Pointed Paragraphs


How often it turns out to be true that we thought we knew certain things until someone asks us about them, and then we discover we don’t know. It is frequently so with regard to our religious beliefs and our devotional utterances. Many times we may repeat the words of Psalm 103;2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” We think we know the meaning of gratitude and the sacrifice of praise. We think we know to a considerable degree. But one day in the middle years there flashes upon us, in the light and with the perspective that are quite foreign to life’s younger years, the true mercies under which we have been living—the unfailing goodness of God, the undeserved patience of dear ones from whom so often we withheld kindness, the strength and support of unmerited friendships. the times we stumbled but did not fall because underneath us were the “everlasting arms.” And then, like dawn over the eastern hills, we see through wider lenses the sure mercies of God over all and in all, and with deep-throated praise we cry, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.”

That is one of the compensations of growing older. Dull words leap into Same. Prosy passages become precious promises. Old hymns are sung with brighter eye and fuller voice. Prayer becomes privilege. The over-familiar themes of our creeds and confessions grow astonishing. Orthodoxy becomes an anchor and truth becomes a lighthouse.



There are three stages in the “devolution” of delinquents. The first stage is one of disrespect, particularly disrespect towards authority. One of the roots of this disrespect is indifference. Another can be traced to reprehensible elements in the conduct of parents. The child develops an aversion to his parents, ignores their teaching, feels that unreasonable restraints have been placed upon his freedom to do what he pleases.

The second stage is one of hatred. Indifference and disrespect have now deepened into something more dangerous. Where once the youth said, “My parents are behind the times” or “My parents are unreasonable” he now blurts out, “My old man is a crack-pot”!

The third stage is reached when this self-emancipated youth, insecure in his false sense of security and unable to find within himself the supports which he thought he so abundantly possessed, begins to hate the whole world. He is rebellious towards everything in his environment. Not able to live at peace with himself he cannot live at peace with anybody else. “Nobody understands me!” he exclaims.

Now the deplorable thing about much of the modern social service and rehabilitation efforts directed at youth in this third stage is that they do not begin at the beginning with him. Instead of setting up at the outset a procedure in which this problem boy or girl will be taught the importance and necessity of respect for authority, and preeminently the authority of God, so many social service workers operate solely within the orbit of the third stage of the youth’s devolution. The major thrust of their efforts is in the direction of group activities, especially on the amusement and recreational levels. Teach him not to suspect and dislike the world, they say, and you have provided the major ingredient in the formula for his rehabilitation. It does not occur to these workers, who undoubtedly are well-meaning, that you have not accomplished much with a delinquent when you have done little mare than integrate him into group and community activities while he continues to carry with him his original disrespect for authority. What you have only done for him is provide a relaxation in the third stage of his tensional development. You have not touched the mainspring of the tension.

All of which points up the need for more Christian social service workers.



Dr. Boer writes a long Reformed Journal (Feb. ‘61, p. 9 ) article, entitled “Reformed Scholarship and Infallibility.” He seeks to indicate how little the integrity of our Reformed witness is at stake in the current discussion on infallibility. So the writer does “some reporting” especially “on this particular question: What do Reformed theologians who have among us an eminent name for orthodoxy in biblical scholarship say about the problem we are wrestling with?”

He at once assures us that it is far from true that in scholarly Reformed circles there is no question about the acceptance of the literal infallibility of the Bible. To show this he especially cites certain authors of the honored “Korte Verklaring” (Short Commentary).

He emphasizes the trusted place of this commentary and “with this in mind” points first to what Prof. A. Noordtzij, then to what Prof. C. Ch. Aalders, write. Having encouraged us to put our trust in their position, he forthrightly says of them: “It would seem very clear that both Aalders and Noordtzij have imbibed more than one draft of higher critical waters, and one who drinks deeply or even not so deeply there must necessarily have reservations with respect to the traditional view of the infallibility of scripture, as it is only too plain that Aalders and Noordtzij do”; p.11.

Dr. Boer further quotes Dr. N. Ridderbos as saying: “There never were six days of creation. Nor were there ever six periods of creation which might loosely be termed days. In fact, the account in Gen. 1 was never intended to be a description of how the world was created.”

Finally this article asks: “Should we not take a good hard look at what has been going on in our own theological community? Do we agree with it? If not, at what far remove in the theological community do we come to stand?”

We notice with regret that he mentions no concern lest we stand at a “far remove” from the plain self-attestation of Scripture or from the testimony of our Reformed Standards in this matter.

He then asks whether on certain, apparently to him plausible, conditions we should not “wish to re-evaluate the meaning of the expression ‘inallible’ in its application to scripture.” That, indeed, appears to be the thrust of the article.

But this is the question which presses for earnest thought here: How shall we re-evaluate the concept of infallibility and not come up with fallibility? Who can explain how anyone can tone down infallibility and escape fallibility? Let us take timely waming: re-evaluating has been a common and subtle approach of liberal theology. It has subverted much vital truth.

As we read and re-read this article it convinces us, both in its citations and general tenor, that in our discussion of infallibility, the integrity of our Reformed witness is indeed at stake.

Unlike Dr. Boer, we feel deeply that this issue is the profound concern of our church in its entirety anll solidarity: professors, ministers, and also of our sensitive nnd sensible pew theologians. Let us altogether strive mightily to study and pray it through to a right conclusion.



As human beings we are dependent creatures who must live by grace and by the things we receive from God primarily, and from our fellowmen. No man lives or dies unto himself; his life and death are intertwined with the lives of his fellowmen.

On the other hand, we all make some contribution to society. We all have a niche to fill, a role to play, a work to do; and in such a process we make a contribution to our cultural community, and also to the church.

However, on what does the emphasis fall? There are some members of society and of the church who are concentrating on getting. Whenever anything is free, they are there in force. So too they like to remind themselves and others that salvation is free, so they come and get it. But that is the point at which their religion stops. They hate to pay into the budget! They resent all drives for funds! They resent the poor and the unfortunate for whom collections are held. They are not moved to generosity by the needs of others, the milk of human kindness does not flow in their veins. And what does Bow in their veins they are unwilling to share when the occasion presents itself. They would not think of giving a pint of blood for some unknown brother in the Lord who is in dire need! Neither do they offer their time and energy for pressing door-bells, for doing work around the church or school. They are simply too busy!

To sum it up, there are people in the church, as in society, who will not give their money, their time and talent, nor their blood (donation) when the opportunity presents itself. But the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on Calvary, where he gave himself for us, says to all diSciples: “Take up the cross and follow me…foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.”

Are you a giver or a getter? Do you offer your money and time, your blood and your talent for your fellow-man, your fellow-saints? Or do you selfishly hoard and hold it? Hemember, he that would save his life shall lose it, but he that gives it for Christ and his Kingdom shall find it!



Dear Rev. Kuiper,

Just now I have been reading the article “IGNORAMUS, IGNOHAMIBUS” in the April issue of your paper. The writer of this article informs us that he wrote it after he had just dusted an old Latin dictionary.

May I ask you, for the sake of our High School boys and girls who might otherwise get confused, to print this present letter in an early issue—so that they may know that for theologians as well as for them the future first person singular of the Latin verb ignorare is ignorabimus and not “ignoramibus” as you have printed it in three different places.

Let us all learn from this episode that it is not good to let dust settle on one’s Latin. Thank you.

Yours respectfully,

Leonard Verduin

Thank you, brother! We have checked and found that the manuscript had: ignorabimus. We assume responsibility for the error, as managing editor. Our only consolation is that the error in no way invalidates the author’s argument.