. “Alms” is a word seldom used in our everyday vocabulary. Perhaps some reading these pages do not know what alms are. This only goes to show that alms do not have much of a place in our life. This ought not to be. Alms are to be the concern of every one of us.
Along with the report of Classis West which was printed in our April issue, Rev. Engelsma sent the following informative paragraph: “On the day before Classis, a large group of ministers, elders, missionaries, professors, seminarians, and visitors participated in an Officebearers’ Conference arranged by the committee from the West, Rev. W. Bekkering and Rev. R. Cammenga. There was excellent representation from both Classis and from the Seminary.
After that great and notable day of the Lord when Jesus shall appear to gather His elect people from the four winds there will take place one final wonder of grace—the Final Judgment of this world.
The great work of the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the glorious and wonderful work which the Lord has given to His church. This work involves the bringing of the glad tidings of salvation in Christ Jesus both in the sphere of the established church and on the mission field outside, of the established church. It includes the work of the ordained ministry who are especially the ambassadors of the Lord.
One of our readers writes: “My question concerns article 68 of the Church Order which reads: ‘The Minister shall on Sunday explain briefly the sum of Christian Doctrine comprehended in the Heidelberg Catechism so that as much as possible the explanation shall be annually completed, according to the division of the Catechism itself, for that purpose.’
The “Shepherd Case” Some time ago I reported on the dismissal, without prejudice, of Professor N. Shepherd from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. His dismissal apparently was involved with his position on justification and on the covenant. Comments have been appearing in some Reformed periodicals—comments both pro andcon. Several letters to the editor have appeared in theBanner. One writes in the Feb. 8, 1982 issue:
Slowly, as the strong, plodding oxen drew the wagons which Joseph had sent for his father, Jacob made progress toward Egypt, leaving the promised land of Canaan behind him. Upon arriving in Egypt he sent Judah to inform Joseph that they had reached Egypt, and to seek to make sure that they settled in the land of Goshen.
In his book, The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches, Dr. John L. Nevius makes a strong plea for the planting and development of indigenous churches. By this Nevius meant that converts should be gathered into congregations which are native to their land and independent of the domination or control and support of the sending, “foreign” church.
(In discussing the positive side of the question, i.e., the renewal or reformation of the church, Kuyper has discussed the need for spiritual awakening in the hearts and in the lives of the individual members. In the last paragraph he insisted that this was essential to all church reformation. He proceeds now in the following paragraphs to the discussion of church renewal. This is a lengthy paragraph and we will divide it into separate articles.)
Sometimes that attitude of a church with regard to things pertaining to a Christian walk and with regard to discipline furnishes a clearer index of its spiritual level and life than does its attitude toward sound doctrine. It is not that the latter is no index, nor that the latter is not important. Nor is it true that the two are unrelated: there certainly is a reciprocal relationship between soundness in doctrine and uprightness of walk, even as there is such a relationship between apostasy in doctrine and a decline in sanctification of life. The two go hand in hand.