On April 11 the ministers of Classis East held the first meeting of their newly organized Ministers Conference.
Taking a lesson from the past the organization has adopted a setup different: from the previous conferences which were organized only to pass out of existence after a few meetings. We may remember that the previous meetings were held after a day of busy classical activities, when some of the delegates were eager to spend a few quiet hours with relatives and friends, others had to hurry off to their trains. Now, however, we have an all-day meeting the day before Classis, with the ministers of Classis East only. The purpose of limiting the circle thus is not to be exclusive of course but to insure a reasonably solid attendance.
Our first meeting we considered a great success. After opening prayer and Scripture reading a few details of business were attended to and then as the main item we were favored with a very excellent paper by Rev. R. Veldman., on the subject: “The Tautology in the term ‘Total Depravity’” built upon Scripture and the Confessions. A very warm and thorough discussion followed of penetrating questions, criticisms and counter-criticisms which did not abate until the clock told us our two and a half hours were up.
In the afternoon at 1:30 we met to hear a paper by Rev. W. Hofman, on “The Day of Jehovah”. We were soon impressed with the fact that we were listening to another excellent paper, with an abundance of direct and indirect material from Scripture, gathered, analyzed and organized.
Because of the relative newness of the subject the discussion was at first hesitant and a little vague. But not for long. A discussion developed that matched the earlier one in eager and thorough penetration until again the clock put a stop to the discussion at its height.
So our first meeting became history. It was a day of wonderful promise for the future. All expressed satisfaction and joy at the edification and fellowship. Some even revealed delight. And we are glad to announce that although no provision is made as yet to record the discussions, we expect to publish the papers at the end of the year.
Our next meeting is on October 3. The papers assigned for that meeting are:
Church and State according to Art. 36—Rev. B. Kok. Pluriformity of the Church according to Holy Scripture—Rev. A. Petter.
Advanced assignments for the January meeting are: The Essentially Modernistic Worldview of Common Grace—Rev. J. Heys.
The Motives of Idol Worship—Rev. J. De Jong.
We already look forward to our need meeting.