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All Articles For Koole, Kenneth

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As indicated when we ended our previous editorial (Jan. 1, 2021), we intended in this editorial to quote Witsius’ conclusion to his book Antinomians and Neonomians. It is a conclusion worth quoting in full, one written in an irenic spirit but with firmness, laying down what must characterize Reformed theology in the interests of gospel preaching if it is to remain fully biblical. Witsius has deep insight into what must be preserved and insisted upon if the gospel of grace is to be fully preached, which means not neglecting the exhortations unto godliness (commands unto all good works) that must...

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We concluded our last editorial (Dec. 15) with a lengthy quote from Witsius’ book Antinomians and Neonomians.1 His assessment of the controverted material was, “In the matter [of the disputation I was asked to assess], there is that [which] I approve, and what I disapprove” (161). What he approved was the antinomians’ desire and goal, namely, “that men may be called off from all presumption upon their own righteousness, and trained up to the exercise of generous piety, which flows from the pure fountain of Divine love” (161). An admirable and proper desire. But there was that which Witsius did...

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We come to the heart of the antinomian controversy in England in the late 1600s, that which was most ‘warmly’ disputed among the Protestant theologians and in their congregations, namely, “the utility of holiness,” as Witsius labels it.1 This is simply another way of referring to good works and their place in the life and salvation of the redeemed: their benefit, their usefulness, their incentive, and even in what sense they are necessary. It was an area of dispute (one that has always retained that potential) because of what Rome made of good works, namely, meritorious works. A whole misbegotten...

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We continue our consideration of Herman Witsius and his little book, Antinomians and Neonomians.1 The book is a treatise dealing with controversial issues that sorely divided the Protestant churches in Britain, issues that the English theologians sent to Witsius, seeking his help in answering and, hopefully, resolving. The issues ranged from what the imputation of man’s sin to Christ meant for His sinless character and person; from whether faith and repentance were really even necessary for the elect, seeing they were united to Christ from all eternity by God’s decree; to the need in the preaching of stressing the importance...

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In the next few editorials we will be quoting Herman Witsius and offering some comments on those quotes. Who was Herman Witsius? A renown Reformed, Dutch theologian of the seventeenth century (1636- 1708). He was a younger contemporary of the better- known theologians, Gijsbert Voetius and Johannes Cocceius—that is, better known to us. In his day, Witsius was as well known and respected as either of those men for his piety and biblical learning. In fact, what added to his reputation was his attempt to reconcile Voetius and Cocceius in their bitter differences over various issues theological and political, though...

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The Reformation penetrated France along with the rest of Europe as the writings of Luther were distributed far and wide. Many a Frenchman, as well as their families, was converted from Catholicism to the biblical, apostolic faith. The outstanding case, of course, was the conversion of the young Jean Calvinus himself in the 1520s to the “Calvinistic” faith, by which we mean, to confessing salvation by grace alone, sovereign and irresistible, and the Scriptures as the final authority in all matters of doctrine and life. The papal mass was to be condemned as an accursed idolatry and meritorious work-righteousness rejected...

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Who Is to Blame for the Scandal of Rome’s Priests (OR: What Else Would One Expect?) In the wake of Rome’s sex-abuse scandal the U.S. conference of Catholic bishops undertook an in­vestigation into the allegations against its priests and the irrespon­sible response of its Bishops. The results have recently been pub­lished. According to the study, the bishops concluded that 4,392 priests allegedly have abused more than 10,000 victims over a 50-year time span. [You may be sure this is the most favorable estimation (and spin) possible.] What is noteworthy is that the study was honest enough to ac­knowledge that the...

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In our previous article, written to bring the reader up to date on our work as Contact Committee (CC), we focused on our contacts with churches with whom we stand in formal ecclesiastical relationships, sister churches or in a corresponding relationship. In this article we report on contacts we have with churches and groups with whom we have no formal re­lationship as yet, some of recent vintage, a couple of others of longer duration, but groups of believers that have reached out to us either to explore the possibility of establishing formal relations someday or for assistance in development in...

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As we stand near the beginning of a new year, the year of our Lord 2020, it is appropriate to consider the church universal, and, along with that, our denomination’s contact with small but greatly varied manifestations of it. Be they ever so small, they are ever so important. An important element of our prayers during this coming year (as it ought to have been in past years) should be for the church universal, of which the PRCA are only a small part. I still remember visiting an old saint in her mid-90s in a rest home in Artesia, California,...

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For in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17 For the wages of sin is death….Romans 6:23 Since by man came death…. As in Adam all die….I Corinthians 15:21, 22 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and the name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed with him….Revelation 6:8 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. I Corinthians 15:26 Death, death, death. It marches through Scripture like a seemingly invincible army and down through history invades life like a monster with an insatiable appetite. Once it fixes its gaze...

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