All the “Call” news for this issue concerns Rev. R. Decker, pastor of our church in South Holland, Illinois. Rev. Decker has declined the calls extended to him from the Randolph and Hope (Grand Rapids) congregations. And, at present, he is considering the call from Redlands. Redlands’ trio, incidentally, included Rev. R. Decker, Rev; R. Harbach, and Rev. J. Heys.
Classis East met in regular session on January 5, 1972 at Southeast Church. Rev. Schipper led in opening devotions and Rev. VanBaren served as chairman of this session. Each church was represented by two delegates. Hearty welcomes were given to both Rev. C. Hanko who returned to Classis East after seven years in Classis West and Rev. G. Lubbers who was spending his last day of furlough in “the states” before returning to his missionary labors in Jamaica. Classis bid the Rev. Lubbers Godspeed and God’s richest blessing as he returns to his work.
While proofreading the copy of an article that will appear in the Standard Bearer, the question does occasionally arise, “How widespread will the reading of this particular article be?”
2. THE PILGRIM AND THE BIBLE “I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.”
THE REFORMATION PERIOD THE SYNOD OF DORDT Before we call attention to the doctrine of atonement as set forth by our fathers at the Great Synod of Dordt, it is well to quote once more the second article of the Remonstrants, setting forth the Arminian presentation of this doctrine of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary:
It must be kept in mind that faith is here not merely defined in a rather scholastic definition, but is here described to us in its living operation and manifestation in the lives of the saints. We see faith here as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is the faith by which the elders obtained a good report. Yes, we saw this in Abel, Noah, Enoch, and now in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yes, even in Sarah, the mother of kings and nations.
MORE ON GOVERNMENT AND THE SCHOOLS The issue of the relation between the government and private and parochial schools continues to be a vexing one. One of the problems involves the law which requires compulsory education until age 16. This problem is really limited for the most part to the Amish who, generally, refuse to send their children to school beyond the eighth grade. The question is coming up for decision sometime next year before the Supreme Court of the United States.
In my first article I gave a brief summary of the situation with which evangelicals are confronted today in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., the Southern Presbyterian Church. I should like now to attempt an assessment of the present state of affairs, especially of certain factors which complicate it, and to say something of my own reaction to the direction events appear to be taking. The character of the PCUS is so very mixed and the spectrum of theological opinion so broad that it is difficult to be both concise and accurate.
As might almost be expected, in the light of history, the ecclesiastical developments in New Zealand included not only the doctrinal Appeal by the brethren Koppe and van Herk—an Appeal which was the climax of the battle for doctrinal purity and doctrinal discipline waged by the Reformed and Presbyterian Fellowship of Australasia. Said developments also included personal appeals directed to the Synod of 1971 by three brethren who played a leading part in the struggle in New Zealand and whose names are connected with the publication of the Reformed Guardian.