All Articles For Vol 94 Issue 16 5/15/2018

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Trivia question Which PRC minister has been the mentor of the most seminary interns? Answer later in this column. Minister activities On Resurrection Sunday, April 1, emeritus pastor Wayne Bekkering was taken to glory at God’s right hand. Rev. Bekkering served his Lord faithfully as husband, father, and minister of the gospel of grace. He served PRC congregations at Randolph, WI; Houston, TX; Faith in Jenison, MI; and Pella, IA, as well as serving as a missionary to Ghana. He was ordained in 1972 and became emeritus in 2005. Funeral services were held April 5 at Hudsonville, MI PRC. We...

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Walking in the Way of Love: A Practical Commentary on 1 Corinthians for the Believer (vol. 1), by Nathan J. Langerak. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2018. 432 pages, hardcover. [Reviewed by Rev. Ron Hanko] This is an excellent and much-needed addition to anyone’s collection of commentaries, whether layman or preacher. Though I never preached through the book of I Corinthians, in preaching on individual texts I repeatedly found that there were few useful commentaries on the book. Nevertheless, this treatment is not only for preachers but is eminently readable and within the scope of any layman. Indeed, it...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2018, p. 282. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9, 10 In the previous article we considered the doctrine of the image of God and, in particular, the way this doctrine is traditionally understood within the Protestant Reformed...

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I remember being quite confused for a long time by the question that titles this article. I remember being further confused by statements made by Protestant Reformed authors, such as the following: “In fact, Scripture makes clear that the law is gospel, for it has the power to convert the soul, to make wise the simple, and to enlighten the eyes.”1 And, “The law is gospel. If anyone doubts it, let him read Psalm 19 and Psalm 119.”2 And, “For Calvin and Calvinism, with regard to the elect believer law is an aspect of gospel.”3 How can this be? The...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2018, p. 279. The Epicureans We therefore condemn the Epicureans who deny the providence of God, and all those who blasphemously say that God is busy with the heavens and neither sees nor cares about us and our affairs. David, the royal prophet, also condemned this when he said: “O Lord, how long shall the wicked exult? They say, ‘The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.’ Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He...

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Imagine that your foster home was permanently closed, and your foster children abruptly taken away from your home (apparently, so urgently that they were not even permitted to gather up their belongings), simply because you refused to lie about the Easter bunny. And then imagine that your foster home was closed even to the extent that you were prevented from ever serving as foster parents, even to Christian children—again, simply because of your refusal to lie about the Easter bunny. This was the experience of Derek and Francis Baars in their interaction with the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, Ontario....

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My friendship with Rev. Bekkering goes back to the mid-1960s when we worked together at a local grocery store. Interestingly, that is also where we both met our spouses. Rev. Bekkering and I attended Calvin College together, as well as the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Then we served together in the ministry of our churches for nearly four decades. Rev. Bekkering served churches in Randolph, WI; Houston, TX; Jenison, MI (Faith); Pella, IA, and finally as missionary in Ghana, Africa. For the most part our contact with each other was limited to our work on the broader ecclesiastical assemblies. For a...

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In the Reformed system of church government, the synod is the broadest gathering. These ecclesiastical assemblies are assigned the duty to transact “ecclesiastical matters only” and that “in an ecclesiastical manner.” Synods do the work which for various reasons cannot be “finished in the minor assemblies, or such as pertain to the churches in common” (Church Order, Art. 30). In an ecclesiastical manner? What does that mean? From a negative point of view, it means that the work is not performed in the manner of a state legislature, or of the U.S. Congress. The “manner” is very different indeed. For...

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Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. John 20:17 These words were spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene at the tomb on the day of His resurrection. Mary Magdalene had come to the tomb earlier that morning with several other women to anoint Jesus’ body. To their complete surprise the stone had been rolled away from the opening of the tomb. While the other women entered the...

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