All Articles For Vol 94 Issue 04 11/15/2017

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Trivia question There is currently in circulation in the PRC a blue spiral bound book entitled “Survey of PRCA Consistories and Congregations: The Psalter.” Do you know how many songs are in it? Answer later in this column. Mission activities A Reformation Day Conference was held October 31 in Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines. The theme: “Reformation 500, the Anniversary” was to be expounded by speakers Revs. D. Holstege, D. Kleyn, and R. Smit. On October 1 Rev. Richard Smit accepted the call of Doon, IA PRC to be the third missionary to the Philippines. Rev. Smit’s installation...

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After preaching their specimen sermons and upon receiving the approval of their preaching from Classis East and the Synodical Delegates Ad Examina of Classis West, the Pastors-elect Joe Holstege and Justin Smidstra were examined extensively on the six loci of Reformed dogmatics, and their knowledge of the Scriptures, confessions, controversy, and practica. Both Pastors-elect gave excellent demonstrations of their knowledge and training in all these areas over roughly five hours of oral questioning. Upon the conclusion of their examinations, there were unanimous decisions to approve of their examinations, to recommend that Zion PRC proceed to the ordination and installation of...

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Classis West did not officially convene until Wednesday, September 27, two noteworthy events took place the day before. First, an officebearers’ conference was held in Hull PRC. In connection with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the conference was entitled “The Five Solas and How They Matter for the Ministry.” Rev. C. Griess spoke on “Scripture Alone,” Rev. A. Brummel on “Faith Alone,” Rev. E. Guichelaar on “Grace Alone,” Rev. R. Barnhill on “Christ Alone,” and Rev. B. Huizinga on “God’s Glory Alone.” The speeches were a great encouragement to all assembled. If you were not able to attend the...

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Previous article in this series: August 2017, p. 446. “Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth….” Ephesians 6:14a Having heard our marching orders, “Be strong in the Lord!” (Eph. 6:10), and how to carry them out, “Put on the whole armor of God!” (Eph. 6:11), we now proceed to a treatment of our battle armor. God fashioned this armor in Jesus Christ and through His effectual command—“Put it on!”—will fit it to us. In Ephesians 6 the inspired apostle teaches a spiritual lesson by using the illustration of a Roman soldier. Everyone knew what a soldier looked like,...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2017, p. 473. I am explaining why the interdenominational Psalter revision committee proposes changing some of the music of the Psalter. In our previous article, we noted the two main reasons. One was that the tunes must serve the lyrics; certain tunes are more appropriate for the lyrics than others. Another was that the tunes must serve the congregation by enabling her to sing the lyrics well. A tune that the congregation cannot sing well, even if set to beautiful lyrics, does not serve well. The revision committee is evaluating the music (tunes)...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2017, p. 274. We have been considering an erroneous view of God’s kingdom that is being taught by some of the professors at Calvin College, Dordt College, and some others. These colleges describe themselves as institutions designed to train students to be “agents of renewal in the world,”1 and exhort us to join them in an effort to improve “the world.” To assure us that we are called to do this and that our efforts will not be in vain, they point us to God’s promise to renew all things. Yet the renewal...

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Although rather plain, the word ‘cover’ communicates a rich variety of meaning. Its basic idea is simply to hide or conceal. But depending on the type, purpose, object, or means of concealment, ‘cover’ can mean to hide temporarily (mask) or hide permanently (obliterate); to hide from sight, hearing, knowledge, creditors, enemies, or memory; and so can be in order to clothe, adorn, beautify, smother, destroy, shield, guard, protect, and even pay. With regard to God, His glory covers the heavens (Hab. 3:3). He covers Himself with light as with a garment (Ps. 104:2). He covers the heavens with clouds and...

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Previous article in this series: December 1, 2016, p. 105. Ecclesiastes 8:1-5 “Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed” (Eccl. 8:1). The conclusion reached in the preceding chapter is that wisdom, which is of God, true spiritual wisdom and understanding, is a rare gift of God in a fallen world. Fallen man walks after his own carnal wisdom, which is the folly of sin. The problem is “…God hath made man upright; but they have sought...

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The dialogue itself Readers of the Standard Bearer are perhaps familiar with Dr. James White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries in Phoenix, Arizona. White is famous as a Christian apologist, having debated atheists, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslims around the world. Some of his debates with Muslims, held in Mosques in England, South Africa, and other places, include titles such as “Trinity and Tawhid” (Yusuf Bux), “Is the Qur’an the Word of God?” (Muhammad Musri), “Did Jesus and Mohammed Preach the Same Thing?” (Adnan Rashid), “Is the New Testament We Possess Today Inspired?” (Shabir Ally), “Is the...

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Appreciation for the RFPA and the Standard Bearer Greetings. I was so thankful to read that dear Annemie Godbehere’s work on the Reformed Baptismal Form has been published. She was working on it during the two years or so when I corresponded with her prior to her going to glory. Also, may I express my thanks for Rev. Michael De Vries’ meditation on “Sowing and Reaping” [Oct. 1, 2017]. Like the rest of your pastoral articles, it is both sobering and timely. It was good, too, to see Martyn McGeown’s report of the vindication of the Bristol street preachers. I...

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