All Articles For Engelsma, David

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As the conclusion of this se­ries of editorials on the cov­enant of God in Christ with believers and their children, I sum up for the benefit of the reader what has come to light in the dis­cussion. The editorials have been a re­sponse to an advocate of the doc­trine of a conditional covenant with every physical child of believers. This doctrine holds that God makes His covenant by promise with ev­ery child at baptism, but that the promise depends for its realization, or efficacy to save, upon a condi­tion that the child must fulfill. This condition is faith. If a...

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The recent issue of Clarion (March 7, 1997), magazine of the Cana­dian Reformed Churches, contains an article that is of interest to the Protestant Reformed readers of the Standard Bearer. The author, G. Denbok, relates the history of the organization of a PR congregation among the Dutch, “Liberated” immigrants in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1949. Mr. Denbok was one of the twelve male confessing members at that orga­nization. Denbok speaks well of the PR ministers and people involved in the work in Hamilton. The Canadian group were “overjoyed by the love and support” they received from the PRC. They enjoyed...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2014, p. 373. Introduction The preceding article in this series demonstrated that postmillennialism is guilty of explaining the biblical signs of the end of all things as applicable only to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The signs and their reference are past. The signs do not signify, for postmillennialists, the second coming of Jesus in the future and its nearness. The reason for this preterist (that is, “past”) explanation of the biblical signs in Matthew 24 and other places in Scripture is that the biblical signs portend the increase of lawlessness,...

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1834: Hendrik De Cock’s Return to the True Church, by Marvin Kamps. Jenison, MI: RFPA, 2014. Pp. xx + 490. $43.95 hard. [Reviewed by David J. Engelsma.] This is a book about a spiritual hero. One day, God will honor him before all humans, especially before his contemptible enemies—ostensibly colleagues in a Reformed church—who persecuted him, and before the scarcely less contemptible “friends,” who nevertheless refused to join him in his separation from the false church, which would have meant sharing his reproach—the reproach of Christ. The hero was an otherwise very ordinary preacher in the Reformed Church in the...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2014, p. 272. Introduction The first disastrous, practical consequence of the postmillennial error, pointed out in the preceding article in this series, is the diminishing and then the loss of the one Christian hope: the bodily return of Jesus Christ to raise the bodies of elect believers into immortal, heavenly life and to reward the saints with the bliss and glory of the new world. Postmillennialism misdirects the hope of the saints to their future earthly reign in a carnal kingdom. Not only is an earthly reign in a carnal kingdom a pitifully...

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Previous article in this series: February 1, 2014, p. 199. Introduction Contrary to the overconfident declaration of the previ­ous article in this series, that my treatment of postmillen­nialism was ended, I find that several additional articles are required to complete a thorough treatment of the false doctrine. A biblical, creedally Reformed critique of postmil­lennialism has pastoral purposes. It intends to warn Reformed Christians off from this error. It desires to deliver Reformed saints who have been deceived by the false doctrine. For the realization of these purposes, it is not enough to demonstrate that postmillennialism is unbiblical and opposed to...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2013, p. 127. Introduction The preceding article in this series demonstrated that the Reformed confessions not only have not a word of support for postmillennialism but also repudiate this false doctrine. These confessions know only the hope of the second coming of Christ. They also present the kingdom of God as a spiritual, heavenly reign of God in the hearts and lives of elect believers, taking institutional form in the true church. The Second Helvetic Confession (1566) ex­plicitly condemns postmillennialism as “Jewish dreams.” The Westminster Standards, the creeds of Presbyteri­anism, are no more...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2013, p. 467. Introduction Having demonstrated that none of the main passages of Scripture to which postmillennialists appeal supports the erroneous doctrine of the last things, I conclude my Reformed critique of postmillennialism by showing that the error finds no support in the Reformed confessions. In fact, the Reformed confessions expose postmillennial­ism as false doctrine. The Reformed Confessions There is absolutely nothing in the Reformed confes­sions that supports, or even suggests, the eschatological doctrine of a coming “golden age” for the church before the second coming of Jesus Christ—a millennium of the earthly...

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Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat, by James D. Bratt (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013). Pp. xxviii + 455. $30 (paper). [Reviewed by David J. Engelsma.] In his own biography of Abraham Kuyper, which served the purpose of introducing Kuyper to “the general reader” (Abraham Kuyper, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960), Frank Vanden Berg acknowledged the fact and expressed the confidence that “the definitive biography of Dr. Abraham Kuyper must still appear, as it undoubtedly will eventually” (301). With the publication of James D. Bratt’s Abraham Kuyper, the definitive biography of that great, indeed astonishing, man has appeared. Bratt is well qualified...

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Previous article in this series: June 2013, p. 396. Introduction This part of my treatment of postmillennialism consists of a critical examination of the biblical proof put forward by the postmillennialists for their doctrine of the last things. I have already considered their Old Testament proof: the passages that prophesy future glories for Israel, especially Isaiah 65. I have also considered two of the main New Testament passages upon which post­ millennialism rests its case: Matthew 24 and Romans 11:25, 26. In the preceding installment in this series, I began a consideration of another important passage in the New Testament...

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