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Volume 16, Issue 1: Sharpening Iron

From Us:

We might be the fat kid, as some have pointed out. We might have trouble carrying our back pack all the way up the big hill on our way home from school. We might even sit down half way up, and lean back against whatever it is strapped on behind us.

Our name might even be Beth-Beth.
But there is something about us. Something that makes us stronger than the rest. You might not think so when you see us, or when you hear us breathe, but the truth is that we donít care what you think or say about us.
Weíre like rubber youíre, like glue.
Itís an internal sort of stronger. The word is fortitude.
Other kids might kick the ball farther, or get on base more than once a quarter in P.E. Other kids this, other kids that. Other kids arenít us. Other kids donít see the world through our eyes, especially when weíre wearing our bear mask. They donít know the strength we feel when we wear it.
It is simple enough. Brown. Lumpy. Paper mache. All held on with the heavy rubber band off an old punching balloon. The eyes are not set quite as wide as ours. They are not the same size. But when we look through them, and the rubber band pinches and pulls hair on the back of our head, then we can hear ourselves think. We walk up to the faster kids, the skinnier kids on the playground, breathing a new breath, a louder one. They know what happens when Beth-Beth wears the bear mask.
We dig it out of our backpack and strap it on our head. Now, with a sweatier face, we are ready for the rest of the hill and the journey home. Home. We will fill a tall glass with Oreos, pour milk over the top and go fishing with a spoon. At home, we donít need our mask.

Editorís reply: Sorry about that. Not quite sure what happened.


From You:

Dear Editor,
C/A is always a challenge, but your recent issue on Storytelling [15/6] broke all previous records. Keep Ďem cominí.

Sheila Brennan
Elgin, IL

Dear Editor,
Thank you for a job exceptionally well done. Sheryl and I wholeheartedly agree that this was the best conference that either of us have ever been to on any topic. We went expecting to learn something about history. We came away changed and profoundly encouraged by your insights into God, and His story of dealings with both sinful men and covenant believers. We hope you noticed the standing ovation. . .

Bill and Sheryl Monnette
Wenatchee, WA

Dear Editor,
Kudos to Doug Wilson on the lead article [15/5] regarding his actual position on on the New Perspective. Very refreshing and very witty, but most importantly, very faithful to Christ and historic Reformed Theology.

Mark Cox
Atlanta, GA

Dear Editor,
I am a longtime big fan of C/A, and now I want to come out of the closet about it. Hitherto, Iíve bummed copies and used the internet to satisfy my guilty pleasure of reading C/A. But now I want to make the move, be bold, and have Credenda delivered right to my doorway. To stand up and say to the world, This is my type of rag. So please wonít you add me to the mailing list. . .

Keep up the good work in producing good literature. Not simply safe, prim, and proper stuff that could pass the censorship of the United Sunday School Teachers. . . Itís good to know that orthodox folks can still have a sense of humor.

Jay Gardner
Philadelphia, PA

Dear Editor,
I thoroughly enjoyed your issue on Storytelling. After reading the Thema, I feel about the Lord of the Rings the way I always feel about Harry Potter after reading the Lord of the Rings. It doesn't hold a candle to the True Story. Thank you for continuing to remind me of joy.

Grace Jauk
Evansville, IN

Dear Editor,
. . . I do have one small criticism that may not be warranted but none the less it has been on my mind for some time and I thought I would voice it at this juncture. It is regarding fat. Or more specifically masculine fat. Or I should say masculine fitness, or the lack there of. Over the past year I have seen three photographs of Doug Wilson and family that were placed on the fridge of some very close friends (who will remain anonymous) and who are obviously friends of the Wilson clan. What caught my attention was the size of Pastor/Father/TeacheróDoug Wilson. What I am trying to say as eloquently or I should say as clumsily as I can, is that the photos appear to betray that Mr. Wilson and possibly Nathan Wilson are overweight and out of physical shape. Our anonymous friend seemed to confirm my observation by stating something to the effect of, They sure like their food down there, and it shows. [And now] my reason for mentioning this.

We are eternally indebted to all of you and have completed a one-eighty turnaround in our view and practice of creating an ever increasingly biblical culture both in our home and the spheres we move in outside our home. I could go on forever but allow me to say God has brought tremendous blessing to our home through your practical teaching that will extend to many generations to come. Having said this, (I am trying to get back to my point) we have benefitted by the practical teaching on raising men both from Future Men and various Credenda articles, but it appears to me that being a good physically fit man is part of being a godly man. Granted, we come in all sizes and varying abilities, but shouldnít we use what God has given us physically and maintain that?
. . . I agree with all I have read of what youíve written regarding biblical masculinity, including the general precept for all of Godís covenant to feast and enjoy food. However, we must not allow ourselves to become overweight, especially as men. There will always be someone stronger or bigger, granted. But I feel that as men, we should look like men and be able to at least go the distance when that is required, whether, that is carrying our little girl for several miles on a family hike or defending/saving our wife/family from whatever peril God might place in our path: an attacker, a wild animal, getting someone out of a vehicle accident, etc. I doubt Abraham, David, Paul, etc. were overweight. There are also numerous medical and health reasons to be in shape including mental reasons.
Please take all my comments as having been written with the greatest humility recognizing that I have not arrived and that by no means have I laid out a full argument, but thought I would just comment in passing. . . . I have never gone to Moscow, or met any of you and therefore my whole argument could very well be unfounded. . . .
Our Canadian culture is getting more difficult to live in as Christians and you are a constant source of encouragement and instruction for us.

Jonathan Grebe
Fort St. John, BC

Doug Wilson replies: You must be thinking of the Leitharts. Weíre not out of shape. Just husky. Big-boned. Stuffed with fluff. Besides, somebodyís gotta play on the offensive line.

Dear Editor,
I enjoyed the New Perspective article [15/5]. I have read many of the articles and letters surrounding the current controversy, and have been quite distressed to see the seemingly blood-thirsty rants of elders in our Lordís Church. Thanks for clarifying things and not just adding more noise to the fray.

Andy Patton
Nashville, TN

Dear Editor,
Well, itís taken me some time, but I think Iíve finally gotten through your entire database of C/A back issues. Heck, Iíve even scoured as much as I can from your other websites. Thanks for the biblical, no holds barred articlesóyouíve made me realize that nothing less than full submission to the Word of God is acceptable. Too long have I bought in to the ďmake God a part of your lifeĒ theology and too long have I missed out on the richness that is in Godís word.

Ken teGrotenhuis
Hamilton, ON

Dear Editor,
Iím a graduate student in astrophysics and I thoroughly enjoy reading your magazine. It gets wearisome being in an environment in which manís reason is worshipped, and C/A is a guzzle of cold water.

Bryan Johnson
Urbana, IL


Dear Editor,
In your excellent write-up on the justification controversy [15/5] you said that someone should make a serious attempt to respond to Lillback. I believe that Prof. David Engelsma did (please see I know you do not think very highly of Dr. Robbins and the Trinity Foundation, but they have their place in this on-going debate.

Daniel Houseworth
Worthington, OH


Dear Editor,
Please keep my jumper cables connected to Credenda/Agenda.

D. Pressler
Taylor Mill, KY

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