Area churches call on Western to cancel Wickman, evolution-promoting chapel

Western Christian is hosting Dr. Leslie Wickman to speak about science and faith on Monday, March 26 at 9 a.m. Progressive Reformation Iowa was made aware of a letter sent from the Consistory of Cornerstone URC of Sanborn, Iowa, an area church that supports Western Christian. It is also reported that Rock Valley URC and other URC churches are a part of this as well.

The letter is asking Western Christian to cancel the scheduled chapel with Dr. Wickman:

“We ask that for the sake of the truth of Scripture, for the sake of being in accord with our Three Forms of Unity, for the sake of our Reformed heritage, and for the sake of upholding the faithful message that Dr. Terry Mortenson presented, that you, Principal (Dan) Barkel, and you, the WCHS Board, cancel the scheduled chapel date with Dr. Leslie Wickman, and replace it with something that will serve the nurture and admonition of our children in the Lord Jesus.”

Wickman’s potential presentation has drawn ire from Christians in the area, prompting an email sent to Western Christian parents from principal Dan Barkel. The chief concern of having Wickman is that she is polished in making it sound as though there should be an ongoing dialogue and struggle with evolution in the Bible. Speakers like Wickman don’t aggressively promote evolution, but they talk about the necessary struggle with evolution. Parents at Western are paying a lot of money for biblical science classes, yet people like Wickman bring doubt to these biblical truths.

It has also been said that Brittany DeRuyter, a Dordt College lab instructor, asked Western Christian to bring in Dr. Wickman. Other Dordt College professors have had issues with their views on Creation brought to light recently.

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The letter from the church says, “based on Dr. Wickman’s publications, interviews, and other writings that appear in print and online, we perceive that Dr. Wickman is an advocate of (at least some form of) theistic Evolution, as well as the theory that the universe is multiple billions of years old.”

The letter continues, “we believe this to be deeply concerning, as such a position is contrary to the Holy Scriptures (both Old Testament and New Testament), our Reformed Confessions (the Three Forms of Unity), the general history of Reformed theology when it comes to a proper understanding of creation, and what Dr. Terry Mortenson had previously presented.”

Western Christian sent out a message saying that “Western Christian High School desires to expose our students to various perspectives in regard to the origins of Creation.”

The letter from the church says, “we find that to be contrary to the purpose of what a Reformed Christian day school should have as its goal; for when it comes to the nurture and instruction of our covenant youth, the aim should be to ground them in the truth of God’s Word in all areas of their studies, not to provide a smorgasbord of competing ideas and give them the impression that any of them are for the taking. Presenting ‘competing ideas’ to our young people, both of which are being advocated by learned scholars in their respective fields, seems to be irresponsible. At the very least, it sends a message of confusion.”