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Often the editorial for the May 15 issue of the SB previews the agenda of the synod of the PRCA. This year, however, for the sake of continuity, we decided to print Prof. B.Gritters’ second editorial on the implications of Calvinism, in his series on “What It Means to Be Reformed.” Prof. Gritters will be laying down his pen for the summer in order to speak and preach for a month in Singapore, and we judge it best to include this editorial before the series is interrupted. Accordingly, the annual preview of the agenda for the PRCA’s Synod (to begin...

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Although it might seem a bit strange, at first blush, to devote the annual Reformation issue to a church father who died almost 1100 years before the great sixteenth century Reformation, we have good grounds for doing so. Our two main reasons are expressed well by the noted church historian Philip Schaff. First, Augustine’s theology was foundational for the Reformation. In his History of the Christian Church, Schaff contends that “Augustine is, of all the fathers, nearest to evangelical Protestantism, and may be called, in respect to his doctrine of sin and grace, the first forerunner of the Reformation” (Vol....

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Welcome to volume 91 of the Standard Bearer! The new volume year brings some significant changes to the magazine. First, not so significant, there will be a small increase in our subscription price. The last increase was seven years ago, so we are not surprised or disappointed that this is necessary. We hope you agree that the magazine is worth the $2 increase to $23 per year. Thank you for your subscription and support of the Standard Bearer. As reported last issue, Mr. Ben Wigger will no longer be our news editor. Again, and from all of us, Thank you...

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You have in your hands a special issue on the church’s long-treasured practice of singing psalms in public worship. Although our Psalter’s anniversary was not in view when we planned the issue, 2014 does mark 100 years since our fathers adopted the 1912 Psalter for use in the churches. God’s faithfulness explains our continuing in psalm-singing. The logic of the articles should not be missed. First, Rev. James Slopsema, one of our long-time writers of meditations, helps us reflect on God’s Word in the psalms. The editorial encourages us in the use of this songbook called “the Psalms” and the...

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The April 1, 2014 issue of the Standard Bearer will be a special issue on the Reformed tradition of singing the Psalms. The issue will include a history of Psalm-singing and will present various Reformed traditions of Psalm-singing. One article is devoted to singing the imprecatory Psalms. And we will examine how the 1912 Psalter might be improved. All this and more, coming in the next issue, D.V. —RJD

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Anniversary One month ago, with little notice and no fanfare, the Standard Bearer entered its ninetieth year of publica­tion. The handful of men that met in 1924 to form the Reformed Free Publishing Association, and the main writers, Revs. Danhof, Hoeksema, and Ophoff, could not have imagined that their fledgling Reformed magazine would still be coming off the press and mailed to subscribers ninety years later. The Lord has graciously blessed their work. God’s blessing is indispensable for the continuance of the SB, and for that we give thanks today. Our thanks is not merely that the SB continues as...

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Welcome to our celebration of the Heidelberg Catechism! The annual Reformation Day issue is devoted to the Reformed confession published 450 years ago in Heidel­berg, Germany. This special issue is linked to a confer­ence on the Catechism sponsored by the Protestant Reformed Seminary October 17-19. Six speeches were given at the conference, and all the speakers graciously agreed to condense their speeches for the Standard Bearer. One speech/article will wait until the next issue, namely, the Heidelberg Catechism’s View of the Chris­tian Life as Gratitude. To round out the special issue, we selected a sermon on Lord’s Day 1 by...

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Church reformation is God’s work. The church is God’s, and when it deforms, He raises up the nec­essary leaders; but God reforms His church. Reforma­tion involves a rejection of errors present in the church and a return to biblical teaching and practice as sum­marized in the confessions of the church. Reformation almost always results in the church being re-formed, i.e., a new institute forms, because an apostatizing church rarely returns to the biblical pattern. A reformation occurred in 1857. Four small church­es seceded from the Reformed Church of America (their current name, then the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church). The seceders...

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Included in this Pentecost issue is a sermon by Prof. Engelsma on John 7:37-39. A year ago, a reader of the SB, having heard the sermon preached, recommended that this be printed in the SB. All agreed that it was worthy of printing, but the length of the sermon was a question. Articles of this length, common in the “old days,” we today ordinarily will split into two parts. But the sermon does not divide well. Since the sermon is not only edifying, but is also a fine model for ministers and seminarians, the editors decided to print the entire sermon in...

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