September 9, 1981 Southwest Prot. Ref. Church Classis East met in regular session on September 9, 1981 at the Southwest Prot. Ref. Church. All the churches were represented by two delegates. Rev. W. Bruinsma chaired the meeting. In attendance also were Rev. S. Houck and Rev. J. Kortering. The business of the session was routine with the exception of a discipline matter brought by one of the consistories. This matter was treated in closed session. Expenses for the classis amounted to $762.00.
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Everyone likes a pat on the back once in awhile, and here’s a rather lusty one for our Standard Bearer from a reader in Moorestown, New Jersey: “In today’s world of constant complaints and lack of contentment, this letter is written for the purpose of giving many thanks for your magazine. It is without a doubt THE BEST Christian periodical in the entire world! It is a perfect companion to Holy Scripture since it is 90% Scripture exposition combined with Reformed Theology written in a beautifully clear and understandable manner.
THE REFORMERS AND THEIR STEPCHILDREN,by Leonard Verduin; Baker Book House, 1980; 292 pp., $7.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.) I read this book by Verduin when it first came out about sixteen or seventeen years ago. But now that it has been republished, it has been sent to the Standard Bearer for review and I read it once again. My opinion of the book remains pretty much unchanged.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” I Timothy 4:1 “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” II Tim. 4:4
There are, undoubtedly, many reasons why wholesale departure from Scripture truth is so characteristic of Reformed Churches today, but not least among those reasons is the fact that Churches and denominations often forget that they are part of the Church of all ages, and that, also with regard to doctrine, they stand in organic connection with the Church of the past.
The outline sets forth in some detail how Christ gathered the church during the years immediately following the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let us now examine some of the distinctive features of this book.
An aged father in the land of Canaan sat in the doorway of his tent. His mortal frame revealed how heavily the burden of his one hundred and thirty years, as a pilgrim and stranger here below, had weighed down upon him. The fleshly tent or tabernacle in which his soul dwelt (II Corinthians 5:1) showed definite signs of wear and tear; and he knew that it was but a matter of time, and then that tent would no longer be a fit abode for the soul, and, as Solomon declared, the spirit would return to God Who gave it.
The “Wiser” children of Men? I find letters to editors often interesting, sometimes provocative. On occasion I’ve quoted such letters. This time I quote an interesting letter from a secular magazine, Changing Times, June, 1981. I have no idea who the writer of the letter is. There is no indication of the writer’s religion— if there is any at all. The arguments are not based on Scripture, but only upon human reasoning. Yet one must be struck by the fact that this human reasoning warns about the very thing that ought also to concern the child of God.
At the time Nehemiah did his work among the people of Judah, the Jews had been back in Judah from captivity for some time. The temple had been rebuilt and the people had planted their farms and vineyards. But the walls of the city were still lying in ruins, and the people, because of much discouragement, had all but abandoned the work.
Seminary Convocation. September 2 marked the beginning of a new term for our Protestant Reformed Seminary. This year we have seven students in our seminary department and four in our pre-seminary department. A goodly and interested audience joined us at our Fall Convocation at Southeast Church on the evening of school opening. Prof. Hanko was our convocation speaker this year. You can share a little in our convocation via the transcript of his address in this issue.