All Articles For Cammenga, Ronald

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Beginning a new school year On Tuesday, August 24, 2020 the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary opened its doors for a new academic year. Although we are still under strict mandates in Michigan, we are very thankful that we can meet again in our classrooms. While maintaining the new ‘normal,’ with its emphasis on sanitizing, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, we have been relieved of teaching our classes via Zoom or relying on prerecorded lectures. That was the way in which the 2019-2020 school year ended. We are grateful that we do not have to return to distance-learning measures. Professors...

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Over against the Reformed believer’s confession of the infallibility of Scripture, it is often alleged that the Bible contains contradictions. The line of argument of these critics is that since there are contradictions in the Bible, it cannot be the Word of God—the Word of God in the words of men. The response of the Reformed Christian must be to insist that there are no real contradictions in Scripture, but only apparent contradictions. This is the presupposition of faith. There may be discrepancies in the Bible, but there is always an explanation for these discrepancies. As the Word of God,...

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Letters from Katie Luther: A Novel, by Shirley Casemier. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2020. $14.95. 208 pp. (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. Ronald Cammenga.] Letters from Katie Luther is a delightful book. It is a book written for young people by an author, who although in her eighties, is young at heart—very young at heart. Not only will young people profit from this book about the life of Katie Luther, but readers will learn much about her famous husband, the great Reformer Martin Luther. Through Katie’s eyes, we are given insights that only a wife and mother could have....

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2020, p. 327. Man Is Not Capable of Good Per Se In regard to goodness and virtue man’s reason does not judge rightly of itself concerning divine things. For the evangelical and apostolic Scripture requires regeneration of whoever among us wishes to be saved. Hence our first birth from Adam contributes nothing to our salvation. Paul says: “The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14). And in another place he denies that we of our­selves are capable of thinking anything good (2 Cor. 3:5). Now...

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Previous article: May 15, 2017, p. 370 At bottom, the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century was a return to the supreme authority of Holy Scripture. The Latin phrases coined by the Reformers to express their conviction were sola Scriptura and prima Scriptura. Scripture alone is the rule of faith and life. What Christians believe and how they live is determined only by Scripture. Scripture rules over the individual believer and over the church as a whole. It rules over the local church and over all church assemblies and councils. Nothing apart from Scripture need be believed or obeyed, and...

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In this matter, which has always produced many conflicts in the Church, we teach that a threefold condition or state of man is to be considered. What Man Was Before the Fall. There is the state in which man was in the beginning before the fall, namely, upright and free, so that he could both continue in goodness and decline to evil. However, he declined to evil, and has involved himself and the whole human race in sin and death, as has been said already. The threefold condition of man is his condition before the Fall, his condition after the...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2019, p. 15. Benefits of written communication God has chosen to reveal Himself to men through written language. Even apart from the miracle of divine inspiration, written language is an amazing form of communication. To be sure, throughout history it has often been subverted into the service of the lie, from false advertising to Nazi propaganda to outright denial of the truths of the Word of God. But at the same time, it is unparalleled as a means of setting forth the truth. Of all possible forms of communication, the written word is...

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Development of Bullinger’s view The doctrine of the covenant has occupied a large place in the development of the Reformed faith since the days of the Reformation. Much of the impetus for this development is to be credited to the Swiss Reformers, particularly to Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575). More than anyone before him, he gave a large place to the doctrine of the covenant. Bullinger was the first Reformed theologian to write an entire treatise on the covenant of grace. His De Testamento Seu Foedere Dei Unico Et Aeterno Brevis Expositio (A Brief Exposition of the One and Eternal Testament or...

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(This special submission is the text of the sermon preached by Prof. Cammenga on the occasion of the installation of Rev. Brian Huizinga as professor of theology in the PR Theological Seminary on September 4, 2019.) “… whose I am, and whom I serve.” Acts 27:23b Introduction Whose are you? And whom do you serve? Those are the two most important questions in the entire world. They are the two most important questions that every child of God must face. They are the two most important questions that every minister of the gospel must face. And they are the two...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2019, p. 303. In our last article, we introduced the final important truth with regard to Holy Scripture that we intend to consider in this series: the Spirit’s work of illumination. Among all the other works of the Holy Spirit in connection with Scripture is the Spirit’s work of illumination. This is the Spirit’s work in the believer that results in the opening of his eyes and enlightening his understanding. The fruit of this work of the Spirit is that the child of God receives Holy Scripture as the Word of God. It...

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