It seems that the big item in the news in many of our churches a couple of weeks ago was that of public lectures. In the Loveland Community Building, on October 29, Rev. Engelsma spoke on “a theme related to the great Reformation of the Church, which is commemorated on Reformation Day. “And, in connection with that lecture, we read further that, “as advertisement of the Reformation Day speech, we will soon send out about 2000 copies of a pamphlet by the pastor entitled, ‘What is a Protestant?’ This is the Reformation Day speech which the pastor gave last year. Copies are available today, in the bulletin rack, for all members of the congregation. Take as many extra as you can use for your own personal distribution.”
In the Pella Christian Grade School gymnasium, on Nov. 5, Prof. Hanko spoke on the subject, “The Reformation and the Unchaining of the Scriptures.”
That was the topic, also, of Prof. Hanko’s speech at the Reformation Rally held in First Church of Grand Rapids. Since we have very little news this time, perhaps we could try to give a few main points of that speech, for the benefit of those of you who were not privileged to attend. Prof. Hanko called attention, in his speech, to the fact that the Reformation was, above all else, a return to the Scriptures. He mentioned that it was many other things, as, for example, a return to the truth and a restoration of the principles of the church polity. But it could have been none of those things if it had not been a return to the Word of God. That was the heartbeat of the Reformation. Before the “liberation of the Bible” in the early sixteenth century, the Scriptures were effectively. bound by chains made “in the forges of the institution of the Roman Catholic Church.” Roman Catholic Tradition, which had an authority independent of, and even superior to, that of the Bible, constituted the main chain by which the Scriptures were bound. Two lesser chains were the denial of the perspicuity of the Scriptures and, in close connection with that, the claim that laymen lack the ability to interpret Scripture. The Bible was, therefore, taken out of the hands of the people, and the matter of interpretation was left solely to the church. The position of the reformers, on the other hand, was that the exegesis of Scripture must not be bound by anyone or anything other than the Scriptures themselves. They believed that, though the Scriptures are so profound that the greatest theologian cannot penetrate its depths, they are, nevertlneless, so clear that even a child can understand. They maintained that Scripture is, indeed, a closed book to anyone who sets himselfover it, and to anyone who tries to impose his own ideas on Scripture. When an unbeliever comes to Scripture, he wrests it to his own destruction. But to those who bow in humility before Scripture, to those in whose heart is the Spirit of Christ, it becomes the very Word of God unto salvation.
Concerning calls, we can pass on the following information: the consistory of our church in Doon has made a trio consisting of Rev. R. Harbach, Rev. J. Heys, and Rev. R. Moore. Rev. G. VanBaren has declined the call to Hope Church of Grand Rapids. Rev. D. Engelsma declined a call from our Southwest Church. And Rev. R.C. Harbach declined a call from our Randolph, Wisconsin congregation. Rev. R. Decker preached the sermon at the Installation Service of Rev. J. Kortering in Hull, Iowa, on Oct. 2. That Congregation rejoices in the fact that “the Lord has made it possible to welcome our own Pastor, Rev. Kortering, to our pulpit.” That statement from their Sunday bulletin is a pretty clear indication of their gratitude. Other notices on those bulletins indicate, also, that the gratitude was translated into action. Before the arrival of the Korterings, members of the congregation attacked the parsonage with “brooms, paint brushes, and rollers.” And the- two youngest classes of the Sunday School were practicing, well in advance of Oct. 9, for the reception to be held on that date: That the signs of appreciation were appreciated is evident from the following note from “The Korterings”: “We wish to publicly thank all in the congregation who contributed in making our return such a hearty welcome. The house was beautifully redecorated throughout, the freezer is full to over-flowing, and our hearts were edified by the welcoming program. We seek the blessing of God upon our future, since it has pleased Him to join us as Pastor and congregation once again. May we be a means of edification to one another and God’s name glorified in all our way.”
We have a little item of information, yet—the change of address of a church. The Loveland congregation has the same building. And, to the best of our knowledge, the building is in exactly the same spot. But it’s no longer 809 East 57th St., as reported in the 1970 “Acts of Synod and Yearbook.” According to that church’s bulletin, “The State has changed the address of our church building. It is now 705 East 57th St.” The smartest thing to do, we suspect, is to simply1 make the change in the yearbook—don’t try to figure, it out.