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THEY CHOSE TO LIVE: The Racial Agony of an American Church, by J. Herbert Gilmore, Jr.; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1972; 206 pp., $2.95 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H Hanko]  Perhaps our readers will recall that about two years ago the news media in this country gave extensive coverage to an event in the First Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama. At that time the church refused to receive two blacks—a black woman and her daughter. This resulted in the resignation of the pastor and the formation of a new congregation. 

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Welcome to our new rubric! Like the fresh-faced new teacher who shows up the first day of school after the long summer break, our rubric deserves a proper introduction. Otherwise we classmates don’t know who she is or what she is doing here. This article intends to do just that. In keeping with an unspoken, perhaps unnoticed, but long-standing tradition of the Standard Bearer, the title for this rubric is lifted directly from the Authorized Version of the Bible. In this particular case, II Timothy 4:13. It...

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Covenant and Election in the Reformed Tradition, by David J. Engelsma. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2011 (www.rfpa.org); cloth, 288 pages; $28.95; ISBN: 978-1-936054-02-2. Reviewed by Charles J. Terpstra, a member of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan. Covenant theology is a “hot topic” in Reformed and Calvinistic circles at present. Partly due to a renewed interest in the doctrines of grace and in the full (deep and wide) teaching of the Reformed faith (especially by the so-called “new Calvinists”), and partly due to impetus from the federal vision heresy, the doctrine of the covenant is increasingly being...

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Custom and Command, by Stan Firth. London: self-published, 1996, 88pp., $3.05. Reviewed by Julian Kennedy, member of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. This review is about a booklet expressing a false ecclesiology—or view of the church. This little booklet has had its influence, and its thesis is accepted by many in the “house church movement” in the UK and farther afield. But it is spiritually anarchic. Firth’s thesis undermines the necessity of regular corporate worship and the preaching and offices in the church. Firth believes that there is need of a “new breed of Christians,” functioning...

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Receiving David: The Gift of a Son who Taught Us How to Live and Love, by Faye Knol. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2010. 173 pages. $15.00. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-8028-6543-4. Reviewed by Douglas J. Kuiper. Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability, by Stephanie O. Hubach. Philipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006. 234 pages. $14.99. Paperback. ISBN 978-1-59638-051-6. Reviewed by Douglas J. Kuiper. I’ve read two books recently written by mothers of special needs children. Both mothers are Christians of Reformed and Presbyterian background. Both have insights in the area of special needs individuals in...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2009, p. 138. Why Read? “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” Mortimer J. Adler “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Mark Twain “. . . Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” Ecclesiastes 12:12b “. . . Give attendance to reading. . . .” I Timothy 4:13a Have...

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Mr. Terpstra is a member of the Faith Protestant Reformed Church of Jenison, Michigan. Welcome to the world of books, especially good, Reformed books! And yes, probably some books that are not so Reformed, maybe even some that are quite Deformed, which good Reformed readers nevertheless should read and learn from. Having been appointed to this rubric, my sister Sue Looyenga and I hope to stir up some good reading habits on the part of our Standard Bearer audience, young and older. We plan to write regular reviews with a more positive emphasis, recommending solid Reformed and Christian books of...

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Called to Serve: Essays for Elders and Deacons, ed. Michael Brown. Reformed Fellowship (2007). ISBN 978-0979367748. 274 pp. $15.00. Softcover. Reviewed by Rev. Douglas Kuiper. Protestant Reformed Churches in America do little to give our elders and deacons formal, systematic training for their office. Perhaps in the monthly officebearer meetings, some time is spent discussing articles of the Church Order or other relevant material. Occasionally a congregation sponsors a conference or lecture pertaining to the subject. The delegates to Classis West make every effort to gather once or twice a year for a conference. But nothing formal and systematic is...

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