All Articles For Vol 59 Issue 14 4/15/1983

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Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met in South Holland, Illinois on March 2 and 3, 1983. Classis welcomed Rev. T. Miersma (Edmonton), Rev. J. Smith (Edgerton), and Elder O. Gaastra (Redlands) as first-time delegates to Classis. Rev. R. Moore led Classis in opening devotions. He spoke to the delegates on Matthew 5:1-5: “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” etc.  Rev. Slopsema was president of this Classis. 

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THE NEW TESTAMENT STUDENT AND HIS FIELD, John H. Skilton, Gen’l Editor; Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, N.J. 310 pp., $9.95 (paper); reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema This is Volume 5 of a series of books under the same title. The general editor is Dr. John H. Skilton, professor emeritus of the New Testament department at Westminster Seminary. This is not a book by one author on one subject, but a collection of essays and articles by many different writers.

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“God is love.” When properly understood, these words of the apostle John are of great comfort to the people of God. For that God is love means that God is the God of our salvation. John tells us, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (I John 4:9). God is love in and of Himself. His very essence is love. But that great love He has also shown to us.

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Concerning these articles that I have been writing in this rubric there seems to be a bit of clarification necessary. People have asked me, for example, “Are your parents really dead?’ or “Who is this friend of yours that had that terminal illness?” I am thankful to inform the reader that my parents are very much alive! But the parents of a man named “Pilgrim Watcher” are not, and possibly it is true in the reader’s life that your parents are not either. 

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Our Only Comfort? Several months ago there was a very sad “accident” in Grand Rapids. Three young men, present or past students of Calvin College, were killed in an auto accident. The lives of three young men were suddenly snuffed out. Of course, such an “accident” strongly affects families, friends, and even a whole community. 

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We concluded our last article by calling attention to the seemingly irreconcilable conflict between the providence of God and sin, between the holiness and the righteousness of God. That the Lord is absolutely sovereign and that therefore the reality of sin must be understood as having been willed by the alone sovereign God is surely Scriptural. Of this there cannot possibly be any doubt. His counsel, we read in Isaiah 46:10, shall stand and the Lord will do all His good pleasure.

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Are we as a denomination faithful to the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to all nations? What a glorious and wonderful commission that is! It is through the preaching of the gospel that the Lord is pleased to gather and defend and preserve His church in all ages and all places. It is through the preaching of the gospel that men are called from darkness into the marvelous light of everlasting salvation. Above all it is through the preaching of the gospel that the glorious praises of the Lord our God are declared throughout...

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For the past three years the Standard Bearer has come to our address. Invariably, unlike the many other periodicals received, it is read from cover to cover. Why is that? Perhaps the first reason is that its writers take the Bible as truly being the Word of God, avoiding all the theological gobbledygook too often found in Reformed circles which severely qualifies the Word. Because we live in serious times, as the series of articles, “Signs of the Times,” in the Standard Bearerdisclose, the articles are serious.

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Some months ago, after having written about last year’s Synod, I promised also to write a few things of a critical nature in connection with that broadest gathering of our churches. As so often happens in the life of an editor, there arose in the meantime other items which demanded editorial attention and which made it impossible for me immediately to carry out my intention to write more about our last Synod. I now fulfill that promise, however, in the hope that future synodical meetings may profit. 

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