In the Reformed Journal (April, 1975, pp. 7-10) there appears a significant article from the pen of Dr. Harry R. Boer entitled “Reprobation: does the Bible teach it?”—significant, I believe, because it fits into what seems to be a world-wide pattern of attack and erosion with respect to the Reformed faith. But more about that significance later. What makes this article important is the fact that it is actually a transcript of an address to the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church.
The April 27 bulletin of Hudsonville, the calling church for our second home missionary, included a couple of brief references to progress of the work being done in Maine. I’ll quote the last three sentences of a paragraph entitled, “Church News.” They read as follows: “Reports from Skowhegan inform us that there seems to be some new interest arising in the area. The radio broadcasts of Rev. Kuiper are being aired weekly. Fifty people attended a lecture of Rev. A. den Hartog last Wednesday evening; the best attendance they have had so far.”
When one adds one number to another, the result usually is that one reaches a greater number. Thus when one adds three to five, the result is eight. But there is an instance where an addition subtracts and leaves one with nothing. And in this year when our churches are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, I would like to point out such an addition that was made in 1924, resulted in the formation of our churches in 1925, and robbed the churches of what they formerly had.
What message does a Reformed preacher bring to the unconverted? Can he call his audience to repentance and faith? Can he call all of them to believe? If he can issue such a call, what is the nature of the call? These are questions that lie at the very heart of the controversy between the Reformed faith and hyper-Calvinism, on the one hand, and the controversy between the Reformed faith and the doctrine of the well-meant offer, on the other hand.
The Reader’s Digest, a magazine which comes to many of our homes, has always been a strong proponent of birth control. In the latest issue, a brief news item was carried under the title, “Singapore’s Birth-control Success Story.” It reads:
Not infrequently in recent years voices, both official and unofficial, have been raised against the promotion of horizontalism and the social gospel in the Gereformeerde Kerken of the Netherlands. Some of these voices of criticism came from sister churches of the GKN. The fear was even expressed by some that other churches—for example, the Christian Reformed Church in this country—might become infected with a similar ecclesiastical disease through association. As far as the GKN are concerned, no words of protest and warning and admonition seem to have had any significant effect.