The Case of Dr. Edwin Walhout
Amongst my books is this volume published by the Association of Christian Reformed Laymen. It was a gift to me from the late Gilbert Zekveld. This book is important because it chronicles many of problems that existed in the CRC during a tumultuous decade. For those who wish to learn from history, this is an invaluable and rare resource.
In 1976, a CRC Synod appointed Dr. Edwin Walhout as the “Editor of Adult Education.” In this capacity, he would be responsible for the production of adult education resources for the CRC. His appointment was not without controversy. Why? Because Dr. Walhout had an unorthodox and low view of Scripture. In 1972, he had written an article for the Reformed Journal entitled “Some Theses on Biblical Authority.” This article raised eyebrows with CRC conservatives.
Amongst other things, Walhout put forward these statements regarding the relationship between science and Scripture:
“The data that science discovers are as truly infallible as the data of the Bible, and if there should appear to be some conflict or discrepancy we ought to be willing to allow each area of God’s revelation to speak authoritatively to us.”
It was these kinds of statements that led men like Rev. John Kruis to oppose Walhout’s appointment. Yet the opposition was to no avail. Already by 1976, things were too far gone in the CRC. Men would be appointed to positions of influence even when they were blatantly breaking their vows of subscription.
Now maybe you’re wondering: where have I heard this name of Dr. Edwin Walhout before? That would have been right here.