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When cleaning out a study towards the end of one’s active ministry, one comes across things of interest, items laid aside long ago for future reference. One such item was a religious periodical, Christianity Today, dated August 16, 1993. Evidently laid aside for future reference due to some article that had caught my attention. But which and why? Opening the magazine, I realized what had caught my attention: an article by Charles Colson that was the substance of an address he gave to the National Press Club back in March of 1993. The address was entitled “Crime, Morality, and the...

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With this issue of the SB we begin a new volume year. For the Reformed church world, what looms large this year, spilling into the first part of 2019, is the 400th anniversary of the Great Synod of Dordt and its magis­terial document, the Canons of Dordrecht. Although our good brother, Prof. Douglas Kuiper, has been ‘commissioned’ to contribute on a regular ba­sis over the next year brief articles dealing with the history and main activities of the Great Synod, we would be remiss if, in this opening editorial of the new volume year, we did not deal with some issue...

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The Protestant Reformed Churches have been my ecclesiastical home from my birth. These churches have nurtured, fed, guided, and instructed me, and subsequently, my children and grandchildren. I love these churches and pray for them continually. It is out of love for these churches that I take up the pen and address a growing concern in my soul, namely, a spirit of radicalism in these churches. Radicalism is difficult to define. It does not identify itself, nor even admit to being radical when so accused. Radicalism is not heresy as such, for it maintains the truth of Scripture and the...

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Previous article in this series: August 2018, p. 437. Where is the true church to be found? The Reformed church confesses that the true church can be identified by three notable marks, namely, the preaching of the pure doctrine of the gospel, the administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ, and the proper exercise of church discipline. It was necessary for the church of the Reformation to set forth these marks in order that the true church of Christ be distinguished from the false, that is, Rome, as well as from various groups that had separated from the Reformation,...

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In an island country of some 5.5 million people, located over 8,000 miles from the nearest PRC, is a congregation of nearly 190 members that earnestly desires Protestant Reformed preachers to come to preach and teach. As all in the PRC know, at the end of 2017 Rev. Andy Lanning accepted the call to a congregation in the USA, leaving our sister congregation in Singapore vacant. Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) loves the truth preached in the PRCA. When they became vacant, the session immediately began working with the Contact Committee towards obtaining another pastor. After considering all the options,...

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Previous article in this series: June 2018, p. 389. The Belgic Confession in Article 29 lists the three well-known marks of the true church of Jesus Christ—the preaching of the pure gospel, the proper administration of the sacraments, and the exercise of Christian discipline.[1] The necessity of setting forth the distinguishing marks of Christ’s church was, first, the deformation of the church in the Middle Ages. When the Belgic Confession was written (1561), the church of Rome was thoroughly corrupt in doctrine and practice. In addition, the church of Christ had to be distinguished from radical groups that sprang up....

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Twice in recent months the claim has been made that Dr. Harry Boer’s gravamen is not a legitimate gravamen. The argumentation is that the Boer gravamen is a “prove it” gravamen, that it is simply a request for the Christian Reformed Church to give Scriptural proof for the doctrine of sovereign reprobation, and that the Synod is not a kind of “question-box” and cannot be called upon to render proof for the various doctrines set forth in the creeds. The Rev. Nelson Kloosterman made this claim in The Outlook (February, 1979). After writing rather confusedly about the nature of a gravamen,...

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I am writing these editorials from Waupun, Wisconsin, where I am staying with friends during the brief period that I am appointed to labor in these parts in the interest of our mission. This time Waupun itself is not the center of our activity, although it begins to appear to me that it could very well be made a center. For many of our people that remember the past the name Waupun does not awake pleasant memories. For a little while we had a congregation here, which, however, soon revealed very morbid tendencies of which they stubbornly refused to be...

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In more than one way our present times of war and destruction in the whole world shed an interesting light upon those phenomena in human life which the Christian Reformed Churches in 1924 endeavored to interpret by their theory of common grace as officially adopted in the “Three Points”. This is especially true of the phenomenon of the apparent good which the natural man performs in this present world. It is the Reformed view that man by nature is totally depraved, which, according to the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 3, means nothing less than that he is wholly incapable of...

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Radio Address of Oct, 18, 1942, over W.L.A.V. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) Jesus saves! This brief statement, which one may read now-a-days on billboards and fences, on church buildings and automobiles, is true in all its implications, much more so than those who are responsible for its public display are willing to admit. That Jesus saves is guaranteed by His very name, for His name is not a mere, meaningless appellation, but expresses what He actually is, for it was given Him, not by His parents, but by divine command through a heavenly messenger. And the name signifies: Jehovah saves, or...

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