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All Articles For Another Look at the Declaration of Principles

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2006, p. 268.   A Summary of the Declaration  The Declaration of Principles sets forth the Protestant Reformed Churches’ understanding of and convictions concerning what the Reformed creeds and church order teach about grace, the preaching, the covenant, and church government. It is not intended to be a complete development of any of these, but only gives some of the principles and important elements of each. The Declaration repudiates the teaching that God has a common grace to all men. In that connection it rejects the view that the preaching of the gospel...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, p. 244. The Declaration of Principles has four sections. The third part of the Declaration begins: “Seeing this is the clear teaching of our confessions…We repudiate … And we maintain….” The “clear teaching” which forms the basis of the third part was set forth in the previous articles. Briefly, it is as follows. In part one, the Declaration demonstrates that the doctrine of common grace and the well-meant offer as adopted by the Christian Reformed Church in 1924 is contrary to the Reformed confessions’ teaching on grace, total depravity, and the particularity of...

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Previous article in this series: February 15, 2006, p 220. The Declaration of Principles intends to set forth what the confessions teach, and thus what is binding in the Protestant Reformed Churches, on a few specific doctrines. The Declaration delineates doctrines that are connected, directly or indirectly, with God’s covenant of grace. When the Dutch immigrants asked, “What is binding in the PRC?” they had in mind particularly the doctrine of the covenant. Everyone knew that the Reformed confessions did not contain a complete treatment of the covenant. However, the PRC were convicted that some of the covenant conceptions being...

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Previous article in this series: February 1, 2006, p. 196. Preamble DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES, to be used only by the Mission Committee and the missionaries for the organization of prospective churches on the basis of Scripture and the confessions as these have always been maintained in the Protestant Reformed Churches and as these are now further explained in regard to certain principles.¹ The preamble of the Declaration of Principles serves to remind us of the history behind the document, which history was reviewed in the previous editorial. The Declaration was drawn up to help the mission committee and the missionaries working...

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In 1951, the synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches formally adopted a document entitled “A Brief Declaration of Principles of the Protestant Reformed Churches.” The document had four parts, which can be briefly summarized as follows: 1) Common grace; 2) Salvation by sovereign, particular grace; 3) The covenant; and 4) Church government. Perhaps 75% of the document consisted of quotations from the Reformed confessions. The synod also approved a preamble, which sheds a little light on the document. The preamble reads as follows: DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES, to be used only by the Mission Committee and the missionaries for the organization...

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