All Articles For Vol 95 Issue 01 10/1/2018

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Trivia question Which was the only continent not represented at the recent British Reformed Fellowship Conference held at Hebron Hall, Cardiff, in Wales? Answer later in this column. Dordt 400 conference The Theological School of the PRCA is sponsoring a three-day conference commemorating the great Synod of 1618-19, planned for April 25-27, 2019. Entitled “Dordt 400—Safe-guarding the Reformed Tradition,” the event will take place, Lord willing, at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Learn more and enter the writing contest at dordt400.org. Sister-church activities The recent British Reformed Fellowship Conference rejoiced in 116 registered participants along with 11 day visitors. The...

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Classis West met in regular session on August 29-30, 2018. The meeting was hosted by Peace PRC (Lansing, IL), but all sessions were held in the facilities of the neighboring Crete PRC, since Peace is in the process of transitioning to a new building. Rev. John Marcus chaired the meeting. The highlight of this meeting was the examina­tion of Pastor-elect Jona­than Langerak, who had re­ceived and accepted the call extended to him by Heri­tage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD). Mr. Langerak led a worship service on the night before Classis, expounding God’s Word from Proverbs 3:5­6. He was then examined the...

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The second week of July 2018 was an exciting and special time for the congregation of Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. On Tuesday July 10, Trinity held a dedication program for their new 11,100 sq. ft. sanctuary and narthex. The cornerstone was set and a program was held, consisting of special numbers from the Sunday School children and the choir, as well as a demonstration of the new organ, all of which set the tone of a joyful evening. The following Sunday, July 15, Trinity conducted her first worship service in the new sanctuary and, for the first time in...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2018, p. 307. In the last installment under this rubric, we looked at the pending United States Supreme Court case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This case, which involved a homosexual couple’s claim of discrimination against a Colorado baker who refused to make them a wedding cake, raised issues of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The Supreme Court has now issued its opinion in the matter, and while some of the decision is as expected, there are some aspects of the ruling that are noteworthy.1 The bakery in...

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Amid sediment in an oxbow of the ever-changing curves of the Red River, a well-preserved collection of items has been found. Among the items is a leather belt and buckle, reminiscent of the ones worn by those who traversed the Northwest transporting furs during the great North American fur trade of the 1700s. Could this belt have belonged to those fur traders, whose travels helped explore and settle Western Canada? In the late 1940s, Willard Libby, using his knowledge of radioactive decay, labored to develop a method to calculate the age of once-living organisms—creatures that contained carbon, or what is...

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Previous article in this series: June 2018, p. 307. Strength When you think about what it means to be a mature man, one of the things that probably comes to mind is his strength. Generally speaking, men are physically stronger than women. If the woman is the “weaker vessel” (I Pet. 3:7), this implies that the man is the stronger vessel. Especially is it the case with young men that they are characterized by strength. When I was a teenager, it was not uncommon for me to work all day in the scorching heat of the summer and, then, after...

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“…These stones shall be a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.”—Joshua 4:7c Of the 104 men delegated to the Synod of Dordt (see last article in the Sept. 1 issue), 18 represented the Dutch national government, known as the States General. Why were they there? The Reformed church in the Netherlands was supervised and supported by the national government. Without the government’s permission, no national synod could meet. Only three national synods had been held previously (at Dordt in 1578; Middelburg, 1581; and ’s Gravenhage, 1586). It would be thirty-two years before the government permitted the fourth national synod....

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I found much in the July 2018 editorial on Synod 2018 encouraging, though I would like to voice some concerns. First, Prof. Dykstra uses phrases such as “works are excluded in salvation,” yet the Scriptures at times say that our good works do play an important role in our “salvation” (for example, I Tim. 2:15; I Tim. 4:16). Some Reformed creeds explicitly state we cannot be “saved” without “good works” (for example, Tetrapolitan Confession, Chapter 5: “We utterly deny that any one can be saved unless by Christ‘s Spirit he be brought this far, that there be in him no...

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The final paragraph of the editorial, July 2018, urges readers, who are members of the PRC, to study the decisions of the PRC Synod of 2018, and are further enjoined to strive to understand the relationship of faith and good works. The editorial affirms and I believe that it is unquestionably true that the work of Christ in our salvation has eternal and everlasting importance and is by the mercy and grace of Christ alone. There is only one way to the Father. “No man cometh unto the Father but by me,” speaks Christ (John 14:6). Regarding the suggested study...

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With this issue of the SB we begin a new volume year. For the Reformed church world, what looms large this year, spilling into the first part of 2019, is the 400th anniversary of the Great Synod of Dordt and its magis­terial document, the Canons of Dordrecht. Although our good brother, Prof. Douglas Kuiper, has been ‘commissioned’ to contribute on a regular ba­sis over the next year brief articles dealing with the history and main activities of the Great Synod, we would be remiss if, in this opening editorial of the new volume year, we did not deal with some issue...

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