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I was privileged lately to get a signed copy of Reading Genesis and Science from long time friend and fellow believer/church member Frank De Haan.  I read it with keen interest, and heartily endorse its use in any church and small group setting.                 Be sure to note the format which is easy enough to follow, but this is not a "book" as such, but a study guide.  Pass a mention of this booklet along to your church's education and young people leaders. 

This is a very important contribution, Andy; thanks.  I have always seen the importance of deacon's conferences at the Classis level and helped introduce that already in Argentina (Synodical level in that small denomination).   The challenges for this here in  Southern California are formidable; the ratio of needs to resources are the inverse of what those are in many other places.  So it is good to be inviting the churches/deacons to be always re-examining all the complexities as your rightly point out, and motivating.

Hey Hans, "long time no hear...." ?Que tal?

   Anyway, on the topic of which you write, and with reference to the question of roles and leadership, I'd like to have both your and Karl's review/evaluations of the book The Shaping of Things to Come, by Frost and Hirsch, out of Australia.   Or anyone else that has read it... talk about shaking up our paradigms.  Will what "emerges" still be "church"?


After 40 years of dealing with the question of this matter as relates to Latin American ministry, I pray that all our Hispanic pastors will firmly committ to the biblical-theological teaching of our Reformed faith, and be able to teach and practice in such a pastoral way that the cultural and anti-Catholic reactions will be overcome.  If not, our Hispanic congregations will end up being just more "generic evangelical churches."  It takes patience and willingness, but it will be worth it.

Thanks, Prof. De Moor, for bringing the original question back into focus, and restating what is the conviccion, posture, and practice of our reformed churches. I trust that will satisfy many.

I wish I know of a process that would adqequately "air" these related questions for the Hispanic dimensions of our ministries.  I was just in the Netherlands, and a middle-aged couple raised in the reformed faith gave us their story of how two years ago they were re-baptized and now fellowship in a Baptist church.  His bottom line: "It has to say it in the Bible."  For that mindset, seemingly unable to get head and heart around covenant biblical theology, that will always be the outcome.  For John Z., I frequently drive past a Reformed Baptist church and have read about them online.  In my ministry in Argentina I sent more than one person to the local baptist church when these discussions were inconclusive. 

I want to ask my Hispanic ministry colleagues to consciously put the cultural and sentimental questions on one side of a sheet of paper, and on the other the teaching of Scripture, the reformed confessions, and the available material about reformed practice since very old times, and do your best to 1) become totally convinced of the validity of our church's stance, and 2) start to teach and work pastorally with both current members and new converts to educate and shape them into reformed believers.

A PS for John Z.  Yes, we are an evangelical denomination; that is totally consonant with being reformed.  But it is the latter dimension that sets us apart from so many "non-denominational" churches that I consider to be ""generic."  There are still a lot of people who insist on getting the original patent medicine; I like that for our church as well.  And sorry for any offense.


"Life is lived forward, but understood backwards" wrote Soren Kirkegaard.  I turned 80 this month, and am looking back on some aspects of life for understanding even while moving forward.  God bless us all!

I read Becoming Whole (Fikkert and Kapic); good grounding of the earlier popular and helpful When Helping Hurts.  

Great to see this training having taken place.  A few of us go back a long way in efforts in Southern California to see Hispanic ministry grow.  May this new stage prosper and bear fruit.   ---Lou Wagenveldd

Thanks, Dan, for putting your very cogent thoughts down; most of this makes a lot of sense to me.  And I have given it considerable thought ever since writing a 1987 (?) front page Banner piece titled "Open Hearts, Open Borders?"  That was right after the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act ("Amnesty Law").  I still stand by my piece, although as you can see by the question mark after "open borders"? that there needs to be considerable qualifying about that.

    Your piece does a good job doing that.  Here I only wish to address one aspect of what you write.  The figures you use at the end, and calling on us to contact our representatives to move on them, imply - to my reading - a "wall."   I endorse a phrase that many are using lately: "That is not who we (as Americans) are."  Yes, money for "border security," but no more walls - the world has too many of them.  

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