Discussion Topic

Aside from a very thorough treatment of Calvin College's fiscal mismanagement in a Canadian Christian periodical, Christian Courier, I haven't seen or heard much about it in The Banner or on The Network.

It must be disheartening for all of those donors to Calvin's various capital campaigns...

July 23, 2013 0 2 comments
Discussion Topic

There must be CRC churches etc, with damage in Calgary. The one in High River AB is a loss + the manse.. 22-24 other communites are affected, flooding spreading to Saskatchewan.

June 25, 2013 0 3 comments
Discussion Topic

On Sunday, two seemingly unrelated events came together in what turned out to be a timely lent lesson for me. I was an assistant for children's church and our lesson was about the final hours Jesus spent with his disciples. To their surprise, Jesus dresses down like a servant and starts washing...

February 27, 2013 0 4 comments
Discussion Topic

Guest post by Janelle Dykxhoorn

Diversity is a big word in my world right now. I’ve come to realize that, professionally-speaking, we work with a very diverse group of people who display a large diversity in skill sets and abilities. I get that and I appreciate that. What I didn’t realize...

February 26, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Dordt history professor, Paul Fessler, asks the question  “How should Christians, as athletes and fans, engage sports in our society?”

On Monday, March 4, Fessler will discuss this question during his First Mondays Speaker Series presentation titled “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and...

February 22, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Hi all,

There's a big difference between "being engaged in conflict" and "engaging conflict." And so, I'm curious: has your congregation intentionally worked at engaging conflict -- transforming it from being a destructive force to becoming a constructive resource for growth?

I (...

December 10, 2012 0 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

This webinar was recorded on: Wed, 11/28/2012 This webinar will reflect on the stories of gay Christians and encourage transformational dialogue that honours our convictions and commitments.

November 28, 2012 0 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

This webinar was recorded on: Wed, 11/14/2012 This webinar will explore the topic of forgiveness and introduce a new resource from Faith Alive called (Un)Hurt designed to answer your questions in a Bible-based, four-step process that equips participants to actually forgive real hurts.

November 14, 2012 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

The Cultural Engagement Committee at our church serves to help us become more actively involved in the bringing of and the encouraging of true justice and righteousness in society.  On September 12 & 13 the committee is bringing in pastor and author Dr. David W. Hall who will present "...

August 23, 2012 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

We've been having a drought here in Michigan, much like many areas across the United States and Canada. For over a month it's been hot and dry and cloudless. Crops are parched and people seem that way too. Even non-farmers are getting interested in the weather, turning their faces to the sky...

July 20, 2012 0 1 comments
Discussion Topic

"The BOT recommends that Synod 2012 adopt the salary grid as detailed below for

use in fiscal year 2012-2013. The Board is proposing a 3 percent increase over 2012"

This what I read in the  2012 Synod Agenda supplement. It goes on to list the upper and lower Salary ranges at the...

May 30, 2012 0 3 comments
Discussion Topic

As a 65 year old Canadian member of the Christian Reformed Church, I have been a keen observer of our denomination and the way it works or doesn't work. For some time now I have come to the conclusion that  it's time for the Canadian churches to have our own synod- to determine the will of God...

May 29, 2012 0 7 comments
Discussion Topic

Who was Adam?


This simple question has become the great controversy of the day in not only the Christian Reformed community but in Evangelical Christianity as a whole. New scientific advances in investigating the human genome have raised some serious questions concerning the...

April 25, 2012 0 5 comments

Our church is in the planning stages of forming a non-profit organization to minister to homeless in our community. We will take up residence at a local motel. We need to formulate a training program for our volunteers. We also need to develop a safety policies. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel...

April 18, 2012 0 2 comments

I just a got question from a co-worker who is assisting a church in Colorado.  Can you provide a recommendation for retreat speakers or facilitators? They would rather get a recommendation from another church than dive into the process blindly when they plan their next retreat.  Can you help?

January 20, 2012 0 6 comments
Discussion Topic

Recently the Christian Reformed Church was mentioned on the CBS prime-time television program The Good Wife.  In the episode "Parenting Made Easy” a character who is involved in a legal arbitration case is accused of being homophobic.  The character states her views are based on being a...

December 8, 2011 0 6 comments
Discussion Topic

It is both interesting and telling that there isn't a category to talk about the denominational structure, given the fact that this occupied a considerable amount of time at the last meeting of Synod and it certainly occupies a lot of the BOT's time.

That seems to send a strong message...

November 15, 2011 0 9 comments

Where can I find information on this subject and what are the rules/processes around this issue.

September 22, 2011 0 2 comments
Discussion Topic

This could be a way for singles to connect - for friendship, encouragement, ideas, and even planning & sharing events.  A way of connecting to each other & perhaps some groups would form out of different areas & start planning events.  This has happened from various different...

September 8, 2011 0 1 comments
Discussion Topic

I'd like some thoughts/feedback on this book Don't Invite Them to Church.

July 29, 2011 0 3 comments
Discussion Topic

Here's a thought for all of us: what's wrong with being clear about the fact that we're not clear about some things?

Let me be clear (Ha! Ha!) ;-)

There are some things about which the Bible is very, very clear. Like, for example, the fact that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the...

May 3, 2011 0 9 comments

For as long as I can remember my parents' church has put together a book with pictures of every family every 3-5 years, and the process always goes something like:

-Choose a national company to take photos (they don't charge for the session or the resulting book)

-Family schedules a...

April 21, 2011 0 3 comments

Wondering if a church "opts out" of the Minister's Pension Plan, even temporarily, if it's possible to pick it up again in the future? Or is it a case of once you're out, you're out??

April 2, 2011 0 1 comments

I am a first term elder and council clerk who is now going to be partly responsible for guiding discussion and voting on a few  "hot button" issues - selling a parsonage in order to fund new ministries and a renovation/addition, as well as gathering perspectives now and  voting in May on ...

March 29, 2011 0 6 comments
Discussion Topic

Before posting a new topic in the Let's Talk About . . . discussion forum, please read the following guidelines.

March 17, 2011 0 0 comments



One of the workshops at a Safe Church conference was entitled: Bullying, it's not just for children. That's so true, as this helpful article points out. Thanks. Church leaders, who by their position are granted tremendous power (more than most realize), must constantly resist the urge to misuse that power for their own ends. We must prayerfully uphold our church leaders in this regard. And all of us need the constant reminder to follow in the way of our Lord, who in humble submission did not demand his own way, but rather gave himself in love. May the Lord's Spirit guide us, revealing what is needed, aiding us to honor him, as we honor others.

posted in: Church Bullies

Good article!


Rob I think you have done your best to provide a good insiteful balanced approach to a discussion of who Adam is/was.  However, within your "many" words, there seems to be a tendency in a few cases to look for problems where none exist.  For example, when you mention Nod, you assume there was a community there.  But Nod (which means wandering), is simply an identifier, like the name of a river, of an area.  There is no indication that there was a community there already.   

Also you mention that it is unlikely that Cain would have married his sister due to levitical laws.   But you know that these laws were not given until later, and that even Abraham married his half sister.  To suggest that this is a reason for proving other communities existed is simply not logical.  Rather, it would be much more logical to assume that Adam and Eve had many other children, and that brothers married sisters at that time.  I just saw a family on "America has Talent" which had 12 children in 18 years, and no twins.   Isn't this also scientific evidence of such a likelihood for Adam and Eve that they also had many children even before Seth was born? 

I think your synopsis of the meaning of "Adam", which is related to red, to earth, and is sometimes plural was well done, but it is certainly no indication that Adam was not a real singular living created being, created by God from dust in his own image.  In fact, it would suggest that he was created from the earth itself, wouldn't it.  

An explanation would be valuable, of why Genesis 4:26 would say that at the time of Enosh, Seth's son, men began to call on the name of the Lord, when obviously Abel and Cain were already sacrificing to God much earlier.  At least this should highlight the value of context in understanding the meaning of a phrase or verse.  

posted in: Who was Adam?

George:    You hit the ball out of the park with this excellent piece.  Sincerely,  Ed Tigchelaar

Love it, Janet. Amen back at you!

posted in: Because

Just a short note - I have a rooster sitting on my kitchen window (stuffed kind) because he reminds me of Peter.  I can also relate to Peter so much. I know Jesus  loves me and uses me - because of Peter. Amen Mavis.

posted in: Because

Anton, It is not appropriate to for Network users to be snarky to one another. I am sorry if you have expeirenced that on The Nettwork. One of our comment guidelines states that comments should be "friendly and polite in tone and language, even when you strongly disagree."   If you find a comment that you think is in violation of our comment policy please click the "flag for review" link below the comment. This will notifiy us of the comment and we will make ajudgement if the comment should be removed. Thank you Anton for participating on The Network and I do hope you find it useful towards your ministry needs. Jonathan WilsonNetwork Community and Content Manager

Keith Green... the music the Spirit gave him (and his wife Melody) was prophetic...

"Asleep in the Light" is just as relevant now as when it was written 30 years ago...



Soften Your Heart (view link #1), My Eyes are Dry (link #2), So you wanna go back to Egypt, and To Obey is better than Sacrifice, all by Keith as well, are also prophetic challenges that are relevant for the Church today... and that's just a few the powerful songs Keith composed and played with the help of the Holy Spirit...

#1 Soften Your Heart.


#2 My Eyes are Dry







In the latest issue of The Banner, there was an insert  called," Ministry report 2013".

when you come to Canadian Ministry, you would be led to believe we are only about Aboriginal Ministry north of the 49th parallel . It seems our interim Ministry Director has not made much headway in the year since his appointment. Another item that points to the broken bi-national structure of the crcna. Let's fix it or forget it. The congregations already are becoming dis-engaged to the denomination

Thanks, for pointing out Lewis' "Space Trilogy". I've enjoyed the series quite a few times myself, and love the way Lewis explores these topics. Two things to note, though: in the one book "Out of the Silent Planet", Lewis explores a kind of precursor creation to our own, in which the characters of the planet Malachandra don't seem to be fully equipped to "choose" sin over obedience— I seems like an utterly foreign concept to them. In the second book "Perelandra" we discover a kind of "alternate history" version  of a race very similar to our own who face a "redemption" before they even fall.

I, however, am interested here in thinking about two things that are not really addressed in Lewis' books:

1. What might "redemption" look like for a race utterly foreign to us (ie, a colonial being), and how might Christ's "once-for-all" sacrifice for our redemption might be connected to other beings/races' redemption story?

2. What a reflection through completely "other"/alien lenses might say about our own understanding of the gospel.

Thanks again for your thoughts, everyone! I'd love to hear more from all of you.


     C.S. Lewis explofes  these topics in his (fictional) trilogy, OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET, PERELANDRA, and THAT HIDEUS STRENGTH.  You might find a lot of provocative and stimulating stuff there.

I might agree that putting solutions (5 streams) ahead of analysis may not be a wise move. In defense of SPACT I appreciated the detailed analysis that the denominational office prepared.  Before we jump into action we need to know the situation we are facing.To say,  "pick up the tools and do the job"  is too simplistic. Read Nehemiah.

Wow, you guys have awakend me this morning. What if?  What if all those other planets in all those other galaxies (upon which we so far  have discovered almost nil) had at one time sentient creatures that had come under judgment and we are the last viable planet in the universe? And we are apparently losing ground every day.

     luimes, it is a comman fallacy to view the angels on the head of a pin debate as useless, but you have to remember that during the first few centuries of the Church, they were still trying to figure out what we now take for granted. There was a HUGE debate over whether Jesus was the EXACT SAME substance as the Father or only SIMILAR substance. The debate over angels was in the same vein. Do they occupy space? If so, then how much? If not, then what are they? It was not a waste of time, it was vital, at the time, to understand that thought experiment.

Now, to the main question. I once read A Case of Conscience by James Blish, which dealt with this same issue from the perspective of a Jesuit Priest encountering a new alien race that seemingly exists without original sin. It provokes the same questions.

At the risk of sounding unthoughtful about the issue, I'll quote the Godfather of Christian Rock, Larry Norman's song, UFO:

and if there's life on other planets
then I'm sure that He must know
and He's been there once already
and has died to save their souls

That is, if they needed it in the first place. 2 Peter 3.9 characterizes God in this light, He is "not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."This is the starting point.


Until such a time as we meet another extra-terrestial being to ask them these kinds of questions, isn't this a lot like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Here's a link to the article about how many planets there may be out there: 8.8 billion habitable Earth-size planets

Just to add to this... in case you're tempted to think: What's the possible relevance of this!? Scientists have recently calculated that there may be about 8.8 BILLION stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone that have earth-sized (and possibly habitable) planets around them. Considering how many galaxys there are... well you do the math....

I peter 2: 19 For this finds [u]favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds [v]favor with God.

Doing this would reduce a lot of conflict. 

Jim, we got the designation through an unscientific survey, a web-based poll. So Grand Rapidians (including me) voted themselves in as Beer City. But all is not lost. Besides Christian publishing, we gain a certain fame--and notoriety--from Art Prize, but the Christian world also sees us, though the work of Calvin Institute for Christian Worship, as a major stimulant and resource center for worship renewal. Through industrious work, we have also managed to become a metropolitan region of more than one million people -- by census counting. Still, your main point is right, that our prominence as a theological center has declined significantly.

posted in: A Tale of 3 Cities

An update, World Renew Disaster Response Services is setting up a long-term reconstruction site and we are committeed to approximately two years right now. 

Keith, the issue with homosexuality is not the numbers but how the church as an organization deals with the subject. If the media would deal with the subject  based on your percentages (which I agree with) there would rarely be an article on it.  Maybe the church might be wise to treat the subject as 1% of its issues?

Your comments on pornography are well taken.

I'm not taking issue with any of the comments but I find it interesting that for hetrosectuals it is so easy to talk about gays and lesbians but we say nothing about hetrosexuals who are living together outside of marriage. I experienced that 99.9% of non-Christian couples and not much better for Christian couples live together before marriage and sex before marriage is a virtual given.

In the old days it was "Blacks" who were the target because they were "different"...how much of the attention about gays and lesbians today isn't because of the same reason?

I don't know what Churck Missler means. To begin with, Alpha and Omega are Greek letters, not Hebrew. Maybe he's referring to the Greek Septuigent of the Old Testament. Could you help me out, do you have a specific point to make about the blog I wrote? I want to apologize, I didn't listen to the three hours of Chuck Missler's sermon or teaching. I'll listen when I get some extra time. 

posted in: Who was Adam?

Chuck Missler mentioned in his first session, listed below, that there are a couple of Hebrew characters near the word 'God', in the first verse of the Bible, i.e. In the beginning God created ...., i.e. characters that mean 'alpha & omega'.  Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Jesus, our Lord, is there in the beginning as we also see mentioned in the book of John.  


In Genesis 3: 15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


In John 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 


It is puzzling how can one claim to "believe in him" but doubt that He created the way He told us in Genesis and summarized (in stone) in Exodus 20:11


Chuck Missler - How we got our Bible Session 1 (OT) ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE7fnqPpWMA )

Chuck Missler - How we got our Bible Session 2 (NT) ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8au1UUN_qw )

posted in: Who was Adam?

I want to thank you for your thoughts here. First off, there’s nothing that you wrote that I wouldn’t agree with. I agree with it all. Also, like you, I feel the Genesis story is also based on real events and not a fable or some kind of parabolic poetry. The problem with English speakers is they don’t appreciate the depth of meaning found in the original Hebrew words of Genesis. There is so much more written in these texts than I have found in any English translation that I have ever read. All translations fall short of the original language.  My advice to reading Genesis is to get a good Hebrew-English concordance of the Old Testament and with a little effort you can see what it is I’m talking about. And, as for all those articles pointing to a single woman’s Mitochondrial DNA as the origin of all of humanity I’ve also have read and agree, would seem to be evidence for the existence of a Hava or Eve, or Noah’s wife at the least. Also I’m not at all opposed to the idea that Eve may have been born miraculously from Adam. The problem is the text itself says there were other people at the time of Adam and Eve. Genesis chapters 4 and 6 speak to this. For example, in chapter 6 you have several curious texts that say the daughters of Adam were either married or taken by the Sons of Eloyim (which can mean a whole variety of things) and were also taken by the Nephalim or the fallen/ tyrannical ones. These two sets of people are not identified as sons of Adam, in fact both texts seem to imply it wasn’t a good thing that the daughters of Adam were married or taken by these people. There is such a wonderful bountiful depth here in Hebrew Bible that I wish more people could come to appreciate.

posted in: Who was Adam?


"My findings were that the probabiity that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 is narrative is between .999942 and .999987 at a 99.5% confidence level. I conclude therefore that it is statistically indefensible to argue that this text is poetry."  Steven Boyd (Ph.D Hebraic and Cognate Studies, Professor of OT AND Semitic languages) 

Chapter 1 (Genesis) was written in the Hebrew language which is consistent in using one structure for narrative and quite a different one for poetry.  Hebrew poets like David used a SVO (Subject Verb Object) structure like English.  In general, if the Hebrew goes VSO it will be narrative, but if it is SVO it will be poetic."  Charles Taylor (Ph.D Linguistics, Professor of Theology).

Genesis One is definitely in Verb Subject Object structure, i.e. Narrative.


"The Search for Adam and Eve", was a Newsweek article by John Tierney, Lynda Wright and Karen Springen. This  article of January 11, 1988 stated: "Trained in molecular biology, they [scientists] looked at an international assortment of genes and picked up a trail of DNA that led to a single woman from whom we are all descended”. 


Maternal mitochondria DNA is passed relatively unchanged in the female line only.  Over time, mutations occur in the DNA of humans.  How many mutations have occurred since Eve?  How fast do mutations occur?  In other words, what is the rate at which the mitochondrial DNA clock runs?  If the number of mutations since Eve were known, then one could calculate how long ago mitochondrial Eve lived. 


"Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock", is a Science article by Ann Gibson. Article of 2nd January 1998 stated: “Mitochondrial DNA appears to mutate faster than expected, prompting new DNA forensics procedures..."  For example, researchers have calculated that mitochondrial Eve - the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people - lived ... using the new clock she would have lived a mere 6000 years ago. 


“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." Robert Jastrow


Unique Origin of Eve


Ever wondered why our LORD God chose to make Eve as recorded in the Bible?


“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23

Luke traces the family tree down through Heli, father of Mary, mother of Jesus, through David’s son Nathan, until we read in Luke 3:38:

“... Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God.”


Therefore Adam, the son of God is related to the Son of God (our kinsman redeemer). 


As Eve is related to Adam, Eve is also related to our kinsman redeemer.


"And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living."  Genesis 3:20


“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth”  Acts 17:26a


“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”  1 Corinthians 15:45


"Every word of God is flawless” Proverbs 30.6a

posted in: Who was Adam?

Hi Keith,

Thanks for your post.  The headline sure grabs attention!  : )

I agree with you that pornography is probably a big problem, deserves more attention than we give it, and has the potential to seriously harm of Christ's Church.

However, I feel that homosexuality has a much, much bigger impact than the way it's outlined in your post.  It may be the case that only 1% of the population has same-sex attraction (though I think the matter is more complicated than this), but I believe that many more people are affected by the matter than just those who experience same-sex attraction.  At the very least, others would include family members and friends of sexual minorities.  Then there's the matter that quite a few people feel that same-sex relationships are not prohibited by God's Word.  Then there's the matter of same-sex marriage, which affects us as citizens of our countries.  Then there's the matter that, as I've heard it at least, the *main* impression many people in North America have of the church is "group of gay-haters."  Wow, that's pretty sad.  And on it goes. 

In fact, I think the 2nd paragraph of Brett Turner's earlier post gets at these realities.

And Aaron Vriesman's (hi, Aaron!) post assumes that there isn't a biblical argument for approving same-sex relationships - which, agree with it or not - there is such an argument.  Many Christians (yes, not all) who accept same-sex relationships feel they are doing so not by ignoring the Bible but are doing so for *biblical* reasons. 

A few of these items I'm raising are *not* issues that pertain to pornography.  Each issue has its own challenges, to be sure.  I think, though, that homosexuality is a much bigger issue than what is argued for in this forum.

That's all. : )

God bless,


You are on to something here. Pornography is an industry bringing in billions of dollars each year and the statistics of even ministers using it are shocking. Plenty of studies have shown its harmful effects on the mind and relationships. Except there is one thing that pornography doesn't have going for it that homosexuality does. Nobody in the church (that I know of) is arguing that viewing pornographic material is acceptable to God, but there are significantly loud voices calling for full inclusion of those who publicly and proudlyy live in a same-sex union. I know and have counseled people who struggle with pornography. Each one is fighting it and ashamed when they cave to temptation. Even though they are sinning, they repent and would never encourage anyone to do down their road.
Both pornography and homosexuality are serious problems challenging the church, but more dangerous than sinning itself is believing and preaching that sin is not sinful.

Hello Keith. I reckon you are right. Pornography is the silent poison of our modern society. I even once saw an episode, dont watch it these days, of the Simpsons and in this episode there was reference to pornography as if it were normal and ok. If I recall it correctly Homers wife Marge either offered to get him some or actually did. It was bizzare! A cartoon on in prime time when children watch it!

The homosexual issue is odd though as its pushed at us all the time. Here in Australia it is. Often we hear our polititions talk about supporting it and same sex marriage etc... I even went to a local comunity centre once and saw in the childrens area a large poster promoting same sex couples, telling the children that if a boy likes a boy and a girl likes a girl its ok because its the same as a boy liking a girl or visa versa. Strange times indeed i reckon.

Thanks Peter and Daniel for your replies and welcome. Yes I beleive as you both stated yourselves concerning Hewbews 4 and try as I may can see no other interpretaion for it. Guess there are, now days, many odd doctrines around and that people read into scripture what they want it to say. Many thanks again.

Hello Brett,

Like you I'm new at this but not so young anymore and unfamiliar with this medium.

As to your question, the rest to which the author of the Hebrews refers to is three-fold 1) the rest of God after finishing His work of creation (4:4); 2) the rest Israel was to enter when entering the promised land (4:8), and 3) the rest promised to God's people when they are resting from their work when "crossing their Jordan" (4:9).

The author is urging his audience to make sure they do not fall short in paying careful attention to what hey have heard, namely the message of salvation (2:1-4), as the Israelites did when on the way to the promised land they were disobedient in their unbelief to the message to them. He is urging this lest they/we by their/our disobedience of faith or lack of faith/trust in the Lord fail to enter that rest. 

The mention of the seventh day (4:4) is a referrence to the Genesis creation account of God's rest. Relating this to the other two kinds of rest in this passage, indicates that there is more to this rest than just physical rest, as if God were tired as we may be tired after a weeks work. This in turn should give us pause to use this text to claim that all of creation was made in six days as we have them today. Apart from science there are just too many questions around the creation account to know exactly how it all happened other than that God created all and it was very good when he completed it. In the meantime we do well in our preaching and teaching the message of salvation to stick to the way that He has given it to us without making all kinds of claims about how things actually happened from a scientific point of view.

Wishing you much wisdom and grace,


Hey, Keith, while I do share some of your concerns, I think the language and tone of your post is unnecessarily inflammatory.  Are you intentionally inviting (or inciting) alarm and dismay? Is it true that Calvin is in "serious financial trouble"?  i don't have inside information , but what I read and hear suggests to me that people HAVE been let go, that Calvin and especially its new president have handled this situation with candor and transparency, and I know of at least one major donor whose giving has INCREASED in the light of the way Calvin and its president are handling the challenge.  In any case, I think your rhetoric is overblown, and therefore contributes less than it could to a healthy community response to the problem Calvin is facing.

Dear Brett:

First, welcome to the Network! Good to hear from you! I hope you find much good spiritual food here. 

To your question, first let me say that I believe quite firmly that I don't know the details of HOW God created the world, EXCEPT that I know that a) He did it (it was NOT an accident), and b) that it was GOOD. 

I have read many, many articles, and theological works regarding creation and I can honestly say that, regardless of whether you want to argue for a "not-literal 6 "days" " of creation or for a "literal 6, 24-hour days", I can see nothing relevant to that argument in Hebrews 4, or the surrounding passage.

The whole context of the passage relates to perservering in doing the "good works" that God has given for us to do. The writer of Hebrews uses the positive example of how God did "good work" for six days and then entered His rest--a well-deserved break from all he had done. The author of Hebrews then goes on to give the negative example of how the people of Israel, after they were rescued from Egypt, did NOT do the faithful work that God had called them to, at first, and so that whole generation was denied entry into the "rest" of the promised land, and had to wander the desert for 40 years instead.

The writer then connects this to us, saying, in effect, "Follow God's pattern laid out in creation: do the good work laid out for you, then, when it is done, you will be called into His rest. Don't shirk that work like Israel did!"

To somehow take this passage and make it about how many days (or what kind of days) creation took would be to completely miss the point of the passage, and to throw an interpretation on there that really doesn't exist. 

Hope that is helpful. 

Blessings on you and your friend. May God draw you closer to him always.

Is the Synod legally liable for Calvin College's debts? In other words, will the congregations be asked to pay off the debts if worst comes to worst?

Thank you Kieth. My thoughts , very well expressed.

This denominational structure issue just won't go away ... and Synod's decisions (or indecisions) didn't help the situation. There is, more than ever, a cultural divide along the U.S.-Canada border. We are bound together in overseas ministry but our 'kingdom response' ... within Canada and the United States ... is and needs to be different. The Canadian regional office and committees are more politically engaged and are more ecumenical than the U.S. counterpart. Each country has specific needs and focii (Canadian churches can't get their heads around the need for quotas to guarantee racial equality within boards)

There is value in remaining together as one binational denomination for the time being, but operating as two separate and equal regional synods. Each has an executive director and each has a board of trustees. Each holds its own biennial synod (The CRCNA is one of a very few denominations still meeting annually) and sets its own agenda. Both should continue to share joint ministries overseas such as World Renew, World Missions, Back to God International and others.

We can try the two-region approach -- U.S. and Canada -- for a decade, each legally autonomous to meet IRS/CRA standards. By then we will be in essence two separate denominations.

The problem is -- and here's the rub -- no denominational task force will ever recommend that kind of separation and no synod will ever approve such a plan because three-quarters of the delegates are American and they simply don't understand what all the fuss is about.

I can't envision an amicable separation, even though I am a deeply loyal Christian Reformed member. I envision some future synod, when confronted with a reasonable proposal for Canadian autonomy, to once again turn down the recommendation. But then I also envision Canadian classes refusing to send delegates to the subsequet synod as a 'final straw' .. the ultimate protest that we've had enough. Sadly, I think it may come to that.


Lastly, and this also has to do with the future structure, I think it's time for Canadian churches and classes to hold one of those Canadian Ministry Forums such as we had in Edmonton many years ago. A properly called, delegated meeting (four from each classis, if I recall correctly), where we identify what makes us uniquely Canadian when it comes to a Christian Reformed presence in Canada.

We had a hastily called conference in Toronto a few months ago, called by one classis, that seemed more political than visionary. That won't  do. Let's do it right; have the Canadian Director of Ministries call the meeting, set the agenda, and moderate the discussion. And give each classis the time to properly choose and send their delegation to this national conference.

The Christian Reformed Church (in Canada?) has a prophetic word for Canada. That kind of message cannot be crafted and sent from a synod meeting held in Iowa or Illinois or Grand Rapids. Semantics? Not at all.

I completely agree with you Kieth. Our current structure is not working and tinkering with it will only drain resources which could be used elsewhere.

Working together  on common ministries can work, but only as it seems right for us in Canada, We are all grown up here. Let's start with a Canadian regional synod .


The simple truth as I see it .


I was disappointed in the synod just held . The Canadian question was simply dismissed as a noisy child in the room!



Andrea, I was recently reminded of the what you shared in this post.  Thank you again for your reflection on what Christ has done for us.

posted in: Lent and Leverage


There has been an article about the flooding posted on The Banner website. You can read it here:

Massive Flooding Impacts Christian Reformed Churches in Southern Alberta

Henry thanks for your comments. I am a bit older and also a keen observer of the CRCNA. In my final term on one of the CRCNA Boards (as a vocal Canadian). 

In a recent news release I noticed that Joel B and Peter B have been reappointed as ED and key Assistant. That is too bad. Peter (recognizing the key support he has been) should have been replaced by a Canadian. That would have been a wise move.

In my previous comments you will know that I do not support a "seperation" of the Cnd CRC or even a Canadian Regional Synod.  But let's keep on talking. It's interesting that the CRCNA spends a great deal of effort figuring out how to diversify its leadership. I might suggest that the search committee for the ED get the concurrence of every bi-national board before any recommendation is made to synod. They do that by providing their top three picks one of whom must a Canadian!

great reflection, Andrea!

posted in: Lent and Leverage

Awesome God-story! Thank you for sharing. 

I especially like the quote from Lauren Winner. Where is it found?

posted in: Lent and Leverage

Thank you, Andrea. This was a beautiful posting with wonderful reminders of our shortcomings and God's awesome goodness.

posted in: Lent and Leverage

Thanks Andrea. Many of us in Wisconsin resonate with your thoughts on rain. The crops are drying up, the joy of watching rain (and dancing in it). We realize that much more rain is needed and that it is too late to save some of the crops. We pray that the church will come together with a comunal response. On your thoughts of the drought stricken souls, we must continue to pray for that "living water" that only Jesus can supply. God's grace is so powerful and yet, we often fail to recognize it. A Friday morning rambling:) KP

posted in: The Parched Place

I happened to be changing channels and ended up watching  The Good Wife.I was surprised when the woman said she was a member of the Christian Reformed Church of North America!!  The next day I talked to one of my friends who also happened to see the show--she almost fell of the couch :)  We both waited for the credits--only 2 names--We both thought for sure it was written by Paul Schrader--Calvin class of 68--I did find something on line--author--studied at Weslyan College. Our God is full of surprises and humor--it must have been providential that both of us "HAPPENED" to see the show.

Thank you for your supportive comments Richard. For this to happen, it needs to come from the grass roots, and not the traditional leadership. It must be a bottom up appraoch to have any success.

I listened very carefully to "The State of The Church" address given by our interim E.D., Joel Boot, last evening in the Meadowlands Fellowship CRC Church. He mentioned at the top that the state of the church was "critical" I agree with his view on a number of levels. However, I find it interesting and very telling that he does not mention the issues surrounding  our bi-national status.I am afraid our friends do not "get it" . I get it that this Synod will be working on this issue again. It's high time Canada convenes it's own CRC synod.

Well then. This Synod or the ED should do the right thing and provide more transparency on Compensation. Let's do the right thing and get er done!

We are long overdue for a Canadian synod.  Thanks for your article HL.  Our provincial and federal governments have important pieces of legislation before it on bullying, on the beginning of life and there is no direction from the Canadian offices. I suspect because all things must be vetted by our US offices; it is a top down structure from a foreign country. In Canada we have a lively ecumenical scene that is very different than the US, and it is stalled by the bi-national nature of our denomination.  Material is produced in Spanish, Korean etc, but where is the French material?