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All Articles For Letters

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Baptists and baptism of infants Dear [editor], I refer to the Standard Bearer of February 1, 2022.  Steven Key, in his mediation, is in error in stating  that Baptists only baptize adult believers. We (I attend  a Gospel Standard Strict and Particular Baptist chapel  here in the UK) baptize believers of any age (though  not infants, as they are unable to believe)—some aged  9 and early teenagers who have experienced salvation  through the atoning work of Christ at Calvary. So not  only adults, as Steven states. Perhaps he should check  before rushing into print! We have GSS&P churches in the...

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Added thoughts on the Christian and amusement  Dear editor, I would like to add some thoughts to Rev. Mahtani’s  timely article “Amusement: The mind’s escape from reality.”  [SB, Sept. 1, 2021] Rev. Mahtani writes, “God gives us time for leisure.”  The Lord made the beautiful creation, the birds,  fields, mountains, flowers, that we may enjoy them in  a leisurely stroll or garden work. The Lord “gives His  beloved sleep,” in which restful sleep we do not at all  think about reality but “escape” it. He gives us six days  to labor, and the seventh to “rest.” God gives us wine ...

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In the letter of Mr. Doug Wassink in the August SB, we mistakenly changed a sentence in his next-to-last paragraph. The corrected sentence should read, “But we do have one example—Christ, in perfect love, gave up all His personal benefits (even spiritual ones) for us on the cross” (We had “…gave us all His personal benefits….”). We apologize for this error and any change of sense it gave to the author’s meaning.

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Incentives to good works I am writing out of concern that the idea of “incentives” for good works can be taken in a wrong way. Rev. K. Koole addresses this idea in his recent series on H. Witsius—I appreciate his willingness to continue down the road to understanding these issues better. My concern is that we might think of the personal blessings promised in Scripture as a separate goal. Personal goals should not be an extra motivation alongside our thankful love for God. Rather, they must be completely subordinate to and must not exist apart from the one motivation of...

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Synod 2021 adopted “an open letter to those who have recently left the PRCA calling them to repentance with the goal of biblical reconciliation.” Synod instructed the Stated Clerk “to request that this letter be printed in the Standard Bearer. The SB gladly complies with this request.    Dear brothers and sisters who have left the PRCA over the recent controversy, We write to you out of the sincere love we have for you in our Lord Jesus Christ and the deep grief we have over the division between us. Knowing it to be our solemn duty before God, we...

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Appreciation for the Standard Bearer The purpose of this letter is to express my appreciation for the continued publication of the Standard Bearer. The SB continues to give spiritual instruction in many areas where we need it. Of particular interest to myself and many of the readers is the continued articles regarding the doctrinal aspects of the controversy that has engulfed our churches for the past years. I want to encourage the SB to continue to publish articles that help us maintain our balance as God’s people and as a denomination of churches. We need to read articles and hear...

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Question on Witsius Dear Editors, Is there not a major contradiction between Witsius (Standard Bearer—“Still relevant”—Dec. 15, 2020, p. 127) and what we confess as Protestant Reformed believers? Witsius’ writings are put forward by Rev. Koole as a relevant solution to our doctrinal struggle. I do not think so. Among many of Witsius’ problem statements, one stands out in summary: “Whence it is, that by how much one is more holy, by so much he is the more acceptable to God.” In direct contrast, we believe and confess that we are acceptable to God not on account of our own...

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Dear Rev. Koole, After reading the five installments of your editorial series Herman Witsius: Still Relevant, I still have questions on statements you make, which are difficult for me to reconcile with my understanding of the Christian life. In the third installment, you state, …there arises suspicion by reflex when mention is made of good works as being necessary and having a vital value in the life of the believer in any real sense at all. If one does speak of their ‘necessity,’ it is only to be in the sense of good works being the necessary fruit…of being saved...

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Witsius on sanctification I write in response to the December 15, 2020 editorial “Herman Witsius: Still Relevant (3).” Herman Witsius is unfamiliar to me and your discussion of him is interesting. Although I am sure there is more to be said in the series, the following statements in this third installment are difficult for me to reconcile with my understanding of the Christian life: …there arises suspicion by reflex when mention is made of good works as being necessary and having a vital value in the life of the believer in any real sense at all. If one does speak...

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Good works as fruit In the Standard Bearer article “Of free will and thus of human powers” of November 15, 2020, Prof. R. Cammenga stated: In this paragraph, the SHC [Second Helvetic Confession] makes plain that good works are not to be viewed only ever as fruit and nothing but fruit—fruit that in a sort of automatic and mysterious way simply appears in the life of the regenerate. But fruit is not the only way in which Scripture speaks of good works. Good works are not only fruit, certainly not fruit that in some automatic and mysterious way appears in...

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