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In this issue of the Standard Bearer, we begin a three-part series on the history and present doctrinal and spiritual condition of the Dutch Reformed church in South Africa. The articles feature the Gereformeerde Kerken van Suid-Africa (Reformed Churches of South Africa), known popularly as the “Dopper” churches. In the past, this has been the soundest of the Reformed churches in South Africa.

Most readers of the Standard Bearer have little knowledge of the Reformed church in South Africa and its present struggles. The only mention of the Reformed churches in South Africa by the religious press in North America has been castigation of apartheid. The more important issues of faithfulness in doctrine and worship are of no concern to these magazines and journals.

There are theological developments in the Reformed churches in South Africa that are of the greatest interest to all who love the Reformed faith. The report that begins in this issue informs us of these developments.

The author is Mr. Slabbert Le Cornu. Mr. Le Cornu is a fourth-year theological student at the theological school of the Reformed Churches of South Africa in Potchefstroom. We thank him for this account of the Reformed church and faith in South Africa.

The editorial in this issue, interrupting the series on assurance, is the text of a speech given to the students and faculty of Covenant Christian High School in Walker, MI. At the request of the administration of the school, I explained why Reformed Christians, particularly the students at Covenant, ought not to attend the movie The Passion of the Christ. The speech was given the morning of February 25. The movie was to be released to the public that evening. Because many have requested a copy of the speech and because the speech may be of benefit to a wider audience, I publish it here.

— DJE