Dr. Klaas Runia, who occupied the chair of dogmatics and ethics at the Reformed Theological College in Geelong, Australia, has accepted an appointment to the chair of pastoral studies at Kampen, the seminary of the Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands. Our readers will recall that it was especially the views of Dr. Runia which came under attack in the churches of New Zealand and Australia, particularly from the quarter of the Reformed and Presbyterian Fellowship of Australasia and their organ, The Reformed Guardian. The Standard Bearer has not only reported events down under, but has also reflected critically and at length on Dr. Runia’s views; and, as is well known, has placed itself on the side of Dr. Runia’s critics with respect to the various doctrinal issues down under.
Now Dr. Runia is moving.
A strange turn of events! As far as Dr. Runia’s views are concerned, the fact that the Gereformeerde Kerken can appoint him certainly constitutes no recommendation of his orthodoxy. On the contrary, it merely confirms what we have maintained all along, that Runia—though there may be a difference of degree between him and some of the adherents of the new theology—is in essential agreement with the liberal trends.
As far as the Dutch churches are concerned, we note that the conservative Waarheid en Eenheid in an article by “E.M.” (June 1 issue) congratulates Runia and expresses the expectation that he will help to show them the right course and will perform his task according to reformational conviction. We cannot understand how the conservatives in the Netherlands can harbor such hopes, unless they have been unduly influenced by correspondence from Runia’s supporters down under who have misrepresented the work of the Fellowship, and unless they have themselves failed to do their homework. No Reformed man could be aware of Runia’s views on reprobation, for example, and still have any expectations with respect to his Reformed convictions. Dr. Runia is a friend of Berkouwer and Polman. He will not aid the cause of the Reformed faith in the Gereformeerde Kerken.
As far as the brethren down under are concerned, the departure of Dr. Runia is reason for rejoicing in a sense. But the issues have not been settled down under, and Runia’s supporters are still there. It is to be hoped that the brethren do not relax in their battle for the truth!