In our August issue I began to answer some question concerning the grounds of infant baptism. The first question raised by my questioner, who was quoting arguments raised by a Baptist Minister, I saved for this issue.
From a Michigan reader I received the following questions: “How can we determine when a minister should retire? Who should take the initiative when such a case does arise? Should our churches develop a policy that would deal uniformly and impartially with all retiring ministers?”
The final question is: how can we determine when a minister should retire? The Church Order speaks of being “rendered incapable of performing the duties of their office.” Hence, the answer is: a minister should retire when he becomes incapable of performing the duties of his office. This is a rather simple matter to determine, of course, in those instances in which a minister is obviously physically incapacitated. In other instances, however, that “incapable” is a bit more difficult to interpret. When is a man incapable of performing the duties of his office by reason of age?
Recently I received two questions about this subject, both from the West Coast, but from different localities. The one question asked in general whether it is possible to break God’s covenant. The other question was more specific. It arose out of the discussion of the question whether the elect can or do break God’s covenant. My questioner evidently was of the opinion that this is impossible. I draw this conclusion from the following two specific questions which he asks: “1. If the elect can break God’s covenant, how can the five points of Calvinism possibly be maintained? 2.
About God’s Attributes I have no less than five questions on hand at the moment. I will try to answer a couple of them in this issue. From a reader in the far northwest comer of our country comes the following question: “Recently in our Men’s Society we discussed Article 1 of the Netherlands Confession of Faith. In this article God’s attributes are mentioned. The question is: are ,i>all
About The Death of Christ From a Grand Rapids reader we received the following question: “What death did our Lord Jesus Christ die on the cross? Men that sin are dead; and when they pass on, they pass on into eternal death. The believers’ punishment, including eternal death, is laid upon our Lord and Savior. Did He die our eternal death, and how did He die that death for us?”
From a Canadian reader I received a rather lengthy letter which touches on an important question. I will quote most of the letter: “However at this time I will try to put in words something on which I would like to have your opinion. This something concerns the ‘covenant of grace.’
As To Bible Study Groups Question From a Grand Rapids reader I received the following question of a practical nature: “Would you please comment on neighborhood prayer groups and ‘Bible study groups’ held in various homes, involving so-called Bible study, discussion of personal experiences and discussion of personal problems. Thank-you.”
Isaac and Abimelech Question — From a Grand Rapids reader comes the following question: “Our Men’s Society in our study of Genesis became involved in the following question: ‘Did Isaac sin by making a covenant with Abimelech, who came to him seeking a truce in their feuding?’ ” “Some in our meeting thought that he did sin, while others felt he simply did what we are all obligated to do. We should live peaceably with all men as long as we do not sacrifice our principles in doing so.