All Articles For Vol 91 Issue 08 1/15/2015

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Mission Activities Rev. Vernon Ibe, pastor of the Berean Protestant Reformed Church located in metro Manila, the Philippines, accompanied Rev. John Flores, pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Bulacan (PRCB) to the Philippine island of Leyte, and more particularly to the municipality named Albuera, from November 29 through December 1. This smaller island of Leyte lies southeast of the main island of Luzon on which our missionaries labor, and is the site of the Protestant Reformed Fellowship of Albuera, a mission outreach of the PRCB. This fellowship recently celebrated its seventh anniversary in October. The PRCB has made regular...

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Prepared by Grace, for Grace, Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013. Paperback, pp. xiii + 287. [Reviewed by Rev. Martyn McGeown.] It is no secret that Joel Beeke loves the Puritans. In this book, Beeke and Smalley examine one of Puritanism’s most controversial doctrines, preparatory grace or “preparation.” The Puritans were faced with a situation in which almost everyone was a member of the state church. Clearly, a great number of churchgoers were unbelievers. How, then, could the preacher awaken the carnal, self-righteous hypocrites sitting in the pews to their need of...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2014, p. 135. In preceding articles we have now commented on every qualification of the office of elder mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Even that qualification that we consider here, “apt to teach” (I Tim. 3:2), we have already examined as part of the broader subject of the elder’s relationship to the truth. But this particular qualification raised more questions than we had time to answer in our last article. Does this qualification apply only to the church’s pastors (“teaching elders,” to use the term commonly used by Presbyterians), or...

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Does the Bible say anything about dating? This is a good question for young people who are dating and who desire to date. The answer to this question is what parents should be discussing with their young people. There are two answers to this question. The first answer is, “No.” If you search in your Bible app or concordance you will not find the words, “date,” “dating,” “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend.” Paul did not write about what to do on a first date. He does not tell us how long to date before marrying. Dating is the recent practice that men...

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Greetings to all the friends and supporters of the Protestant Reformed Theological School! By the time you read this, the first semester of the 2014-15 school year will be over, classes completed and exams administered, graded, and returned. Fourth-year student Ryan Barnhill will have returned from his six-month internship in the Protestant Reformed Church in Edgerton, MN. It has been an exciting semester. One of the most notable new features for the nine students in their second year of seminary has been the addition of “practice preaching.” In this new endeavor, the students must take the “theory” of what they...

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Previous article in this series: December 1, 2014, p. 111. “Chiliasm is not of Christian but of Jewish and Persian origin.” “Chiliasm…comes in conflict with Christianity itself. In principle it is one with Judaism and must get to where it attributes a temporary, passing value to Christianity, the historical person of Christ, and his suffering and death, and it only first expects real salvation from Christ’s second coming, his appearance in glory. Like Judaism, it subordinates the spiritual to the material, the ethical to the physical, confirms the Jews in their carnal-mindedness, excuses their rejection of the Messiah, reinforces the...

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Emily Letts’ “Positive Abortion Story” Emily Letts is an abortion counsellor at Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, USA. Having given advice to many women faced with “crisis pregnancies,” she found herself pregnant: “I knew immediately I was going to have an abortion. I knew I wasn’t ready to take care of a child. The guy wasn’t involved in my decision.” Troubled by the fact that many women feel guilty about abortion, Letts made a short video of her abortion to promote the idea that one can have a “positive abortion experience:” I searched the Internet, and I couldn’t...

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Rev. Spronk is pastor of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan. This is the edited text of the speech Rev. Spronk gave at the annual meeting of the RFPA on September 25, 2014. First article was in the November 15, 2014 issue, p. 89. We have to know church history because it is required by God (see the previous article). We also want to know church history because of the rich benefits the knowledge of this history affords us. Of the numerous benefits of knowing church history I have chosen to highlight four in this article. First, knowledge of...

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If much thought is given to the pre-service prayers in the consistory room, these prayers can be very helpful and encouraging to the minister. During a couple periods of my ministry, one elder rarely failed to include in his prayer the phrase “without fear or favor.” The phrase was used in the context of a petition for the minister’s preaching. The elder prayed God to enable me to preach without fear or favor. It is an important expression, the significance of which every minister should pay attention to. “Without fear or favor” is the literal translation of an old Latin...

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Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. I Corinthians 15:58 The turn of the calendar furnishes us another occasion to examine the past year and devote ourselves again in this new year to abounding in the work of the Lord. However, when we look at ourselves, we might come to the conclusion that we cannot abound in the work of the Lord and that our fight against sin and the devil and our own sinful flesh is...

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