Letters to the Editor



I was extremely disappointed in Dr. Leonard Greenway’s article in the September issue of THE OUTLOOK justifying his actions at Classis Grand Rapids East.

I was very disappointed that, as a synodical deputy, Dr. Greenway concurred in the classical examination of Dr. Allen Verhey. This means that, though Dr. Greenway may have thought Dr. Verhey to have some small problems, none were so big that Dr. Verhey couldn’t be a good minister in the Christian Reformed Church.

Now in his artiele he, along with so many others, seems to hide his responsibility behind a facade. Synod hides its responsibility of getting at the issue behind the facade of legalism, Dr. Greenway hides behind Report 44.

It‘s interesting that Report 44 specifically refers to Genesis 3 to illustrate that an historical interpretation is necessary. True, it does not specifically mention the snake and so, I suppose, Dr. Verhey can pick that out and say that was just a story. Yet, the context of the Report implies that all of Genesis 3 must be taken as historical. It is much easier to come to that conclusion from the Report than to Dr. Verhey’s conclusion.

But what happens? Dr. Verhey clear seminary professors to make his interpretation as being allowed by Report 44. Dr. Greenway, on the other hand, responsible to and representing the synod of the Christian Reformed Denomination, cannot just as clearly and without doubt state that the context of Report 44 and the intention of synod docs not allow for Dr. Verhey’s interpretation. Instead, he concurs with Dr. Verhey, except for this minor problem, then calls on the seminary professors to make his interpretation for him, even asking for an e.,planation of the Rabbinical influences that might have played on Paul’s interpretation of Genesis 3, an explanation very clearly given in Report 44.

If the problem is so minor that it does not affect Dr. Verhey’s being a good minister in the Christian Reformed Church, why have we made it such an issue in our denomination? If, however, it docs have major significance, why did Dr. Greenway concur that Dr. Verhey would make a good minister in the Christian Reformed Church? And why does Dr. Greenway now hide behind the facade of others the responsibility he had at Classis Grand Rapids East?

Overall, I really appreciate your magazine, and especially the article on reprobation in the same issue as Dr. Greenway’s article. I felt, however, that Dr. Greenway’s article was a further letdown after the letdown he had given at Classis Grand Rapids East.

The Lord be with you.

Yours in Christ,


William G. Brouwers is pastor of the Christian Reformed Church of New Holland, South Dakota.    

Dear Dr. Greenway:

It was nice to have in THE OUTLOOK of September your open letter concerning the examination of Dr. Verhey. I am thankful to receive by this a deeper insight of the matter.

Also good to hear the committee did have a good response from Dr. Verhey on so many important doctrinal questions.

Only a few minor things did give the committee some reason for doubt but not to stop Dr. Verhey. Now here I have my objections.

I know you did not talk about minor things but about Dr. Verhey’s exegesis. Yes, hut so have Kuitert, Wiersinga, Baarda, Augustijn, their “exegesis,” but they exegete the “truth” away! It is a process that will run its course. Did the committee realize this? I doubt it.

Next, Dr. Greenway is trying to focus our attention on the fact that the Neland Ave. consistory believes that Dr. Verhey is in the guidelines of Report 44. And now he says the faculty of Calvin Seminary can be of a good service to tell us if Dr. Verhey is indeed within the Report 44 guidelines. Is Dr. Greenway really of the opinion that such an answer will be given? I am not!!

Or is Dr. Greenway trying to get rid of the responsibillty? To me, as a committee member Dr. Greenway should accept his full responsibility and say why! But not try to brush it off.

Yours truly,


Beamsville, Ontario

Note: To avoid misunderstanding in connection with Dr. Greenway’s article, the reader is reminded of the statement that appears regularly in the masthead of THE OUTLOOK: “All contributions represent the personal views of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the members of Reformed Fellowship, Inc.”