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Followers of Jesus

(A letter to Frank Schaeffer)

February 17, 2007

Dear Frank,

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 husbands do.

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.