Vol 98 Issue 04

Results 1 to 10 of 11

“Yet I will rejoice”: Thanksgiving through all times and seasons

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall  fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail,  and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be  cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in  the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the  God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength,  and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will  make me to walk upon mine high places. To the  chief singer on my stringed instruments. Habakkuk 3:17-19 The book...

Synods 2020/2021 and “in the way of repentance”(1)

The purpose of this editorial and those that follow is to  provide theological instruction on the disputed issue of  the doctrine of repentance as it was treated by Synods  2020 and 2021 of the PRC. The origin of the dispute  was the protest of a minister’s sermon on Proverbs  28:13. Before I lay out the background to the case as it  appeared at consecutive synods, a couple of comments  are in order by way of introduction. Introduction  First, one of the lessons we have learned in recent years  is that it is necessary for the church through her teaching  ministry...

Apology

The purpose of this letter is to apologize. From  November 15, 2020 through January 15, 2021, I wrote  a series of five articles on the seventeenth-century Dutch  Reformed theologian Herman Witsius, reflecting on his  book entitled Conciliatory, or Irenical Animadversions,  on the Controversies Agitated in Britain, under the  Unhappy Names of Antinomianism and Neonomians.  On account of objections raised against these articles,  working with my consistory, and discussions with a  number of my colleagues, I am persuaded that I owe the  readers of the SB an apology. As I informed my consistory and the readers in my  articles on Witsius,...

Letters

Added thoughts on the Christian and amusement  Dear editor, I would like to add some thoughts to Rev. Mahtani’s  timely article “Amusement: The mind’s escape from reality.”  [SB, Sept. 1, 2021] Rev. Mahtani writes, “God gives us time for leisure.”  The Lord made the beautiful creation, the birds,  fields, mountains, flowers, that we may enjoy them in  a leisurely stroll or garden work. The Lord “gives His  beloved sleep,” in which restful sleep we do not at all  think about reality but “escape” it. He gives us six days  to labor, and the seventh to “rest.” God gives us wine ...

Racheting up the rhetoric

Introduction The schism in the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) affects life “all around us.” Much more significant than any other issue is the rift that has taken place in our churches, separating very friends and families from one another. While the leaders of the schism call it a “reformation,” I call it what it is: a sinful division in the church of Jesus Christ. The schism is being kept active by ratcheting up rhetoric. Rhetoric is “the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing.” To ratchet something up is “to increase repeatedly and by small amounts.” Such we have...

A greater than Jonah

The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Luke 11:32 It is impossible to tell the story of Jonah without taking account of Jesus’ words concerning Himself in Matthew 12:41 where He calls Himself “a greater than Jonah.” Greater indeed than Jonah,...

Lamb

If you were a Jew in the Old Testament, you would have been familiar with the lamb. You would have chosen one for your family every year at Passover (Ex. 12:3). It would have been a perfect lamb with no blemishes, a male of the first year, taken away from suckling at its mother’s breast (Ex. 12:5; I Pet. 1:19). You would have looked at its snowy white wool and into its large brown eyes before taking a knife and letting out its blood with a stroke to the neck. The flesh of the lamb would then be roasted and...

Years of trial (4) Missions threatened (1947-1953)

Previous article in this series: April 15, 2021, p. 329. After the synod of 1948, Protestant Reformed mission work among the Dutch immigrants in Canada who had been members of the Liberated Churches (LC) in the Netherlands became an obsession. The Mission Committee, First PRC (the calling church of our missionaries), and most of the membership of the PRC viewed this labor as most advantageous for church extension. There were a few who eyed this work with suspicion. Rev. George Ophoff was wary of the sharp doctrinal differences between the LC and the PRC on the covenant (conditional vs. unconditional)....

The pity party

Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest. Jeremiah 45:3 Each one of us has experienced this before. Taking on a victim mentality, we crab and we pout about the hurt others have caused us. We become downcast and despondent because one after another circumstance, or so it seems, has piled up against us. Navel-gazing, we take on the doom and gloom mindset, crying silently within as Jacob of old, “All these things are against me” (Gen. 42:36b). Or as described by...

Bring the books

The Church’s Hope: The Reformed Doctrine of the End (Volume One: The Millennium), by Prof. David J. Engelsma (Jenison, MI: RFPA). $29.95 soft. 350 pages. Reviewed by Rev. Garry Eriks. The clear message of this volume on eschatology is the church’s hope that Jesus Christ is coming again to bring His church to live with Him in body and soul forever. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs this hope because of the attacks upon her and the hardships she faces in an increasingly wicked world. From beginning to end Prof. Engelsma warmly reminds the church of her hope....

11/15/2021