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All Articles For Cloud of Witnesses

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction We who are of the Calvin Reformation rightly honor John Calvin as the great Reformer of Geneva and the spiritual father of Calvinistic churches throughout the world. But it is not an exaggeration to say that Calvin’s work would not have been possible without the intrepid labors of another Reformer, William Farel, who hacked away the undergrowth of Roman Catholic superstition and plowed the soil of Switzerland so that the seeds of Calvin could be sown and bear their fruit. Schaff writes of him:...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction God used more than one man to write that precious creed of the Reformed churches: The Heidelberg Catechism. Frederick III, elector of the Palatinate, ordered it written and supported the project, even offering suggestions from time to time. Zacharius Ursinus, professor of theology, was one of its authors. We have described the life and work of these two men in earlier articles. We have one more man to discuss: Caspar Olevianus. History has not recorded for us what precise part each of the two...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. In a series of radio sermons, broadcast in the forties, Rev. Herman Hoeksema called predestination “the heart of the gospel.” This precious truth of predestination was first taught in the church in the fifth century by Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, who developed this doctrine of Scripture in his controversy with the Semi-Pelagians. The Roman Catholic Church, while claiming Augustine as one of its saints and while professing to be faithful to Augustine’s teachings, rejected Augustine’s doctrine of double predestination. The Roman Catholic Church committed...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction In the last article we introduced our readers to Caspar Olevianus who, along with Zacharius Ursinus, authored the Heidelberg Catechism. Our readers will recall that we discussed Olevianus’s early life in Trier, the city of his birth, his studies for law in France, his studies in theology and preaching in Geneva, and his subsequent return to the city of his birth. Although Olevianus was hired in Trier as teacher in the local school, and was limited to teaching philosophy in Latin, his conscience still...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction William Farel, first generation Reformer, is remembered especially for his work with John Calvin, the great Reformer of Geneva. Into this darkness Farel burst, roaring like a bull, flinging about without regard for personal safety the great truths of Scripture which he had learned to love. He appeared on the scene as a meteor, smashing by his oratory and preaching of the gospel all the carefully fashioned practices of the false church from which he had broken. These labors led him to Geneva. Contact...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. When in the early history of the new dispensation church God was pleased to bring the gospel to Europe, the continent was overrun with many different barbarian tribes which were in darkest paganism and were constantly on the move. They were uncivilized, warlike, worshipers of idols, and perpetually fighting with each other. They were a threat to the Roman Empire and finally destroyed the empire in the West in the fifth century. All the institutions of society in the Roman world were destroyed—except for the...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. In the 8th century, the time in which Alcuin lived, Europe was in a sorry state. In the 5th century the Roman Empire had fallen before the barbarian hordes that swept over Europe, and the old Graeco-Roman culture of the Roman Empire had ceased to exist. In its place, the roving and militant tribes of uncivilized barbarians had inhabited Europe and a great darkness had settled on the continent. Although by the 8th century a great deal of missionary work had been done, Europe remained...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction In this and subsequent articles we intend to write sketches about certain leaders in the Reformation which God brought to the Netherlands. This is of particular concern to many of our readers who trace their ancestry to the Netherlands and find in the work of God in the Netherlands their own spiritual roots. While there are several important men whom we wish to discuss, our first articles will deal with Peter Datheen. I have given these articles the title: “Peter Datheen: Father of Reformed...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction While our main interest in these articles is that great preacher and Reformed liturgist, Peter Datheen, it is crucial, if we are to understand his life, to have before our minds a brief sketch of the history of the Reformation in the Lowlands, in which country Datheen lived and worked. We called attention to the fact that the Reformed Church in the Netherlands was born out of the womb of persecution, some of the most terrible persecution the church has ever experienced in the...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction It is a popular pastime nowadays to attempt to find one’s roots. No one can deny that this is indeed interesting to learn of one’s ancestors, their struggles and sorrows, their lives and callings. It is a more profitable pastime for people of God who recognize the truth of God’s covenant that God saves His church in the line of generations, to trace their spiritual roots. To know one’s family roots can sometimes be embarrassing, for often skeletons are found in unexpected closets. To...

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