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Second Opinions

Dear Editors,

I'm so glad to receive Antithesis. It is one of the few publications that I try to read through and through. The articles are both thought provoking and enlightening. Thanks for the hard work. God bless you.

Joe Richiusa
Brooklyn, NY

Dear Editors,

I am very impressed with the scholarship shown throughout all the articles. The Church needs this kind of Biblical instruction and admonition. Thank you for the efforts put forth in this much needed ministry.

Chris Clark
Montgomery, AL

Dear Editors,

Thank you for the sample copy of your debut issue of Antithesis. This is the magazine that I and many other Reformed pastors have been waiting for -- one that specializes in the Van Til perspective. This promises to be a very fine publication and is sorely needed.

Rev. John Heaton
Maitland, FL

Dear Editors,

Great publication! It reaffirms my position that our side is doing the serious thinking!

J. Robert Brame III
Richmond, VA

Dear Editors,

Thank you for the complimentary first issue of Antithesis. Some of the articles have been of value to me in my attempts to provide a defense of the faith in a secular academic environment. I am pleased with what I have seen.

Daniel J. de Vries
Worcester, MA

Dear Editors,

With respect to Mr. Greg Bahnsen's article in your first issue ("Church Government Briefly Considered" Vol. I, No. 1), I must reply to his description of the Episcopal form of government.

First, he describes Episcopalianism as "the rule of the church by monarchial bishops." The word "monarchial" is less than accurate. At least in the American Episcopal church, local congregations exercise a degree of autonomy. While the priest is answerable to the Bishop, the congregation is not bound to obey directions from the Bishop. The local vestry, or church board, makes most of the decisions for the congregation.

Next, he says the Bishop "need not be chosen by the people to be their leader, but can be appointed by a higher agency." This is entirely incorrect. When a bishop is to be chosen, a meeting composed of priests and laypeople, representing the parishes in their diocese, meet and elect a new Bishop. As for the "higher agency," there is no agency higher than the Bishop (except, of course, God, but I know that's not what he meant).

He then says that "authority thus rests in the one human priest at the top (a pope or archbishop)." Wrong again. In the American Episcopal church, there is neither pope nor archbishop. There is, however, a Presiding Bishop. But his role is mainly pastoral. He can neither appoint nor dismiss bishops or priests.

Bishops can be removed, but only by other Bishops meeting as the House of Bishops. And this removal process involves laypeople.

Normally, Mr. Bahnsen is very careful in his research. He really blew it in this article. May I suggest he contact an Episcopalian next time he feels moved to make such comments.

Jeffrey Needle
Chula Vista, CA

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