!

See comments (2)


I really appreciated Shiao Chong's February 2019 editorial "We Are All Biased" as well as his article "Beware the Yeast of Pharisees".  These two, along with Dan Walcott's article "We Can Do Better" made this one of your best issues in a long time.  Reading Reverend Walcott's description of "hearing two very different narratives" when growing up brought a knowing smile to my face along with a renewed conviction to tread carefully when promoting one's personal views.  

Steve Van't Hof

Grandville, MI 

Your Editor's Note regarding Polyamory in the previous BANNER was fundamentally misguided. 

Polygamy, as practiced in the Old Testament narratives, involved one man with multiple wives.  The question raised in an earlier letter involves a case where two men and two women are living in polyamorous relationship(s).  Can you point to any instance in the bible of either: 1) a woman having culturally/religiously-sanctioned multiple husbands; or 2) of multiple men and multiple women sharing a polyamorous marriage? 

I will no doubt be accused of being "sexist", but secular 21st C sensibilities cannot alter the fact that what is happening in one of our churches was never practiced in the bible, and would have been scathingly rebuked by Old and New Testament writers alike.

Bruce Anderson