Grateful for Knollcrest
How amazing has been the physical development of the Knollcrest campus! I hope and pray that the students, faculty and constituency will grow in connection with the motto "Minds in the Making."
Sidney Slagter '53
Knollcrest campus impresses
I would like to echo President Byker's statement, "I think it's providential they started when they did." Certainly a sovereign God was blessing Calvin in the past and will continue to bless Calvin in the future.
Dick L. Van Eldik '48
Teaching award deserved
Lately my teenage daughter has taken up reading some of the texts I retained from his classes. The President's Award is richly deserved (Summer 2006). Glad to hear Ken is still influencing another generation of students.
Kevin Hekman '87
Characterizing van Gogh
Myra Heerspink Scholz '67
Response: It seems to me that just about everything in van Gogh's life was pretty messed up except for his painting. Yes, he could wax poetic with some "God words" in a letter to a friend, but faith doesn't reflect strongly in the rest of his life and work.
Rick Beerhorst '85
Following the mission?
After leaving the sometimes repressive environs of Knollcrest, I have had many occasions to work alongside, become friends with and respect gay and lesbian folks. Let's not fool ourselves, it's not that there weren't any gay folk at Calvin in my day, I just never met any with the audacity to be open about it.
It is a strange mixture of anger, sadness and sheer hilarity that simmers when I read past letters to the Spark on this subject. The hand-wringing, duplicitous use of scripture passages to demonize homosexuality, memories of psychology lectures where professors spoke of homosexuality as a "sin suffered, rather than committed," all shame me and continue to be a source of embarrassment and pain.
Gay Christians could no doubt rattle off scripture passages labeling divorced people who remarry as adulterers (Matt. 5:31-33), passages demeaning women's value as humans (1 Cor.14:34) or even passages detailing how to properly sell your daughter as a sex slave (Ex. 21:7-11 NLT). Why are the passages in the Bible denouncing homosexuality weightier than Matthew's stance on remarrying? Or the advice given in Ephesians regarding the proper way to punish your slaves? Maybe "general revelation" falls a little short here. How about the "special revelation" that can only come from actually getting to know a homosexual person. Experience their story. Their pain. Their "choice."
It seems to me that society has found a way to begin moving past sexism, racism, taboos against remarrying, slavery and more. If part of Spark's mission statement is to "draw an increasingly wider national audience to Calvin as a center of Christian thought," it seems we better get to thinking a little harder. Frankly, it's downright shameful that Calvin-the place where I supposedly learned how to be a compassionate, informed child of God-uses mental and theological gymnastics to prop up some outmoded and obscure Bible passages to make second-class citizens of fellow Christians.
Christopher Bruinooge '94
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