News from All Churches
Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak during his examination at the meeting of Classis West (held at Crete PRC)
Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak successfully sustained his classical examination this past Wednesday August 29, at the meeting of Classis West held at Crete (IL) PRC (hosted by Peace PRC).
Rev. Jonathan Langerak and Rev. Rodney Kleyn at the ordination service held at Heritage PRC.
Friday evening, August 31, he was ordained and installed in Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls, as her second pastor. Rev. R. Kleyn led the service, expounding the Word from I Cor.5.
Newly ordained pastor, Rev. J. Langerak and his fiance, Sarah Kleyn.
We rejoice with Rev. Langerak and Sarah and their familes, as well as with Heritage PRC, and pray that God bless him with many years of faithful and fruitful ministry.
The JULY 2018 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.
Below you will find a note from the "SS" Committee introducing the contents of this issue and images of the cover and table of contents. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.
Welcome to another edition of the Salt Shakers! We thank our writers for contributing to another worthwhile edition
of this distinctively Reformed magazine, as well as the staff who have put the magazine together. The Salt Shakers
maintains a good balance of younger and older writers, local and foreign. We believe that this practice uniquely
expresses our diversity and unity in the Reformed faith, and manifests the catholicity of the church of Jesus Christ.
In this issue, Prof. David Engelsma pens an intriguing account of the PRC’s founding father – Rev. Herman Hoeksema.
Besides developing the truth of God’s gracious and unconditional covenant with His people in Jesus Christ, Hoeksema
was also instrumental in developing the truth of the unbreakable bond of marriage. Hoeksema saw the deeply
erroneous view of divorce and remarriage, held in many Reformed and Presbyterian churches, that allowed the socalled
“innocent party” of a divorce to remarry. Maintaining his conviction on Scripture’s instruction, Hoeksema
insisted that only physical death breaks the marriage bond because marriage is a picture of God’s unbreakable covenant
of grace with His people in Jesus Christ. The young people in CERC and her sister churches marry in the conviction
of this truth today. We have much to be grateful for Rev. Hoeksema.
It may interest our readers to know that Rev. Hoeksema died in the same year that Singapore became an independent
nation: 1965. Slightly over fifty years since the Lord’s servant went to glory, not many people today would know about
him. But every member of CERC ought to be familiar with his writings. His Reformed Dogmatics, for example, ought
to be standard reading for every office-bearer of CERC.
Rev. den Hartog presses the necessity of reading for every Reformed believer in another article. Where smartphones,
tablets and the mobile internet reign in everyday life today, it is imperative for the Reformed believer to make reading
a vital habit in his life. Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh strive ferociously to extinguish this duty. Our enemies
know that God’s people will be destroyed for lack of knowledge. Let it never be said that it was because we rejected
knowledge (Hos. 4:6).
Parents are instructed to read, and to pass on their reading habits to their children. Covenant children must know
and see that their parents are readers of habit. There is every reason for joy when children know that their parents
enjoy reading, and through reading, are knowledgeable parents. Only by habitual and disciplined reading can parents
faithfully and effectively instruct their covenant children in the Reformed faith.
The Reformed Free Publishing Association (RFPA) is an excellent source of distinctively Reformed literature. Parents
must be encouraged to be book club members so that they an excellent source of reading material for themselves and
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
17 August, 2018
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
The British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference at Hebron Hall, Cardiff in Wales (21-28 July) was the most international of the 15 biennial conferences to date. Apart from those from the various parts of the British Isles, saints flew in from Canada, the US, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, and Australia, meaning that the only continent that was not included was Africa.
We were delighted that as many as 116 people booked in for the conference and we had 11 day visitors, most of whom came back again and again! The size and catholicity of the gathering, plus the fine Welsh venue, made for what many thought was the best BRF conference yet for fellowship. The Lord also gave us sunny and warm weather.
Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning were warmly welcomed back as our main speakers. Because of her recent cancer operation, sadly Mrs. Ruth Engelsma was unable to be with us.
Our two American brethren developed the conference theme of “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” in their 6 main conference addresses: “The Divine Origin of the Family” (Rev. Lanning), “The Authoritative Content of the Gospel” (Prof. Engelsma), “The God-Fearing Man and His Virtuous Wife” (Rev. Lanning), “The Reformed Family: Parents and Children” (Prof. Engelsma), “It Is Good to Be Single” (Rev. Lanning), and “Unbiblical Divorce and Adulterous Remarriage: A Scandal” (Prof. Engelsma). The family is a beautiful, biblical subject that is often unfolded in preaching and writing in our circles, yet the speeches were marked not only by their depth but also by their freshness!
Rev. Martyn McGeown's opening address (“Hating Our Family: Necessary for Christian Discipleship”), the Sunday sermons by Rev. Lanning and myself (“The God of the Living” and “The Eunuchs Who Keep God's Sabbaths”), Mr. Pete Adams' presentation (“The Family and Education”), and Prof. Engelsma's special lecture (“Spousal Abuse in the Christian Community”) developed important aspects of the grand theme of the family.
Thanks to the sterling work of Stephen Murray, all of these 11 presentations can be watched free online, along with the videos of the 7 question and answer sessions that followed the 6 main speeches and the special lecture by Rev. Lanning and Prof. Engelsma ( www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2EGXxIszbEuErsISIdc4Uvd ).
Despite the difficulty of getting a proper range of books, box sets, and pamphlets from the CPRC Bookstore in Northern Ireland across the Irish Sea to the conference on Wales, we still managed to sell almost $1,000 of Reformed materials. Beside this, a number of people bought individual issues of the British Reformed Journal and/or subscribed to this semi-annual periodical (for ways of doing the latter, see www.britishreformed.org/membership).
The membership of the British Reformed Fellowship voted to hold the next conference in Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland (11-18 July, 2020). The glorious subject is to be union with Jesus Christ. Having served the BRF conferences so well in the past, Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning were chosen as the two main speakers. Bear this in mind over the next two years, for hopefully we may see you there!
A number of this year's conferees from outside Europe spent time in Northern Ireland before and/or after the week in Wales. Thus the CPRC had Brazilian, American, Singaporean, Canadian, and Australian visitors on the three Lord's days before, and the two Sundays after, the conference. Some of our international guests were also able to join us at the congregational barbecue at the CPRC manse (3 August). Communion with Reformed believers from various parts of the world is always very encouraging for the members of the CPRC!
The latest addition to the CPRC Bookstore, with its more than 150 titles, is Behold, I Come Quickly (www.cprf.co.uk/bookstore.htm). This excellent little volume by Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning consists of the ten main speeches at the previous BRF conference in 2016 and costs just £5. It is also available from various Protestant Reformed congregations in America and Canada, especially Byron Center PRC, the main distributor in North America; the RFPA; the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) in Singapore; the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP); and (soon) Launceston Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia.
The youngest member of the CPRC is now little Grace Mae Crossett, daughter of David and Kristin (née Prins). Grace was baptized on Sunday, 8 July, with members of the Prins family from Michigan being present for the occasion.
The last couple of months have been a somewhat lean period for translations (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm). Our thanks to Ivan Ortu in Sardinia (6 Italian), and Raoul and Tania Valeev in Belgium (1 Russian). Currently, Carol Nienhuis is helping Mary by linking our many hundreds of translations. When these and many other links and webpages are converted to the new style, the whole CPRC website will be mobile friendly and have a new look (www.cprc.co.uk).
I am to speak at the RFPA Annual Meeting on “The RFPA, the CPRC, and the Spread of the Truth” in Grace PRC, Grand Rapids on Thursday, 27 September at 7:30 P.M. I will be preaching at both of the Sunday services in Wingham PRC in Ontario (30 September) and at the evening Lord's day service in Zion PRC (7 October), D.V. It will be good to meet the saints in both of these churches for the first time. Other speaking details of the trip have not yet been finalized. Rev. Ken Koole will be preaching in Ballymena in our absence, and for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF).
Thank you for your support and prayers. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you, your families and your churches!
Rev. Angus & Mary Stewart