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All Articles For Pamphlet Concerning the Reformation of the Church

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(Note: Kuyper is still talking in this paragraph of the proper formation of the church. In this connection he has talked about the relationship between the church as organism and the church as institute, the relationship between the office of believers and the special offices in the church, and how the institute of the church is actually formed. It is, in Kuyper’s judgment, necessary to understand the true nature of the church in order to understand how the church can deteriorate and degenerate and why the church is in need of church reformation.

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(Kuyper takes the position in this pamphlet that in order to understand reformation in the church one must understand deformation. And in order to understand the deformation of the church one must understand what the Scriptural idea of the church is. In the last paragraph Kuyper has spoken of the importance of the local church as the manifestation of the body of Christ. He concluded that section with the words: “For this reason, therefore, we maintain that Scripture history, and precision of terminology all agree with the idea that the local church is the essence of the church.

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(In his discussion concerning the ideal form which the church of Christ ought to take on this earth, Kuyper has discussed the fact that a congregation is made up of believers and their seed, that the church receives into her fellowship members from other churches, that the church must also be busy in the work of missions. In the following paragraphs he discusses the question of authority in the church.)

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We make only a short statement by way of introduction to the following pamphlet.  Just because the Reformation of the church is now a relevant issue, Luther’s 400th anniversary has a more urgent significance.  Also in Luther’s day men did not thoughtlessly begin the demolition of what was incurably filled with dry rot. A lengthy and earnest study of church polity preceded Luther’s appearance, and in a number of writings the matter of the Reformation of the churches was at that time earlier advocated. 

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3. The fourfold way in which the church of Christ can be understood.  On the ground of the authority of Holy Scripture, the essence of the church must be considered as distinguished under four aspects. One can refer to the church as it is determined in the counsel of God; the church as her life is hidden in Christ; the church as it is realized on earth among men; and finally the church as it shall finally rejoice before the throne in glory.  Confusion of these four makes clear insight difficult. 

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(In the last article which appeared in the Standard Bearer of Kuyper’s “Pamphlet Concerning the Reformation of the Churches” Kuyper discussed his views on the relation between church and state. In this and successive paragraphs, Kuyper discusses the duties of the individual office bearers and the function of the office of believers.)  22. That Which Must Concern the Ministers of the Word 

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