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Vol 97 Issue 08

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Guided by our Shepherd

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 The twenty-third Psalm is a psalm of amazing comfort for the child of God. Our lives in the midst of this world are filled with cares, trials, and tribulations. But this psalm brings peace and quiet trust to the souls of God’s children. In the midst of all of the storms of life we behold our Shepherd, Jehovah God. He provides for our every need: “I shall not want,” we confess in verse 1. He cares for us, constantly alert to our...

Herman Witsius: Still relevant (5)

As indicated when we ended our previous editorial (Jan. 1, 2021), we intended in this editorial to quote Witsius’ conclusion to his book Antinomians and Neonomians. It is a conclusion worth quoting in full, one written in an irenic spirit but with firmness, laying down what must characterize Reformed theology in the interests of gospel preaching if it is to remain fully biblical. Witsius has deep insight into what must be preserved and insisted upon if the gospel of grace is to be fully preached, which means not neglecting the exhortations unto godliness (commands unto all good works) that must...

The Abraham Kuyper prize

A centennial anniversary “What Kuyper Can Teach Us 100 Years Later” is the title of a November 6, 2020 ChristianityToday.com article by Jordan J. Ballor, a member of the Acton Institute. The article reminds us that Dutch Calvinist Abraham Kuyper died 100 years ago on November 8, 1920. Kuyper is well known to the readers of the Standard Bearer, and it is no surprise to us that the 100th anniversary of his death would receive attention from a popular Christian institution such as Christianity Today. The article mentions another fairly prominent Christian institution, Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI, that...

Jonah’s storm

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be...

The Council of Constantinople (AD 381): The meeting

Previous article in this series: December 1, 2020, p. 112. We have now explained why the second ecumenical council in Constantinople (381) was necessary. Although the first ecumenical council in Nicea (325) had condemned Arianism (which denied that Christ is God), that heresy continued to hold influence and semi-Arianism (which said that Christ is similar to God, although not God) had developed. Some who opposed Arianism developed other wrong views of Christ. In addition, the question arose how the Holy Spirit related to the Father and Son. To address these matters, Emperor Theodosius I called the Council of Constantinople.  ...

Good works and assurance (2): Assurance of the essence of faith

Previous article in this series: October 15, 2020, p. 36.   Assurance of the essence of faith Assurance is of the essence of faith. This is the historic and confessionally Reformed view of assurance, as it is the teaching of Scripture. The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that assurance is of the essence of faith in its classic description of faith in Lord’s Day 7, Q&A 21. There the Heidelberg Catechism describes faith as both knowledge and confidence. Confidence is just another word for assurance. Although faith is knowledge and confidence, it may be said that of the two elements of faith,...

Alloys: Enhanced mixtures

Two are better than one…for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up…. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Since the time of Tubal-cain, “an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron” (Gen. 4:22), humans have seen the benefit of mixing metals to form better substances. Today we call such substances alloys—materials that have unique properties, often much different than the properties of the original metals from which they are formed. Generally, we consider...

Lessons from the Judges (2): From 32,000 to 300

Previous article in this series: October 15, 2020, p. 44. The book of Judges brims with instruction for the church’s youth. Last time, we noticed the idea, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). With this article, we continue drawing lessons from the book of Judges. We find ourselves in the history of Gideon, following the deaths of judges Shamgar, Deborah, and Barak. Israel had again apostatized. As was repeatedly the case, God’s people slid into the sin of idolatry. Jehovah, in chastisement, sent the Midianites, Amalekites, and children of the East to oppress...

News from our churches

Trivia question Which of the PRCA churches was organized twice, the latter in 1983? See the church profile portion of this article for the answer. More trivia next time.   Minister activities Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol arrived in Singapore on December 16. They were then required to be quarantined in a government-designated facility before taking up their work there face to face. The plan is to fill the pulpit of the CERC, our sister congregation, for about the first half of 2021. Rev. D. Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines) declined the call to Kalamazoo, MI PRC....

Byron Center PRC, MI

Did you know that the little country town of Byron Center, Michigan had a Protestant Reformed Church from 1926-1945? This small congregation began with about 20 families and met in the Byron Township Hall. Rev. George M. Ophoff was the minister from 1929 until the church disbanded in 1945, while he was also teaching in the PR Seminary with Rev. Herman Hoeksema. About 38 years later, in 1983, under the supervision of Hudsonville PRC and the guidance of Rev. G. Van Baren, a small group of 22 families and 2 individuals were given approval by Classis East to organize again...

1/15/2021