THE READER WRITES: Arens Comments – Huissen Replies


Rev. C. Huissen’s article– H. J. Kuiper—a personal tribute—disturbs me, especially these remarks:

1. And those of us who were closely associated with him know how distressed he was when he had to see in the closing days of his life his church’s critical posture toward worldly amusements held up to ridicule in the Calvin College Chimes.”

2. “More than a few recent seminary graduates are rather doubtful as to the right of the Christian Reformed Church to exist as a separate denomination.”

If these remarks are true—and I have no reason to doubt them—it is time that an investigation be launched by a qualified committee appointed by the Board of Trustees.

Sincerely, Jack Arens


It is gratifying that brother Arens does not doubt my allegations. However, there may be some who do. That there may be no doubt as to the ground for my statement on the first point mentioned by Arens. let me quote the student publication Calvin College Chimes of November 16, 1962. The editorial entitled Art Critics in Filmland contains the following: “Yet for some reason or another, most of the pronouncements about theatres and the films they present have not been coming from Calvin College or its true representatives. Rather. Calvin College often seems to be receiving its notions about theatres and the films they present nom Synod, the pulpits. and the ladies’ aid societies…The 1962-63 Calvin College Bulletin states that the Synod of 1940 has instructed the Calvin faculty ‘to deal in the spirit of love, yet also…very firmly with all cases of misdemeanor and offensive conduct in the matter of amusements. particularly theatre attendance…’ Apparently this means that students, while watching films in the theatres, should refrain from throwing popcorn, sprawling their legs over the next row of seats, or making out.”

I call that holding up the whole church to ridicule. True, a reprimand by the college administration has been published in the paper. Some people think this is sufficient; many do not.

As to the second point raised by brother Arens this writer can state that he was synodical examiner for Classis Sioux Center from 1952 to 1960. In those years he participated in the examinations of some thirty-five to forty candidates. From about 1955 through 1957 the Centennial of the denomination was in the air. One of my colleagues from another classis began to question these candidates about the origin of our church. The results were often a revelation. Some said outright that the secession of 1857 was not justified. Others would not go that far but said they had their doubts about it. On one occasion my colleague spoke to this effect: If this be the case, should we not all get on our knees and confess our sin of schismatic action, and beg the Reformed Church to take the recalcitrant sons back into the fold? Surely it is in point to ask how we can expect denominational loyalty from our people when those who enter the places of spiritual leadership have such ideas.

C. Huissen