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All Articles For Vol 88 Issue 02 10/15/2011

Results 1 to 8 of 8

School Activities Did you know that this school year the list of Protestant Reformed Christian Schools grew by one? The Loveland, CO PRC is in the process of expanding their church building. This expansion has enabled the families in Loveland to start their own high school this year. School opened this fall with seven students in the ninth and tenth grade, with five teachers teaching them! The Lord willing, Loveland will continue to grow their student body, adding the eleventh grade next year and the twelfth grade the year after. This addition to their school was made possible through the...

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General Works • The Confessions and the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 2005, hardcover (hc), 431 pp. $9.00. This is the study edition of our Reformed creeds, church order, and liturgical forms, including historical introductions, full proof texts, and indexes to the creeds. Available from the Protestant Reformed Seminary (catechism@prca.org). • The Belgic Confession: Its History and Sources (Texts and Studies in Reformation and Post-Reformation Thought), by Nicolaas H. Gootjes; Richard A. Muller, Gen. editor; Baker Academic, 2007; paperback (pb.), 229 pp. $21.00. ISBN: 9780801032356. Available from Reformation Heritage Books (www.heritagebooks.org). This is a fine,...

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Anyone reading through the confessional standards of the Protestant Reformed Churches will quickly discover that Article 36 of the Belgic Confession is controversial. In fact, one does not even have to readthe standards, but only look at them to see that Article 36 stands out. It is the only article in the Three Forms of Unity that has a footnote appended to correct a supposed error. About the hundreds of other doctrinal statements in the Three Forms of Unity, the Protestant Reformed Churches say, “These accurately reflect the truth of Scripture.” But about a certain statement in Article 36, the PRC say, “We...

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The foundational issue in the Reformation of the church in the sixteenth century was the question of authority. Where was authoritative special revelation from God to be found upon earth?1 The Roman Catholic Church taught that there were two sources of special revelation: Scripture, and the tradition of the church. This church tradition had begun as oral traditions supposedly passed down to the church from the apostles. Eventually it came to mean anything that the church had declared, whether in its councils, its magisterium, or its pope (speaking ex cathedra). The Roman Catholic Church taught, then, a dual source for authority...

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[The reader is asked to read first the Belgic Confession Article 29: The Marks of the True Church, and Wherein She Differs from the False Church.] Many of the great debates of the Reformation concerned the church itself—what the church is, and what she should be like. That fact led Guido de Bres to devote the largest section of the Belgic Confession to ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church. The Confession gives solid, biblical instruction on the offices and government of the church (30, 31), the order and discipline that must be found in the church (32), the sacraments (33-35),...

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Historical Context We have in the Belgic Confession a rather lengthy section on the sacraments. This is due to the controversy that raged at the time of the Reformation. So, in order for us to appreciate fully what the Belgic Confession sets forth as to the sacraments, we need to look at the historical context of this writing and the then-current thought regarding the sacraments. The gospel, with the sacraments that picture and seal the promise of the gospel, ought to unite believers! But when heresy creeps in, it is faithfulness to the gospel that differentiates and divides. The Roman...

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For someone in the Reformed tradition, the influence of Guido de Bres upon Reformed churches goes without saying. Most of that influence stems from his writing of the Belgic Confession, which has served Reformed churches since the sixteenth century. de Bres’ influence, of course, is not due so much to his genius and zeal for the Reformed faith, although he certainly had his share of both. Rather, his influence is due to God’s providential guidance of history, bringing de Bres into the picture and using him to leave a lasting signpost of Reformed doctrine. The life of Guido de Bres...

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Happy Birthday, Confession of Faith (aka “Netherlands Confession” and “Belgic Confession”) esteemed firstborn of the Reformed family’s confessions. We commemorate the year of your birth—written as you were in 1561 and soon adopted into the Reformed family by our fathers in the nether lands. In 2011, you have now lived ten times longer than your author, martyred as he was at the youthful age of 45, in part because of you. What place his martyrdom had in the providence of God to endear you to us, God may show us some day. But we confess (by your lead), that “nothing happens in...

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