Thursday, December 09, 2010


This morning John and I were having one of our weekly "your ilk, my ilk" spats.  His ilk is the Christian Reformed Church---born and bred, 70 years of indoctrination.  My ilk is more broadly evangelicalism and fundamentalism---parents who were on the fringe of the church, if that.  One thing led to another in our morning conversation and I was telling him about an incident 10 years ago.  The Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College who later became president of the seminary and presided over my being terminated (not fired as I referred to it----maybe that's another "your ilk" example) had invited me to lunch at Mountain Jacks, a nice restaurant in Grand Rapids.  When the food came he said, "Let's pray." I bowed my head assuming he would pray.  Nothing.  Just silence.  I've always regretted I didn't say in a very respectful way, "I'm sorry, I can't hear you."  I didn't.  As it turns out, John's ilk prays before meals in restaurants, but silently.  My ilk prays out loud.  I told John that my ilk is "not ashamed of the gospel" (Romans 1:16); John countered that his ilk does not do as the Pharisees do, making a public show.  So, as usual, neither ilk prevailed.  It's a stalemate.

An inquiring mind might wonder how a marriage holds up under such divisive religious differences.  We compromise.  In this case we skip the prayer altogether.