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All Articles For Gritters, Barry

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Rev. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan. In other words, the ruling elders should encourage, advise, and give constructive criticism to the pastor in his role as chief teaching elder for the congregation. The pulpit can be a lonely place. The pastor who stands there from week to week without such support from his fellow elders is called to bear a burden too heavy for one pair of shoulders. (Lawrence Eyres, in The Elders of the Church)One great encouragement in my ministry is that there always has been at least one elder in the consistory...

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Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) may be very thankful for denominational unity. They may be grateful for the denomination. That other denominations may have become hierarchical in their synods is no reason for members of the PRC to reject denominational structure. Cautious of the misuse of authority, the PRC work in these broader gatherings in obedience to Jesus Christ, who calls churches to labor together in the cause of the gospel. On June 13, 2005, in Byron Center, and at the invitation of Byron Center PRC, the PRC synod will take up her agenda for the sake of...

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2005, p. 316. Lack of preachers in the church world, felt also in the PRC, motivates God’s people to pray more fervently: “Lord of the harvest, thrust out (see previous editorial) laborers into the harvest…. Graciously move men to prepare for the gospel ministry…. Provide us pastors after Thine Own heart (Jer. 3:15)…. Ride forth, victorious White Horse of the gospel!!” Especially vacant churches feel this lack. Some feel it more keenly than others. Churches with regular preaching from retired ministers or the seminary do not experience the lack as a great hardship....

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The Protestant Reformed Churches need (indeed, all churches need) preachers. They need preachers soon. The need is till the end of time. For the pulpits in the congregations—one-fifth of them now vacant—and the mission fields, the churches pray to the Lord Christ, “Send pastors!” In the previous editorial (April 1, 2005), I explained why the church places such high value on the gift of faithful preachers. By ministers who are faithful, God perfects saints, performs essential ministry, edifies the body of Christ. This institution of Christ must be preserved among us by God if we are to continue as churches....

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Christ’s church needs preachers. She is no employment agency or recruitment center that uses flashy ads and promises of earthly bonuses. She is the church. As church, she sends out the cry: “We need preachers!” She urges the Head of the church, the Lord of the harvest: “Send labourers!” (Matt. 9:38; Luke 10:2). She asks, seeks, and knocks, so that God will give her what she needs. The church needs preachers. The PRC feel this (enduring) need in a sharp way at present. With five vacant pulpits, over a thousand members are without an undershepherd. In addition, the Lord has removed...

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Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, by John Bunyan (1628-1688). Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2004 (first published in 1681, and republished in Bunyan’s Works, Volume 1, Banner of Truth, 1991). 230 pp. (paper). $8.99. [Reviewed by Prof. Barrett Gritters.] The Calvinistic Puritan John Bunyan, best known for his Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote a fine exposition of John 6:37, which the Banner of Truth has recently republished in a small paperback. If the reader is hesitant to pick up a Puritan work because of expected tedium, he may find himself happily surprised at the sound exegesis, pointed applications, and non-tedious reading....

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Light for the City: Calvin’s Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty by Lester DeKoster. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004. 139 pp. (paper). $20.00. [Reviewed by Prof. Barrett L. Gritters.] Calvin scholar Lester De Koster has produced a small work whose thesis, apparent in the title, comes out more clearly in his “Forewarning,” as he puts it. First he lets Calvin speak: “It certainly is the part of the Christian man to ascend higher than merely to seek and secure the salvation of his own soul.” Then De Koster, rhetorically: “Merely” the soul? Yes, so he said. And “higher”...

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Prof. Gritters is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. “Let your joy in God be stronger than your sadness in sin.” (Luther, on Philippians 4) “The highest and best part of a happy life consists in this, that God forgives a man’s guilt, and receives him graciously into his favour.” “The Holy Spirit has exhorted the faithful to continue clapping their hands for joy, until the advent of the promised Redeemer.” (Calvin, on the Psalms) Come unfaithful sons of the Reformation (preachers) have removed the ancient landmarks, so that their flocks wander about, doubtful of what is their...

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Prof. Gritters is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. The beginning of faith is humility…  (Calvin, on Isaiah) The whole humility of man consists in the knowledge of himself.  (Calvin, on the Psalms) The grimmest evil in this sad world is the evil of pride. In the maelstrom of that root sin that thrashes families and marriages, divides churches, and separates very friends, God’s power is most evident when He graces His people with humility. If you believe that, you have reason to give serious consideration to what the Reformer said, “The beginning of faith is humility,”...

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Rev. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan. This Meditation is the text of the pre-synodical sermon preached by Rev. Gritters in First PRC on June 11, 2001. Esteemed brethren of synod and beloved church of Jesus Christ, if the PRC are anything, they are churches that by the grace of God preach the grace of God—sovereign, irresistible, particular grace, in Jesus, God’s Messiah. If the PRC desire to be known by something, they desire to be known as churches willing to deny themselves and take up their cross for the sake of the defense of...

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