All Articles For Gritters, Barry

Results 61 to 70 of 217

This is the second half of the Convocation address delivered on September 10, 2014. Previous article in this series: November 15, 2014, p. 77. “By these words, Paul means that the church is the faithful keeper of God’s truth in order that it may not perish in the world. For by its ministry and labor God willed to have the preaching of his word kept pure and to show himself the Father of a family while he feeds us with spiritual food and provides everything that makes for our salvation.” (Calvin’s Institutes). And, “In consequence, this commendation applies to the ministry of the Word;...

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(An expanded version of this convocation address is being prepared for publication in our seminary’s Theological Journal.) Who will train your and your children’s future ministers? Who will govern the institution where your pastors are trained? This question is more difficult and more important than you might realize—also for the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC), which might surprise you. Will you and your church train them, as you and your church band together with other churches of like precious faith, instituting a denominational, ecclesiastical seminary? Or will an organization, not from the church, and not governed by the church—a para-church organization—train them? The...

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Welcome to volume 91 of the Standard Bearer! The new volume year brings some significant changes to the magazine. First, not so significant, there will be a small increase in our subscription price. The last increase was seven years ago, so we are not surprised or disappointed that this is necessary. We hope you agree that the magazine is worth the $2 increase to $23 per year. Thank you for your subscription and support of the Standard Bearer. As reported last issue, Mr. Ben Wigger will no longer be our news editor. Again, and from all of us, Thank you...

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In the age of the Internet where most news travels “faster than a speeding bullet,” it’s hardly necessary for an SB editorial to report the decisions of Synod 2014. The student examination (the bulk of synod’s first two days) was streamed live, and summaries of each day’s business were given by synod’s clerk, so that for those who are interested (and have access to a computer) the news of synod is old by now. For those who would yet like to see the daily reports—and many pictures of the delegates of Synod 2014—please go to prca.org, click on “About” and...

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It’s the way of wisdom for Christian parents to prepare themselves and their children for persecution, and now more than ever. I believe it becomes clearer each year, if not each month, that the church will soon become the object of terrible oppression. I’ll explain why, shortly. It is our Lord Jesus’ wisdom to prepare our children for persecution. His regular instruction included forewarning of persecution: the people of God should expect to be betrayed, afflicted, hated of all nations, and killed. Jesus called it “tribulation” in Matthew 24. The church has called it The Great Tribulation. Jesus’ apostles repeated...

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I speak for God’s people in the Protestant Reformed Churches, and for our friends: We love to sing the psalms. One of our great joys when we assemble on the Lord’s Day is the privilege of “psalm-singing” the praises of God. How impoverished would our worship be without singing, and how very poor would it be if the singing were without psalms. As long as our worship is not merely drawing nigh to God with our lips (and hearts far distant), psalm-singing makes for a rich worship. And we feel rich. With this special issue, and with this editorial, we...

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You have in your hands a special issue on the church’s long-treasured practice of singing psalms in public worship. Although our Psalter’s anniversary was not in view when we planned the issue, 2014 does mark 100 years since our fathers adopted the 1912 Psalter for use in the churches. God’s faithfulness explains our continuing in psalm-singing. The logic of the articles should not be missed. First, Rev. James Slopsema, one of our long-time writers of meditations, helps us reflect on God’s Word in the psalms. The editorial encourages us in the use of this songbook called “the Psalms” and the...

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Although I would be heck­led off the podium at most Christian universities and even Reformed colleges if I began a speech with such a line, I still confess with all the conviction my heart can muster: “Heaven is still my hope. Heaven is still my home.” As the year of our Lord 2014 begins, my prayer for you, readers of the Standard Bearer, is that you still hope for heaven, too. We look to the future and em­brace what our hearts are set on: heaven. As the world becomes increasingly wicked, we await with joyful anticipation our life in the...

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Previous article in this series: December 1, 2013, p. 101. The terrible failure of many churches to exercise dis­cipline is putting them on the path to becoming the false church. Scarce are the churches today that are willing to engage in this “disagreeable necessity”1 of Christian discipline for the honor of God. The few who do carry out this biblical calling are criticized as unloving and harsh. As with most matters of obe­dience to God, the obedience of carrying out discipline is costly. Besides the slander, the cost also often involves the heartbreaking putting out of members who may be...

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“Rare as a white crow” is Abraham Kuyper’s description of how scarce discipline was in the church of his day. It was as rare as a white crow. I have seen a lot of crows in my life. We used to hunt crows once in a while in the orange groves outside of town. Waves of crows—“murders” of them, as they say—flew out of the foothills in the evenings to scavenge in the landfills at night. Never saw a white crow. And that was Kuyper’s point. In the Netherlands of his day (1837-1920), Kuyper claimed, discipline was that rare. In...

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