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Vol 74 Issue 15

Results 1 to 10 of 11

John Calvin on Singing Psalms in Church *

* Calvin’s preface to the Geneva Psalter of 1543. As to public prayers, there are two kinds: the one consists of words alone; the other includes music. And this is no recent invention. For since the very beginning of the church it has been this way, as we may learn from history books. Nor does St. Paul himself speak only of prayer by word of mouth, but also of singing. And in truth, we know from experience that song has a great power and strength to move and inflame the hearts of men to invoke and praise God with a...

News From Our Churches

Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Young Adults Activities Again this year we pass along our thanks to the Young Adult Society of the Loveland, CO PRC for the fine work they did in serving as hosts for their annual Spring Retreat. This year’s retreat was held March 23-26 at Covenant Heights in Estes Park, CO and had for its theme, “Putting on the Whole Armor of God”—Ephesians 6:1-20. For the most part, all 38 young adults (from 17 of our congregations) arrived the weekend before the retreat and stayed in homes of the...

The Reconciliation of Excommunicated Sinners

Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Though it happens only occasionally, it is possible that a person who had been excommunicated from the church repents and desires to be reconciled with the Lord and His church. Article 78 of the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches makes provision for this when it states: Whenever anyone who has been excommunicated desires to become reconciled to the church in the way of repentance, it shall be announced to the congregation, either before the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, or at some other opportune time, in...

Basil the Great (c. A.D. 330-c. A.D. 379) on Psalm Singing

When, indeed, the Holy Spirit saw that the human race was guided only with difficulty toward virtue, and that, because of our inclination toward pleasure, we were neglectful of an upright life, what did He do? The delight of melody He mingled with the doctrines so that by the pleasantness and softness of the sound heard we might receive without perceiving it the benefit of the words, just as wise physicians who, when giving the fastidious rather bitter drugs to drink, frequently smear the cup with honey. Therefore, He devised for us these harmonious melodies of the psalms, that they...

Christ, Our Priest (2)

Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Randolph, Wisconsin. There is another aspect of Christ’s priestly office that deserves special mention. I refer to His lasting intercession for us. His Lasting Intercession This aspect of Christ’s priestly function was also typified in the Old Testament. We read of that in Leviticus 16:12-14, where we read of the high priest entering into the holy place with the blood of the sacrifice and the sweet incense. “And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full...

The Secret of the Spirit

Rev. Dick is pastor of Grace Protestant Reformed Church in Standale, Michigan. Intimate discourse, this last one of Jesus to His disciples. It is the night before Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus continues to reveal covenant secrets to His friends. So much to say! Who would say: but the sermon is too long? The main concern of Jesus in this last discourse of John 14-17 is to comfort the people of God. God had told the prophets long ago that to comfort the people of God is the calling of the prophets (Is. 40:1). Here is the prophets: all...

Chapter 8: The Setting of the Stage of History (cont.)

The late Homer Hoeksema was professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Exiled From Paradise We may well conclude this phase of sacred history where Scripture concludes it, with the narrative of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, in Genesis 3:21-24: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life,...

Gnosticism and Synthesis Religion

Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction There was a heresy in the early church which was so serious, so deadly, and yet so attractive that the church was engaged in a life or death struggle to overcome it. That heresy was known as Gnosticism. It was a heresy which had many variations and was taught by many different heretics in the church. It was more like a movement than a departure from the truth on one specific point. It never resulted in a split of any significance in the church,...

When a Soul Waits *

* One need not agree with every sentiment in this article, “When a Soul Waits,” to appreciate that it illustrates the conviction that marriage is a calling. The power of the article is that it demonstrates that this conviction can be, and was, lived, in adverse circumstances. The article first appeared in the June 27, 1997 issue of Christian Courier. It is reprinted here with permission. —Ed. As the clock struck midnight, all the couples at the New Year’s Eve party kissed, except Greg and me. Finally, my friend said, “Come on, Greg, give your wife a kiss.” So Greg...

Marriage, a Calling

As to its nature—what it essentially is—marriage is a lifelong, unbreakable bond established by God the Creator between one man and one woman (see “Marriage: a Lifelong Bond,” in the Standard Bearer, April 15, 1998). As to how the people of God are to regard marriage, and their life in it, marriage is a calling. It is not an institution and way of life that is intended primarily for their pleasure, comfort, happiness, and fulfillment. Marriage is intended for the glory of God. Believing men and women are privileged and commanded to serve God in married life. Their happiness and...

5/1/1998