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Vol 97 Issue 09

Results 1 to 9 of 9

Numbering our days

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12 Are you numbering your days? We must number the days of our lives already lived. How old are you? How many days has that been? And what has filled those day? We must also number the days that we can reasonably expect to live yet on the earth. It is good to do this that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. What it means to number or count our days will become clear only in light of what has already been said...

What shall we say about AD 2020?

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. Psalm 118:8, 9 The year of our Lord 2020 was quite a year. Momentous. It was that politically. It was that socially. It was that ecclesiastically. For many, 2020 was momentous in a very personal way. Politically—in light of the presidential election, and what the results portend for the foreseeable future. Socially—in light of the effects of the coronavirus upon life and society, with its resulting edicts of governors and bureaucrats touching every...

A new secular America

Religious liberty under Trump President Trump was and is certainly a controversial figure in the USA and across the world. However, what cannot be denied is his promotion of religious liberty. Whatever Trump’s personal religious convictions might be (he grew up in liberal Presbyterianism under the ministry of Norman Vincent Peale, and has among his spiritual advisors prosperity-preacher charlatans such as Paula White), politically he favoured a robust defense of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. One of his most significant Executive Orders was EO 13798, titled, “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” In that order, signed on May 4, 2017,...

God’s chastening and COVID-19

How is God chastening us during this time of the plague of COVID-19? These are days of great spiritual lessons that we must soberly consider. It is amazing that this plague is worldwide. God is punishing the world for its ungodliness. What is the great sin of this world for which it is being so severely judged? The trouble with much of modern- day Christianity is that it does not even know what sin is any more. What is the greatest evil of this world? It is its ungodliness. This alone makes this world worthy of the just and holy...

The elders’ work of oversight: (3) Overseeing the offices

That the elders are called to oversee the worship services of the church we have noted. We turn now to another aspect of their work of oversight, namely, to oversee the ecclesiastical offices.   Election to office The elders’ oversight of the offices includes the choice of who may be in office and the work of putting them into office. Our Church Order (CO) makes this clear in several places. Referring to the calling of a minister who has not yet been in office, Article 4 requires the minister to be elected (chosen) “by the consistory and the deacons.” Article...

Reformed versus Arminian missions (3) Different Methods

In previous articles we considered two significant differences between Reformed and Arminian missions, namely, the differences regarding the objects of mission work and regarding the goals of mission work. We now consider a third, namely, differences in missionary methods. Arminians are generally results-oriented in missions. They are interested in numbers. Their purpose is to persuade as many individuals as possible to accept Christ. They view it as their duty to stop sinners in their tracks, turn them around, and thus keep them from ending up in hell. I have often spoken with such missionaries, and it does not take long...

Supreme Court decision on gatherings during COVID-19 is a boost for religious liberty (1)

State and local governments have imposed restrictions on gatherings, including church and religious gatherings, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from suggestions for COVID-19 safety protocols to restrictions limiting the number of individuals who can gather to worship. Many have been concerned that the government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext for overreaching and violating the separation of Church and State, as well as infringing on the right to Free Exercise of Religion under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.   The facts of the case The State of...

Bring the books…

Watchman on the Walls of Zion: The Life and Influence of Simon vanVelzen, by Rev. Joshua Engelsma. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2021. 224 pages. $26.50, hardcover. [Reviewed by Rev. Stephen Regnerus] Simon vanVelzen. Who is the man? Many readers likely are unfamiliar with him, for the name Simon vanVelzen is not a household name. And if we should know the man, then how are we to view him? Many historians consider him to be an imbalanced, even radical man, while few hold him up as a wise and balanced warrior. What ought our assessment to be? Was vanVelzen...

News from our churches

Trivia question Of the ministers currently serving in the Protestant Reformed Churches, four have last names beginning with the letter “S.” Can you name them? Answer later in this column.   Minister activities Rev. D. Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines) received and considered the call to Kalamazoo PRC. Rev. Holstege announced on December 20 that God had led him to decline the call and to remain a foreign missionary to the Philippines. Rev. Holstege, along with his wife and children, left the Philippines Wednesday, December 16, for his missionary furlough in the U.S. (until June 30, 2021). According to...

2/01/2021