All Articles For Vol 94 Issue 12 3/15/2018

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Trivia question When it is 7:00 p.m. in Doon, IA, what time is it in Antipolo City, Rizal, The Philippines, where our missionaries live? Answer later in this column. Young people’s activities Chaperone and nurse registration for the 2018 Young People’s Convention hosted by the five Midwest churches remains open. The convention is planned for August 13–17, 2018, at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN. To register, go to www.prcconvention.com and follow the instructions under the chaperone or nurse tab. If you have any questions, email chaperone@prcconvention.com. Congregational activities From the bulletin of Hudsonville, MI PRC: Internship: The consistory...

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(The following paragraph is a modern lament I call, How. Traditional Hebrew laments, such as Lamentations, began their text using the word “How”—see Lamentations 1:1, 2:1, and Lamentations 4:1. Thus, the title of Lamentations is Ekah, “How.”) How did this marriage turn so cold when, once upon a time, it was beautiful and loving? The young Christian couple shared everything together and lived as one. The years passed and their relationship deteriorated to a mere outward performance of duties and responsibilities. Sometimes they verbally attacked one another. Usually, they did not talk at all. Each prided himself/herself that the other...

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“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” Psalm 8:3-6 It is hard to read the central verses of Psalm 8 without pausing in wonder. Or perhaps puzzlement is a better way...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2017, p. 130. Introduction With chapter 6 of the Second Helvetic Confession, Heinrich Bullinger directs our attention to the providence of God. Along with the other Reformers, Bullinger subscribes to a robust doctrine of divine providence. God’s providence includes all things; no one and nothing is outside of the scope of God’s providence. Everything that takes place in time and in history is directed by the providence of God. Interestingly enough, Bullinger treats the truth of providence before the truth of creation and the fall of man into sin. That is not the...

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Previous article in this series: February 1, 2018, p. 207. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” Ephesians 2:20-21 John Calvin comments: They are built on the foundation—they are founded on the doctrine, of the apostles and prophets. We are thus enabled to distinguish between a true and a false church. This is of the greatest importance; for the tendency to error is always strong, and the consequences of mistake are dangerous...

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Greetings from your seminary—your “medical school” that trains physicians of souls; your “military academy” that equips mighty warriors for the army of Jesus Christ; your “music conservatory” that prepares men to give a clear sound on the gospel-trumpet; your “greenhouse” where seedlings are nurtured up to be strong plantings of the Lord, able to withstand the hot sun and strong winds of persecution and error; and there are other images that are useful to describe the work we do here on your behalf. Greetings from your seminary. Prof. Douglas Kuiper In my last report from the seminary (September 15, 2017...

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In this section of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is drawing a series of conclusions from the truth that death closes the door of life as the one event that comes to all, whether the righteous or the wicked. In natural man this truth stirs him to sin (Eccl. 9:3). For the believer, it means that his life in this world is shaped by the transitory vanity of life under the sun. The first conclusion, therefore, is that our focus must be to serve God with thanksgiving, rejoicing in marriage and in our daily bread and labor as our portion under the sun...

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question, often addressed to children or grandchildren in the range of four to ten years old, can yield some very entertaining answers. “A fireman!” “A nurse!” “I want to be a doctor!” “A teacher!” “A mommy!” It is especially interesting when the young girl answers very emphatically, “I want to be a minister!” Ah, we have some instructing to do here. This is harmless fun, and it is interesting to chart where the children’s interests lie and how their aspirations change as they mature. Yet, at some point in...

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“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 This text is very important in helping us understand our salvation. To begin with, because God calls us to work out our salvation, it rejects the idea that Christians are inactive spiritually, and should sit back and let God “do all the work,” so to speak. On the other hand,...

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