All Articles For Go Ye Into All the World

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Among various things one can consider in foreign missions, there is this significant question: “What is the goal of missions?” Many, varied, and sometimes erroneous are the answers to that question in books about missions. Prof. Robert D. Decker, now emeritus professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Theo­logical Seminary, gave an answer to that question in an article at the conclusion of his thorough series on “Mis­sionary Methods” in the Standard Bearer in April 1985. He wrote that “certainly in all mission work the goal must be the gathering of the elect out of the nations into the...

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One of the joys of serving as a missionary in the Philippines is to see and hear firsthand the love for the truth that the Lord kindles in the hearts of His people. The zeal that is displayed by those who are new to the precious truths of God’s Word is often contagious. And admittedly, sometimes it even serves as a silent rebuke to us whose interest has often waned and whose light has at times grown dim. Their confession of the truth warms our hearts, especially when this confession is made in the midst of afflictions, such as typhoons,...

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The minutes of the Mission Committee (MC) from 1947 through 1949 do not reveal the unrest that was developing in the Protestant Reformed Churches at that time. But there it was. There were various reasons for this unrest, but in the late 1940s much of it centered in a Dutch theologian by the name of Dr. Klaas Schilder. We took note in a previous article that Dr. Schilder made a visit to the United States in 1939. Already then he had become well known to the pastors and members of the PRC and the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). He gave...

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The covenant of God. Our mission to the world. How often have we thought about these highly sig­nificant biblical concepts together? How often, when discussing one, have we been led to discuss the other? How deeply has our thinking penetrated into the glo­rious realities and urgent callings that lie at the inter­section of these truths? It is the humble opinion of this writer that there is room for growth in our understand­ing of the relation between these marvelous truths of Scripture. The burden of this and subsequent articles will be an attempt to develop the relation between them as it...

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2020, p. 14. In our previous article we noted that the significant doctrinal differences between Reformed and Arminian churches result in differences in their mission work. The overarching difference is that while the Arminian approach is individualistic, the Reformed approach is covenantal. This accounts for a difference with regard to the objects of mission work. In general, the objects of Arminian mission work are individuals, whereas the objects of Reformed mission work are families. Why? Because God, who is Himself a family God, has revealed to us that He wills to save and...

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One of the aspects of mission work in cross-cultural settings is the day-to-day differences that a missionary must face and to which then he must respond appropriately and wisely. This day-to-day reality of cultural differences is true for all missionaries and their families, who are sent across cultural and linguistic boundaries, no matter their originating background, birth-nationality, and home-culture. Although the degree of differences can vary between the culture in which the missionary labors and the culture in which he was born and raised, yet they are an unavoidable part of his daily and weekly work. In this article, we...

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There is much that separates the Reformed faith from Arminianism doctrinally. Those doctrinal differences are expressed in the Can­ons of Dordt, which set forth the Reformed truths of unconditional election, limited atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and preservation of the saints, and that over against the Arminian denial of these biblical truths. Arminianism rejects the doctrines of sovereign grace and instead defends conditional election, uni­versal atonement, the free will of the sinner, resistible grace, and the possibility of falling away from salvation. As always, false doctrine affects every area of be­lief and practice. For that reason, the false Arminian doctrines...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2019, p. 93. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob…for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2019, p. 382. The zealous Christian witness who would reprove the man of this world, with the desire that he might be gained to Christ, must learn about that man and his religion before reproving him. “It is clear,” writes the Reformed missiologist J. H. Bavinck, “that elenctics must first of all begin with the precise and calm knowledge of the nature of the religion with which it is concerned.”1 The Presbyterian mission­ary John Young writes, “Such a refutation [of a false religion] will of course entail a knowledge of the native religion, not...

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Earlier this year my wife and I enjoyed an extended furlough in the USA. In the course of visiting our churches, giving presentations at our schools, and discussing with many of you our labors in the Philippines, I was asked numerous questions (and good ones, I might add) about the plans for and work toward the start of a seminary in the Philippines. These questions indicated, first of all, a lively interest in and support for this significant development in the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP). It is indeed a large undertaking for this small denomination. But they...

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