The consistory of our church in Lynden, Washington made a trio consisting of Revs. Wayne Bekkering, Dale Kuiper, and Gise VanBaren. The Lynden congregation elected to extend a call to Rev. Kuiper. Lynden’s present pastor was expected to arrive in Kalamazoo, Michigan to take up his labors in his new charge early in November. The tentative date for Rev. Woudenberg’s installation in Kalamazoo is November 11. Rev. Ronald VanOverloop has declined the call he received from Hull, Iowa.
PIONEER PREACHER, by Gordon J. Spykman; Heritage Hall Publications, Calvin College and Seminary Library, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49506; Paperback, no price listed. (Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema)
The signs of Christ’s coming, also known as the precursory signs, are defined by the late Rev. H. Hoeksema in his Reformed Dogmatics as relating to all the events in the realm of nature as well as in the history of the nations and in the church which more or less clearly indicate that Jesus is coming and that the end of all things is near and approaching quickly.
I recently received a letter from a brother concerning one of my “letters to Timothy” which raises important enough issues to be answered in a special column of the Standard Bearer. The questions concern what I wrote in the September 1 issue of the Standard Bearer and which it is probably best to quote here:
Without a strong hand at the helm, a ship drifts, and washes about in the sea, whether the sea is calm or rough. When there is this strong hand, the wind, though it be blowing almost directly against the ship, helps to push that ship forward. Essentially, contentment is to be independent. It is an internal independence of external circumstances. Of course, it is not an independence in our relationship to God, for we must learn in all of our life that we are DEPENDENT upon God.
UNION CHURCH—A FIRST FOR RCA-CRC The Banner of Oct. 8, 1976, reports on a “first” for the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America. A church of each of these two denominations was located in Nardin Park in Detroit. When the Nardin Park Community Church (Christian Reformed) lost its building to an urban renewal project in that area, it made arrangements to unite with the Nardin Park Reformed Church, located a short distance away. The Reformed Church was “really too small to afford a pastor’s salary.” But these had the facilities.
The reality of the threat of hyper-Calvinism is also indicated by the Scriptures. Scripture warns that the gospel of grace has two outstanding enemies: the teaching that man saves himself by his own working or willing, and the teaching that salvation by grace alone implies carelessness of life or even licentiousness. As Toplady wrote somewhere, in his characteristically vivid manner: “Christ is always crucified between two thieves. Antinomianism and Pharisaism. ” Those who know and love the truth must beware of the former error, as well as the latter.
From a Michigan reader I received the following questions: “How can we determine when a minister should retire? Who should take the initiative when such a case does arise? Should our churches develop a policy that would deal uniformly and impartially with all retiring ministers?”
A Word Of Introduction As we promised some time ago, we intend to reflect editorially on this question and, in connection therewith, on the material presented by the Synodical Study Committee. Our last Synod referred the report of the Study Committee to the churches for study. And these editorial comments have as their purpose to assist that study. Meanwhile, we trust that our people, and especially our consistories, will indeed study this matter.