There is almost a note of nostalgia in Daane’s concluding wish that the rich and sweet sounds of Covenant, Grace, and Election may again be heard in Christian Reformed pulpits.
Well, when was the last time that these sounds were heard unspoiled by the sour notes of Arminianism and universalism?
It has been a long time ago!
But let me conclude with a testimony. It is directed not only to Dr. Daane. But it is directed to all who miss the rich and sweet sounds of Covenant, Grace, and Election. And it is directed to all our people who are privileged to enjoy them, that they may be thankful for what they have.
I have shuttled between pulpit and pew for thirteen years. Admittedly, I still enjoy the pulpit more than the pew; but rather often I also occupy the pew.
During those thirteen years I have heard a good many Protestant Reformed preachers. I have listened to veterans of the pulpit, to young ministers, to candidates, to students. I have listened to men who had all their training under H. Hoeksema and G. M. Ophoff. I have listened to men who had their training under H. Hanko and myself. These men are not all the same. There are among them men of great talent, but also men of more limited ability. There are among them men of polished and interesting style, but also men who are less capable pulpiteers.
But they all speak the same language. Without exception, in all their preaching I have heard the sweet and rich sounds of Covenant, Grace, and Election—always implicit, but very frequently explicit. And let me make one thing crystal clear: these were not lectures, but sermons, preaching of the Word of God according to the Scriptures!
Not very often have I sat in the pews of other denominations. But I have done so a few times. I have sat in Christian Reformed pews, in Presbyterian pews, in Methodist pews. In my youth I visited other churches more frequently; they were churches ranging from Orthodox Presbyterian to the most rabid, Arminianistic, dispensationalist camp meetings at Old Orchard Beach to modernistic Congregational and Baptist churches. I also listen occasionally to the preaching of others via radio. Moreover, I hear from members of our churches who sit in other pews while on vacation.
And let me assure you: there is a difference! And it is an easily discernible difference!
In these days one has to look long and far in order to find preaching characterized by the sweet and rich sounds of Covenant, Grace, and Election such as is heard in our Protestant Reformed pulpits.
That is my testimony—based on experience.
I make this testimony without boasting in men.
But I make it without hesitation and without fear of contradiction.
And to such as are truly longing to hear the sweet and rich sounds of Covenant, Grace, and Election, I say: Come home!