The Bridgeport National Bindery in Agawam, Massachusetts, the bindery chosen to save Marv Wilson's Bible ("Saving Marv's Bible," Summer 2006), was begun by my father, Magnus Larsen (now deceased). My brother Jim Larsen and I now run the company and are dedicated to doing business in a Christ-honoring way. But here is the rest of the story: Jim first met Dr. Wilson as his counselor in 1958 at Camp Brookwoods for Boys in New Hampshire. Jim was 12 years old then, and "Uncle Marv," as he was affectionately known, was in his 20s. Later Jim had Dr. Wilson as his Bible professor at Barrington. There is no question in my mind that the driving force behind our restoration of Marv's Bible was my brother's deep, abiding respect for Dr. Wilson, both as an impressionable young camper and as an equally impressionable college student. We are both deeply appreciative of "Uncle Marv," who has been faithful to his God and his students over the long haul of a life well lived.
--Pastor Marty Larsen '70B
Editor's note: Thanks for sharing these memories of Dr. Wilson's influence on your family's life. The story certainly illustrates the power of one individual to shape and inspire. We're grateful for the continuing influence of Dr. Wilson and his colleagues at Gordon.
Regarding the article "Beach Reading at Best?" (Summer 2006, by David Mathewson and Steven Hunt), I would question the authors' recommendation that in order to get involved in this conversation people "must have the courage to read the book and/or see the movie." Did Jesus have to study the doctrines of demons to confront the demons? The Apostle Paul admonishes us in Philippians 4 to meditate on whatsoever things are true, honorable, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy. He also said "If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed" (RSV). We should rather meditate on God's Word so we have an answer for everyone regarding the truth of Christ--Who He is, what He accomplished for us, and what He is now doing at the Father's right hand.
Editor's note: Not everyone can in good conscience read The DaVinci Code, nor are all of us called to get into the conversation about this book and its claims. On the other hand, our Lord knew very well the false teaching of Pharisees and Sadducees, and Paul knew and quoted pagan poets. So if we want to engage those whose writings or teachings communicate lies and half-truths, we must know who they are and what they actually say in order to "give an answer for the hope that is in us" (I Peter 3:15b).
I would like to comment on President Carlberg's "Up Front" column ("Expanding Interfaith Conversation in a Post-9/11 World," Summer 2006). Dr. Carlberg states that "fundamentalism, wherever it is found, distorts, destroys and denigrates God's creation." The truth is that, as a label, "fundamentalism" is found in many places with many meanings. As a charismatic, liberal-arts educated, amicable Christian, I have been surprised to find myself feeling the barb of the label "fundamentalist" simply because I believe that Jesus was telling the truth when He said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me" (John 14:6). Perhaps rather than adopting the worst of the world's definitions, we should discuss the meanings of "fundamentalism" and look at the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy within Christianity--from which the term sprang--as a part of our interfaith dialogue.
--Randall Long '94
Editor's note: As we see it, "fundamentalism" has two primary meanings in the history of modern Christianity. The first is that reaffirmation of the five fundamentals of the Christian faith in response to the denial of these basic beliefs by liberal theologians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Gordon College Statement of Faith clearly agrees with these fundamentals of orthodox Christian belief. The second primary meaning is cultural. In reaction to the ethical confusion in early 20th-century American culture and the social gospel of major denominational leaders, many fundamentalists began to call for separation from the culture and from any and all denominations, congregations and individual Christians with whom they disagreed. Gordon College unabashedly holds to the fundamental beliefs of our historic orthodox and evangelical faith, while rejecting all forms of fundamentalism that would add legalistic rules to the gospel of grace expressed in the Word of God.