In the same article in which he writes about a United Reformed Church, Rev. Vander Ploeg takes exception to recent remarks by Rev. Van Baren in our February 15 issue. Rev. Van Baren, you will recall, suggested that it is time that The Outlook (and its new managing editor) pay attention to the clear cut relationship between present CRC trends and 1924. Rev. Vander Ploeg claims to respect our right to reiterate our rejection of common grace “year after year after year.” He asks that we respect their conviction that the CRC position on common grace is “Biblical and is not per se the Pandora’s box out of which our difficulties have necessarily arisen.”
Now Rev. Van Baren may certainly speak for himself on this matter, and perhaps he will write at greater length about it.
I only wish to point out:
1. That we prefer to speak of the errors of 1924 as the evil root (not a Pandora’s box), out of which present day problems and errors in the Christian Reformed Church have grown. In other words, there is—and this was also Rev. Van Baren’s point—a connection, a relationship, an organic connection, between the two.
2. We have not only made this claim, but we have repeatedly proved it. We have proved it by showing, black on white, that our leaders prophesied present day developments fifty years ago, and that these prophecies are being fulfilled today. And we have proved it by showing that the CRC itself, both officially and unofficially, has repeatedly appealed to the Three Points of Common Grace in making its present day decisions. Off hand, let me just mention the Dekker Case, the Film Arts Decisions, and now the stand on dancing, which is based on the Film Arts decision.
3. As to respect for convictions, let me point out that such respect is for me impossible for two closely related reasons. In the first place, those convictions are neither Biblical nor confessional. And, in the second place, Rev. Vander Ploeg and the Reformed Fellowship are not even willing to talk and to confer about these allegedly sincere convictions. In fact, they are not willing even to talk about talking! Now what kind of convictions are those? How sincere must we think such convictions are? As you well know, I do not hide my convictions under a bushel. Nor am I afraid to discuss them with friend or foe, in print or in speech. But when we sought a no-strings-attached joint committee meeting merely to plan for a future conference with the brethren of the Reformed Fellowship, they turned us down!
How sincere are your convictions?