Classis East met in regular session on January 8, 1975 at the First Prot. Ref. Church in Grand Rapids. Each church was represented by two delegates. Rev. M. Joostens led the classis in opening devotions and Rev. Schipper, by rotation, was the chairman of this session of Classis.
Rev. and Mrs. Engelsma took a week’s vacation in Florida during the middle of January. On January 16 Rev. Engelsma gave a public lecture on the subject, “The Free Offer and Common Grace,” under the auspices of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bradenton, Florida. According to his South Holland bulletin, he also planned to preach there on Sunday evening, January 19.
MUCH MORE SUBJECT OURSELVES TO THE FATHER OF SPIRITS (Hebrews 12:7-9) Elsewhere the writer had pointed out that we have to do with God. Sometimes the writer speaks of the living God as the one into whose hands it is terrible to fall as a wicked and unbelieving man, (Heb.
The calling of the church of Christ on this earth is to develop in its theology. The theology of the church surely is not to alter from one position into something completely other. It is rather to develop and grow. Development would not be to change an apple tree into a thistle; it would rather be that the apple tree, being properly nourished, becomes larger and produces ever more fruit. Such must be the development of theology in the church.
Godliness! What virtue in a world of corruption. Are you godly, youthful reader? True, we would have to scale the heavenly heights to comprehend so great a concept. Godliness is a reflection of God, it is a bit of heaven while we lie in the midst of a sin-cursed world. It is a wonder of grace. Let us consider the main elements in this heavenly virtue.
It was with considerable trepidation, in 1971, that the Theological School Committee began carrying out its Synodical mandate to initiate drives for funds for our new seminary building. None, I think, expected the tremendous support in prayer and through gifts that we received. At best we hoped for sufficient funds to begin building—with the total cost of the building to be paid for over a period of ten or more years.
When the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Bible reading and prayers in the public schools of the land, it did not disapprove of teaching courses in the public schools in which the Bible was studied as literature. The argument apparently was that to study the Bible as literature only does not mean that a particular religion is being taught in the public schools—something upon which the Supreme Court specifically frowned. The Bible could then be studied as literature just as any writing, ancient or modern, could be studied for its literary value.
“We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and canonical, for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith; believing without any doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the Church receives and approves them as such, but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnesseth in our hearts, that they are from God, whereof they carry the evidence in themselves. For the very blind are able to perceive that the things foretold in them are fulfilling.” Article V, The Belgic Confession
There is pending before Classis East of our denomination an overture from the Council of Hope Church which proposes a radical change with respect to the dispensing of student aid to those who are preparing for the ministry in our churches. This overture is intended, of course, for Synod of 1975; and I assume that since it is addressed to Synod, it will also appear on the Agenda of Synod—either with or without the adherence of Classis East. Since this overture is for various reasons rather important, a few editorial remarks about it are not deemed out of place.