Church & World September 1996


The 1995 Inter-Classical Conference of Christian Reformed Churches meeting in South Holland promised to arrange another meeting of the conference should Synod 1996 of the Christian Reformed Church fail to respond appropriately to their motions.

Sadly, Synod 1996 failed to deal appropriately with their concerns. Therefore, the Inter-Classical Conference Interim Committee is making arrangements for another conference in South Holland to discuss and recommend appropriate responses to synod’s actions. Once again they invite all councils as well as all officebearers—both current and former—who share the convictions and concerns for the CRC to attend this second conference. An opening time of prayer and praise will begin at 4:00 pm on November 7, and meetings may continue as late as 5:00 pm the next day.

Councils which have proposals or recommendation they desire to have discussed at the conference, must submit them as soon as possible, but not later than November 1, to the Interim Committee, c/o Rev. Norman Shepherd.

The committee urges officebearers not to underestimate the importance of their participation in this conference: “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard” (Malachi 3:16).


The following paragraphs are excerpted from Footnotes, a paper produced this summer by the English Department of Calvin College.

On April 11–13, a star-studded lineup of Christian writers graced the Calvin College campus, attracting nearly 1000 registered participants for Conference ‘96: Festival of Faith and Writing. Featuring more than 16 nationally-renowned speakers, 23 presenters of academic papers, and a host of publishers’ representatives, Conference ‘96 created an unusual space in which to bring together leading Christian writers, publishers, teachers, and appreciative readers to explore the confluence of writing and faith. Participants this year included keynote speakers Madeleine L’Engle, Donald Hall, Lee Smith, and Annie Dillard and a host of other acclaimed writers such as Rudy Wiebe, Dan Wakefield, Hugh Cook, Christopher De Vinck, Virginia Stem Owens, James Schaap, Luci Shaw, Robert Siegel, John H. Timmerman, Daniel Taylor, and Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

The keynote sessions tantalized sold-out audiences in the Fine Arts Auditorium with a variety of reflections and emotions. Madeleine L’Engle entertained an enthusiastic crowd with a spirited account of her persistence as a writer. She reflected on the perennial human questions she has raised in her writing, the ones that never are adequately answered. She spoke candidly about her struggles, including the nearly ten-year period in which she could not get a manuscript published, the illness and death of her husband (Hugh Franklin), and the theological objections of many Christians to her fantasy novels. Permeating her talk was her unabashed confession of faith in God and a willingness to leave those unanswerable questions in His care.

Editors’ note: Read Claris Van Kuiken’s book; better yet, read Claris’ book AND the non-fiction writings of Madeleine L’Engle, and judge for yourself if Madeleine L’Engle qualifies as a Christian writer.