All Articles For Vol 96 Issue 06 12/15/2019

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Trivia question Prof. Barry Gritters traveled to the Siouxland area of Iowa to give a Reformation lecture. What was his topic? Answer later in this column. Minister activities The Lord has led Rev. Jon Mahtani to accept the call to serve as minister-on-loan to Singapore. May God be with him and his family, as well as with Cornerstone PRC and Covenant ERC as they make this transition. Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB Canada has issued a call to Rev. Ryan Barnhill, pastor in Peace PRC of Dyer, IN. On November 24 he declined this call. Congregational activities The Activities Committee...

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In the years of youth, when the days are full and our energy is seemingly inexhaustible, we do not often consider that we are pilgrims on this earth. But we should. This world is not our home, but we look forward to God taking us home to Himself in heaven. December is a unique month: the old year casts its evening shadows, and the first glimmerings of the new year appear. As 2019 sets and 2020 dawns, it is appropriate that we consider Psalm 121:1–2. Psalm 121 is one of the psalms entitled “A song of de­grees.” Such a psalm was sung...

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The first ecumenical council of the Christian church was held in A.D. 325 in Nicea, a city that today is known as Iznik, Turkey. A council is a meeting of church leaders from various congregations in different localities, at which the leaders address problems that are common to the churches. As the early Christian church expanded, the need for councils became obvious: in a council the church would agree on matters of doctrine and practice, and respond with one voice to men who taught error or pro­moted evil. Regional councils, attended by representa­tives of churches in a geographic region, had...

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“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13–14 First there was but one angel who appeared to the shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem as they kept watch over their flocks by night. Seeing the glory of the Lord shining round about them, the shepherds shrank back in fear. “Fear not,” said the angel, “for I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Then the angel proceeded to...

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Text of remarks made at the dedication of Hope PR Christian High School (Redlands, CA) by Duane Huisken. Psalm 127:1 states, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” The same may be said about those who built this high school. Throughout the addition of this high school, pa­tience was a necessary ingredient. At the January 21 groundbreaking, it was mentioned that construction was delayed because of a dead tree. Even in this, God was teaching us patience. In God’s providence, the parents of Redlands Protes­tant Reformed Church, which was organized in 1932, wanted and...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2019, p. 473. There are various legitimate means evangelism committees and mission committees use to spread the gospel. One such means already faithfully used by the PRC Mission Committee was that of the printed page. During the years that war was being waged in Europe and the south Pacific, various churches, especially First PRC in Grand Rapids, published pamphlets addressing diverse doctrinal and practical issues—many of them written by Rev. Herman Hoeksema. In the twenty-fifth anniversary booklet of the Protestant Reformed Churches the author writes: There are the pamphlets of the Sunday School...

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Previous article in this series: October 15, 2019, p. 40. In our last article we surveyed the work of the office of elder as prescribed by various articles of our Church Order, the “Form of Ordination of Elders and Deacons,” and Article 30 of the Belgic Confession. Our goal was to demonstrate that imbedded in these confessions, if not explicitly stated, is the idea that the work of the office of elder has three basic aspects: rule or oversight, being a pastor or shepherd, and teaching. In this article we will demonstrate this point from Scripture. In doing so, we...

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Previous article in this series: October 15, 2019, p. 43. There have been many urgent calls to our churches and her members to pray for the young men of our congregations to consider the ministry of the gospel in our churches. It has been stated that we as a denomination are headed for a very serious shortage of ministers in the next few years. This is largely because the PRC has many pastors who are nearing the end of their ministries and because so few new students are arising with the burden of the call to begin their studies. Our...

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It is unusual that I should be able to report progress on topics recently covered in this rubric (SB, October 1, 2019), but the legal machinery has moved more quickly than I anticipated. On September 26, 2019 an employment tribunal in England dismissed Dr. David Mackereth’s case against his employer. The panel of judges found that there was no ground for Mackereth’s complaint that he was subject to discrimination/harassment on the basis of his religious beliefs. On the contrary, his beliefs are “incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others.” When I read that in the...

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Reprobation is God’s eternal decree to leave the reprobate in their misery of sin, not to give them saving faith and the grace of conversion, and to condemn and punish them forever. This is the teaching of the Canons in Head I, Article 15. Article 15 adds that this decree is righteous and unchangeable. Reprobation is also “out of His [God’s]…good plea­sure.” That, first of all, eliminates the possibility that God’s determination of who are reprobate is based on something in the person. Just as election is according to God’s good purpose and not based on something in the person...

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