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Vol 97 Issue 06

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Good tidings of great joy

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 Good tidings of great joy! The world looks for joy in possessions and pleasures and power and whatever else they set their hearts on. Their idols promise happiness; but they never deliver. And when one’s idols prove themselves empty—as idols invariably do—they are replaced with other idols equally unable to satisfy. In contrast to the...

Herman Witsius: Still relevant (3)

We come to the heart of the antinomian controversy in England in the late 1600s, that which was most ‘warmly’ disputed among the Protestant theologians and in their congregations, namely, “the utility of holiness,” as Witsius labels it.1 This is simply another way of referring to good works and their place in the life and salvation of the redeemed: their benefit, their usefulness, their incentive, and even in what sense they are necessary. It was an area of dispute (one that has always retained that potential) because of what Rome made of good works, namely, meritorious works. A whole misbegotten...

Endorsement of homosexuality and same-sex marriage in the sphere of the church

In a previous installment for the “All Around Us” rubric (Feb. 1, 2020, p. 204), I considered the progression of sexual immorality in the sphere of the world by focusing on three current developments: the real push to legalize prostitution, the increasingly common polyamorous relationship, and the direction of the pornography industry in utilizing virtual reality technology. The sexual revolution of the twenty-first century has been swift and deep. For the believer who desires and watches for the return of Jesus Christ, these advancements in the realm of sexual immorality come with no surprise. The cup of iniquity must fill...

Jonah’s flight

Introduction Last time we saw that Calvin spoke of four “causes” of salvation. The first was the efficient cause, which Calvin said points to the Author of salvation, the triune God of grace. The second was the material cause, describing the substance of our salvation, Christ and His righteousness. Next, Calvin spoke of the instrumental cause of our salvation, describing faith, the pipeline or instrument God uses to grant us all the salvation that is ours in Christ. Finally, Calvin referred to the final cause of our salvation, which describes the end or goal of salvation, namely, the glory of...

The Trinity of Persons in one God

When you think about the fellowship we have with God, do you also think of the fellowship that God has within Himself? The covenant communion we have with God is related to the communion of the three Persons in the triune God. It is the God who has fellowship within Himself that brings His people into fellowship with Him. After a few articles on God’s covenant, we turn now to consider the doctrine of the Trinity and our fellowship with our covenant God. By His grace we have everlasting communion with God, the living God, the God who is three...

Churchman

Churchman—although not entirely unheard of, it’s not a word that we use very often. It refers to a man of the church, a man whose whole life revolves around the church, a man who dedicates himself to the service of the church. The church today needs churchmen. Her need is not simply for members who are male, but for male members who are truly men, that is, strong men of God. Especially is this need urgent in the evil days in which we presently live. The church throughout history has always needed strong men, but that need is all the...

The three-self formula and PRCA foreign missions (2)

We look now at a selective overview of the history of the embrace and use of the three-self formula in Reformed foreign missions. The first example is the mission work of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in its Arcot mission field in India, which began in the 1820s.1 This date is significant because it pre-dates the influence of Venn, Anderson, Nevius, and Allen in Protestant foreign missions in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which indicates that some sense of the three-self formula already existed among Reformed missionaries and the calling churches at the beginning of their work in...

The Supreme Court exempts religious schools from employment discrimination (2)

In the last installment of this series,1 we looked at the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County,2 in which the Court ruled that, in addition to other forms of discrimination, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prevents discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This ruling may have effects on private businesses and religious organizations, as will be discussed below. However, on July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court handed down another ruling in the case of Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru3 which exempts private religious schools from...

News from our churches

Trivia question Have you ever heard of a baby growing two pounds in one night?! Check out the church profile and see what actually happened! More trivia next time.   Minister activities Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) declined the call from Wingham PRC. From a new trio consisting of Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. J. Laning (Hull, IA), and Rev. N. Langerak (Crete, IL), Wingham called Rev. Engelsma. Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call from Hudsonville PRC. Hudsonville then formed the trio of Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC), Rev. R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA), and Rev. C. Spronk...

First PRC of Holland, MI

On July 4, 1929, at a Field Day of the Protestant Reformed Churches, Rev. Herman Hoeksema announced, “Last evening a baby was born, weighing nine pounds and showing signs of vigorous growth, for during the night the babe grew two more pounds.” He was referring to the organization of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland, Michigan. On July 3, members of the Classical Committee had met with interested people for the purpose of organizing a new Protestant Reformed Church. It was thought that as many as 75 families might be interested in forming this new congregation. However, only nine...

12/15/2020