My remarks under this caption are a continuation of what I wrote in the last issue of the Standard Bearerrelative to an editorial of the Rev. W. Hofman inConcordia of March 11th, and an article appearing in the same issue by a Mr. Byker of Hudsonville. These brethren consumed most of the space in that issue criticizing the undersigned for what he wrote in theStandard Bearer of February 15th concerning Dr. Daane’s “hitting the nail on the head” when he wrote in the Reformed Journal of January that “not Hoeksema, but Kok changed.”

Since many readers of the Standard Bearer no longer read Concordia, I will quote the rest of Hofman’s editorial, and then offer my comment. Mr. Byker will consider my comment also an answer to him, since he wrote virtually the same thing as Hofman; and, as I suggested last time, it is my judgment that Hofman took his cue from Byker and should have given him the “honor” when he wrote his editorial. At any rate, Rev. Hofman continues as follows: 

“Now, if all this is true, (namely, that Schipper is correct when he says—Daane has hit the nail squarely on the head—and has correctly evaluated Rev. Kok’s position—M.S.) then Dr. Daane must also be a good judge of what the Rev. H. Hoeksema and his followers believe and teach. Schipper should also maintain that Dr. Daane has hit the nail squarely on the head in his judgment of Rev. Hoeksema. And Schipper should have honored and quoted Dr. Daane in that too. This is what Dr. Daane wrote, in that same article, about the Rev. H. Hoeksema and his position: 

‘But the difficulty is even more troublesome. Since the preacher cannot discriminate between the elect and the reprobate, what can the preacher of the gospel say to any individual man? Moreover, since he does not know whether the individual hearer is elect or reprobate, he cannot say anything at all. The gospel loses its addressability to the individual man. On Hoeksema’s basis the Gospel cannot be preached.’ 

“Although Dr. Daane tries to maintain that Rev. Hoeksema has not changed he must admit change in Rev. Hoeksema. This is evident in several instances: (here Hofman quotes Daane again—M.S.) ‘The manner in which Hoeksema once upon a time (Notice implication of change. W.H.) tried to solve this problem was indicated by the Rev. B. Kok in his letter to the Reformed Journal (Nov. issue). Rev. Kok quoted the following from Hoeksema’s Calvin, Berkhof, and H.J. Kuiper, ‘He (Calvin) affirms here, what we have always taught, as we have written often in the past, that, in as far as the message is general and comes to all, it is conditional. The offer is eternal life. The condition limiting this offer is: turn from your wicked ways. This condition makes the contents of the general message particular. (p. 32)’ (Daane continues—M.S.) ‘Here we see that Hoeksema uses the conditional to pare down and limit the general to the particular. Is this a solution to Hoeksema’s problem? Obviously it is not. It is a mere verbalism.” 

“A bit later Dr. Daane states: ‘Hoeksema’s employment d of the idea of the conditional does not solve his problem.’ And again: ‘To be sure he (Hoeksema) does not deny that the term conditioncan be properly used.’ In all these instances there is implied change since Rev. Hoeksema would no longer admit this. 

“But Dr. Daane’s main criticism and characterization of Hoeksema’s position is found at the close of his article where Daane writes as follows: 

‘But if Rev. Kok and his group would return to Hoeksema, then they must accept the great weakness of Hoeksema’s position, namely, his conception of the gospel . . . . Hoeksema’s gospel cannot be preached. It has lost its addressability. It has nothing to say to the particular man. At best it can be merely announced to a generality of men. Hoeksema must know the identity of the particular man, and the particular man must be identified as elect before the gospel can be addressed to him. Hoeksema’s gospel can only be addressed to the Church, and within the Church. This accounts on the one hand for the less than enthusiastic mission impulse in the Protestant Reformed Churches. His theology also accounts for and supports the kind of Ethics which contends that God is not for the world, that the Church is not for the world, a kind of Ethics which demands that the neighbor be identified as regenerate or non-regenerate, Christian brother or non-Christian brother before the Christian dispenses his love—a matter which I shall treat in a following issue of this Journal.’

“And finally Dr. Daane writes: ‘By his denial of Point I, he (Hoeksema) has separated the general message from the particular hearer, and is unable to establish a connection between them. In earlier years, as Rev. Kok points out, he attempted to do so by means of the term conditional! Today he sees that Protestant Reformed theology cannot accept such a solution. This leaves his problem unsolved, and makes it clear that Hoeksema’s conception of the gospel is a gospel deprived of its addressability to the particular man—and every man is a particular man! . . . . And whatever else the gospel may be, we know from the command of Jesus that it is something that can be addressed to every creature. Where this addressability to every man is lost, the gospel of Jesus has been lost.’ 

“Now if Dr. Daane has hit the nail squarely on the head in the one instance, doesn’t it follow that he has also done so in the other? Or if he is incorrect in his judgment in the one case, isn’t it just possible that this is also so in the other? How about it Rev. Schipper?” I offer the following comment and reply: 

1. I repeat what I wrote the last time, namely, “that my critics should have noted the first two paragraphs of my article, then they would have understood why I did not comment on Dr. Daane’s criticism of our Protestant Reformed position, and also why I used Daane’s article to reflect on the position of Rev. Kok.” I had no intention in that article of saying anything about Daane’s misconception of the Protestant Reformed position, nor would I do this in any future article until Dr. Daane had first talked himself out. My only intention was to show agreement with Daane that those who hold to the conditional doctrine, if they are consistent, should move back to the Christian Reformed Church, and that Rev. Kok has changed, not Rev. Hoeksema. Daane was finished with his answer to Rev. Kok, and I agreed with Daane. I say again, “he hit the nail squarely on the head.” 

2. It is most interesting to observe how Rev. Hofman, and others with him, will quote another. When I read his editorial, I referred to the Reformed Journal from which he quoted the Rev. Daane. I put squares around Hofman’s quotes and they really made quite a picture. I realize, of course, that when one refers to an article of another, and especially one as long as Daane’s, he cannot quote everything the writer says, nor does he need to. But it seems to me that there are certain laws of ethics one ought to stick to when he quotes another, and the fundamental law is not to elide from the quotation what one feels will hurt his own cause. Hofman puts three dots in his quotation to show that he elided something, but notice what he left out. I refer to his quotation of Daane above which begins with “But if Rev. Kok and his group would return to Hoeksema, then they must accept the great weakness of Hoeksema’s position, namely, his conception of the gospel.” Then follows the three dots showing the elision. Hofman left the following out: “a weakness which Kok’s conditional theology is trying to overcome.” Now I know Rev. Hofman you didn’t like what Daane wrote here, and you no doubt would like to have many believe that you disagree with it, but why not be ethical about it and let Daane say what he actually said. You surely cannot plead over-sight, for you indicated elision. Our readers would be very much interested to know why you omitted these few very telling words of Dr. Daane. 

Again, Rev. Hofman, while you were quoting anyway, and so sorely needed material to fill your editorial space, why didn’t you also quote the following from Daane’s pen? “Rev. Kok believes that Hoeksema’s. rejection of conditions is a departure from Protestant Reformed theology as Hoeksema himself taught it formerly. Consequently Rev. Kok thinks I am mistaken when I declare that those in the Protestant Reformed Churches who now believe in conditional theology have taken a step toward the Christian Reformed Church. 

“In both instances I think Rev. Kok mistaken.Hoeksema has not changed his theology, except in the sense that he has purified it. (I underscore.—M.S.) Consistency demands that Protestant Reformed theology repudiate conditions. This theology can retain conditions in the abstract, but it cannot retain the conditional as a means of interpreting and determining gospel address. Protestant Reformed theology has always denied that gospel preaching is of the nature of an “offer.” It must therefore deny that gospel preaching is of a conditional nature. It is not Hoeksema but Kok who has departed from the genius of Protestant Reformed theology.” (Italics—M.S.) 

Rev. Hofman, you say Hoeksema has changed, and even Dr. Daane implies that he did? I ask you to show from the above quotation that Daane thinks Hoeksema changed his theology. And even if Daane thought he did, you know better that he did not, if you ever seriously studied Hoeksema’s dogmatics. It is pure nonsense that Hoeksema changed, and you know it. Why then do you continue to try to camouflage the business with your readers? 

3. Finally, I wish to reply to the last paragraph of Hofman’s editorial. He writes: “Now if Dr. Daane has hit the nail squarely on the head in the one instance, doesn’t it follow that he has also done so in the other? Or if he is incorrect in his judgment in the one case, isn’t it just possible that this is also so in the other? How about it Rev. Schipper? 

I consider this a cute piece of sophistry. In brief, that’s my answer. Hofman isn’t interested really in my answer at all. He is bent on warping the minds of his readers, trying to make them believe what Mr. Byker literally says: that Schipper doesn’t have the intelligence of a fifth grader. 

What a jam that Rev. Schipper got himself into anyway! He simply writes without thinking. And, lo, he talked himself into saying something he will now have to retract. Surely Schipper will haves to admit that Dr. Daane doesn’t know much about Protestant Reformed theology. He certainly cannot go along with Daane when the latter writes that the Protestant Reformed Churches cannot preach the gospel to every man. Schipper will surely never admit that there are weaknesses in the Protestant Reformed theology. And if he will admit that Daane is all wrong here, won’t Schipper also have to admit that Daane may be wrong when he agrees with Daane that the latter has correctly understood the conditional doctrine of Rev. Kok, et al, as being on a par with the common grace theology of the Christian Reformed Churches? 

I call this fallacious logic, plain sophistry. Of course, I do not believe that Daane understands, nor does he present correctly our Protestant Reformed position. I will try to show this in another article. But does this mean that Daane is therefore unable to know what conditional theology is, and that those who hold to this conditional theology, being consistent, should also embrace the doctrine of the Three Points of 1924? I think not. I claim that Daane understands perfectly his own doctrines as well as the conception of those who hold to the conditional doctrine, and that these two agree perfectly. In respect to the latter, I maintain that Daane has hit the nail squarely on the head when he told the conditional advocates to return to the Christian Reformed Church. And if Hofman and Mr. Byker think that I do not understand Dr. Daane, let them ask Daane to explain his own writing.