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Followers of Jesus(A letter to Frank Schaeffer)
February 17, 2007
I'm writing to you because my wife has said that I should. Wives seem
to put a higher priority on initiating such personal contacts than their
When Mary (my wife) brought "Crazy for God" home a couple weeks ago, she
glanced at some of the closing pages and remarked that it was sad that
you didn't know whether or not there was a god. She had read what has
probably become the most quoted line in your book.
As I was reading the book, I told her that I was sorry that she had
clouded my thinking, because I was getting the sense that you and I had
more in common in our thinking and commitment than I had suspected after
her remarks. After reading a few minutes ago the last two questions and
answers of your interview with John Whitehead (recorded on your web
site), my impression has been confirmed.
Mary suggested I should write to you to encourage you after I reported
to others who were present in our semi-weekly fellowship gathering
Friday evening that I suspected you share much of my (and their)
viewpoint regarding faith, religion, and theology.
Like your father, I came to faith in an atmosphere of maintaining the
true Reformed, Protestant, orthodox faith entrusted to us, in my case
the "Christian Reformed" camp. I saw and heard your father when he
spoke one evening to the dining club at Westminster Seminary in the
early 60's when I was a student there.
Since then, Mary and I have spent committed time in several
denominational groups. For a time I was "ordained" in one of them.
Like you, I am not favorably impressed with much, or most, of what is
presented in the name of fundamentalist American Christianity.
Nor am I favorably impressed with the history of established
institutional churches and denominations.
Nor with the actions of political establishments and leaders.
I am favorably impressed with the actions of people whose lives are
informed and affected by the life and teachings of Jesus. As you are
impressed with those of whom you speak well in your book.
We are richly blessed at present to enjoy regular fellowship with others
who have little interest in contemporary institutional religion, but
have intense personal desires and commitments to live as followers of
Jesus, and to live in interactive, supportive fellowship with other such
followers. My impression is that His work has always been done through
such people, within and without the institutions.
So, the purpose of this email is to encourage you to continue to listen
for His voice and to continue to be honest, humble, and gutsy enough to
speak and do as He leads. May His strength enable you. May you
continue to be used as a channel of blessing to many.