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If terminology is important and needs to reflect Christian ministry values, then may I suggest we drop the term "Human Resources?" That used to be called "Personel" or something like it.  Humans may never be regarded as resources.  How did the CRC get into that kind of secular terminology. Every time I see that term, I get upset.  Please, someone, do away with it and either go back to the previous term or be creative and think of something new that reflects our understanding of human beings and of workers.

With reference to the proposal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to divest itself from stocks in oil, coal etc., I remind you of a book I wrote on the subject of divestment entitled Caught in the Middle. It is out of print, but anyone interested can order a digital copy from me at  <  [email protected]  > .

Part of the Kuyperian part of the CRC tradition is also to minister to those who create the structures that are partially responsible for making others poor.  They are the ones you guys don't seem to want to minister to.  To be sure, they are a tough, self-sufficient and know-it-all bunch, but they need the gospel as well, even though they don't experience that need.  But we know them: they are us and others like us.  

The problem is that amongst ourselves we do not talk about our involvement in and responsibility for some of the oppressive structures.  It is easier to restrict out Bible studies to personal, churchy and "spiritual" topics.  But if we were to set up groups intentionally  addressing such structural issues,  we might not feel as comfortable as the above descriptions of white collar groups suggest. 

I realize that Evangelicals have always avoided that strata, probably because they don't have the necessary insight and they are afraid of them.  I like to think of the CRC as more than Evangelicals in this respect, but maybe that was so in the past only? 



I love Ryan's words. Wonderful, profound, well written and even humorous. Thank you. Of course, though the priesthood of all believers has always been theoretically acknowledged, Reformed churches have not practised it much within the church. Pastors are considered necessary to preach and "do" the sacraments and, all too often, to pray. It is part of the unfinished Reformation. Pastors are never necessary, though they can be useful when they serve as coaches to the people to develop their gifts and to exercise them in the church and world both. There is no inherent reason for the clerical domination of the sacraments or anything else.

Jan H. Boer on May 1, 2013

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I did not think that the argument is that challenged folk are the main cause of violence. Violence has too many causes and perpetrators to blame it all on them.  They are not the main cause of violence.  I thought the argument is that among these folk violence is more frequent than among other identifiable groups in our population.

The same is true for Muslim violence. To shift the blame for the bulk of violence from the challenged folk to Muslims is similarly wrong reasoning, though there is a higher attempt among militant Muslims to commit violence, they are not the cause of most violence in North America.  And it should not be forgotten that world-wide, there are as many Muslims who are victimized by Muslim militants as there are Christians and Jews. 


I always enjoy and appreciate Melissa as I watch her and benefit from her work in "my" congregation. I expect great things from her as she continues to gather experience and her leadership is recognized more and more. Melissa, I have been on both "sides." Currently I am more on the receiving end than the leadership end and can tell you that those "things" you fear are missing or sidetracked are there, though never fully.  If in your experience these "things" are endangered in your own life and heart, then perhaps you ought to take a break and just be a prayerful "pew-er" for a while. Although, I guarantee you that it will make you itchy to get back into the fray, for God has made you into an effective leader. I personally know what it does to a God-gifted leader to be prevented from exercising those gifts. Having them suppressed takes a serious toll. 

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