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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2017, p. 125. With the New Year upon us, it is customary to think of improving ourselves personally. Christians may want to read more, eat less, adopt an exercise regimen, develop different entertainment practices, or change spending habits. True, one person may be inclined to self-examination more than another, but we all do well to consider ourselves regarding correcting personal flaws and promoting spiritual growth. The apostle Peter warns that, if there is not growth in a man, he may well be led away with the error of the wicked and fall from...

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(cont. from p. 165) As we already stated, there is a rather difficult question connected with the day of Jesus’ death, the difficulty arising from the fact that there appears to be a difference between the synoptic gospel narratives and the gospel according to John. It is the question, whether our Lord celebrated the passover with His disciples on the day fixed for this by the law (the 14th of Nisan), and in that case died on the 15th of that month, or whether He ate the paschal supper a day earlier, and was crucified on the 14th. But this...

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Dr. Clarence Bouma, who informs us in Calvinalia, The Banner, Dec. 24, 1943, that he specialized in philosophy at the time when he was preparing himself for apologetics, in spite of this special preparation appears to have special difficulty properly to evaluate any view that differs from his own. And the result is, not only that those who disagree with him often become the victims of a pen-lashing administered by him, instead of receiving appreciative, sympathetic, and properly motivated criticism, but also that the criticism he does offer is frequently vague, and beside the point. A fair example of the...

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Recently, as our readers will recall, the editor of The Banner wrote about a hymn and a latch. In the issue of Jan. 14 he devotes an editorial to “a narrow bridge.” That narrow bridge is the truth. “He who would know the truth must walk on this narrow bridge. On either side is a deep abyss from which there is no return.” Although the editor informs us that this figure of speech is derived from an old Arab story, the phraseology reminds one rather strongly of Barth and his dialectic performances. We say this without even remotely intending to...

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Brother Langerak suggests (see p. 206) that the exception which the Lord mentions in Matt. 19:9 (“except it be for fornication”), justifies the conclusion that in case of fornication the innocent party may remarry, both the husband and the wife. He suggests that the text may be read this way (the meaning is, of course, that we may continue, finish, the text in this way): “Whosoever shall put away his wife for fornication and marry another, does not commit adultery.” Now, as I have stated before, I understand full well that those who make a plea for the remarriage of...

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It is not necessary for the Standard Bearer to introduce to our readers the newest arrival in the field of current Protestant Reformed literature, Concordia. It introduced itself in the form of a sample copy of the first issue sent to most of our readers, if not all, together with the announcement that it is willing to visit them every two weeks for the small sum of one dollar in eight months. We only write this editorial to welcome it, to recommend it to all our readers, to wish it a prosperous existence and a long life, to offer the...

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I also received the following communication: “Dear Sir: “The question ‘What is conscience?’ came up in one of our meetings. It was assigned as after-recess material. We had a spirited discussion on the question but could not reach much agreement on it, and the general feeling was that there was much more in the question than we realized. Just before the meeting adjourned a motion was made to ask the editor of the Standard Bearer some time at his convenience in the not too distant future to answer the questions: ‘What is conscience? Did Adam have a conscience in the...

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I received the following question: “What is the basis that godly parents may not doubt about the salvation of their children when they die in infancy? W. W.” The question is, of course, connected with I, 17 of the Canons of Dordrecht, which reads as follows: “Since we are to judge of the will of God from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended, godly parents have no reason to doubt of the election and salvation...

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In the November 1 special issue of the Standard Bearer, I wrote on the Reformation principle Semper Reformanda, or “Reformed and always being re-formed.” I defined that important principle as the calling of the church always to be examining herself in the light of the Word of God, and then making necessary correction based on that Word of God. Always. There never is a time when the church may rest satisfied with herself. She must start with being “Reformed,” and then always be willing to be “re-formed.” She is active in that calling by examining herself. Thus: “ecclesiastical self-examination.” Because...

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These words—“we unhesitatingly recommend”—could well be hung on the wall of all consistory rooms of Reformed congregations. In large enough print, that every time the council members walk into the room they see and are aware of them. These words are the heart and center of the “Letter of Recommendation” that a council must give to their minister if he leaves for another church. The elders and deacons must declare: “We unhesitatingly recommend our minister to you.” One of the more important (even if infrequent) decisions that a consistory must make is the decision to write this recommendation. A minister...

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