Hurrah for Calvin and its faculty and student astronomers (Winter 2003)!
John Calvin wrote (Commentaries on Genesis): “This study
[astronomy] is not to be reprobated, nor this science to be condemned,
because some frantic persons are inclined boldly to reject whatever is
unknown to them. For astronomy is not only pleasant, but also very useful
to be known: it cannot be denied that this art unfolds the wisdom of God.”
It is entirely appropriate, therefore, that the college named for John
Calvin have faculty members and students who are engaged in this study
of astronomy. It is equally appropriate, perhaps necessary, that these
faculty members convey the results of their studies to the rest of us
Christians because so many of us lack the capacity or the leisure to pursue
these studies for ourselves. Futhermore, we should pay them honor for
having done these studies and for having told us about the results, and
we should encourage them to be diligent in continuing and furthering their
Clarence Menninga '49
Grand Rapids, Mich.
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Spark focus appreciated
Just a short note to let you know how much I think Spark has
improved in the last few years. It has become more spiritually focused,
as well as academically and socially relevant.
Thanks for all the good work. I enjoy reading the Spark and always
look forward to the next edition!
Audrey Schouten Masselink '61
Calvin community lacks acceptance
My initial reaction to your comments about “controversial
notes” (Summer 2004) was, I must confess, rather dismissive.
While it may be commendable that the Christian Reformed Church issued
a report on homosexuality 30 years ago and made another statement in 1999,
the Spark has barely acknowledged the existence of its lesbian
and gay alumni.
Fine that you have “attempted to be slower to draw lines, more understanding
of gray areas, less interested in making quick judgments (although it
seems rather meager for a quarter century), but how is that possible if
those who you are trying to understand are excluded from the discussion?
Sadly, many lesbian and gay daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, fathers,
mothers, pastors, Christian school teachers, college and seminary faculty,
either lead closeted, double lives or leave the denomination. How much
love, acceptance and understanding do you think they feel in your midst?
Indeed, that you feel compelled to even issue this statement speaks volumes
about how little acceptance there truly is in the Calvin community.
F. William Voetberg '70
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Graphics belong in gallery
Thanks much for great coverage of the Alumni
Design Competition (Spring 2004). The competition was a gutsy move
for the gallery, as it highlights a practice
that has not always been considered worthy of “gallery status.”
In fact, graphic design, advertising and commercial art are disciplines
that are well suited to Calvin’s oeuvre, as liberal arts in a Christian
foundation can produce some really terrific thinkers.
Also, please note that while I did win a couple of awards at the show
for work I did on behalf of Old Orchard Brands in the capacity of creative
director at my agency, Cull Design, I did not design the Old Orchard logo.
That honor belongs to Bailey Design Group of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Instead,
I won for the retail support kit, a printed piece that showcased the people
at and the juice produced by Old Orchard Brands.
Again, kudos for showcasing and supporting the design program at Calvin.
Here’s to the future communication artist graduates!
Scott Millen '95
Foreign perspective is welcome
I want to express my gratitude for the education I received at your institution,
education inspired by professors such as Mrs. Claude-Marie Baldwin-Vos,
Mr. Bradley Class and Mr. Don Wilson. I wish to congratulate Mrs. Baldwin-Vos
on her daughter’s Ph.D., accomplished in Stockholm, Sweden, as reported
in the last Spark. Thank you for sending Spark all these
years; it is a key factor in preserving the bond with Calvin, and its
informative articles and letters show me — a Dutch, liberal thinker
from overseas — a Christian, Anglo-Saxon (and American) perspective
— something worthwhile to reflect upon.
I also invite fellow students and former teachers to write me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
to revive memories or for professional purposes. I am currently teaching
French at Agricultural University of Wageningen and at Lingecollege, a
public high school in Tiel, Netherlands, in addition to being a wife and
mother of two sons, Olav and Guido.
Marjan De Ruiter-Schrikkema '81
Missing Anonymous’ point
In response to the letter
about Anonymous Bosch (Spring 2004): Surely in “80 years of living
and reading” you must have read “Anonymous” many times.
Have you never discovered it is written tongue-in-cheek — meant
to be humorous, sarcastic, ridiculous? It is a fun way of making us look
at ourselves in regards to a serious concern or, on occasion, to a non-concern
we take too seriously.
I assure you that the writer is a “cultured and educated person”
or he or she could never be so funny. I don’t think you can call
Anonymous a “coward,” as the writer has enough courage to
expose him or herself to being misunderstood by people like yourself.
The Christian community needs people who can approach problems or differences
with humor rather than rigid criticism.