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I have some problems with the recent article by Prof. B. Huizinga on “The nature of good works as works.” I appreciated that faith was called an activity, a demand of the gospel call, and obedience, but in plain language, an activity is done and obedience must be done. The definition of “work” or “doing” provided in the article excluded this common usage since it also required: 1. Exertion 2. Producing 3. External work through the body As a software engineer, I spend much of my time thinking. This involves much more exertion than typing on a keyboard, and it...

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Once again, regrettably, Prof. Dykstra and I disagree on the interpretation, inaccuracies, and shortcomings that he perceives in our beloved 1912 Psalter. In the July 2019 issue of the SB, Prof. Dykstra con­tinues to point out in his summary of recent synodical decisions the failing of our current Psalter, particularly verse 4 of Psalter number 255. He regards this verse as a “blatant well-meant offer,” that is, heresy. I love this song; we lustily sang all four verses of number 255 in the classroom; nor do I consider myself a heretic. Prof. Dykstra should not allow theological thieves to hijack...

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I am having a hard time understanding the connection between the following example given in your editorial (“Highlights of Synod 2019” in July SB, p. 419) and the following decision of Synod 2019. Example in article: “Of particular importance is the 2019 Synod’s decision not to reject the phrase ‘in the way of.’ …Years ago, this was pointed out to me (a young minister) as the proper way to express the relationship between obedience and blessing….Parents see the salvation of their children in the way of faithfulness to God’s commands. Not, he said, a little louder for emphasis, because of...

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I felt compelled to respond to Rev. Spronk’s article “A moral turning point: Marijuana” because he suggests it might be wise for the church to forbid all cannabis use but also invites consideration of the question, “What do we think of marijuana’s medicinal use, and how is it different from other painkilling drugs?” It is understandable that the terms “marijuana,” and “pot” conjure up lifestyle and attitude that have no place at all in the Christian life. Legalizing the free use of this plant to get high does seem like a moral down turning. Sexuality, food, and wine are also...

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Greeting in Jesus Christ! I’m writing in response to your expression, “Fa­ther God gave His Son to us,” in “Saved to serve: The Christian’s reasonable service” (SB, June 2019, p. 391). Would that be Father God gave Son God, and is that correct? I’ve been in Federal Custody nearly 25 years and have always been suspicious…of the different strains of religion I’ve encountered in these places, all under a “Christian” umbrella. Some use that “Father God” in their prayers almost like a mantra, repeating over and over, speaking faster and faster, punctuating every few words of prayer with a “Father...

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January 7, 2019 Dear Editors of the Standard Bearer, I read Rev. Koole’s rebuttal of my blog post in the Standard Bearer. He reiterates without proof that the controversy recently decided by synod was about the question, “what is to be judged as antinomianism?” Can he not see that this matter of antinomianism only came up as a false charge against objections to preaching that compromised the gospel of grace? The gospel of grace in its criticism of that preaching was charged with being antinomian. In his response Rev. Koole continues to press his point about the threat of antinomianism...

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Thank you for publishing my letter and revised letter in the March 1 and March 15, 2019 issues of the Standard Bearer, even though the letter exceeded the length allowed by SB policy. (As for your apology for publishing the wrong letter originally, apology accepted—no harm done and no hard feelings.) Thank you as well for your thorough response to my letter in two installments in those same issues. We are agreed that these matters are of greatest importance and are worthy of the space devoted to them in the pages of the SB. I ask for your indulgence in...

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By the grace of God, my wife, daughter and I, as well as two friends from Ohio, were able to attend the recent conference celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt, with its focus on the Canons of Dordt. We cannot begin to express our deep thankfulness to all parties that were involved in this event. I cannot say enough as to how well the conference was done, how hard the host church worked for the conference, how excellent the presentations were and how much work went into those talks. I was even impressed by the youth orchestra!...

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I have followed this controversy closely since it began. It is of special interest to me. I am very concerned with this tendency in the preaching of some Protestant Reformed ministers to improperly emphasize man’s response and obedience to the preaching of the gospel. It comes as no surprise to me that this is now coming to a head in our churches. In fact, for the truth’s sake, I believe it must. Let me say at this point that I am not a hyper-Cal­vinist or antinomian, nor do I believe God saves man as a stock and a block, as...

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Hello, I’ve been in fellowship with several members of Grace Protestant Reformed Church [Standale, MI]. Their prison ministry, led by Rev. Ron VanOverloop, has been a blessing to the church incarcerated. And part of their ministry includes receiving the Standard Bearer. I’d like to respond to an article in the most recent issue (March 15, 2019, vol. 95, no. 12) titled “How Could Any Protestant Go Home to Rome?” written by Prof. Barrett Gritters. I am so glad that someone has written about the ECT movement, and to give the church warning of this un­godly and unholy movement. There is...

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