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Prof. D. Engelsma's Interview on "Iron Sharpens Iron" Now Available in mp3

iron sharpens iron logo

DJEngelsma 2016 Professor David Engelsma (emeritus, PRC Seminary) was interviewed by Christopher Arnzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron” on March 30. The interview focused on the book The Sixteenth-Century Reformation of the Church (RFPA, 2007) edited by Prof. Engelsma.

The subjects covered in the book and interview are timely and significant, especially in view of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation of the church under the sovereign direction of God through the work of such mean as Martin Luther and John Calvin.

UPDATE: Now that the interview is completed, Mr. Arnzen has graciously made available an mp3 file of this interview. You may also find the link at the RFPA blog here.

For more on Mr. Arntzen and his Reformed Christian radio program, visit the link above. Below is a brief description of him and his program as found on the website "Iron Sharpens Iron."

Chris Arnzen | Christian Radio Programming & Advertising Executive & Talk Host of Iron Sharpens Iron.

Chris Arnzen | Christian Radio Programming & Advertising Executive & Talk Host of Iron Sharpens Iron.

If you’re weary of the typical fluffy Christian radio broadcasts, you’ll find Iron Sharpens Iron addresses a multitude of topics from a distinctly Reformed Christian worldview. Chris Arnzen asks the right questions, presents guests who have the answers, and continually challenges Christians to apply their faith to every aspect of their lives.

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for April 2017

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for April 2017 on the RWH radio program.

revrkleynRev. Rodney, pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA, will complete his service for the RWH program, concluding his series on the law of God, as well as delivering special messages for Good Friday and Easter.

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 76th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Below are the messages scheduled for this month, also in flyer form (attached in pdf).

April 2, 2017 - Christian Stewardship, Exodus 20:15

April 9, 2017 - Messiah Must Suffer, Mark 8:31-32

April 16, 2017 - Risen according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:4

April 23, 2017 - The Taming of the Tongue, Exodus 20:16

April 30, 2017 - Obedience from the Heart, Exodus 20:17

April 2017 flyer Page 1


Philippines Mission Newsletter - March 2017


Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Dear members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our sister churches,

It is a rainy Saturday morning here in Antipolo City, Philippines. “Winter” is about over and “summer” is about to begin. “Winter” is a relative term, of course. The temperature rose to about 80 degrees during the day and dropped into the 70s at night. The Filipinos thought it felt rather cold. We thought it felt rather nice. Soon, however, during the Philippine summer, the temperature could rise into the upper 90s (April-May). Later the rainy season will come (June-October). Adjusting to a tropical climate is just one of the many changes we, the Holsteges, are experiencing as we settle into life here in the Philippines.


We said farewell to the parsonage in Holland, MI on December 26 and moved in with my parents, Jim and Kathi Holstege, for two weeks. On January 10, in the dark of night, we flew out of Chicago – my wife Leah, our four children Gabriel, Kirsten, Kiley, and Charity, my wife’s parents Lou and Cheryl Regnerus, and I. We arrived in Manila on January 12. Rev. and Sharon Kleyn were at the airport to pick us up and help us move into our new home. I want to pause here and thank both of our parents for all of their tremendous help and support in our move to the Philippines.

Holsteges Regnerus 2017
Leah’s parents, Lou and Cheryl Regnerus, and us (picture to left)

Some other adjustments include getting used to using the right electrical outlet, whether the 220 or 110 volt (we and our kids have already zapped three or four devices to death); getting used to mopping three times per week, but never needing to vacuum, since we have no carpet; learning how to get rid of red ants in the kitchen, how to maneuver delicately through busy Manila traffic, how to handle our finances and pay bills, and how to get our groceries.

Still other adjustments have to do with learning to live in a very different culture from our own: how to communicate effectively; how to avoid cultural blunders; how to show cultural humility and respect; in short, how to become all things to all men that we might by all means save some (I Cor. 9:22).

One way we hope to draw nearer to the Filipino saints is by learning their mother tongue. I began studying Tagalog in the U.S. Then, on February 28, Leah and I began Tagalog classes in Quezon City, a part of Metro Manila. Ready for your first Tagalog lesson? Magandang umaga po. Kumusta po kayo? Mabuti naman ako. That is, “Good morning, sir. How are you, sir? I am fine.” Filipinos consider it important to use the word “po” whenever addressing someone who is older than them or in a position of respect. Lord willing, our studies will yield the good fruit of the ability to converse, and for me possibly to preach, in Tagalog.

First, I should mention two visitors who were here before our move. Prof. Russ Dykstra and Rev. Garry Eriks visited the Philippines as a delegation from the Contact Committee in mid-December. The brothers met with leaders in the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP) to discuss the formation of a sister-church relationship between our two denominations. Although we were not here yet, I was told that the meetings went very well.

Second, on January 28 four visitors from our sister church in Singapore (CERC) arrived: Beng Young and Kim Lim visited us with their two daughters Cheryl and Bernice. They stayed with the Kleyns over the weekend that they were here. We have gotten to know them over the years and enjoyed getting reacquainted with them. Cheryl and Bernice
did a great job entertaining our kids too! They babysat for us one morning so that we could get groceries (we usually do that together because Leah is not quite ready to drive on her own).

Third, from February 4-14 we had three more visitors: the annual delegation from Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee (FMC). Elder Alan De Boer came from Doon, and Rev. Allen Brummel with his wife Crysta from the FMC. Mr. De Boer stayed with us, and the Brummels with the Kleyns. Their visit was a great encouragement to us. Rev. Kleyn and I met with the two brothers to discuss our work and plans. We also joined them in various meetings with the consistories and committees of the PRCP. Moreover, the two men conducted family visitation with each of our families. All in all, we the Holsteges enjoyed getting to know them on a more personal level, and we appreciated their many words of encouragement and guidance regarding the work.

Brummel DeBoer Mescallado 2017
Bro. Eric Mescallado, Elder A. De Boer, and Rev. A.Brummel (picture to right)

We cordially invite others of you to visit us sometime in the future, if the Lord makes the way possible for you. I am sure, as Mr. De Boer told us, you will never forget such an experience. You will receive a new appreciation for the catholicity of the church and the great commission to go into all nations and preach the gospel.


On January 22, I preached for the first time in the Philippines since our move. Since I will be focusing on Provident Christian Church (PCC), not yet a part of the PRCP, I preached an inaugural sermon to them on I Cor. 2:1-5 – “Paul’s Preaching: A Model to Follow.” I emphasized that my goal, following Paul, is to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, nothing more, nothing less. I also began preaching the Heidelberg Catechism to them and have covered Lord’s Days 27-32 so far. With me taking over most of the preaching at Provident, Rev. Kleyn will be preaching in the three churches of the PRCP and, Lord willing, in the churches in Southern Negros Occidental (SNO).

On January 26, I took over the Thursday night doctrine class at Provident. Rev. Kleyn began teaching the Canons of Dordt to them in December and covered Head I, Art. 1-7. I have taught Art. 8-16 so far on the precious truth of sovereign and eternal election and the truth of reprobation which “peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election.” On February 9, Rev. Allen Brummel gave a lecture to this Thursday night group on “Bringing Forth Children in a Selfish Age.” Although I stayed home with our children, the others who were there said the speech was well attended and well received. Thanks to Rev. Brummel for his help with preaching and teaching while he was here.

Finally, Rev. Kleyn and I attended the Classis meeting of the PRCP on Saturday, February 25. Rev. John Flores was the chairman of the meeting, by rotation (second from the right in the front row below). Classis discussed matters pertaining to missions on the island of Leyte, translation of Reformed literature into Tagalog, and finances, among others. Classis gave me, as a new missionary from the PRCA, the right to speak on the floor as an advisor, for which I thanked them (Learn how to say thank you in Tagalog: “Salamat po!”).

PRCP Classis Feb 2017 2

Classis meeting of the PRCP on February 25 (picture to left)

That is all to report for now. May God’s richest blessings be upon you all in Christ! And pray for us!

Rev. Daniel Holstege


PRC Congregational and Mission News - March 26, 2017 (Updated)

matt 18 11The following PRC congregational and mission news items may be noted on this March 26, 2017 Lord's Day.

Congregational news:

  • Rev. C. Haak (pastor of Georgetown PRC) continues to consider the call to Zion PRC (Hudsonville/Jenison, MI). He plans to answer on April 2.
  • Rev. Steven Key (pastor of Loveland, CO PRC) continues to consider the call to Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). He plans to answer on April 2.
  • The congregation of First PRC, Holland MI extended a call to Rev. S. Key on Sunday, March 19, 2017.
  • Special note: Providence PRC (Hudsonville, MI) is changing the time of their evening service from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting Sunday, April 2.

 Mission news:

  • Update: On Sunday, March 26, Rev. W. Langerak (pastor of SE PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) declined the call from Byron Center PRC to serve as home missionary.
  • The congregation of Doon PRC voted to call Rev. B. Huizinga of Hope PRC, Redlands, CA to serve as third missionary to the Philippines.
  • From the Provident PRC bulletin for this date we learn this:
    • Rev. D. Holstege will preach both services at PCC today. Rev. D. Kleyn is in Leyte today with the delegation from the PRCP – Rev. John Flores and Bro. Eric Mescallado. The brothers are investigatinga possible field of mission work in Leyte.
    • The 7M pastors classes will meet next on Tuesday, April 4 at 9:30 am, at the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela, the Lord willing.




Covenant Reformed News - March 2017


Covenant Reformed News

March 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 11

Our Calling to Be Longsuffering

As God’s elect, redeemed and regenerated people, we are called to reflect our heavenly Father’s communicable attributes, including His longsuffering to us. By His grace, we do this! Longsuffering is included as the fourth virtue in the ninefold fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (22-23).

In I Corinthians 13, the greatest biblical chapter on Christian love, it is the quality mentioned first: “Charity suffereth long [i.e., is longsuffering], and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” (4).

Colossians 1:11 contains part of Paul’s desire and prayer for believers, that we may be “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” The Apostle’s petition here is that God would grant us spiritual strength so that we are able to be longsuffering towards others, able to control our own spirits (without getting sinfully angry), tongues (without speaking hastily or bitterly) and bodies (without striking people).

The book of Proverbs contains three texts which praise the blessed virtue of longsuffering, here translated “slow to anger” or “slow to wrath.” First, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (16:32). Here longsuffering flows from inner power so that we are able to control our spirits, as in Colossians 1:11. Second, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly” (Prov. 14:29). Here longsuffering is proof of our spiritual understanding in Christ (cf. Isa. 11:2). Third, “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (Prov. 15:18). Here the believer, possessed of the Holy Spirit’s peace, exercises longsuffering so that strife does not result.

I Thessalonians 5:14 applies to our behaviour towards everybody, head for head, but especially, in its context, towards our brothers and sisters in the church: “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient [i.e., longsuffering] toward all men.” How necessary in the congregation is this grace of longsuffering, lest foolish words and rude behaviour mar the communion of the saints and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Here are a couple of other New Testament passages that connect longsuffering and church unity. First, Ephesians 4 exhorts us to be diligent “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (3), for the church is “one body,” created by “one [internal] baptism,” animated by “one Spirit,” believing “one faith,” possessed of “one hope,” serving “one Lord,” and worshipping “one God and Father of all” (4-6). But how? “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (2).

Second, in Colossians 3 also, longsuffering (12) serves the fellowship of believers (13) and “peace” in the “one body” of Christ’s church (15). Let us heed the apostolic exhortation: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (12). The command to the individual child of God to “put on” various spiritual graces, including longsuffering, shows how our ongoing sanctification and growth in the image of God (10), including longsuffering, serves the unity of the church.

As well as the calling of all Christians to be longsuffering and the role it plays in congregational peace, Scripture also speaks in three places of the importance of longsuffering in the work of the Apostle Paul and Evangelist Timothy. These passages of God’s Word especially apply, in our day, to ministers of the gospel.

Paul wrote II Corinthians with Timothy (1:1). In chapter 6, the Apostle explains how we give “no offence in any thing” (3) and so manifest ourselves “as the ministers of God” (4), even in the midst of slander, persecution, poverty and distress (4-10): “By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned” (6)!

In his last canonical epistle, Paul reminds Timothy of his apostolic persecutions during his first missionary journey (Acts 13-14) at Antioch, Iconium and Lystra (II Tim. 3:11). Paul also speaks of the battle with false teachers (1-9, 13). In the midst of these references to persecutors and heretics, and in sharp contrast to them, the Apostle tells Timothy, “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience” (10). One needs grace to suffer long when one is being cruelly persecuted by wicked men and vehemently opposed by false teachers!

We end this article, and thus the series of nine articles on longsuffering, with II Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” The visible church includes weak believers and even some hypocrites. Not all the physical children of believers are elect; there are also among them a carnal seed who will, in due time, reveal themselves as such (Rom. 9:6). It has been well said that “God has a billy goat in the congregation to make the minister humble!” From all this, it is evident that faithfulness to Christ will include admonition and the exercise of church discipline regarding the impenitent. How necessary it is, therefore, that the pastor “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all … doctrine,” bringing the full teaching of the objective Word of God to those who err. Subjectively, the minister must also “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering”!  Rev. Stewart


Calling God “Our Father”

A reader writes, “I am trying to ascertain when the big change occurred among God’s people that meant they could and should call Him their Father. We find it occasionally in the Old Testament prophets but when Jesus said pray like this, ‘Our Father,’ most commentators say that this was altogether novel. How did John, who also taught his disciples to pray, address God? I guess it was as Jehovah or Elohim but how could Christ treat His disciples as God’s adopted sons before His sacrifice and the outpouring of the Spirit? Or was He anticipating what would shortly happen?”

In my book, When You Pray, I suggested that only after our Lord came was it possible for God’s people (individually) to address God as their Father. Although I received many comments and questions on the material in that book, I am sure more questions were generated by that remark than any other part of it. I will try again to answer the question as clearly as I know how.

The questioner is correct when he asks, “Or was He anticipating what would shortly happen?” It is not strange that our Lord anticipated His suffering, death and resurrection. He also spoke many times to His disciples, and the multitudes that heard Him preach, of the blessings that would come to His people after He had completed His work on earth. One of those blessings, great and marvellous, was that now in their prayers they could call God their Father.

Before I say anything more, to me the real problem is not that the Old Testament saints could not individually call God their Father; the really perplexing problem was that they could pray at all! I know that the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, prayed but this was possible because they were, in a dim sort of way, prophets, priests and kings before these three offices were separated from each other. Later, when the three offices were separated in Israel, we read of occasions when men who held one of these three offices did pray. We even occasionally read of a saint praying—as in the case of Hannah, the wife of Elkanah and, eventually, the mother of Samuel. But even Hannah’s prayer was divinely inspired and it is similar in many ways to Mary’s prayer, when she learned that she was pregnant with Christ. Mary may even have had Hannah’s prayer in mind.

Ordinarily God’s people had to go to a priest or a prophet to learn the will of God. They had, frequently, to go to the temple with a sacrifice in order to worship God and pray to Him. It was also legitimate in those days of the shadows of good things to come to make use of the Urim and Thummim. It is true that many of the Psalms were prayers and were sung in the temple, but they were all inspired by God and penned by men whom He had chosen.

When John and Jesus preached, their very sermons presupposed that the people prayed but that the people themselves knew that their prayers were difficult, for the way into the inner sanctuary where God dwelt was blocked by the veil that separated the Most Holy Place from the rest of the temple. Now God’s people are called to enter boldly into His presence, for the way is opened through the cross of Christ (Heb. 10:1-25).

When our great High Priest came to earth to make the perfect sacrifice, and taught His disciples and the multitudes what marvellous blessings the saints would receive now that the perfect sacrifice was about to be made, Jesus tells His disciples (and us) that we may not only go directly to God, but also when we arrive at the foot of His throne of mercy and grace, led there by Christ, we may even, wonder of all wonders, call the eternal and infinitely blessed God, “Our Father!”

I must confess that for me there are times when I have to struggle to come to God  in the faith that He is a father to us. It sometimes seems presumptuous. God is infinitely great. He makes the heavens His throne and the earth His footstool. He has created all things and upholds them by the word of His power. The distant galaxies, the tiny ant, the electron that spins around the nucleus of an atom—His hand moves them all. His holiness is a light too bright for even the seraphs, who cover their faces with their wings and cry, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:3). Yet here I am, less than a speck of dust and a terrible sinner besides. His name I have blasphemed and cursed, and His infinite holiness I have trampled under my feet. And I am going to call Him “my Father”?

I have to read Hebrews 10 once again, for God calls me to Him with words of tender care. He tells me, “It is possible. I have given you My own Son, Jesus Christ the righteous, who will lead you, even trembling and awestruck, to Me. I will take you in My arms with an everlasting love and bring you home to live with Me forever.”

I cannot list here the many and wonderful blessings that we receive from our Father in heaven. Even in the Old Testament, the infinitely blessed God is compared to an earthly father: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Ps. 103:13). If you want to know something of what blessings are ours because Jehovah is our Father, read Psalm 103 in full. It will be good for you.

Remember, we can and must call God our Father because of the gift of His only begotten Son. He is the eternal Son, Himself “true God of true God,” as the Nicene Creed states, whom God gave in His everlasting love for us. God loves His Son with a great love, yet He gave Him to us because it is His eternal purpose to glorify His name through the creation of a new family, a family that reflects the riches of the Triune God who lives a family life in Himself. In that family, the Triune God is Father; Christ is our elder brother, who made the family of God possible for us; we are all children of God for Christ’s sake. Because He is the Son, believers are sons in Him. Because He cried out, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:34), we can follow Him to God.

We hide behind Christ when we approach the throne of God and pray “for Jesus’ sake.” But we are told to come with boldness! We must not doubt. We may not be so artificially humble that we dare not come where our Father dwells. With unceasing songs of praise, we cast all out cares upon Him, for He cares for us.  Prof. Hanko

Prof. Hanko’s When You Pray (hardback, 192 pp.) is available from the CPRC Bookstore for £14.30 (inc. P&P in the UK). 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: • Live broadcast:
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 6 April, 2017
at 7:15 PM

The Round Chapel
274 Margam Road, Port Talbot, SA13 2DB

Why the Trinity?

The Trinity is one of the most important, and least appreciated, doctrines of Christianity. Do we really need to believe in the Trinity? Could Christianity survive without it? How do we answer the objections of other religions and cults? Come to find out! 

Rev. Martyn McGeown

All welcome!


Are All Men in the Image of God?

Many people think that unbelievers are in God’s image. But is that true? What does Scripture actually say about the image and likeness of God? What is the testimony of the Reformed confessions? And why is the issue of the image of God so important in our day?

Rev. Angus Stewart
Friday, 12 May, 2017 
at 7:30 PM

at the CPRC
(83 Clarence St.,Ballymena,
BT43 5DR)

All are welcome!

Unable to join us in Ballymena? The lecture will be streamed live at

Reformation Resources

The 16th Century Reformation of the Church
edited by David Engelsma
(200 pp. Softback)
Twenty-five articles on the Protestant Reformation dealing with its central characters and doctrines. Stirring stuff!

Always Reforming
edited by David Engelsma
(318 pp. Softback)
This superb book traces the continuing reformation in the Netherlands in the 17th and 19th centuries and in the Protestant Reformed Churches in North America in the 20th century.

Portraits of Faithful Saints
Herman Hanko
(450 pp. Hardback)
Inspiring and instructive biographies of over 50 saints from the 1st to the 20th century, including Augustine, Patrick, Alcuin, Bernard of Clairvaux, Beza, de Brès, Tyndale, Ames and Gresham Machen.

The Reformed Faith of John Calvin
David Engelsma
(472 pp. Hardback)
An excellent summary of Calvin’sInstitutes, including explanation, analysis and application for today of this great Reformer’s much-needed teaching.

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!

PRC Senior Retreat at Gull Lake Ministries - September 26-29, 2017

Senior Retreat Flyer 2017

Senior Retreat: Attend this year’s senior retreat at beautiful Gull Lake Ministries, Sept.26-29, 2017.

The theme is “Magnifying Christ in Life and Death.” Phil. 1:20, 21. The speakers are Rev. G. Eriks, Professor D. Engelsma, and Rev.J.  Slopsema.

Registration is May 1-July 31 at

If you are unable to go online for the registration form or have questions, please call Gretine Bodbyl at 616.538.3403.







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