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Vol 97 Issue 19

Results 1 to 9 of 9

Jehovah my portion

Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. Psalm 119:57 Psalm 119 is the prayer of a pilgrim facing the ups and downs of life. Facing these things, our temptation is to approach life from a horizontal perspective, looking only on the earthly plane. The psalmist, however, teaches us to take a vertical perspective, looking at life in the light of our relationship with Jehovah God. In his prayer, he declares his delight in God’s love to him as well as his love to God. He confesses his neediness, expresses his thanksgiving to...

The sin of schism

Five editorials have appeared, thus far, on the unrighteous and painful schism in the PRCA. The first editorial simply lamented. Next, we recognized that the schism is a great threat to us and our children. The reality of this threat has been confirmed by more recent actions and writings. The horror of this threat is evidenced in broken marriages, parents divided from their still-athome children, and young people leaving the spectacle in disgust. One man described it as “ripping the entire denomination apart in every way—congregations, mission fields, colleagues, friends, families, parents, children, and marriages, causing destruction and unspeakable grief.”...

Letters

Incentives to good works I am writing out of concern that the idea of “incentives” for good works can be taken in a wrong way. Rev. K. Koole addresses this idea in his recent series on H. Witsius—I appreciate his willingness to continue down the road to understanding these issues better. My concern is that we might think of the personal blessings promised in Scripture as a separate goal. Personal goals should not be an extra motivation alongside our thankful love for God. Rather, they must be completely subordinate to and must not exist apart from the one motivation of...

Gender dysphoria and the courts

Gender dysphoria and its “treatment” Imagine a small child, perhaps as young as ten years old. Imagine a little boy or a little girl, or a young teen—your child—distressed and “unable to function emotionally for at least six months” for some or all of the following reasons: A strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that one is the other gender; a strong preference for wearing clothes typical of the other gender; a strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play; a strong preference for toys, games or activities stereotypically used or engaged...

But

Often maligned and under suspicion, “but” can fall on hard times. Some of it justified. Heretics use “but” to obscure error. We use it to excuse sin. And both practices are due to sin against the first “but”—“But thou shalt not eat of the tree” (Gen. 2:17). The fact is, “but” is essential to the Word of God, which came not by the will of man, but by the Holy Ghost (II Pet. 1:21). And without “but,” there is no gospel antithesis between God and man, sin and grace, law and gospel, truth and lie, salvation and damnation, heaven and...

The graft

Just outside the front door of my home is a small ornamental tree that I planted last year. The tree is unusual looking, having a rounded evergreen canopy placed on top of a straight, branchless trunk. In fact, this plant is entirely unnatural, which is why it catches the eye compared to other plants around my home. Instead of being grown as a seedling, it was created by a skilled horticulturalist who grafted a bush-like dwarf pine onto a young white pine trunk. The graft between the two plants is still visible as a bulge near the top of the...

The covenant of God and our mission to the world (4)

A covenantal culture for missions? Since the dawn of the new dispensation, God has been drawing His elect church into the covenant of grace in two ways, from two sources, and through two tasks. First, through the Spirit-powered gospel preaching and witness of the church in the world, declaring to the nations the salvation of the Lord and saying among the heathen that the Lord reigns, God graciously seeks and saves His lost sheep out of the hell-bound hopelessness of their false religions into the blessed eternal life of His covenant (Ps. 96, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8). Then, through the...

Lessons from the Judges (4): Samson seeking an occasion

Last time, we considered Jephthah’s vow. Samson was judge at the same time as Jephthah. Jephthah dealt with the Ammonites in the east. Samson had to do with the Philistines in the west. The Philistines, a warlike and idolatrous people, occupied a strip of land by the Mediterranean Sea to the southwest of Israel. Samson was born about the time the Philistines began to oppress Israel. Let us study together the history in Judges 14, focusing on one clause in verse 4: “he [Samson] sought an occasion against the Philistines.”   Peace with the Philistines Israel was living peaceably with...

News from our churches

Trivia question How many churches are included in Classis East of the PRCA? And how many in Classis West? Answer later in this column.   Minister activities Prof. R. Dykstra (PRCA Seminary) accepted the call from Byron Center PRC. He was installed on June 27 with Prof. B. Gritters leading the service. The inaugural sermon was preached in the evening, with a short program and refreshments following. Hudsonville PRC called Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC). Rev. Bruinsma was led to decline this call. Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC-Dyer, IN) declined the call from Wingham PRC. Kalamazoo PRC also called Rev....

8/1/2021