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All Articles For John

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The Sum of Christian Doctrine Is it really true that the Heidelberg Catechism contains “the sum of Christian doctrine” as stated in the October 15, 1994 Standard Bearer, “The Good Practice of Two Services, One Given to Catechism Preaching,” by Rev. Dale Kuiper, and so often affirmed in our circles? I can think of several important doctrines not covered by the Catechism. The obvious one, of course, is the doctrine of the last times. Much of the Bible is devoted to this important subject since it is an integral part of His coming into this world. Yet the Catechism chooses to...

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Rev. Heys is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. II Peter 1:10 What we are here commanded to do is that which by God’s grace we can do, because of what He does. We are not here commanded to make our calling and election sure in God’s mind and will. In fact, the word here translated as “sure” means sure in the sense of firm and steadfast. We are not called here to make our calling...

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March 1, 1995 in Loveland, CO The March meeting of Classis West was held in Loveland,CO on Wednesday, March 1. The customary Officebearers’ Conference was held the day before. The theme of the Conference was “The Truth of God’s Gracious Covenant.” The keynote address was given by Rev. Russ Dykstra, who spoke on “God’s Gracious Covenant: A Glorious Truth, A Blessed Experience. Sectionals were led by Rev. Mitchell Dick, “Setting the Record Straight on Pre-Supposed Regeneration”; Rev. Thomas Miersma, “A Critique of the Conditional Covenant”; and Rev. Arie denHartog, “Covenant Breakers.” Healthy discussion followed each paper, showing unity of thought...

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“Common Grace” and Difficult Texts I have subscribed to the Standard Bearer for about two years, and have found the articles edifying and thought-provoking. I would like your comments on two verses in light of the Protestant Reformed Churches’ position on common grace. As I understand it, your position is that God has no gracious purposes with regard to the non-elect, either in providentially providing them with material benefits, or in permitting them to come under the preaching of the gospel.This position helps to explain many verses that would otherwise be difficult to interpret, e.g., Matthew. 13:10-15. However, two verses mentioned below seem...

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The later Homer Hoeksema was professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. God’s Creation of Man (3): Created in God’s Image Adam, if we may phrase it in this way, must have had the surprise of his life on the sixth day of creation-week when he first opened his eyes upon the wonders of God’s handiwork. What we are trying to emphasize is that Adam’s experience, as he came from the hand of his Creator, was unique. There is nothing that lies within the scope of our earthly experience to which it may be compared. Perhaps...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction Presbyterianism was established in Scotland only after bitter struggle. If Andrew Melville, whose life we discussed last time, was the father of Presbyterianism, Alexander Henderson, more than any other, was responsible for fixing it firmly in the kirk of Scotland—although even after his life the struggle continued for some few years. The Stuart kings were on the throne of Scotland, all of them strong proponents of the divine right of kings and eager to be the absolute monarchs which their predecessors had been. Specifically,...

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Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. From the very beginning of their history and continuing to the present, the Protestant Reformed Churches have been accused of teaching and defending “hyper-Calvinism.” Because the Protestant Reformed Churches deny that God is gracious to all who hear the preaching of the gospel, that God sincerely desires the salvation of all who hear the gospel, and that God freely offers salvation to all who hear the preaching of the gospel, the Protestant Reformed are dismissed by many as “hyper-Calvinists.” It is charged that the Protestant Reformed preach only to the...

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In the reformation of the church begun in 1924, the reformer was Herman Hoeksema. This is not a slighting of Henry Danhof and George Ophoff, the two ministers who were deposed with Hoeksema by the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Danhof was influential g developing the doctrines that have come to distinguish the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC), as his profound treatise of 1920 on the covenant, “De Idee van het Genadeverbond (“The Idea of the Covenant of Grace”), clearly shows. But Danhof soon abandoned the churches in which the reformation would be worked out to go his independent way. Besides, Hoeksema was...

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Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. In our first installment we presented the truth that Christ Jesus is the minister of His church. He is the Head and Ring of the church. Moreover, Christ functions through those whom He has lawfully called to office: the ministers of the Word, the elders, and the deacons. Furthermore, Christ also ministers to the saints through the saints themselves. All this is clearly taught in our Reformed confessions. These confessional principles are clearly taught in Holy Scripture. That Christ is the minister of the church is evident from His own...

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