There has been a considerable amount of activity in our calling congregations since our last news column. Our Hope, Michigan congregation called Rev. Flikkema, who is presently the pastor of our Isabel, South Dakota Church, and Rev. Miersma of Pellaaccepted the call of our Holland congregation. Two immediate results of that decision are: Pella’s formation of a trio consisting of Reverends Koole, Laming, and Slopsema, and the planned installation of Rev. Miersma in Holland on January 7, 1981; with Rev. VanBaren delivering the message and Rev.
The question box has received the question: Is it proper for a minister in addressing the congregation to use the words of our Lord as in Luke 13:3, 5, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” or something similar to that, when the Bible says that theelect can never perish?
Our readers will recall that we have been treating the first two sections of Chapter VII of the Westminster Confession, which chapter bears the title “Of God’s Covenant with Man,” These first two sections deal with the subject of God’s relationship with Adam before the fall. This relationship is identified in section two as “the covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.”
Belatedly Jacob ordered his family to put away their idols. He knew all along that the members of his family had them and were worshipping them. And we may assume that if his sons had not made it necessary for him to move away from Shechem because of their murder, and had God not ordered him to return to Bethel, he would not have commanded this putting away of the idols and of worshipping the gods represented by them.
Dogmatic Religions Finished? Christian News, Sept. 1, 1980 presents a report of the “First Global Conference on the Future.” This conference, meeting at Toronto, dealt with the subject also of religion. It presented a religion which can only be characterized as antichristian. It ought to serve as warning concerning things to come, and make one aware of the trends evident today. The article reports:
It is always fitting at the time when a new year comes upon us to reflect on all that has happened in the past, and, having done so, to look with the eye of faith to the future. With respect to the past, all of us can see what has happened in all its details. Not so, however, with respect to the future. None of us can see what the future holds in store for us in all its detail. But, nevertheless, that does not mean that we cannot see at least some of the details which the future holds...
It is strange that it should be supposed that the relationship between the Reformed Faith and evangelism is uneasy and uncomfortable. It is stranger still that men should charge that the Reformed Faith and evangelism are incompatible. Yet this is the case. Many outside of the Reformed Churches contend that the Reformed Faith makes evangelism (or “soul-winning,” as they like to call it) impossible. Many who profess to be Reformed are now echoing this charge. What is worse, they are busy radically revising the Reformed Faith in the interests (they say) of evangelism.
As I write this, the end of the year 1980 is approaching. I am reminded of the fact that with the retirement of two more of our older ministers, our churches have in a sense reached the end of an era. I refer, of course, to the fact that during this past year the Rev. Robert C. Harbach and the Rev. John A. Heys attained the status of minister emeritus in our churches. It is not my intention to repeat the various biographical details which were included in this year’s synodical Yearbook. These are available to all our families in...