News from our churches

Trivia question The Protestant Reformed Church of Kalamazoo, MI was organized in 1927. In what year was their first church building constructed? See the Church Profile section for this answer. More trivia next time!   Minister activities Rev. M. VanderWal accepted the call to First Edmonton PRC. He planned to preach his farewell in Wingham PRC on September 27. Rev. M. DeBoer declined the call from Cornerstone PRC. Kalamazoo PRC called Rev. R. Kleyn. From Hudsonville PRC’s new trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, R. Kleyn, and C. Spronk, Rev. Engelsma received the call on September 20. Wingham PRC has a […]

Church profile—Kalamazoo, MI PRC

Three great men! Rev. H. Danhof, pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church of Kalamazoo stood side by side with Rev. H. Hoeksema and Rev. G. Ophoff to do battle against the error of common grace. Rev. Hoeksema had a large following in the Grand Rapids area. Likewise, Rev. Danhof had a large following in Kalamazoo. When Rev. Danhof and his consistory were deposed from the Christian Reformed Church, he took with him the vast majority of his large congregation. But the hopes of a vibrant, thriving, Protestant Reformed congregation in Kalamazoo were soon shattered. Rev. Danhof could not see […]

All working for good

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 The child of God experiences countless times of joy and gladness over the course of his life. But no one can dispute the fact that our earthly pathway is also beset with many obstacles and dangers. There are many hardships, many afflictions, many disappointments, many sorrows and heavy burdens to bear. And always, to one extent or another, there is the hatred and persecution of the ungodly. The circumstances of life can appear […]

Editor’s notes for the new volume year

With heartfelt gratitude to God, we begin the ninety-seventh year of the Standard Bearer. It should be obvious that in order for the SB to find its way into your mailbox twenty-one times in the next year, many people put in significant effort. That starts with some forty men and women who have committed to write anywhere from three to twenty articles in the next year.1 Behind the scenes, managing editor Charles Terpstra sets the schedule for the writers (and reminds them when theirs are due), edits every contribution submitted, and along with the editors, proofreads every issue. Then there […]

Why catechism? The covenant goals of catechism

It is October, now, and for most of our churches the season of catechism instruction is underway. In the Reformed tradition, the churches’ children are catechized in all the truths of Scripture, both its history and doctrine. This tradition holds catechism as a biblical demand, a demand so important that if parents do not send their children, the parents become objects of church discipline. But our parents do send their children, and with gladness. From age six until their late teens, for 25 or 30 weeks per year, for an hour each week, the covenant children come to church to […]

J.I. Packer (1926-2020) Murder: What to expect when the government approves euthanasia

J.I. Packer (1926-2020) The obituary posted (July 17, 2020) on Christianity Today’s website by Leland Ryken reports, “James Innell Packer, better known to many as J.I. Packer, was one of the most famous and influential evangelical leaders of our time. He died Friday, July 17, at age 93.”1 Packer’s fame and influence makes his death worthy of notice in the Standard Bearer. Packer is well known by most of us because of his writings. His books Knowing God, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, Fundamentalism and the Word of God should be on your reading list, if you have not […]

As to our good works (7): Relating good works and justification (c)

Previous article in this series: August, 2020, p. 446.   We have strongly insisted that justification is by faith alone and thus excludes all good works of the believer. This same strong insistence by the notable Reformers of the sixteenth century was always met with the charge that their doctrine militates against a holy life of good works, jeopardizes true religion, and if it does not expressly teach, it strongly suggests, that a believer can walk in sweet peace with his God no matter how loose, offensive, or vile his life. When faithfully taught, the doctrine of justification by faith […]


Whatever beautiful things the Bible may declare about them, feet are not the most attractive members of the human body. (And that is even assuming we have in mind a regular foot, rather than the six-toed monstrosity of the giant slain by David’s mighty men, II Sam. 21:20.) The tendency of sandaled feet to get dirty on the dusty paths of Palestine explains why the first act of hospitality was the washing of feet. Thus Abraham washed the feet of three men in the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18:4), Lot washed the feet of two angels in Sodom (Gen. 19:2), […]

How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? (6): The value of evidences

Previous article in this series: June 2020, p. 400. Introduction In this series of articles, we have covered two ways God speaks in Scripture that let us know this book can only be from Him. As He reveals Himself, God speaks about the future before it occurs, and He brings a diversity into unity that is so great no human or collection of humans could accomplish it. We have also examined two aspects of the content of the Bible, to see that what the Bible says also reveals its origin is from God. Here, we took note of the excellence […]

The covenant of God and our mission to the world (2): The decree of the covenant and missions

Previous article in this series: March 15, 2020, p. 282. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). As God sent His Son, the chief Missionary, to save the world of men whom the Father had given to Him out of all nations and to give them everlasting life in His covenant, even so the Son of God has sent us into all the world […]