All Articles For Kuiper, Douglas J

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On March 4, 2015, the thirty delegates to Classis West met in the Doon, IA PRC. The day dawned sunny, clear, cold, and windy—a typical winter morning on the eastern edge of the plains. Inside, the delegates enjoyed warm fellowship. Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) opened the session by reading I Timothy 4:11-16, and giving a meditation on verse 16. The young pastor reminded the delegates of the need both to be diligent in our labors, and to be personal examples of godliness, assuring us from God’s Word that in this way we will enjoy God’s blessing on us personally...

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And when they had ordained them elders in every church…. (Acts 14:23) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. (Titus 1:5) The fact that a man is qualified to be an elder in Christ’s church does not, by itself, make him an elder. Nor has he become an elder by virtue of being designated by the council of a church or being chosen by the congregation to be an elder. Until the church of Jesus Christ ordains...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2014, p. 135. In preceding articles we have now commented on every qualification of the office of elder mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Even that qualification that we consider here, “apt to teach” (I Tim. 3:2), we have already examined as part of the broader subject of the elder’s relationship to the truth. But this particular qualification raised more questions than we had time to answer in our last article. Does this qualification apply only to the church’s pastors (“teaching elders,” to use the term commonly used by Presbyterians), or...

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Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: Volume 4, 1600-1693, edited by James T. Dennison, Jr. (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2014). Pp. 752. Hardcover. $50.00. [Reviewed by Douglas J. Kuiper.] Overview With this volume, James Dennison concludes his project of translating and compiling Reformed Confessions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The first three volumes contained 91 confessions dating from 1525 to 1599. This final volume contains another 36 confessions, all dating from the 1600s. Each confession is preceded by an introduction, which gives the historical background and tells us where else that confession...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2014, p. 12. Explaining I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9, we have noted in past articles that elders in the church of Jesus Christ must be 1) adult male members of the church; 2) blameless men, who cannot be charged with any grave fault, and who are godly in all aspects of their life; 3) men who, when they are married and have children, enjoy the kind of relationship with their wives and children which indicates that they love with the love of Christ, and are wise, devoted, mature, and able to rule...

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As a general rule, the pastors of our churches in Classis West look forward to a meeting of Classis. If the great distance between our churches can be called a chasm to fellowship, the meetings of Classis are the bridge. Some of our colleagues we have not seen in the six months since our last meeting! Two factors heightened our anticipation for the meeting of Classis West on September 24, 2014, at Peace PRC, in Lansing, IL. The first was the scheduling of an officebearers conference on Tuesday, September 23. This meant that we had an opportunity for intellectual/spiritual stimulation,...

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Previous article in this series: August 2014, p. 446. Studying the qualifications of elders in Christ’s church, we have already examined those qualifications regarding his gender (he must be male), his blamelessness (the fundamental spiritual qualification), and his relationship to his wife and children. Several of the qualifications mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 regard the elder’s relationship to others, both within and outside of the church. Both passages emphasize that he must be a hospitable man: I Timothy 3:2 says he must be “given to hospitality,” and Titus 1:8 says he must be “a lover of hospitality”—which...

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2014, p. 349. In our last article we began treating those qualifications of the office of elder that relate to his family life. The elder must be “the husband of one wife” and have “his children in subjection with all gravity” (I Tim. 3:2, 4; Titus 1:6). In that article we asked whether God requires the elder to be a married man and a father. We concluded that God does permit unmarried men, as well as married men without children, to be elders. But more must be said about these qualifications. What, positively,...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2014, p. 253. The fundamental qualification of the elder is that he be “blameless” (I Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:6). By giving further qualifications for the office, the inspired apostle indicates that the elder’s blamelessness must be manifest in his personal life, as well as in his relationship to his wife and children: “A bishop then must be…the husband of one wife,…having his children in subjection with all gravity” (I Tim. 3:2, 4). These statements assume that the elder will have a wife and children. Before examining their positive significance, let us ask whether...

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Two debuts characterized the March 5, 2014 meeting of Classis West. Rev. Cory Griess served as president for his first time, proving himself capable in leading the broader assembly in its work. And Heritage PRC of Sioux Falls, SD joined the list of churches that have hosted meetings of Classis West. Capably, graciously, with smiles, Heritage’s women put on a fine lunch. I shouldn’t be surprised if Classis accepts another invite to meet there some year. In September 1969, Classis West decided not only that its opening devotions should include Scripture reading and prayer, but also that its devotions should...

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