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I would appreciate Mr. Vanderkwaak's reply to what Ms. Vandergrift has indicated in her posted comment.  I confess to having not "kept up" with "matters CRCNA Canadian," but if what Ms. Vandergrift says is factually accurate, it would seem that the CRCNA is suffering from a bit of "decision making dysfunction" (to put it nicely).

I'm going to be a delegate to Synod 2022, and I suspect it may be good for me (perhaps necessary?) to gain something of an accurate understanding on what has been and what is now proposed (or being implemented) as to the "Canadian side" of the CRCNA.  I'd welcome any help on that.

Thanks Lloyd.  I've now read the SALT report and as a result would have quite a number of questions (and comments), but for now I'll offer three comments and ask one question:

COMMENT: It seems to me that much of what Kathy suggests to be the case is actually the case.

COMMENT: If SALT is implemented, I'm not seeing how that would actually resolve the concern of those among the Canadian members who want more "independence" from the US side of the denomination.  Adoption of SALT would change the lines of authority and "accountability" but ultimately that "accountability" (by CRCNA Canada) is still to the COD which is majority US.

COMMENT: If the SALT structure is implemented, it seems to me that the governance structure of the denomination level of the CRCNA will be of such complexity that not more than 1-5% of CRC members -- on whichever side of the border -- would understand it, or at least be able to explain it.

QUESTION: I found references in the SALT report to the word "ecclesiastical" of course, but never a definition, and it would seem to me that defining "ecclesiastical" is important (even fundamental).  What would you offer as a definition for the word "ecclesiastical," whether in the context of the SALT report or CO Article 28?  



Thanks for replying Lloyd, even if the reply isn't helpful toward understanding the distinctions intended by the SALT authors use of the word as the report proposes rather large changes in the "CRC Organization" (as SALT uses that phrase) governance/bureaucracy.

I and others have urged for over a decade now that (including by overtures) that the CRC exert deliberate effort (e.g., have a study committee) to discern the meaning of "ecclesiastical" and thus the CO rule, even if approximate, for the institutional church.  Sadly -- for me at least -- those efforts have been successfully resisted.  Intended or not, I think the CRC's creation of the "Board of Trustees" (successor to which is today's COD) resulted in an expansion of of the scope of the kinds of things the CRC, as institutional church, should take up, without regard to the constraint ("ecclesiastical only") of CO 28.  Ultimately, the CRC's Church Order may not, inherently, lend itself to the ability to manage/administer or otherwise tend to matters beyond the "ecclesiastical," such as those various "ministries" that have evolved over the recent decades.  And choosing to so extend beyond the "ecclesiastical" necessitated turning to a "corporate model" (with multiple corporations no less) which is quite different than an "ecclesiastical model" such as CRC Church Order.  And so now we have both models, but can't figure out why there are problems with that.  And in having both of those models, Synod (or Synods) are gradually taking a back seat to the various corporations and agencies in terms of being the defacto governance (decision making process) for the CRC.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to first decide what the present rule (CO 28) prescribes and proscribes as to that which the Christian Reformed Church (the "CRC Organization") should take on beyond implementing an expansion of the (corporate model) governance for it?

To add to my above, Lloyd, I would suggest that the CRA and Canadian lawyers, as you describe their view, are pretty close to if not spot on as to what "ecclesiastical" actually means, and did originally mean when the word was used in CO Article 28.  

I am left wondering why a nation's federal revenue agency has the ability (or is it just the will?) to define a really important word used in the CRC church order while the institutional church itself is unable -- or unwilling.

And if the CRA and Canadian lawyers are correct, I would ask by what authority does an ecclesiastical organization (in this case the CRC) spawn "subsidiaries" (under its control) to do what it may not?  Most lawyers would say it may not.

This article asks, "Who first stewarded the portion of Creator's world you call home?"

The answer is, for anyone who owns a home in North America: no one knows.  Just as is the case with any part of the rest of the planet, no one knows "who was there first."  That information is, for all locations on the planet, prehistoric.

I simply don't believe it true that "all Christians experience radicalized contempt toward others."  It's not helpful toward any constructive end to make such hyperbolic claims.

(Nor, BTW, do I think that statement is true as to all non-Christians).

What caught my eye in reading this was the bulleted point (under "What you will learn") of:

    - Why the classification of white people and people of color dehumanizes us all

I've wondered for many years why we (including in CRC publications) continue to write as if we should classify people into "white" and "people of color" (or by some other color).  See, for example: and and (and there are many more).

"Race," strictly (and accurately) defined, has no significant genetic basis--not to mention no significant meaning in general about a person--so why do we keep referring to people as "white" or "black" or "brown" or "POC," etc?

Could it be that if we actually stopped talking as if "race" was a meaningful characteristic of people that it would be less regarded as a meaningful characteristic of a person?  I for one think so.


It would seem that the author of this article and I have a pretty significant disagreement about the value and even the definition of Critical Race Theory, one branch of Critical Theory (e.g., Critical Gender Theory being another).

I wrote an article on Critical Race Theory some time ago that can be found here:


Thanks much for the book review and commentary John.  Much needed.

Responding to your question, "Is the CRCNA providing a wide range of reading materials on this subject [of Critical Race Theory]?", I don't know that it has provided any range of reading materials on the subject but rather has given the impression that it acquiesces in much of  what CRT represents.  There have been Banner reviews (by contributors) of books like Ibram X. Kendi's  How to be an Antiracist, and Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility, both reviews largely favorable.  I had read both of the aforesaid books myself and was quite dismayed at the reviews in the Banner, but even more dismayed that, again from what I have seen, CRT has received no negative review at all from official CRCNA agencies or departments.  To the contrary, my sense is that of unqualified acquiescence.

I personally regard CRT, as represented by authors like Kendi, to represent serious heresy, not so much unlike the heresy of kinism (which a recent synod as so declared), except much broader in what it represents, and thus perhaps much worse.  But from what I can tell, the CRCNA push back to CRT is non-existent.


The panelists are quite correct in suggesting people need to "educate themselves."  Toward that end, I've read Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" (mentioned in this podcast), Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an AntiRacist" and other authors who come from what I would consider to be a "Critical Race Theory" perspective.

But I have also read a couple of books on the subject of race and slavery from Thomas Sowell, a "black" author born in Brooklyn, who is and has long been a senior fellow at Standford University's Hoover Institution, who comes from a different perspective.  Sowell's credentials as a historian (and in other disciplines), both as to the US and the world beyond, is impressive indeed and his record of meticulously documented written works even more so.

Sowell's 2006 book entitled "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" deals quite specifically with the history of race -- both in the US and the world --, as well as the history of slavery -- again both in the US and the world.  I consider his 60 page chapter "The Real History of Slavery" a must read, but really the entire book is.

Recommending Robin Diangelo to CRC youth groups?  I think that is an extremely poor recommendation, and yes I have read White Fragility so I am not unaware of what she thinks, writes and advocates.

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