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It is of course normal practice for our churches to schedule Thanksgiving Day services on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. This year our church in Hull, Iowa scheduled their Thanksgiving service on Thanksgiving eve. The reason for this seemingly strange schedule is that Hull was without a pastor at this time. Rev. Kamps from the neighboring congregation in Doon agreed to conduct services in Hull on the night before Thanksgiving. Hull’s pastor elect, Rev. Mark Hoeksema, plans to arrive in Hull on December 14. The installation service is scheduled for December 17.
A horrible crime is being committed daily in our land. Lives are being snuffed out. Well over a million lives are destroyed annually. Why is so little heard of it? We decry the horrors of the concentration camp and the executions of Nazi Germany. Rightly so. We speak of those who had perpetrated such crimes as “criminals” and (to put it mildly) “uncivilized.” And who would disagree? Yet millions are being destroyed in our land—and who says much of it?
PAUL: AN OUTLINE OF HIS THEOLOGY, by Herman Ridderbos; translated by John Richard de Witt; William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1975; $12.95, 587 pp.
One of the most significant phenomena of the modern church world is the increasing predominance of fundamentalism. We often see fundamentalist churches growing rapidly while those churches which hold to the truly Reformed faith are often declining or struggling to maintain an existence. Furthermore we often see many who have, been historically Reformed leave the Reformed Churches for such fundamentalistic churches.
The Church of God is an innumerable host. Through the ages God reserves for Himself the seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal, nor kissed the Antichrist. And for ten righteous He will save a city and a kingdom. How else will you explain the rising of the sun each morning, the dawning of each new day, the years rolling by, and that all things continue as they were? If you were God, would you put up one minute longer with the bold and widespread evil that you meet everywhere you go?
Many among them also showed that this was their mandate from their Churches and also from the States of their Provinces. This division of judgment and advice constituted a new obstacle to the National Synod. For those who up to this time had been against the convening of the Synod, eagerly grasping this opportunity, worked in every way to the end that the convening of the Synod, although promised, might be prevented.
To the members of the church at Philadelphia, We were discussing together this increasingly common phenomenon in the church which is characterized by a withdrawal from the church institute for the purpose of coming together with a small group of saints for Bible study and mutual edification. It is necessary that you be warned of this, for it is a dangerous and evil practice. You must not participate in these meetings, for the evil is so great that it jeopardizes your very salvation.
For a considerable length of time the little book The Five Points of Calvinism, originally published by our Mission Committee, has been out of print. The RFPA Publications Committee advertised a reprint in its latest catalog, expecting that the reprint would come from the press about the time when the catalog was ready. However, we were disappointed in this expectation.
In this installment of our series on the above subject we wish to concentrate, as promised in our December 1 editorial, on the stipulation in the Form of Ordination of Missionaries which limits his baptizing anyone on the mission field, “. . . if it pleases God to make thy work fruitful unto the gathering of a church. . . .” Before turning to this question, however, I wish to make two items clear: