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We concluded our last article by calling attention to the Scriptural truth that God is free. We noted that Pelagianism would maintain a freedom for the sinner in the sense that he is free, able to choose both the good and the evil. Otherwise, so he claims, we lose man’s responsibility. The Arminian, we understand, is guilty of the same heresy. Man, he asserts, must be free to accept the general, well-meaning offer of the gospel. To him, the preaching is such a general, well-meaning offer of a salvation which the Lord would bestow upon all that hear it.
Dear Timothy, I want to conclude our discussion of Christ-centered preaching in this letter to you. We have discussed a number of particular illustrations of Christ-centered preaching-illustrations from different kinds of biblical material. But there remains one kind of biblical material which we must still treat. I refer to hortatory texts, i.e., texts which contain admonitions.
For various reasons which will become clear, I trust, as we proceed, I am intending to write an occasional editorial on the subject which heads this article. As churches, we must be specific. We must not be generally Christian. We must not be known or try to be known merely as “conservative,” nor even as “conservatively” Reformed. But we must be clearly, unmistakably, specifically Protestant Reformed. We have a distinctively Protestant Reformed heritage. By that heritage we have always been known over the years. And by that heritage we must continue to be known.
Ques. 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God? Ans. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin. Ques. 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
I am glad to receive responses to certain news items. I am informed that “The Reformed Witness Hour has not been on WJBL-FM on Tuesday at 12:30 for a number .of years.” The same person wanted to know if the Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts over ELWA on a regular basis. ELWA is not one of the radio stations of the RWH. The tapes they receive must be the cassette-taped copy of our broadcasts that Mr. Jake Kuiper sends out every month overseas for the Reformed Witness Committee of Hope P.R.C. in Walker. Rev. Harbach has provided me some useful information...
LEARNING JESUS CHRIST THROUGH THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, by Karl Barth; Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982; 141 pp., $4.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko) This book contains two sections: the first is a series of lectures on the Heidelberg Catechism delivered by Barth at the University of Bonn in 1947; the second is a lecture given in 1938 in a course for teachers of religion on the Schauenberg, near Liestal, Switzerland and entitled: “Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism.”
In his excellent book, The Scripture Doctrine of the Church, D. D. Barmerman makes the following points:
Article 1 (cont’d) After confessing that the one true God is Maker of heaven and earth, the Nicene Creed adds the phrase “and of all things visible and invisible.”
By the time this article appears in print almost a half a year will have gone by since we had opportunity to visit some of our churches on our furlough. It was a real joy to be back in the U.S.A. for a while and to be able to speak on the Lord’s work here in Singapore. We were much encouraged by the evident interest and excitement about the mission work in Singapore that we found among our people. We trust therefore also that you will be interested in hearing again about the progress of the work.
In the previous article we faced the question: Along what lines ought the native church be organized? Missionaries usually do not face that question very seriously. They simply assume that the mission church ought to be organized in the same fashion as the sending church. If the missionary is Presbyterian he organizes the mission church upon Presbyterian principles of church government. The Anglican missionary organizes the mission church according to the Episcopal form of church government. Dr. Nevius thinks this is wrong.