All Articles For Go Ye Into All the World

Results 1 to 10 of 240

Previous article in this series: April 1, 2021, p. 308. Evidence of the PRCA’s commitment to the three-self formula can be observed in the synodical decisions and missionary reports of the PRCA’s foreign mission work. Growth in the understanding of the three-self formula and a commitment to it is evident in PRCA’s past mission work in Jamaica, the first of four examples I will reference here. Initial involvement of the PRCA in missions in Jamaica began in 1962. At some time in that year, the Mission Committee (which in years later became known as the Domestic Mission Committee) was contacted...

Continue reading

A covenantal culture for missions? Since the dawn of the new dispensation, God has been drawing His elect church into the covenant of grace in two ways, from two sources, and through two tasks. First, through the Spirit-powered gospel preaching and witness of the church in the world, declaring to the nations the salvation of the Lord and saying among the heathen that the Lord reigns, God graciously seeks and saves His lost sheep out of the hell-bound hopelessness of their false religions into the blessed eternal life of His covenant (Ps. 96, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8). Then, through the...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: January 1, 2021, p. 161. There were divisions among the members of the Mission Committee and among the members of the committee appointed by First PRC of Grand Rapids. The Lord had now provided our churches with two missionaries who were to work together in the labors of home missions. In 1948 there were two possible places to perform their work: in Lynden, Washington and in Ontario, Canada among the Dutch immigrants who had been members of the Liberated Churches (LC) in the Netherlands. Some men on the Mission Committee and First PRC committee wanted...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: December 15, 2020, p. 138. A fourth example is the foreign mission work of the Netherlands Reformed Churches (NRC) in Irian Jaya in the 1960s and 1970s. The NRC was not the only Reformed denomination laboring in that part of Indonesia, but the NRC published a small book about their mission work that gives some helpful insight into their methods and goal—a work that was truly foreign, that is, among people who in their generations had never heard the gospel. The book, Mission on Irian Jaya: Church Visitation and View of Building and Destruction of...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: October 1, 2020, p. 17. In the PRC’s covenant theology, there is a significant truth that, though not entirely overlooked in the past, is still frequently overlooked in the present.1 Not long ago, I revised my lecture on Lesson 18 (“The Covenant of Grace”) in the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class that I teach to the young people of Provident PRC in Metro Manila. I first made that lecture nearly ten years ago, but I had not taught it since moving to our mission field in the Philippines in 2017. Regretfully, I discovered that in...

Continue reading

In previous articles we considered two significant differences between Reformed and Arminian missions, namely, the differences regarding the objects of mission work and regarding the goals of mission work. We now consider a third, namely, differences in missionary methods. Arminians are generally results-oriented in missions. They are interested in numbers. Their purpose is to persuade as many individuals as possible to accept Christ. They view it as their duty to stop sinners in their tracks, turn them around, and thus keep them from ending up in hell. I have often spoken with such missionaries, and it does not take long...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: June 2020, p. 403. In our last article we gave a broad overview of the troubles brewing in the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) during the years we are now treating. The trial God sent our churches found its focus in the person of the Dutch theologian, Dr. Klaas Schilder, and his theology of a conditional covenant. This false doctrine seeped into the hearts of many Protestant Reformed pastors, and by them into the hearts of the sheep God had entrusted into their care. Between the years 1947 and 1953 a deep division formed in the...

Continue reading

We look now at a selective overview of the history of the embrace and use of the three-self formula in Reformed foreign missions. The first example is the mission work of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in its Arcot mission field in India, which began in the 1820s.1 This date is significant because it pre-dates the influence of Venn, Anderson, Nevius, and Allen in Protestant foreign missions in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which indicates that some sense of the three-self formula already existed among Reformed missionaries and the calling churches at the beginning of their work in...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: March 15, 2020, p. 282. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). As God sent His Son, the chief Missionary, to save the world of men whom the Father had given to Him out of all nations and to give them everlasting life in His covenant, even so the Son of God has sent us into all the world...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading