All Articles For Gritters, Barry

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2016, p. 244. The Christian life: how vital! If being Reformed referred only to what a person believed, being Reformed would be hard enough. But being Reformed has to do with one’s whole life. That not only makes matters harder, it brings our discussion of “What It Means” into a whole new realm—the realm of Christian living. This explains why, in this series of editorials, instead of asking, “What is the Reformed faith?” we have asked, “What does it mean to be Reformed?” To speak only of the Reformed faith could too easily...

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Last year’s Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches instructed the Contact Committee to come to Synod 2016 with a detailed and grounded recommendation about revision of the Psalter. Synod did not express herself on whether the Psalter should be revised, but asked the Contact Committee to submit a proposal which could be considered at Synod 2016. The subject of Psalter revision arose about five years ago when the Free Reformed Churches (FRC) approached the PRC asking whether our churches would be interested in joining them, along with other denominations who use the Psalter, in updating the Psalter. At that time...

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Previous article in this series: February 15, 2016, p. 221. If being “confessional” means holding the traditions, maintaining the old paths, and not removing the ancient landmarks, how can a Reformed church be “always reforming”? If being Reformed is embracing the confessions—both ancient and Reformational—what use is the motto “always reforming”? Can the church truly be always reforming? The confessions are the tried and tested expressions of our faith. Without changing the confessions, how can a Reformed church reform? Or does the charge stick, that the confessions are simply the “Paper Pope” of Protestantism—infallible and unchangeable? Is it, in fact,...

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Previous article in this series: December 1, 2015, p. 101. As we now pass the 90th anniversary of the Protestant Reformed Churches, I remind us that these editorials began as a call to be faithful to our name and our roots. I have been explaining that to be Reformed, a church must be Covenantal, Calvinistic, Confessional, and have a proper view of both the Church and of the Christian life. For the sake of memory, these five essential elements begin with the letter “C.” Elders and ministers (who rule) as well as all the members of churches who identify as...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2015, p. 77. The church that is Reformed is also a confessional church. That is, the church officially embraces, genuinely believes, and actively teaches the Reformed confessions in her life. For the PRCA, these creeds are the Three Forms of Unity and the ancient ecumenical creeds in these confessions.1 We have shown so far that to be Reformed is to be Covenantal, to be Calvinistic, and to have a proper view of the Church. The fourth “C” I am proposing is Confessional. That is, if a person properly identifies himself as Reformed, he...

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Previous article in this series: October 15, 2015, p. 29. Am I Reformed? Is my church Reformed? These are important questions for those who identify as such. And these are the questions we have been answering in this series of editorials—partly because being Reformed is somewhat faddish these days, and many “New Calvinists” are not Reformed, even if they make that claim. It’s not that they are as fake as the “Siwss-Made” watch my brother bought for five dollars in Mexico when we were boys (no, in our excitement we did not notice the misspelling), a watch certainly not Swiss-made...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2015, p. 5. As a Reformed Christian, I love the church of Jesus Christ. And love for the church commits me, as it does all Reformed Christians, to devotion to the church. So much is devotion to God’s church a part of being Reformed that, if I did not love the church, my profession of being Reformed would be empty. We saw last time that this is the teaching of the Reformed creeds. The True Church A Reformed believer’s love for the church, however, is not a love for any church. His love...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2015, p. 365. Introduction For some Christians these days it’s almost trendy to claim a Reformed identity. But being Reformed takes more than claiming “I am Reformed,” just as being a Christian does not come from saying “I am Christian.” Being trendy is not what we are about. All of us who have “Reformed” in the name of our church need to be concerned that we are indeed Reformed. In these editorials1 I have suggested that to summarize accurately what it means to be a Reformed Christian, we must emphasize and be committed...

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At the PR seminary this past June, as takes place every year, the Standard Bearer Staff (all the writers) met to plan the next volume year, which begins with this issue—October 1. There are very few changes for the upcoming year. A few (younger) ministers have been asked to write guest articles. One writer, Rev. C. Griess, has asked for a year off. Otherwise, the writers and rubrics remain the same. Welcome back! The SB staff approved two special issues. First, our annual Reformation issue, coming soon. This year, 2015, the writers will treat the history leading up to the...

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2015, p. 340. There is one more implication of Calvinism that deserves treatment on its own. Last time we saw that Calvinism’s doctrines of grace, genuinely embraced, will lead to humility—humble worship, humble assurance, and humble treatment of others. That is, proud worship, proud assurance, and haughty treatment of others may be traced back to a counterfeit Calvinism. We also saw that genuine Calvinism leads to those Christian graces of godly living, and not to what opponents of Calvinism charge. Being militant Calvinism is also militant. In fact, militancy is not so much an implication of Calvinism...

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