Rev. Mark Hoeksema was installed as the new pastor of our church in Hull, Iowa on December 17. Rev. Hoeksema’s father, Prof. Homer Hoeksema, preached the installation sermon, and Rev. Marvin Kamps from Doon, Iowa, read the installation form. The following Sunday Rev. Hoeksema preached his inaugural sermon. Prof. Hoeksema led in worship at the afternoon service. On Monday evening, the 20th, the congregation planned a “welcome” for their new ‘pastor and his family. The program began at 7:30 in the church. A social hour and refreshments followed at the school.
In our last article we discussed the major difference between the Reformed and Fundamentalist positions. Those differences can best be summed up in that we as Reformed insist on maintaining what we call a Reformed heritage of the doctrine of the scriptures. We insist that we must understand scripture in the fight of that heritage. We insist that this heritage be preserved in the creeds of the church, that it must be passed down from generation to generation.
A man may, as Cain did, bring to God his finest gifts only to find, as Cain did, that these are an abomination to God. Man may perform deeds that to his fellow men look good, seem to breathe love and the very spirit of Christianity only to find, as some will and Jesus declares that they will, that God says to them, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:23. What a blow that will be for those who said, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?
James is pre-eminently the apostle who deals with good works from a practical, everyday point of view. He always speaks of good works as a vital and necessary function in our lives—so vital and necessary, that it is basic to our salvation. This is not to say, you understand, that James makes works a condition unto salvation. This is far from the truth. There is no discrepancy between Paul and James, although some think so. The misunderstanding is that it is not understood that both James and Paul approach the idea of works from a different viewpoint.
In our preceding article (see Nov. 15, 1976), we concluded with a reference to Matt. 24:12: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many’ shall wax cold.” These words appear in a chapter in which the Saviour speaks of His coming throughout the ages. In this twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew the Lord speaks of the end of all things.
In connection with our discussion of the subject of Baptism on the Mission Field we wish to present also the views of various Reformed theologians. We do this not because the views of Reformed dogmaticians may be determinative of our stand: our standard must be Scripture and the Confessions.