...

All Articles For Looyenga, Brendan

Results 1 to 10 of 14

Just outside the front door of my home is a small ornamental tree that I planted last year. The tree is unusual looking, having a rounded evergreen canopy placed on top of a straight, branchless trunk. In fact, this plant is entirely unnatural, which is why it catches the eye compared to other plants around my home. Instead of being grown as a seedling, it was created by a skilled horticulturalist who grafted a bush-like dwarf pine onto a young white pine trunk. The graft between the two plants is still visible as a bulge near the top of the...

Continue reading

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:16-17 Who are you? Or, perhaps more specifically, how do you define yourself? Is the first thing that comes to mind your ethnicity or skin color? Or is it the role you have in your family as a husband, wife, parent, or child? Maybe you think first about your...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: August 2020, p. 450. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. II Corinthians 5:4 In the last article we considered the vast changes in morality that have swept Western society in the last half century or so. As a prime example of these sweeping changes, we considered how society’s view of homosexual behavior has rapidly shifted from the perspective of sin and shame to that of acceptance and normalization—even to the point of...

Continue reading

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5 The last two decades of social development in western nations has seen an almost incomprehensible shift in moral reasoning that is so vast in its reach that it has been rightly called a “moral revolution.” Rather than a gradual slide in private morality, this revolution has come in the virtual blink of an eye and within plain view. What was once taboo—especially in the sphere of human sexuality—is not only permitted but glorified as an embrace of diversity and a vindication of the vulnerable...

Continue reading

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:14-15 In the last article of this brief, two-part series, (December 15, 2018, p. 139) we considered the immune system with which God has equipped our bodies to fight infection. This marvelous component of our bodies is designed as a means to protect us from the host of microbes—viruses, bacteria and other microscopic organisms—that populate our world. These microbes play important roles...

Continue reading

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.” I Corinthians 5:6, 7 During the time of the early New Testament, the nature of human disease was not well understood. Had Paul been aware of how infections of the body worked, he might well have chosen the analogy of viruses or bacteria to exhort the Corinthians to purge the disease of sin out of their midst. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, however, a strikingly similar analogy does appear in...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: March 15, 2018, p. 282. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9, 10 In the previous article we considered the doctrine of the image of God and, in particular, the way this doctrine is traditionally understood within the Protestant Reformed...

Continue reading

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” Psalm 8:3-6 It is hard to read the central verses of Psalm 8 without pausing in wonder. Or perhaps puzzlement is a better way...

Continue reading

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:23, 24 The Bible presents an alarming picture of what lies in store for believers as the end of the world approaches. The apostasy and persecution foretold by Scripture are indeed fearful heralds of our Lord’s return, but perhaps even more concerning are Jesus’ words in the verses that introduce this article: “if it...

Continue reading

Dr. Looyenga is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Calvin College and is a member of Zion Protestant Reformed Church, Hudsonville, Michigan. “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31, 32 I recall a conversation I had with a certain Dr. John Marcus when I was a college student learning how to do cancer research. And yes, this is the same man who is now serving as pastor of First PR Church of Edmonton. At the...

Continue reading