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Letters to the Editor: January 2015

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Jurassic Ark

I must comment on the article “Speaking of Jurassic Ark.”

If we were to do science on the basis of what a majority believes, we would still think we had a geocentric solar system, and if we were to do theology that way, we would still be Roman Catholic.

It seems little known that many of the early “geologists” were clergy or churchmen in the laity, and that there was an understanding already in the 18th century that Earth was very old. Young Earth creationists often claim that scientists invented the old Earth idea to allow time for evolution, but Darwin didn’t publish his Origin of the Species until 1859.

—Ken Van Dellen
Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.

The recent cover was enough to tempt me to open [The Banner] again, and it was a pleasant surprise to read the article “Speaking of Jurassic Ark.”

—John deBoer
Kingston, Ontario

Suggesting the world is 6,000 years young makes a mockery of both science and the Bible. Good science has long demonstrated the validity of the claim that this world is billions, not thousands, of years old. Credible biblical interpretation makes no scientific claim regarding the age of the earth. Genesis is not interested in making scientific claims; instead, it is focused upon a message of God’s power, presence, and providential care for the universe.

To assert that the universe is merely thousands of years young is a narcissistic attempt to place humans at the center of God’s chief concern.

—Bill Lenters
Chicago, Illinois

We Need Not Fear the Dinosaur

I would like to assure Mr. Buurma and other OEC proponents that I do not fear the dinosaur (“We Need Not Fear the Dinosaur”). Nor do I fear space, planets, stars, amoebas, starfish, trees, clouds, or monkeys. All of creation declares the glory of God one way or another—whether in its created splendor pointing to the Creator (stars, planets, diversity of life, etc.) or whether standing as a testimony to his judgment upon sin (thorns, thistles, predatory behavior, Grand Canyon, etc.). All of general revelation (creation) is perfectly consistent with special revelation (the Bible), which teaches clearly that the earth was made recently, in six 24-hour days, and that it has fallen under a curse because of human sin.

—Aaron Gunsaulus
Newton, Iowa

I don’t think or know much about the age of the earth or about dinosaurs (“We Need Not Fear the Dinosaur”). But I do know it’s like a jungle out there—and not just for businesses or birds and other creatures of the animal kingdom. This precarious existence is the present and daily experience of millions and millions of people in North America and around the globe. Whether this dog-eat-dog world we’re living in is due to cut-throat competition, natural selection, or sin is a question I cannot answer. I only hope that our fittest, best, and brightest will be seen defending more than science or the six days of creation.

—Leonard Van Harten
Thorndale, Ontario

The editorial “Keep It Clean” said that the CRC study report on Creation and Science encourages Reformed believers to take their Bible and their science books and “place them side by side.” Belgic Confession Article 7 says clearly that “we must not consider human writings—no matter how holy their authors may have been—equal to the divine writings.” Science books cannot be on par with the Bible, God’s special Revelation.

—Ferry Yang
Neerlandia, Alberta

CRC News

The recent News story about copyright compliance and the CRC’s new hymnal (“Is Your Church Breaking Copyright Law?”) assumes that we are using [the new hymnal] at all. Today’s CRC churches conduct worship in many varied ways. Was the creation of a one-size-fits-all hymnal like LUYH a wise investment of denominational resources?

I love modern worship music, but it is readily accessible through other means like CCLI’s SongSelect. It is also more culture-bound and generally lacks the depth and staying power that justifies including it in a hymnal.

—James Bosma
Burlington, Ontario

Concerning your News story about Dr. Plantinga Pauw’s visit to Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids for a discussion about same-sex relationships and the involvement of gay, lesbian, transgender, and others within the church (“Grand Rapids Event Advocates Full Participation of Practicing Gay Church Members”): one factor I find consistently lacking in such discussions of human sexuality is the place of the Fall and consequent influence of original sin in the human constitution. No, none of us are born into this world exactly as God may have intended. I highly recommend an article by my colleague at Calvin College, Richard Whitekettle, which addresses this overlooked issue.

—David Crump
Grand Rapids, Mich.

It is troubling that there are those in our denomination who are advocating the acceptance of immorality and conforming to our sinful culture (“Grand Rapids Event Advocates Full Participation of Practicing Gay Church Members”). The Bible clearly teaches that any sexual behavior (even impure thoughts) outside of heterosexual marriage is sin. I urge Dr. Pauw to teach instead confession of sin, repentance, and a commitment to holy living.

—Carmen Reitsma
New Sharon, Iowa

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