All Articles For Langerak, William

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In the U.S. the last holiday of summer is Labor Day. Ironically, it is celebrated by not working, which reflects also its origin by labor unions who coerce businesses to cough up maximum pay for minimum labor. Scripture says much about labor. Little is welcome by labor unions except, perhaps, “the laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7) or its condemnation of greedy employers, especially those who gain wealth by defrauding their employees (James 5:4). At first glance, Scripture seems to take a rather dim view of labor. Labor is the biblical word that emphasizes the arduous, backbreaking, endless...

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The gospel of man proclaims that he can do much, more even than God. The gospel of man proclaims God the Father wills to save all men, God the Son died to save all men, and God the Spirit offers salvation to all men and gives them grace to believe. But God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is unable to save them all because man is able to resist and overcome His grace. The gospel of Jesus proclaims something entirely different. Natural man, ungodly man, unregenerated man, is not able. He is not able to live, move, or have...

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For some strange reason many Christians seem to think God prefers the color black. It’s almost exclu­sively how they see themselves or God’s creation, and it’s usually what they wear or the only color approved for worship. But everyone bought with Christ’s blood should love red. No color more richly, vibrantly, and beautifully expresses the whole of our life—both in the flesh and in the Spirit. With this one color, God symbolizes our life in the earth, our sins in the flesh, His fierce wrath against sin, the precious means of atonement, and the joy of a redeemed life. Without...

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The word God itself actually tells us very little about God. Its root idea and etymology are disputed. Its meaning is generic. Its use is not limited to Scripture, or even as a reference to the one true God. Theologians rarely treat the word itself, but usually apply various teachings of Scripture overall to the divine being, and then often using so many Latin and philosophical terms that the fascinating, warm, and instructive use of the word God in Scripture is lost. The danger is that the triune, true, and living God to whom it alone belongs becomes distant, cold,...

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God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. This is the fundamental, glorious message that Jesus revealed and His church declares (I John 1:5). God is light. But light is not God. Light is a creature. In the beginning God said, “Let there be light!” That light He divided from the darkness, called it day, and it was good (Gen. 1:2).

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cracks in the Crescent, by Hussein Hajji Wario. Self-published, 2009. ISBN: 978057800155. Paper, 252 pp. ($15.99). Excerpts and purchasing information at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com. Reviewed by Mark H. Hoeksema. The ingenious title of this book is descriptive of its content. By “crescent,” the author obviously refers to the symbol of Islam. And his purpose is clearly to expose the ‘cracks’ or defects in this widely practiced and growing religion. This he does with admirable success by means of autobiography, which comprises most of this book. Carefully using the vehicle of...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Divided by a Common Heritage: The Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America at the Beginning of the New Millennium, by Corwin Smidt, Donald Luidens, James Penning, and Roger Nemeth. Eerdmans (2006). Paper. ISBN: 978-0802803856. Reviewed by Prof. David J. Engelsma. The intelligentsia in the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) desire the reunion of the two denominations. Work goes on, mostly quietly and behind the scenes, to achieve the merger. The issues that occasioned the split in 1857...

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Let the Nations Be Glad, by John Piper. 2nd ed. Baker Academic (2003). 256pp. Paper. ISBN: 978-00801026133. Reviewed by Dr. Julian Kennedy (Ballymena, Northern Ireland). John Piper is a pastor and writer with two passions, first, to know God, and second, to make Him known. This book, revised and expanded from when first published in 1993, highlights these two biblical passions as he sets out to prove that God’s great purpose in creation and redemption is His own glory, and that we as His people will experience His fellowship as we aim for that same goal, by making worshiping disciples...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Martin Bucer: A Reformer and His Times, by Martin Greschat. Tr. Stephen E. Buckwalter. Westminster John Knox Press (2004). ISBN: 978-0664226909. Paper. Reviewed by David J. Engelsma. This is a fine, well-written, and authoritative account of the life, work, and theology of the important, if secondary, Reformer Martin Bucer. Bucer was an early convert of Martin Luther, an instructor in important respects ofJohn Calvin, and a Reformer in his own right. Greschat’s work, originally published in German in 1990, is the first biography of Bucer in seventy...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Henry J. Kuiper: Shaping the Christian Reformed Church, 1907-1962, by James A. De Jong. Eerdmans (2007). ISBN: 978-0-8028- 2585-8. Paper. Reviewed by David J. Engelsma. President-emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary James A. De Jong has written an interesting account of the life and work of influential Christian Reformed minister Henry J. Kuiper. Because of the prominence of “HJK,” the book affords as well a fascinating look at the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) during the years of Kuiper’s ministry, from 1904, when Kuiper entered what would now be...

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