Letters to the Editor

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Always Reforming

In response to the article “Always Reforming,” I agree that we must be careful with the interpretation of God’s special revelation in Scripture and his general revelation in nature.

However, I disagree that theologians have “a more perfect revelation of Scripture” than scientists do of nature. Scripture itself is God’s special revelation, but its interpretations can be in error. Since the fall, both scientists and theologians can be wrong with their interpretations.

We agree that God's holy Word is timeless in its authority and that God’s universe is absolutely consistent with it. The problem is that all of us humans cannot interpret these revelations without error.

Our world needs more Christian young people in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine.

—Jake Buurma
San Jose, Calif.

The great Reformational principle is “Scripture alone” (“Always Reforming”). Believers receive and interpret general revelation in the light of Scripture. In comparison with creation, “God makes himself known to us more clearly by his holy and divine Word” (Belgic Confession, Art. 2). We believe this written Word because “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (Belgic, Art. 3).

If the historicity of the Genesis account is denied, the divinity of Scripture—its “God-breathedness,” as 2 Timothy 3:16 puts it—is denied. Thus is lost Scripture’s authority, reliability, clarity, sufficiency, and unity.

—Carmen Reitsma
New Sharon, Iowa


Thank you to Susan LaClear for her article “Miracles: God’s Not Supposed to Do Stuff Like That.” I appreciated her humility as she shared how the church was surprised and encouraged by God’s healing intervention and grace. As a prayer leader in a local church, I also have watched as God has blessed us with miracles of healing. It reminds me of Psalm 115:3: “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever he pleases.”

—John Parsons
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Trouble with Outrage

Rebecca Warren hit the nail right on the head when she asks, “When did we become so mean?” (“The Trouble with Outrage”). I realize that I am one of the guilty ones, and I am thankful that God is a forgiving, life-changing God. We have been members of the CRC for some 70 years. Our church folded when we had just 25 white-haired members left. We ended up joining the Nazarene Church. After attending this church for the past 12 years we feel so blessed that God has led us to this church. They are sinners like us but their love is genuine.

Just to encourage you. Keep it up!

—John Antonides
Pentiction, British Columbia

Beggar to Brother

From Beggar to Brother” reminded me of my careless attitude toward the poor and hurting. By your example I too will reach out to the empty cups that need filling with the love of Christ.
Thank you, LIndsay. You filled my cup.

—Don Van Vuren
Orland Park, Ill.

Under New Leadership

In the News article “Under New Leadership: Christian Higher Education in the CRC,” the declining loyalty to Christian higher education is lamented. One does not need to look too far to see why. A brief survey of the financial aid portions of the schools’ websites gives tuition and fees for the 2014 school year: Calvin, $39,120; Dordt, $35,055; Trinity, $36,055. It seems obvious that while we are trying to convince students to invest in God’s calling for their life by pursuing higher education, we also ask that they make financial commitments that most young adults cannot and should not be making.

—Brian Vander Woude
Lynden, Wash.

Suitable for Framing

I am going to keep page 38 of the March issue (“And God Said Softly, ‘Music’”). I love David Schelhaas’s poem. It is fun and truthy. Your staff put it against an aqua and white birch background, with birds. Suitable for framing—and I will!

—Dot Besteman
Spring Lake, Mich.


In the FAQ (“Relationships”), Judy Cook responds to a reader who asks what she can do about her husband who yells and throws things. She is spot on by affirming that every person has a right to a home that is safe and secure. However, I believe she has not addressed the wife’s specific question “What can I do about my husband?” Ms. Cook gives little effort to addressing how she can help him get help. Her husband says he does not know what comes over him. That is the first and most important step to change. Too often men do not understand their anger, nor do they know that there is help to deal with it in a healthier manner.
Perhaps this can be explored in a future article.

—Jon Masselink
Guelph, Ontario


Reading the Word and in solitude welcoming the Word to dwell inside me becomes “my comfort,” peace . . . each time I do (“My Only Comfort—Really?”).

—Conrad Douma
Dallas, Ore.

Compliments and Thanks

This morning I looked at The Banner sitting open as was going to read something else, but I saw the article to which it was open was by Rev. Victor Ko, and I knew I should read it. I was uplifted and encouraged by “Making Disciples,” as I have been by his work in the past. Please thank him for me. I will miss having Rev. Bob at the helm, too. My warmest thanks to him for his work.

—Kathryn Waldyke
Makanda, Ill.

I am legally blind and have 30 percent of my vision left. I live alone and The Banner [on tape] is a welcome guest. Thank you.

—A. Brouwer
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Why Is It So Hard?

Rev. Nydam’s article was spot on (“Why Is It So Hard to Talk about Homosexuality?”). Sin is sin, and if we are to point fingers and cast opinions about other people we should indeed inspect the plank in our own eyes. There is no level 1 sin and level 10 sin. We all sin and fall short of the grace of God. We need to have open arms for all who seek the forgiveness of Jesus, who died on the cross for sins we committed today and for the ones we will commit tomorrow. How dare we judge someone for their sexual orientation when we falter in our own lives each day? We should be welcoming to anyone who seeks God’s love.

—Janette DeBoer
Courtice, Ontario

Rev. Nydam reveals an obvious bias in his repeated assumption that LGBT people struggle with same-sex longings and need to be befriended as “hurting people on the wayside of life” (“Why Is It So Hard to Talk about Homosexuality”). In reality, there are those among us who have become aware of an LGBT orientation within themselves, have graciously accepted this as part of their inherent makeup, and have moved on with their lives. The struggle for these people lies with a community that is comfortable developing an “appropriate ministry” regarding them, yet is uncomfortable embracing them within the ministry of acceptance, encouragement, protection, inclusion, justice, dignity, and love that is generally extended to the children of God.

—Grace Deunk
Leduc, Alberta

Rev. Nydam’s article “Why Is It So Hard . . .” states that Matthew Shepard was beaten to death because of his “feminine traits.” The best research into this sad story no longer supports Nydam’s statement, and even the LGBT publication The Advocate has admitted as such.

—Daryl Maas
Redding, Calif.

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Theology is like politics. It seems easy to say, "Bible only" or "Constitution only" but there is no agreement as to what the words and phrases mean or they should be applied. The county clerk who recently had her ten minutes of fame for refusing to issue wedding licenses is a prime example. So is the previous statement. <G>