Letters to the editor

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Not Sure?
In the editorial “Don’t Be So Sure” (April 2013), creation is suggested to be one of many Bible mysteries that we should not be sure about. I suggest that God nailed it down and the only reason it is a mystery is because we thought it politically correct not to be sure. For many, [the creation story in] Genesis is a fable with any number of interpretations, all of which are thought to be more viable than the literal account God says it is in Ex. 31:17; Ps. 33:6, 9; 1 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 11:3; 2 Pet. 3:5; and more.

I believe a good number of those young in faith have spiraled into unbelief because we allowed the discussion to make Genesis look silly, and therefore the rest of the Bible suspect as well.

Certainly when God speaks and later confirms, one can be sure, and discussion to the contrary is disrespectful.

—Mene Zoerhof
Holland, Mich.

Is there room for questions about our beliefs (“Don’t Be So Sure”)? Absolutely. But the answers don’t come from ourselves or others—they come from the Scriptures. Do we need to understand everything? Absolutely not. But we believe his Word without a shadow of doubt, knowing that all things will be revealed when we see our Savior face to face.

—Carl Wiersum
Jenison, Mich.

Are creation, the flood, Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection a mystery? (“Don’t Be So Sure”). Of course, who among us has not had to pray, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” But the mystery is lifted when the Holy Spirit again and again prompts us to turn to the infallible Scriptures (see Rom. 1:19-21).

—Albert Rumph
Collingwood, Ontario

How I wish Synod 2012 had practiced some of the “holy hesitancy” about doctrinal expressions recommended by Clarence Vos (“A Holy Hesitancy” April 2013) and Bob DeMoor (“Don’t Be So Sure”) instead of reinserting the unhesitant phrase “fully agrees with” to the new Covenant for Office-bearers at the last moment. This decision left me to stumble over the phrase at my ordination despite 10 years of Form of Subscription revision committee work to be more “reverently reserved.” We are not yet ready to “risk the conversation” and bring doctrinal subscription to the more hesitant place Vos and DeMoor suggest, and our denomination’s witness is less authentic because of it.

—Wilma van der Leek
Surrey, British Columbia

How could six-day creation be mere dogma when it is clearly recorded in the Genesis account and the fourth commandment (“A Holy Hesitancy”)? Responsible hermeneutics means (1) the Bible is its own interpreter, being true to the text; (2) general revelation, God’s world, must be interpreted in the light of special revelation (God’s Word); (3) the authority of Scripture is not to be subordinate to external evidences or influences; and (4) the text can only have one correct interpretation.

Postmodern liberalism, on the other hand, replaces creation days with evolutionary ages (what we think is true rather than biblical truth) and human dogma based on opinion.

—Mel Mulder
Banning, Cal.

Guys with Guns
After reading that NRA president Wayne LaPierre’s statement (taken out of context) “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is “morally mistaken” and “religiously repugnant” (“Religious Coalition Takes on the Gun Lobby,” March 2013), I am looking forward to a full exposé that includes the other side of this issue.

It is very easy to join in liberal rhetoric [and] the politics of intellectuals and pursue false solutions to societal challenges. I trust The Banner will not fall victim to such misleading populist thinking.

—Gary Braaksma
Bellingham, Wash.

The statement made by NRA head Wayne LaPierre about “good guys” and “bad guys” with guns, taken in context of his entire speech, is essentially correct (“Religious Coalition Takes on Gun Lobby”). He could have chosen better adjectives and elaborated a little more, but was not, as Jim Wallis characterized, “morally mistaken” and “religiously repugnant.”

The clergy’s response to this issue comes from their perspective of being exposed to inner city gang and drug violence, a vastly different perspective than that of millions of Americans who are responsible owners of firearms.

Consider that if the second amendment were to be repealed, it would not be long before we lost the first.

—Jack Dykstra
Comstock Park, Mich.

Blue Marble
The story “His Blue Marble—and Mine” (March 2013) reminded me of a time when the late Rev. Eppinga was to be the featured speaker at one of the “Ladies’ Rallies” held for many years in the Thunder Bay church community. He spoke about his blue marble and why he carried it in his pocket. Afterward the ladies were invited to take home their own blue marbles and follow his example.

A year later the featured speaker, a friend of Rev. Eppinga’s, asked about the marbles. A show of hands indicated that many were faithfully carrying them.
“Good,” he quipped. “Rev. Eppinga will be happy to know you haven’t lost all your marbles!”

—Cathy Ypma
Barrie, Ontario

As a busy college student, I often feel that everything is out of control. Reading “His Blue Marble—and Mine” reminded me that God is always in control. He never forgets about me or about his creation. Angie Soloman’s article was a great reminder for me.

—Kayla Smits
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Church History
I appreciated Lloyd Rang’s concise history of the church (“Church History Highlights,” March 2013). However, I would like to point out two areas of possible improvement. First, the Reformed tradition starts church history with Adam, and the history of Old Testament Israel is part of the church’s history. So a better title might have been “New Testament Church History.” Second, there were several councils of Ephesus debating the nature of Christ. Other than that, I found the format very useful.

—Larry Sauvain
Centennial, Colo.

Thank you to Lloyd Rang for “Church History Highlights.” In addition to the meaningful years and explanations of events in church history, we were provided with witty cartoons and fine humorous responses such as “the earth revolves around Toronto, Ontario,” the “subcommittees appointed by the Reformed Church,” and many more.

—Bill Potma
Surrey, British Columbia
Banded Krait?

I was impressed by the prophetic Genesis 15 message of your March Banner cover. The snake (serpent) depicted on it appears to be the Banded Krait (Bungarus Fasciatus), whose bite delivers a neurotoxin that can result in respiratory failure and death. However, this snake does not have fangs growing from the lower mandible.

—Frank DeVries
Abbotsford, British Columbia

Together Doing More
Christians follow Christ, who is full of grace and truth. In sharing the gospel we lack grace when we simply try to defeat the unbeliever with argumentation. We lack truth when we fail to correct the unbeliever’s misunderstanding. An example of the latter is found in “Learning from the Edges” (March 2013). Ibrahim may be a dear friend, but as a professing Muslim he should not be identified as a “Christ-follower.” Let’s confess that none of us perfectly witnesses in grace and truth. We need to pray to Christ, who alone helps his followers to be fishers of lost sinners.

—Doug Aldrink
Racine, Wisc.

The article “Learning from the Edges,” about John Brouwer’s interaction with two Muslim males, contains the disturbing statement “Ibrahim is, in all but name, a Christ-follower.” A Christ-follower (Christian) is a person who has accepted Christ.

I believe we should present the gospel to Muslims. The Muslim religion is growing very fast. They are not trying to become relevant or culturally diverse. They present their religion in the Western world and we as infidels are free to believe it or leave it. In countries controlled by Muslims, Christ-followers are mercilessly persecuted, some paying the ultimate price for their love of Christ.

—Lee Eades
Lowell, Ind.

Redeemer Class Action Lawsuit
The recent News article concerning this matter was somewhat misleading “Redeemer University College Settles Class Action Lawsuit,” April 2013). It is not the case that 450 persons filed a lawsuit against the college. Rather, Canadian tax authorities challenged a charitable giving scheme in which some 450 Redeemer supporters had participated. A handful of these retained counsel and commenced a class action lawsuit. Under the rules of our court, if one has a possible claim and does not opt out of the class, one technically is part of the lawsuit—but that hardly means that 450 people are actively suing the college.

—John A. Tamming
Owen Sound, Ontario

Stealing Sermons
Frankly, I have never heard nor read a sermon that I could plagiarize (“I Think the Pastor Stole That Sermon,” February 2013). Thoughts? Yes. Ideas? Yes. Illustrations? Yes. But because they arise out of me as a person, what is said and how it is said needs to be true to who I am. The Spirit needs to speak through me. I want that sense of connection with the Word and don’t want to be channeling someone else’s words or experiences. I presume that I am who I am for a reason.

—Ron vanAuken
Toronto, Ontario

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Comments

I in am a member of the Athens CRC  in  Athens and have been for many years.

The Banner and it's editorials is of interest and importance to me.  ---   Wendi

I have just read Edwin Wahout's article which states that Christian's will eventually accept Darwin's theory of macroevolution as fact.  This is ironic because there are many honest and openminded scientist in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, biology, etc., who are more and more seeing through their studies that this theory is actually outdated and incorrect.  The problem is that the text books still used in universities are outdated and mis-teaching students.  There are many new facts that support the intelligent design of the Christian God of the Bible.  A wonderful, eye-opening book to read is: "The Case for the Creator"   by Lee Strobel.  I  highly recommend it!    Wendi B.

The opening remarks of Edwin Walhout’s Tomorrow’s Theology in which he suggests that Christians will look back with askance in a thousand years regarding what they once thought about science and orthodox theology, reminded me of the remarks made by a world leader in genetics research back in 2003. During the proceedings of an international biology conference she suggested that in seventy five to a hundred years the science community would look back and smile over the fact that they had really believed in the quaint hypothesis called evolution. In 2010 the members of a list of nearly one thousand scientists from around the world, many of whom were department heads of prestigious institutions, made a public declaration about the complete inadequacy of the evolutionary hypothesis to explain the facts as we presently know them. Just last year one of the world’s leading philosophers of science, Thomas Nagel, (an avowed atheist btw) published a book with the subtitle “Why the materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is almost certainly False” In his conclusion he went one better than both Walhout and the geneticist by declaring that it would only be a matter of “a generation or two” before the contemporary scientists would “be laughing at” the “present right-thinking consensus.”
And yet we now have a leader within the CRC who is seriously suggesting that we accept evolution as “a fact.” It would seem that all too often leaders of the institutional church are either in bed with the status quo, or, more often than not, they are affirming as fact, what, long after the fact, members of the natural science community are either abandoning, or are calling into question. This pattern seems to repeat itself endlessly within the institutional church. Why do we continue to be so blind, and so out of step with the real cutting edge of the various disciples?

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