THE CHURCH AND SOCIAL FUNCTIONS According to a recent report, a Methodist Church in Sydney, Australia, has opened a special kind of night-club for teenagers. No liquor is sold in the night-club, but popular teenage musicians are hired to entertain the crowds; the young people dress as they like, eat hamburgers and sip soft drinks, watch television, dance, play table tennis or billiards, and in general have a good time. Rev. Peter Van Tuinen, in The Banner, raises the question in connection with this report, “What is the church?” He writes,
In our last article we introduced a question concerning the propriety of baptizing children that have been adopted by Christian parents. Is it correct that such children, who may or may not have been born in the covenant line historically, are the proper subjects of baptism? Is it not more correct as well as much safer, especially with those that have been born outside of the historic covenant line, to wait until they reach the years of discretion?
The Great Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-79, played an important role in the history of our Belgic Confession. To it, in fact, must be credited the fact that we have this confession today in its present form and that it has achieved an important position among Reformed creeds. Usually we connect only our Canons with the Synod of Dordrecht. And indeed, the Canons were the most important accomplishment of the Synod. But they were not by any means the only accomplishment. This Synod occupied itself with many other matters.
In our preceding article we were criticizing that form bf Rationalism which admits that the Scriptures do contain a supernatural revelation. This type of Rationalism, however, believes the things that are in the Word of God only if and when he is able to comprehend and understand them. In our appraisal of this form of Rationalism we observed, in the first place, that it is not speaking the truth when it declares to believe only that which it is able to understand. And our second observation concerned the written Word of God, the Scriptures.
The subject about which we wish to write for a few weeks is one that is frequently mentioned in Holy Writ. And it has to do with the office of every believer. Not all have the privilege of serving in the office of minister, elder or deacon in the Church of God. Some covet the position and never have the joy or the honor of the office. Some serve for a year or two and never are chosen by God and man to take up the work again. But there is a threefold office of every believer exactly because he...
The church of God in the world, the pillar and ground of the truth, is ever plagued by ignorant jugglers, who, although they know really nothing concerning the things they speak of, nevertheless confidently affirm what they say.
That salvation is of our God. It came from Him. He is the planner and author of that salvation. He is the finisher of that salvation. He it is that must receive all the glory. And from the depth of their heart all the saints that have been redeemed now shout and sing, “Salvation is of our God! Hence, to Him belongeth the glory.” God’s glory is the effulgence, the radiation, of His glorious being.
On the above mentioned subject, Dr. Herman Kuiper has written a couple of articles in The Banner under the title “Surprises in Calvin.” He does this by several quotations from Calvin’s writings, both from his well-known work the Institutes and from his Commentaries. The chief purpose of these quotations is, evidently, that Calvin believed also in the theory of “common grace” and in the well-meaning offer of salvation to all that hear the preaching of the gospel.