John Zylstra

About Me: 

I attend Bluesky Christian Fellowship Church, Bluesky, Alberta.  

Interests: 
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Is creationism an area of ecumenism? Does God belong in science?

We often find people differentiated into categories of scientist or non-scientist when discussing evolution, as if evolution was science, and special creation was not science. But there are many people working in science who do not hold to evolution, and yet are scientists, some with a PhD in science, or M.Sc. or BSc. Does an ecumenical attitude allow respect for these scientists, or is our ecumenical approach limited to "churchy" practices, or theological beliefs? If we follow A. Kuyper's (and other's) beliefs that all of creation belongs to God, then is it not true that science also belongs...
Ecumenical & Interfaith
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Ecumenical and interfaith approaches to the Genesis Flood story

Recently, we have heard about a new movie about "The Flood" being produced. From all accounts, it will be quite innacurate, produced by those who do not regard scripture as accurate. The production of such a movie by non-christians for general public consumption, will still have influence on the perception of unbelievers and christians alike on what the story of the flood really is. How do we as Christians get involved in discussions where literalists and "genre-ists" have different views about Genesis 1-11? How do YEC and OEC people examine these issues together? or must they simply build a...
Ecumenical & Interfaith
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How would the church go about disciplining a retired pastor who suggests and promotes changing many of the core CRC doctrines?

Edwin Walhout, apparently a retired CRC minister, has written an article in the Banner suggesting and promoting the changing of a number of core reformation doctrines which the CRC holds to, and which are foundational to our understanding of who man is, who Christ is, and what our relationship to God is. This is contrary to church order principles, but even more importantly, contrary to the confessions which officebearers subscribe to, and contrary to the profession of faith all crc members make. Most important of all, it is contrary to scripture, which the confessions themselves say is...
Pastors
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What is the real impact of muslim relations?

A quote from Anthony Furey of the Edmonton Sun paper indicates the proportion of various perspectives within the muslim belief community. The high percentages surprised me to some extent, and I wonder what impacts this would have on our missional efforts, as well as on our response to certain demands or requests by the moslem community within our borders. Any comments? "...figuring out the true interpretation of a religion is not only futile but also irrelevant, at least when it comes to public discourse and policy. What matters is what the majority of adherents think. Thanks to the non-...
Global Mission
Q&A
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When a young person who's living a sinful lifestyle wants to make profession of faith; what's an appropriate response?

Suppose a person is cheating his employer, or stealing from his boss or company. Suppose a young person is obviously watching pornography and has no intention of stopping. Suppose a person only attends church on Christmas or Easter. Suppose a young couple are living together without marriage and refuse to get married. Suppose a person is committing adultery. If these people suddenly make a request to make a profession of faith, what should the response be? Does it make a difference if they are baptized members and have grown up in the church, compared to those who have not grown up in the...
Pastors
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When churches start becoming experts on pipelines, does that mean oil companies can become experts on theology?

When churches start becoming experts on pipelines and ecology, does that mean oil companies can become experts on theology? or on missions? or on church buildings? or on ecclesiastical structures? on Sunday school teachers? Maybe we should reconsider Overture 3 of the last synod. or on Ma The following is By: John Cotter, The Canadian Press (August 6, 2012) Augus Churches across Canada say they have a religious duty to speak out on the proposed Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline. Next week, delegates at the United Church of Canada general council meeting in Ottawa are to debate a resolution...
CRCNA and Synod
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Ecumenical Faith Declaration

Does this ecumenical faith declaration category have legitimacy? Might we see consideration given to adding other reformed confessions and statements, like the three Westminster Standards, the Scots Confession, the Gallic Confession, the Second Helvetic Confession, the Barmen Declaration, the Augsburg Confession and others? Are we truly concerned about ecumencity in a more comprehensive manner, or are we more concerned about church politics and alliances with denominations with which we have no direct working connection at a local level? Do we have any African Reformed Churches in North...
CRCNA and Synod
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Delegates from classis voting opposite from classis vote on an issue

Delegates from classis voting opposite from classis' vote on an issue.... Briantebben mentioned this in another thread. This was in reference to a vote on whether to accept the Belhar or not. Classis voted no, but Briantebben said the delegates would vote yes. My question is this, if the delegates would vote yes, opposite to the vote of classis, then what is the point of classis voting on it at all? My other question is whether this makes the whole issue, and issues like it, mere political footballs, not decided by discussion and voting, but by the number of committed delegates an issue can...
ClassisCRCNA and Synod
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DeMoor Sept 9 Banner article on order.

by Henry De Moor Sep 9, 2011 — Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X three years after he posted his 95 theses on a church door and subsequently showed no remorse for doing so. When he received the papal bull, Luther burned it in a huge bonfire ritual. But few people are aware that he burned something else along with it: the entire Codex Iuris Canonici , the four volumes of canon law or "church order" of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. In a newfound freedom those restrictive rules had to be thrown out the front door. The irony is that some of the same old rules had to be smuggled...
Church Order
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Creation vs Evolution: impact on witness and faith.

Evolutionary theory has apparently encouraged many people to separate themselves from God. Darwin and Dawkins and Templeton are some prominent examples. Part of our global mission is how we interact with science and culture within our own context, and how do we respond to it. So what is the best direction for us as Christians to pursue when we deal with this very volatile and pertinent issue, especially with non-christians? As a starting point, I would insert a link here which shows how a half-dozen scientists who originally were raised in the evolutionary paradigm have been persuaded by the...
Global Mission