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    Derek and Wendy van Rensburg

    Wendy Thompson’s 1st year at BI coincided with my last.  We married in 1968 and our only child, Bruce, was born a year later.

    Wendy and Peter Pan

    Wendy and JJ (alias Peter Pan)

    We applied to serve in Nigeria with S.U.M. This coincided with the Nigerian civil war (Eastern Biafran Ibo attempted break-away) and our visas never arrived.

    We spent 3 years at Graaff-Reinet Teacher Training College before taking up a teaching post at Queenstown Primary.

    In 1974 we moved to Somerset West where we’ve been ever since. I taught at Somerset West Primary while Wendy occupied a music post at Hottentots-Holland High.

    After completing my degree with UNISA, I took up the fulltime Biblical Studies post at Hottentots-Holland High. This post fell away with the political transition.

    In 2002 Wendy and I moved into Helderberg Village where we still live very happily 5 minutes away from Bruce, Karin and their daughters Kayla and Jemma.

    We moved from the Baptist Church to CESA where Wendy still worships. I am back in the Dutch Reformed Church which, today, is very different from the old DRC in which I grew up.

    For more than 4 decades, I have been heavily involved in Bible studies and have compiled my own Bible study notes. (Study booklets have become exorbitant !)

    I also wrote the book: “ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN” (1 Corinthians 9:22 in context). Part 1 consists of 6 essays articulating my thinking on certain matters not quite as “conservative” as some of my fellow believers would like. Part 2 consists of Bible studies on 7 canonical Books.

    BI did more than acquaint me with my dear wife. There I learnt how to study; to love Christian books; to appreciate nuances in Christian traditions represented by fellow students; to better grasp the “bottom-lines” binding these differences; to “look in the mirror”. BI taught me much more and probably much of which I am currently unaware. The late John Stott meant much to me. In articulating freedom, he distinguished Fundamentalists (“caged birds”), Liberals (“gas-filled balloons”) and Evangelicals (“kites’). Unlike caged birds, kites are free but, unlike gas-filled balloons, are tethered to the earth. BI taught the basic principles of God’s Revelation to us and, as such, tethered my thinking. BI was a 20th Century tamed version of the 16th Century Protestant Reformation. Alister McGrath’s “CHRISTIANITY’S DANGEROUS IDEA – The Protestant Revolution –  a history from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first” articulates the strength of Protestant denominationalism with this short extract: “The ‘dangerous idea’ lying at the heart of Protestantism is that every individual has the right and responsibility to interpret the Bible. …”. There is strength, not weakness, in our diversity. The weakness is in our intolerance of views at variance with our own.

    The older and uglier I become, the more relevant the Beauty of Jesus Christ to our broken world.

    Derek van Rensburg (JJ)

    Derek and Wendy @ 50 1024x717 768x538