Letters: December 2011

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Science Behind Climate Change

After reading “Global Warning(s)” by Brian Martin (November 2011), I was left shaking my head in dismay. First, he begins by subtly chastising those with differing views as having “dismissive comments.” He further uses questionable correlations that CO2 is the cause of “serious changes in global temperature.”

While chiding people to take a long-term view of climate, he then uses a short-term example of a glacier receding over 50 years, thus contradicting his own argument. . . .

Rather than a thought-provoking article, this turned out to be more of an elitist view being passed off as facts. This is the least scientific presentation of this subject I have ever read. But it is not a surprise since the Banner editorial staff already concluded that “we must act on the assumption that climate change is real.” Wow.

—Robert J. Ribbens
Muskegon, Mich.

Your article “Global Warning(s)” and editorial “Why Play Favorites?” (November 2011) were lopsided and unscientific—more of a political statement than a faith issue. Reading my church publication should enhance my faith, not try to persuade me of the virtues of liberal politics.

Cancel my subscription immediately.

—William Krzymowski
Gallup, New Mexico

There is probably no way to publish an article on a controversial subject without stirring up a lot of debate. However, your reasons for not publishing pro and con views in the same issue have a downside too. . . .

I do want to point out that a consensus among believers is not proof of the validity of their belief. The reason for this from a scientific standpoint is clear: consensus follows the establishment of fact; it does not verify it. Whenever physical evidence is lacking or incomplete on a matter in the physical world, the subject under discussion is not considered as fact but as a theory. Had you written about the subject of global climate change 40 years ago and come down on the side of the consensus viewpoint, you would have supported the conclusion that the world was headed for another ice age.

—John A. Clark
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Because the “scientific community” considers the view against “human-caused” global climate change to be a minority opinion, The Banner will not publish it (“Why Play Favorites?”). On the other hand, in the same issue it publishes an article (“How Should We Read the Bible?”) and letters that support those who question the reality of Adam and Eve, even though that remains a minority opinion in the membership of the CRC. If “majority rules” is the standard for publication, The Banner should be more consistent. The best standard, of course, is not science or majorities but, rather, the reliable words of Scripture from beginning to end.

—Michael DuMez
Oostburg, Wis.

How Should We Read the Bible?

Regarding Clarence Vos’ article “How Should We Read the Bible?” (November 2011), what a timely gift to the Christian Reformed Church!

This is the Reformed tradition at its best: reading both God’s Word and God’s world without fear. Now I remember why I first came to love the CRC.

—Robert A. Arbogast
Columbus, Ohio

Vos says that during discussions of the CRC’s Committee on Infallibility, Rev. Louis Praamsma, my father, noted that Abraham Kuyper maintained that “the historiography of the Bible was not that of a camera but more like that of an artist’s brush.”

Vos says that quote was an eye-opener for him, a suggestion that there is more to reality than the camera can capture. . . .

I would like to point out that my father held to a literal view of the Bible and would have been appalled to have his name linked to any suggestion to the contrary. Not only did he believe it important to accept the Genesis creation account as literal truth, he also actively promoted this viewpoint.

—Christine Farenhorst
Arthur, Ontario

Obviously this is a troubling article and needs much more explanation for certain questions that come up.

One of the key principles in hermeneutics is that the message of the Bible is historical—that it describes what happened to real people who lived in real places. Are we now saying that principle is no longer true?

It sounds to me in 1 Corinthians 15: 22 and 15:45 that Paul believed that Adam was literally the first person and that we all descended from Adam and Eve. Were Paul’s words not inspired?

And what happens to original sin if we now believe that Adam was not the first person God created and that through him we all have imputed original sin? . . .

We better have good, solid biblical answers so we can defend our faith.

—Harry VanMunster
Holland, Mich.

Trick or Treat?

The article “Trick or Treat?” (October 2011) left me with a heavy heart. To be advised that I can casually follow pagan customs with indifference, just as many unbelievers are indifferent to the gospel at Christmas, is appalling. Did the author consider, for example, the martyrdom of Perpetua (A.D. 203), who could have saved her life by following a simple act of sacrifice to a pagan god? She was told that she could perform the act without meaning it. Would the author have given Perpetua such counsel before her death? As a Christian, I fail to see how or why I would participate in a feast that celebrates fear and death when Jesus Christ has come to bring us life and life to the full.

—Phyllis Schouten
Burnaby, British Columbia

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