More than just a crazy dog lady
Re “Christian volunteers outside the church’s four walls” (Editorial, April). Despite being labelled a “crazy dog lady” by my kids, my interest in dogs is something that God has seeded. April and Storm are qualified St. John Ambulance therapy dogs, and our assignment is to visit a seniors’ home.
Over the past five years, I’ve connected with and parted with a number of dear old souls. I probably never would have darkened the doors of a seniors’ home by myself, but the Holy Spirit can use a dog to get you into the right place. My visits have expanded into hosting occasional luncheons in our home for a busload of seniors. Last visit, one of the seniors wept to be in a real “home,” flooding her with memories of raising her family and feeling so blessed to be in a place that was so personal. I’m making wonderful friends, feeling a connection with a greater part of my community, and finding purpose outside the church’s “four walls” – thanks to my dogs and the Holy Spirit.
Black Creek, B.C.
Keep God’s vastness in sight
Re “MB seminary professor apologizes for remarks” (P&E, April). It seems that the underlying discomfort with Mark Baker’s work relating to the diamond image of Jesus’ work on the cross is that Baker doesn’t portray penal substitutionary atonement as the singular dominant aspect of Jesus’ work on the cross. Penal substitution is often the singular evangelical gospel message – sometimes to the point of losing sight that the loving God of atonement was the same God who loved his creation long before he manifested himself in the flesh and demonstrated his atoning love on the cross. That eternal God was the author of Jesus, and decreed the atoning power of the work on the cross. Many people missed him when he manifested himself in the flesh because they liked God within manageable and institutional parameters.
If a seminary’s purpose is essentially reduced to re-verifying enlightenment of the past, we too may gravitate toward contentment with a singular focus and miss opportunities for spiritual engagement with the event of the cross in the context of the vastness of God’s essence.
Kudos to volunteers
Re “God calls all to serve” (April). With several days remaining in a three-month sabbatical, I sorted the mail and reached for the Herald. After reading through the obituaries first (a crazy habit of mine), I delved into the various articles emphasizing service and volunteerism within the local church. This is a significant aspect within the life of the local church, and I appreciated the biblical/theological framework that was outlined, coupled with relevant and practical application.
However, my greater purpose in writing this letter stems from the timely nature of this edition’s theme and my recent sabbatical. I have the opportunity and privilege to pastor a church family (Arnold Community Church, B.C.) that serves with joy, giving of themselves in countless ways and then giving even more, simply because they love God and desire to see his kingdom built. As one who is grateful for receiving a paycheque for serving a local church and being granted a three-month sabbatical to renew and recharge, I send my family’s deepest and sincere thanks to our church family who served at even greater levels. You demonstrate time and again what a culture of service looks like within the local church. You are truly “co-builders,” using your gifts, passion, time, money, and wisdom in service to our Saviour. Thank you, and may the Lord continue to bless us as we serve together!
Modern science atrociously biased
Re “A plea for understanding: Is there a Christian view of Darwin?” (Crosscurrents, March). I’m greatly concerned by what we are told is scientific evidence. When a biased interpretation of the evidence is promoted as evidence in and of itself, we have a problem. Take for example the evidence that geology gives us of “millions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.” The bias of paleontology refuses to accept this as evidence of a global flood. And they preferentially teach elaborate explanations that defy physics and hydrodynamics to recreate this as evidence that the earth must be billions of years old.
The bias of modern science is atrocious. Any research that doesn’t support favoured theory is considered failed research and doesn’t get published in peer review journals. In the “publish or die” environment of academia, this is a death blow to objectivity.
I am afraid that 20th- and 21st-century science isn’t very objective. Therefore, if what they interpret as evidence is infinitely less reliable than our divinely inspired Scriptures, why would we willingly compromise? There most certainly is a contradiction between the first three chapters of Genesis and evolution. To deny this is to misinterpret one or the other. I believe an unbiased interpretation of the evidence will more likely support Genesis than contradict.