All Articles For Go Ye Into All the World

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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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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2019, p. 306. The Synod of 1946 was pivotal. Its decisions could change entirely the direction of mission work in the Protestant Reformed Churches. First, should our churches engage in foreign mission work and, if so, should that work be done in China as the eastern branch of the Mission Committee was recommending? Second, should the structure of the Mission Committee be altered? Should synod appoint a mission committee made up of men from Classis West to pursue church extension work in the West while retaining the present Mission Committee with the men...

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Previous article in this series: July 2019, p. 429. Some of the interesting highlights of the Guanabara Confession include, first, that this document was written by regular church members, not highly trained and ordained theologians. Understanding their God-given place in the body of Christ and their theological limitations, they answered according to their ability. They admitted this fact when writing about one aspect of the doctrine of marriage in Article 14: “…nevertheless, we will leave the judgment on this matter to ones more knowledgeable in the Holy Scriptures….” Although they humbly admitted that they were not gifted, trained theologians like...

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The history of the spread of the Reformed faith in the sixteenth century during the early and difficult decades of the Protestant Reformation is always interesting, especially in connection with the work of Reformed churches in missions. Since the Reformed faith, with its doctrines of sovereign particular grace and double predestination, is often maligned as uninterested in and unable to do world missions, it is encouraging to see from the Lord’s work through His church examples that show that this accusation from enemies of the Reformed faith is historically unfounded. One example of this is found in the history of...

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2019, p. 189. In the wilderness of Judea, John the Baptist began to preach, saying, Repent (Matt. 3:2). In the towns of Galilee, Jesus began to preach, say­ing, Repent (Matt. 4:17). In some of His last words to the disciples, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit who would reprove the world of sin,[1] righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). In the Great Commission, Jesus sent us into the world, saying, “Repentance and remission of sins must be preached in my name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). O man of this...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2018, p. 91. We concluded our last article stating that a rift had developed between the eastern and western branches of the Mission Committee. The synod of the PRC had decided that in order to keep the western churches of our denomination actively involved in the life and work of the churches the Mission Committee be divided into two branches, the majority branch from the East and a secondary one from the West. Tension between these two divisions existed from the start but came to a head when the eastern branch decided to...

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In our previous article we noted that the creeds are at times criticized for not saying enough about missions and are, therefore, to be blamed for the lack of missionary zeal in Reformed churches and their members. We noted, however, that the very existence and possession of creeds in Reformed churches means that those churches are (by God’s grace) mission-minded churches. We now turn our attention more specifically to the ways in which the Canons of Dordt speak about mis­sions. We do this especially in light of the 400th anniversary of the writing and adoption of this creed. Missions is to...

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Elenctics, an aspect of the mission and witness of the church of Jesus Christ in the world, asks a vital question. “In all elenctics,” wrote the Dutch Reformed missiologist J. H. Bavinck, “the concern is always with the all-important question: ‘What have you done with God?’”[1] You, man of this world, have done something with God. What have you done with Him? The answer to that question of elenctics points us to one of the important elements of our task in missions and witnessing. In missions and witnessing, there is an encounter be­tween the believer and the unbeliever somewhere in...

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This year and next mark the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. One of the most significant labors of that Synod was to compose and adopt the Canons of Dordt. Although the main purpose and benefit of this creed was and still is to provide a clear, biblical response to the grievous, God-dishonoring heresy of Arminianism, surprisingly this creed also addresses, both indirectly as well as explicitly, the matter of the church’s calling to do mission work. As we commemorate the work of this Synod and the Lord’s guiding hand in that work, we do well to take a...

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During the first half of the decade of the 1940s, the Protestant Reformed Churches began the work of organizing its synodical committees under constitutions. In 1940 the Emeritus Committee presented its Constitution to the synod for approval. The Synod of 1941 adopted the Constitution of the Theological School Committee. The Synodical Committee’s Constitution was approved at the 1942 Synod. It was time for the Mission Committee to draw up and adopt its own constitution as well. This task was also brought to its completion by the Synod of 1942. For the interested reader, this original Constitution of the Mission Committee...

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