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First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids has changed the end of their worship service. The December 18, 1983 bulletin reads, “The consistory has decided to return to the practice of shaking the pastor’s hand on the platform after each service. This should help those in the rear of ‘the auditorium to know when the approbation of the sermon is finished so that the congregation may begin its exit.”
(Kuyper has begun discussing what is actually involved when an individual breaks with his own church. He emphasizes strongly the spiritual frame of mind which a person must possess if he is to engage in church reformation. He has discussed this already in the last article which appeared, and he continues that discussion now.)
We are now, after several introductory articles, to enter into the various elements of our worship in God’s house.
Now: 1984 Many have been awaiting 1984 with some degree of trepidation. A novel was written a number of years ago about this date. It was a story of a nation under total domination by government (Big Brother). The story itself reminded one even of the account found inRevelation 13: the two beasts which arose, from land and sea to dominate all creatures. There are those today who debate whether this version of 1984 is really here.
Article 4: He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; and suffered and was buried. In the previous article of this creed the early church confessed that the Son of God was incarnated for us men and for our salvation. Now in Article 4 the church proceeded to show how the Son incarnate accomplishes this salvation of man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. The suffering of Jesus Christ and His crucifixion under Pontius Pilate belong together. For it was especially at the cross that our Lord suffered.
An ominous question! One that parents and elders grieve to hear. But a question, it seems, that is more and more being asked, especially by the young people: “Why do we have to go to church twice? Once is good enough.” Often the asking of this question is not the first indication that all is not well in the life of the young person who asks the question. There have been indications of problems before this. Likely this question has been preceded by another question: “Why do I have to keep going to catechism? I’ve had all that stuff before.”
The truth that God is One is the cornerstone of the First Commandment: thus far we have come in our search for God’s revelation of Himself in His law. Remembering this principle, we are also able to understand that idolatry in any form is an act of gross rebellion against God. Never does the idolatrous practice of the heathen reflect a search for God as the One, True God; rather, as Paul tells us in Romans 1, it is always a refusal to worship God as He reveals Himself in His creation.
The apostolic fathers, as we have seen, did not have a formal doctrine of the Word of God or of inspiration. Rather they had an intuitive understanding that the Scriptures were the one unified and authoritative revelation of God by the apostles and prophets. We must also remember that for the apostolic fathers, the teaching and preaching of the apostles was a matter of living memory in the church. It is understandable therefore that along with Scripture, the canon of which had not yet been determined, they would place a high value upon that which they had heard directly from...
Again a few issues have intervened since we last wrote on this subject (cf. Oct. 15, 1983 issue). Permit me, therefore, briefly to establish the connection with what we have previously written.