All Articles For Vol 96 Issue 19 8/1/2020

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The following was written by Doon member Vi DeBoer. Nestled quietly in the very northwest corner of the state of Iowa, which is in the north central part of the United States, is the small village of Doon. Not much to take note of by human standards, but home for 93 years to a small congregation of believers. The Doon Protestant Reformed Church was born out of the Christian Reformed Churches in the area in 1926. The Lord used the weak means of preaching by various Protesting Christian Reformed ministers to bring about the formation of the Doon Protesting Reformed...

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Trivia question In what year was the Doon, IA PRC organized and who was its first pastor? Answer in the church profile section of this issue. More trivia next time. Minister activities First Edmonton PRC called Rev. N. Langerak. On July 12 he declined this call. Rev. C. Haak declined the call from Kalamazoo, MI PRC. They then formed a new trio of Rev. S. Key, R. Kleyn, and Spronk. On July 5 Rev. Spronk received this call. Rev. R. Kleyn declined the call from Cornerstone PRC. Unity PRC formed a new trio of Revs. G. Eriks, E. Guichelaar, C....

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The American Puritans, by Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2020. Pp xvi + 208. Paperback. $18.00. Reviewed by Douglas J. Kuiper. This book is not about Puritan theology but about seventeenth-century American church history. Each chapter sketches the life story of one prominent figure in early American Protestantism. Featured are two colonial governors (William Bradford and John Winthrop), six pastors (John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, Thomas Shepard, John Eliot, Samuel Willard, and Cotton Mather), and the poetess Anne Bradstreet. Anyone of high school age and older who is interested in church history during the American Colonial...

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We are living in fearful and unprecedented times. Awful events are taking place in the world in which we live. The things that are happening are like none most of us have ever experienced before. God’s judgments are being poured out on an ungodly world. What do these events mean? These things are truly a serious trial for all of us. COVID-19 is causing great misery and trials for us all. Worldwide deaths from this plague have numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The worldwide impact of these events is shocking. There is great sorrow and an­guish in our nation...

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“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5 The last two decades of social development in western nations has seen an almost incomprehensible shift in moral reasoning that is so vast in its reach that it has been rightly called a “moral revolution.” Rather than a gradual slide in private morality, this revolution has come in the virtual blink of an eye and within plain view. What was once taboo—especially in the sphere of human sexuality—is not only permitted but glorified as an embrace of diversity and a vindication of the vulnerable...

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Among various things one can consider in foreign missions, there is this significant question: “What is the goal of missions?” Many, varied, and sometimes erroneous are the answers to that question in books about missions. Prof. Robert D. Decker, now emeritus professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Theo­logical Seminary, gave an answer to that question in an article at the conclusion of his thorough series on “Mis­sionary Methods” in the Standard Bearer in April 1985. He wrote that “certainly in all mission work the goal must be the gathering of the elect out of the nations into the...

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Previous article in this series: May 15 2020, p. 378. Last time we explained that justification—including the assurance and experience of justification—is by faith and not by works. Although we made fine distinctions among justification, the assurance of it, and the experience of it, they are all fundamentally one. The experience and assurance of justification in one’s consciousness is justification. Justification is a forensic or legal concept that takes us into the courtroom—not an earthly courtroom of man, but the divine courtroom of heaven, where everything speaks of perfect righteousness. Come, now, into the au­gust courtroom of God and it...

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The Word of God in Ecclesiastes now moves to the conclusion of the book. But first it sets before us the objective theme and the inspiration of the book. That theme is: Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity (Eccl. 12:8). The transitory character of life under the sun has been the object of contemplation. We labor and toil under the sun. The world presents itself as rich and beautiful, for God made it and His handiwork is revealed by the things that are made. But that world also lies under the curse and judgment of God upon...

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Preparing to write for the rubric “All Around Us” requires searching the papers, scrolling through blogs, flipping through periodicals, and watching the news to identify that which would be edifying to reflect on and write about. As I did this over the last few months, there has been one event that has dominated the news: the spread of COVID-19. The title of this rubric is “All Around Us,” and unquestionably over the course of the past few months what has been “all around us”—what seems like the only thing to be “all around us”—is news and analysis concerning this coronavirus....

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After each meeting of synod, faithful members of the churches are interested in the decisions synod took. Although some decisions may be what we label routine, others are of great magnitude. Considered routine may be approval of a budget for the mission field, or a decision to print more catechism books. Of great magnitude are synod’s call of a new seminary professor; synod’s answers to protests and appeals; or synod’s decision to establish sister-church relations, to open a new mission field, or to declare a man candidate for the ministry of the Word. These are weighty matters. These decisions determine...

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