All Articles For Smit, Richard J.

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2013, p. 177.   A ready cheerfulness to give (II Cor. 9:7) and a giving according to how God has prospered us (I Cor. 16:1-2) are important elements in the believer’s giving to needy causes, especially in the church. But are these the only elements in the good giving of benevolence or other gifts, especially to fellow saints who live on the poorer side of an economic gap? In connection especially with missions in developing countries, it should be understood that also the exercise of godly wisdom is an important part of proper...

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Christ is pleased to gather His eternally chosen church by His Word and Spirit from all the nations of the earth. The same good pleasure of God has also determined that the nations from which the church is gathered are not identical, but very different in many respects, including wealth. This dif­ference, which God has established and governs by His providence, is one with which the church must reckon, also in regard to the giving of financial assistance in cross-economic situations. In fact, because the gap between the richer and poorer nations is becoming ever wider, the need for careful...

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Previous article in this series: June 2012, p. 396.   Previously, we considered that the emphasis in modern missions is that it be counter-cultural, contextual, and ecological. Now, we will con­sider two more trends in present-day missions that are mentioned by the late Prof. Bosch in his book Believ­ing in the Future. A fourth trend worth considering is that modern missions should be “ecumenical.”¹ It is argued that for modern missions to be successful and gain more converts than ever before in the eastern hemisphere or the western hemisphere, it must minimize and eventu­ally eliminate any substantial differences between de­nominations....

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2012, p. 14. The trends in modern missions that we have considered thus far were that missions ought to be counter-cultural, contextual, ecological, ecumenical, and laity-led. The final trend, as we indi­cated last time, is perhaps the most alarming and fun­damentally mistaken. It is that modern missions must be taught “with an uncertain faith.” This trend comes from the statement of Prof. Bosch, who wrote that “faith embraces itself and the doubt about itself.”¹ For him, this is the faith that must be preached in missions. This is not the first time in...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2012, p. 248. Where are we to look if we desire to find the laws of God for human culture and soci­ety? How does God teach us how to run a business, a government, or an educational institution? Those who embrace “Reformational” theology¹ would point us to the creation. Embedded in the creation itself, they say, is the word of God that teaches us how we are to do these things. But what about the Scriptures? The Scriptures, they say, do set forth for us some general information to point us in the...

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There are trends and errors that affect modern church missions today of which we should be aware. Some of these trends are mentioned, for example, in the writings of prominent church theo­logians about current and future church missions. One such writer is the late Prof. David J. Bosch, a South Af­rican missiologist who became a professor at the Uni­versity of South Africa in 1971. He has written helpful summaries about the history of missions by the church in the New Testament till the present, but his influen­tial books (Transforming Missions, Witness to the World, and Believing in the Future) demonstrate...

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Rev. Smit is pastor of Immanuel Protestant Reformed Church in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. The apostle Paul warns us in the book of Galatians to avoid two extremes: on the one hand, the error of believing and living as though justification is by faith and also by and because of our obedience to the law; and, on the other hand, the error of believing and living as though our liberty in Christ is an opportunity to serve the lusts of the flesh. Instead of walking in either of those two evils of legalism or of anti-nomianism, we are called by the...

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Those of our readers in the Midwest of the United States of America might be somewhat surprised to learn that recently, in September 2011, a Filipino religious cult bought 46 acres of land and buildings in and around the town of Scenic, located about 50 miles southeast of Rapid City, South Dakota. What will now become of the formerly abandoned town we do not know, but this news illustrates the amazing wealth that this Filipino cult has accumulated since it started in the early 1900s and its expanding presence in the world, which extends now from the Philippines to the...

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Rev. Smit is a missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, soon to be stationed in Manila, the Philippines. Having recently been installed as foreign missionary for the labors in the Philippines, I have been given this opportunity to provide some information concerning the work of our churches in the Philippines. This is an area of our work as a denomination in which I have been involved since 1996 to one degree or another, and now in which I have the privilege to be involved as missionary. We trust that the following brief overview will give you a better...

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Rev. Smit is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa. Motivation for the Subject In the last couple of years, the Doon Martha Bible Society studied for its after-recess time the book Women of the Old Testament, which was written by Dr. Abraham Kuyper and translated into English. In this book, the author wrote about many women in the Old Testament, most of whom were godly women, such as Sarah, Naomi, and Ruth. By way of contrast, the author also included a few chapters on some wicked women of the Old Testament. With each individual, the author gave...

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