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Covenant Reformed News - October 2017

Covenant Reformed News

October 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 18


What Is a Protestant? (4)

After summarizing the origin and the meaning of the name Protestant, and briefly explaining the biblical and Reformation truth that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone to the glory of God alone according to Scripture alone (the Five Solas), in the first three articles, we now need to fill out other important aspects of Protestantism.

First, Protestantism is creedal. This is a much misunderstood issue in our day. The popular misconception is that, since Protestants believe in sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), they do not hold to the creeds. Wrong! It was the Anabaptists, whom the Protestants opposed just as much as the Roman Catholics, who believed that sola Scriptura meant no creeds.

At the Diet of Speyer in 1529, the first Protestants protested (hence their name) against the ungodly decisions of the Roman Catholic majority on the basis of Scripture alone. In 1530, the very next year, they agreed to the Augsburg Confession—a creed!

In the specifically Reformed (rather than Lutheran) branch of the Protestant Reformation, many more creeds were written by those who held sola Scriptura. In fact, the four volumes of James T. Dennison, Jr.’s Reformed Confessions of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in English Translation contain 127 creeds in the 173-year period from 1523 to 1695. That is a new creed on average every 16 months or so!

So here we have two facts regarding the foundational period of Protestantism: first, it contains the clearest statements of Scripture alone in church history and, second, it has the highest rate of production of confessions in church history. How are these two things to be reconciled and understood? 

It is not difficult. Sola Scriptura means that the Bible alone is the written Word of God and is, therefore, the supreme judge of faith and morals. The creeds summarize what the inspired, infallible and supremely authoritative Word of God teaches.

Not only do faithful Protestants today have confessions; they also maintain and uphold them, and teach the biblical doctrines that they summarize.

Second, Protestants are true churchmen and love Christ’s church. Protestants are not individualistic, with everyone going off on his own and doing his own thing. 

The Protestant Reformation was the reformation of an organization or body of believers, the church. This means it was a reformation of church doctrine (including the Five Solas), church creeds, church preaching, church sacraments, church discipline, church government and church worship. This is the desire, goal and result of godly Protestantism: biblical and Protestant churches, governed by biblical and Protestant principles, with members convicted of biblical and Protestant truth, so that glory is given to the Triune God alone in Jesus Christ!

Third, Protestants and Protestant churches protest against the lie and for the truth. The history of faithful Protestantism is a history of the church militant. This is what has happened over the last 500 years, going back to the Diet of Speyer (1529), and Martin Luther’s “Here I stand” at Worms (1521) and his Ninety-Five Theses (1517).

In reality, though not in terminology, the faithful witnessing of Protestantism goes back to Jan Hus in Bohemia, John Wycliffe in England, the Waldensians in and around the Alps, Gottschalk in various parts of Europe, Augustine in North Africa, etc.

This same fight for the faith is evident in the pages of the Bible in the battles of the apostles against the Sadducess and Judaizers in Acts and the epistles, in the ministry of the Lord Jesus versus the scribes and Pharisees in the gospel accounts, and in the labours of the faithful prophets, like Elijah, in the Old Testament.

In our day, out of love for the truth and in order to gain others to it by God’s grace, faithful Protestant people and churches protest against apostasy: liberal theology, Arminianism, women in church office, false ecumenism (with Roman Catholicism, other false or departing churches and the cults), sodomy and lesbianism in church office-bearers and members, syncretism with pagan religions, etc.

The child of God also has a right and a calling to protest unbiblical teaching and practice in his own church because of his office of believer, for he is a prophet, priest and king through sharing in the spiritual anointing of Jesus Christ. His protest should be made in an orderly, ecclesiastical fashion, according to the Reformed confessions and the church’s code or church order. Such a protest should be made humbly and yet boldly, with much prayer and fortified with the Holy Scriptures to God’s glory.

Psalm 119 superbly sums up the spirit of biblical Protestantism: “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (104); “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (127-128). 

Next time, we shall conclude by considering some of the major ethical teachings of Protestantism, DV.  Rev. Stewart

 

Emotions


A reader writes, “I have a question concerning love and emotions. I have read some materials on the topic, including Herman Hoeksema’s explanation of God’s love. He defines love as a ‘bond’ and he also speaks of it as a ‘desire.’ Some argue that love is a feeling, while others that the nature of love is volitional. My question is: What is the relation between love and feelings or emotions? By feelings or emotions, I mean affective states of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate or the like is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness?”

This question from a reader of the News in Hungary taps into a long debate that has been ongoing in the church ever since the time of Augustine (354-430). The discussion concerns the feelings or emotions and how the emotions of a person relate to his mind and his will. The debate has, for the most part, revolved around the question whether the emotions are a separate faculty of the soul or are a part of another faculty.

This presupposes, of course, that man has a soul and is not merely the product of blind evolutionary processes. The soul in man is immaterial and pervades the whole of man’s being. The Bible itself speaks of the soul or spirit.

The faculties of the soul are the facultas intelligendi and the facultas volendi—the faculty of the mind and the faculty of the will. The debate has centred on the question whether the emotions (if such exist) are a separate power of the soul or belong to one of the two faculties, that is, to the mind or to the will.

The issue is an interesting one and it is also an important one. Herman Bavinck wrote a book entitled Biblical and Religious Psychology. Unfortunately, it is written in Dutch. I translated it into English for a theological class I taught and the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Wyoming, Michigan, produces copies of it.

Bavinck is adamant that the emotions are part of the activity of the will. He points out, and correctly so, that, if the emotions are a separate faculty, and are thus outside the intellectual and volitional life of a man, emotions are outside man’s moral responsibility.

What I have to say about the emotions, I learned chiefly from Bavinck, although Hoeksema in his instruction would refer from time to time to the emotions, as the questioner pointed out.

We live in a world in which people seem to think that emotions are the dominant psychical activity in our lives. Many wrongly reckon that feelings that arise out of nowhere drive everyone to do what they do. The idea is that, because emotions are independent of our minds and wills, we have no control over them. It is all summed up in the terrible motto, “If it feels good, do it.” 

The fact is that the emotions are part of the will. The will is dependent, in turn, on the mind. God has so created us that we stand in relation to the creation around us, primarily with our minds. We know the creation. We also know the Bible, God’s inspired Word. The will cannot act upon that which the mind does not know.

The emotions are one aspect of the activity of the will that chooses between various options which a man confronts. I hope no one deduces from this remark that man can choose for God or Christ without irresistible grace. Man is totally depraved. But he retains the power of choice in natural things. For example, he chooses the road on which to drive to his destination. Life consists in making choices every moment of the day. What a man chooses depends on what he likes or dislikes, what he wants or despises, what he loves or hates. Without faith, all a man’s choices are sinful (Rom. 14:23) but some decisions are more sinful than others.

Man is neither the master of his fate nor the captain of his soul. God determines the path that he walks. Things happen to him that he hoped would never happen, like being diagnosed with cancer. In his heart, he knows that he cannot control his life. There are even atheists in fox holes, who, through fear of death, have a sudden inclination to pray. Yet they cannot really pray, for true prayer comes only from a regenerated heart and must be offered on the basis of Christ’s substitutionary death and intercession.

A man’s emotions are his reactions to the totality of his experiences in life. He likes them or he dislikes them. Every emotion is a sense of like or dislike.

Bavinck points out that some emotions are very strong and some relatively weak. He gives different names to different emotions, depending on their strength.

The eternal and unchangeable God has, according to Scripture, emotions. God perfectly loves His people and hates the wicked (e.g., Ps. 5:5; Prov. 3:32-33). How the eternal God can have emotions is far beyond our understanding. But He does and for this we must be thankful. He is not cold, impersonal or unmoved by anything in this life. He is not the Mohammedan’s Allah.

It seems to me that love and hate are the most basic emotions. This is certainly true from an ethical viewpoint, for the moral law is summed up in the command to love God and our neighbour. God loves His people with an eternal love and hates the wicked with an eternal hatred. He does not love them all and bend every effort to save them, only to hate them at the end of their life and cast them into hell.

So with man: man’s most basic emotions are love and hate. The elect love God and their neighbour; the wicked hate God and their neighbour.

The believer still has a depraved nature. God is pleased to send him many afflictions. He may dislike intensely the fact that he has cancer, but he receives it from the Lord and in humble submission to His will. He loves his God and willingly submits to His way, although there remains the battle between his old man and his new man in Christ.

Man is responsible for his emotions. He must answer for them before Christ’s judgment throne. The believer is called to live a life of temperance, self-discipline and self-control by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). This is part of the kingly office of the Christian: his ruling over himself by God’s grace. He never simply has emotions that overcome him. He must not live by the slogan, “If it feels good, do it.” The child of God is the object of Jehovah’s mercy, love, grace and longsuffering. He is moved by this to bring to his heavenly Father a humble prayer of thanksgiving, all the while weeping for his sins. Prof. Hanko
 


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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
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Celebrating
500 Years
of the Reformation

----
Reformation
Lecture

Friday, 3 November, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

Speaker
 Prof. David J. Engelsma 

emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, USA

Venue
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence St., Ballymena, N. Ireland BT43 5DR

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach at both CPRC services,
11 AM & 6 PM, on Lord’s Day, 5 November

The lecture will be streamed live at www.cprf.co.uk/live.html 
 



South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 23 November
 7:15 PM

Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

(pastor of Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Rep. of Ireland)

Subject:
The Reformation’s Recovery of Right Worship

 
NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
www.limerickreformed.com

Knowing God & Man
Herman Hoeksema
(144 pp., softback)

The key to understanding all Reformed doctrine is found in the title of the first chapter in this book: “God is God.” This truth sets the beautiful tone for all thirteen chapters—six on God and seven on man. Each chapter on God directs the reader’s attention to a different biblical aspect of the Sovereign of the universe: God as God, as Creator, as Lord, as good, as the living God and as love. The seven chapters about man clearly explain man’s covenantal relationship to God, his creation in the image of God, his fall and his totally depraved nature. Like the chapters in part one, these also emphasize that God is God!
 
£6.50 (inc. P&P)


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!

The Conclusion to Christ’s Farewell Discourse

9 sermons on CD or DVD in an attractive box set
 
In that Upper Room in Jerusalem on the night before the cross, the Lord Jesus spoke of His “going away” in a “little while” so that His 11 disciples would “not see” Him, though in another “little while” they would “see” Him. These sermons explain the massive changes in the New Testament age that Christ would soon usher in!
  
(1) Christ’s Prophecy of Excommunication and Martyrdom (John 16:1-4a)
(2) The Spirit Convicting the World (John 16:4b-11)
(3) The Work of the Spirit of Truth (John 16:12-13)
(4) Glorifying Christ—The Spirit’s Work (John 16:14-15)
(5) Two Little Whiles (John 16:16-22)
(6) Praying in Christ’s Name
(John 16:23-24)
(7) Knowing the Father in the New Testament Age (John 16:25-27)
(8) The Weaknesses of the Disciples’ Knowledge
(John 16:28-32)
(9) Christ’s Victory Over the World (John 16:33)

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

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

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

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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for November 2017

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

Rev. Bill Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (Pennsylvania) continues his four-month service for the RWH program, as he works through a new series on Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians and brings a special Thanksgiving Day message (cf. schedule of messages below).

November  5 -Abounding in Love (1) - 1 Thess.3:11-13

November 12 -Abounding in Love (2) - 1 Thess. 3:11-13

November 19 -Thanks Be to God - 2 Corinthians 9:15

November 26 -Called unto Holiness - 1 Thess. 4:3-5, 7,8

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 77th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

RWH Facebook image

RWH Flyer November 2017 Page 1

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RFPA Update - Fall 2017

RFPA  UPDATE  NEWSLETTER


Some of the articles included in this issue...

  • Feature Article: What's New in Translations?
  • New Marketing Strategies
  • The RFPA Hires a New Manager
  • Fun Facts
  • Standard Bearer Redesign
  • Saying Goodbye
  • T Is for Tree: A Bible ABC
  • Radio Interview

 

FULL ISSUE
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Copyright © 2017 Reformed Free Publishing Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you purchased and opted-in at our website. We will never sell or abuse your e-mail address and you may opt out easily at any time. We value your relationship and only want to send information we think you'd want!

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Reformed News Asia - October 2017

Issue 44 - October 2017
Pamphlets
We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEW Pamphlet!
THE FAITHFUL WITNESS
By Rev Carl Haak (Reformed Witness Hour)

"When Christ instructed the church to go and to make disciples of all nations, He gave that great commission to the entire church, so that every member must face this calling as a solemn duty before God.  Pastors and missionaries must make disciples by preaching and by baptism.  And members of the church are also involved in making disciples by their witnessing.  This is a privilege and a calling that is held before us in the Scriptures."
  
What does being a faithful witness entail? What motivates us to be faithful witnesses? What are the things that we, as faithful witnesses, cannot do? And finally, what are the tools that faithful witnesses may employ in their witnessing?

As one interested in your walk as a faithful witness, click to read more and find out the answers to these questions in this 4-part series!


Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.

 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Knowing God in the Last Days
by Mark Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

"Knowing God in the Last Days is an explanation of the general epistle of Peter to the early New Testament church. The primary theme of the letter is the knowledge of God, a concept that occurs many times and in various contexts throughout the book. This short epistle contains a wealth of instruction for the church today.

The secondary theme of 2 Peter is the application of the knowledge of God to the last days in which we live. Especially in his third chapter, Peter reveals to the church the knowledge of God as it relates to the end times.

Based on exegesis of the Greek text, this commentary gives clarity of explanation to God’s people regarding necessary and important aspects of today’s Christian life. May all who read be edified."

 
Audio Recordings
God's Word provides comfort in all circumstances, even one in which CERC faces uncertainty amidst Rev Lanning's acceptance of the call to Byron Centre PRC. Have a listen!

Counsel for an Uncertain Future
 

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Reformation Day Conference 2017

Come commemorate the 500th year of the Reformation with us this RDC! Details in the poster below.

 
Vacation Bible School 2017

Theme : Parable of the Sower
Date : 4 - 7 Dec 2017
Time : 10am - 3pm
Venue : Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
Camp fee : $10
Friends who are not members of CERC are welcome to register.
Please register via this link: http://bit.ly/2yv0GEf
Registration closes on 18 November 2017.
For further queries please contact Deacon Meng Hsien.

 
CKCKS Camp 2017

Our annual CKCKS Camp is back! Save the dates!

Theme: Examine Yourselves (2 Cor 13:5)
Dates: 19-22 Dec 2017
Location: Aloha Loyang Sea View Bungalow 1
Registration: 12 Nov to 3 Dec

For more information, visit http://ckckscamp.weebly.com/

 
Past Events...
 
CK/CKS Outing
Our latest CKCS youth outing took on a slightly different form as we gathered at Yang Zhi's place for a prayer meeting. We were joined, for the first time, by Charis Tan who will be turning 13 next year. This was followed by a refreshing game of Aqua Captain's Ball. We then had pizza and fried rice at Aunty Jean's who also fed us with instruction concerning dating and marrying in the Lord.
 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  •www.cerc.org.sg 
 

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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - October 29, 2017 *(Updated)

Luther grace meritOn this October 29, 2017 Lord's Day we note the following news and information from PRC congregations, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Oct.22 Rev. Andy Lanning ACCEPTED the call to Byron Center PRC. From BC's bulletin today we learn this: "Rev. Lanning plans to preach his farewell sermon on December 24 and arrive with his family in Michigan on December 26."
  • On October 22 Cand. Stephan Regnerus ACCEPTED the call from Lynden (WA) PRC, DECLINING the call from Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). He and pastor-elect Brian Feenstra will be examined at a special meeting of Classis West on Nov.29 in Lynden, D.V.
  • The congregation of First PRC (GR) plans to call TODAY from its (now) duo of B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) and C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull, IA) [Rev. A. Lanning, who was also on the trio, accepted the call to Byron Center last week]. *UPDATE: Rev. B. Huizinga has received this call.
  • This past Tuesday, Oct.24, Rev. Justin Smidstra was ordained into the ministry and installed as the next pastor of First PRC of Holland MI. His inaugural sermon will be preached this Sunday morning.
  • The Council of SW PRC (Wyoming, MI) announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), Rev. W. Langerak (Southeast PRC), and Candidate David Noorman.  A special congregational meeting has been scheduled for November 5 immediately following the evening worship service.

DENOMINATIONAL and SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning the special PRC Contact Committe delegation currently visiting Singapore and the Philippines: On Oct.25 elder Dave Kregel and Rev. R. Smit travelled "to the Philippines, spending two Sundays there representing our churches to carry out mandates dealing with Synod's approval of our churches becoming sister churches. They will then travel to Singapore for week to visit Covenant ERCS to conduct church visitation. Rev. Smit is to give a number of Reformation speeches in both the Philippines and Singapore as well as preaching a number of sermons. Plans are for them to return Nov.13." We pray for safe travels and for profitable visits and labors for this delegation.
  • Prof. D. Engelsma and his wife are currently visiting our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, where he is gving four Reformation lectures (two this past weekend and two next weekend), as well as preach on the three Sundays he is there. Covenant PRC's bulletin included this note: "Rev. Stewart will be preaching in the LRF on 29 October and 5 & 12 November. Our pastor will also be giving a lecture on “Martin Luther’s Great Discovery” in Limerick on Saturday, 28 October. Rev. McGeown will be speaking in the U.S. at Reformation conferences there and will be returning on Thursday, 9 November. He will preach for the CPRC on 12 November."
  • The PRC Seminary Reformation 500th Anniversary Conference, which was held this past weekend, Oct.27-28, in Faith PRC (Jenison, MI), was a gratifying success. It was well-attended and the speeches were edifying and encouraging for all who stand in the glorious heritage of the Reformed-Protestant faith. Watch for notices of the speeches to be made available online and in DVD form.

 Luther pic sem conf 2017

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • From Byron Center PRC: PART 1 of Prof. D. Engelsma's Q & A regarding spousal abuse is now available on Byron Center's website, ( www.byronprc.net ). Scroll down the right side of cover page and click on "Part 1". We will announce when the remaining questions are answered and available for viewing.
  • If you wish to see pictures of the recent Seniors' Retreat held at Gull Lake in Michigan, sponsored by Grandville and First PRCs (Holland), visit the bulletin page for this link: 2017 Seniors' Retreat Pictures - Gull Lake, MI (registered users only).
  • Reformed Book Outlet: Check out the special Reformation resources this month! Many titles to choose from - for adults and children!

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma is titled "God's Saints: The Crown of Rejoicing", based on 1 Thess.2:19,20.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 MISSION NEWS:

Myanmar map 2

  • From Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) bulletin for this Sunday we note the following special announcement concerning Rev. Titus and their work in Myanmar:
    • HOPE PRC’S REFORMED WITNESS COMMITTEE invites you to Covenant CHS Sunday, November 12, at 8:00 pm to attend an informative program concerning Hope’s work in Myanmar with the PRC of Yangon, Myanmar. Rev. Titus Sanceuluai, pastor of the church in Myanmar, along with his wife Certi, will be part of the program. This will be a great way to learn more about the work there, the fellow saints in Myanmar, and get to know Rev. Titus and Certi personally. We look forward to seeing you there.
  • On Oct.1 Rev. R. Smit (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) ACCEPTED the call of Doon PRC to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. According to Doon's bulletin this week, "[Rev. Smit] will be installed as our missionary on November 26. The Smits plan to move to the Philippines on December 25. All this, the Lord willing."We give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for providing this next foreign missionary for this abundant field of labor.

 MaranathaPRC dinner 2017

Eating lunch on Sunday with the Maranatha PRC consistory and some members.
  • From the Oct.29 bulletins of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will preach the first sermon and Rev. R. Smit will preach the second. Revs. Kleyn and Smit will preach in the PRC in Bulacan today.

    • The delegation from the Contact Committee of the PRCA arrived safely last week. Rev. Richard Smit and Elder Dave Kregel plan to stay in the Philippines until Nov. 6. They will meet with officebearers of the PRCP, especially at the meeting of Classis on Nov. 1.

    • The Classis will hold the regular meeting on Nov. 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. at our Church [Maranatha PRC] and in the afternoon will be the Church visitation.
    • All are invited to the conference “Reformation 500: The Anniversary” on Oct. 31 starting at 8:00 am here at PCC. The speeches will be: “The Reformation: Historical Overview” by Rev. D. Kleyn, “Martin Luther: His Legacy” by Rev. R. Smit, and “John Calvin: His Doctrine of Providence” by Rev. D. Holstege. Speak to a member of the SC to sign up today! [cf. poster below]

    • Rev. Smit and his family continue to make preparations to move to the Philippines, Lord willing, at the end of this year. May the Lord bless and keep them as they transition their life.

  • Maranatha PRF Bulletin Page 1

  • Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.
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Reformation 500 Commemoration - PRC Seminary Conference, Oct.27-28, 2017 *(Updated)

FaithPRC header

The PRC Seminary, with help from Faith PRC's Evangelism Committee, held a special two-day 500th anniversary Reformation conference the weekend of October 27-28 at Faith PRC in Jenison, MI.

The six speeches are now available on Faith PRC's Sermonaudio channel. Here are the links:

  1. What Was the Reformation? by Prof. R. Cammenga
  2. The Reformation's Return to Sola Scriptura by Rev. David Torlach
  3. The Reformation's Restoration of the Office of Believer by Prof. Barry Gritters
  4. The Reformation's Recovery of Right Worship by Rev. Martyn McGeown
  5. The Reformation's Response to the 'Radical Reformation' by Prof. Russell Dykstra
  6. The Reformation's Progress in the Lowlands by Rev. Steven Key

*[The rest of this news item was written for the original announcement of the event.]

The details of the event may be found on the poster below. A special website has also been created for the conference, which you may find at www.500thReformation.com .

Here's the latest bulletin announcement that was sent out:

HERE WE STAND, the seminary sponsored weekend conference celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is now at hand. The first speech is at 4:00 on Friday, October 27 with additional speeches at 7:00 and 8:15. The conference will continue on Saturday morning. The speeches will be delivered by our three professors (Profs. R. Cammenga, R. Dykstra, and B. Gritters)  and Rev. M. McGeown, Rev. David Torlach and Rev. S. Key. Talk to your neighbors and friends and join us at Faith PRC for this important event. The conference will be live-streamed on the Internet for those who are not able to attend in person.

At the conference there will also be books for sale by the Reformed Free Publishing Association and Gary Vander Schaaf, and special displays of Seminary library books - new and rare - on the Reformation. In addition, the Reformed Witness Hour will have a special table featuring its ministry.

We hope you make plans to attend this significant event! Set aside some time for some or all of the conference and plan to join us as we celebrate God's great work in the sixteenth century of reforming His church according to His Word.

Here We Stand Oct 2017 flyer Page 1

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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - October 22, 2017

romans8 35

On this October 22, 2017 Lord's Day we note the following news and information from PRC congregations, classes, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Oct.1, the congregation of Byron Center PRC voted to call Rev. A. Lanning, currently pastor of the Covenant ERC in Singapore. TODAY Byron Center PRC announced Rev. Lanning's ACCEPTANCE of this call.
  • On October 8 Cand. Stephan Regnerus received the call from Lynden (WA) PRC. He had also been considering the call from Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI - received Sept.10). TODAY he announced his ACCEPTANCE of the call to Lynden and, therefore, DECLINED SW PRC's call. We rejoice with this brother in God's guidance and in His confirmation of the call to the ministry of the Word in our churches.
  • Rev. R. Smit will preach his farewell sermon TONIGHT in First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI).
    • First's bulletin today had this note concerning this: "Rev. Smit will preach his last sermons today as our pastor. May the Lord bless him and his family in their time of transition, and make his labours in the Philippines fruitful by the Holy Spirit to the glory of our heavenly Father and the propagation of the kingdom of His Son Jesus Christ. “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” (2nd Corinthians 13:11). A farewell program is planned for Sunday evening, November 19."
    • The Council of First PRC (GR) also has a new trio from which to call the congregation's next pastor: Revs A. Lanning (Covenant ERC, Singapore), B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA), and C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull, IA). The congregational meeting will be held October 29 after the morning service.
  • On Friday night, Oct.20, Pastor-elect Joe Holstege was ordained and installed as the first minister of Zion PRC. We rejoice with this servant of the Lord and with this congregation, and pray that God will grant him a faithful and fruitful ministry in the PRC.
  • On Oct.24, D.V., Pastor-elect Justin Smidstra will be ordained into the ministry and installed as the next pastor of First PRC of Holland MI. First's bulletin has this note concerning this: "The congregation is called to worship next week Tuesday, October 24, at 7 p.m., for the ordination and installation of Pastor-elect Justin Smidstra. The collection taken will be for the Foreign Seminary Student Fund. The inaugural sermon will be preached at the morning worship service on Sunday, October 29."
  • On Oct.1 Cand. Brian Feenstra ACCEPTED the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB (Received Sept.3). He will be examined at a special meeting of Classis West, yet to be determined.
  • Candidates Jon Langerak  and David Noorman are both assisting pastors and congregations in the Grand Rapids area (Georgetown PRC and Hudsonville PRC, respectively) while they wait for calls. Cand. J. Langerak will also soon be helping Lynden PRC during her vacancy.

DENOMINATIONAL and SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • At its special meeting this past week (Oct.18), Classis East examined Pastors-elect Joe Holstege and Justin Smidstra. Classis approved both of their examinations and recommended that Zion PRC proceed with Joe Holstege’s ordination
    and that First Holland PRC proceed with the ordination of Justin Smidstra. This past Friday night, Rev. Holstege was ordained into the gospel ministry and installed as Zion PRC's first pastor. On Tuesday night, at Holland PRC, Justin Smidstra will be
    ordained and installed (Rev. G. Eriks will be leading the worship service).

  • From Grandville PRC's bulletin we find this note about a special PRC Contact Committe delegation to Singapore and the Philippines this week: "This coming Wednesday [Oct.25] Dave Kregel will be travelling with Rev. R. Smit to the Philippines, spending two Sundays there representing our churches to carry out mandates dealing with Synod's approval of our churches becoming sister churches. They will then travel to Singapore for week to visit Covenant ERCS to conduct church visitation. Rev. Smit is to give a number of Reformation speeches in both the Philippines and Singapore as well as preaching a number of sermons. Plans are for them to return Nov.13." We pray for safe travels and for profitable visits and labors for this delegation.
  • Prof. D. Engelsma and his wife traveled to our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland this past week, where he will deliver four Reformation lectures (two this past weekend and two next weekend), as well as preach on the three Sundays he is there. Covenant PRC's bulletin included this note: "Rev. Stewart will be preaching in the LRF on 29 October and 5 & 12 November, Our pastor will also be giving a lecture on “Martin Luther’s Great Discovery” in Limerick on Saturday, 28 October. Rev. McGeown will be speaking in the U.S. at Reformation conferences there and will be returning on Thursday, 9 November. He will preach for the CPRC on 12 November."
  • Prof. David Engelsma's recent speech on spousal abuse (Oct.5) along with the Q & A session is taped and available on the Byron Center PRC website. Additionally, the questions that went unanswered due to time restraints will be answered by Prof. Engelsma and available on her website by October 21st.
  • Keep in mind the upcoming PRC Seminary Reformation 500th Anniversary Conference, which will be held THIS WEEKEND, Oct.27-28, in Faith PRC (Jenison, MI). The latest announcement is this:

    HERE WE STAND, this seminary sponsored conference celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be held this Fridaya nd saturday, Oct.27 and 28. The first speech is at 4:00 on Friday, October 27th with additional speeches at 7:00 and 8:15. The conference will continue Saturday morning. The speeches will be delivered by our three professors and Rev. M. McGeown, Rev. David Torlach, and Rev. S. Key. Talk to your neighbors and friends and join us at Faith PRC for this important event. The conference will be live-streamed on the Internet for those who are not able to attend in person. For further information see our advertisement in the Standard Bearer or visit the denominational website: www.prca.org or 500thReformation.com.

    Here We Stand Oct 2017 flyer Page 1

 

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you wish to see pictures of the recent Seniors' Retreat held at Gull Lake in Michigan, sponsored by Grandville and First PRCs (Holland), visit the bulletin page for this link: 2017 Seniors' Retreat Pictures - Gull Lake, MI (registered users only).
  • Reformed Book Outlet: Check out the special Reformation resources this month! Many titles to choose from - for adults and children!

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma is titled "Receiving the Word of God", based on 1 Thess.2:13.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 MISSION NEWS:

Myanmar map 2

  • From Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) bulletin we note the following special announcement re Rev. Titus and their work in Myanmar:
    • For some time the Council has been working toward bringing Rev. Titus and his wife, Certi, to the United States to visit the Protestant Reformed Churches. ...The paperwork and interviews at the U.S. embassy in Myanmar are now complete, and Visas for both have been granted. Flights are booked, and they plan to arrive in Grand Rapids Tuesday, October 24, at 6:55 p.m. They plan to depart on Monday, November 13, at 10:00 a.m. A rather full schedule has been planned, which includes a Myanmar program, an open house, and more for everyone to enjoy. Look for additional communications from the Myanmar committees of the Council and the Reformed witness committee. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
  • On Sept.17 Rev. A. Spriensma was installed as home missionary, having been called by Byron Center PRC. He is beginning his work in the west Michigan area.
  • On Oct.1 Rev. R. Smit (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) ACCEPTED the call of Doon PRC to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. According to Doon's bulletin this week, "[Rev. Smit] will be installed as our missionary on November 26. The Smits plan to move to the Philippines on December 25. All this, the Lord willing."We give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for providing this next foreign missionary for this abundant field of labor.

 Trinidad catechism 2017

Rev. Trinidad teaching catechism to the little children [All posing for a picture after class] 
  • From the Oct.2 bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today and next Sunday, Lord willing. Rev. Kleyn will preach for Maranatha PRC today.

    • A delegation from the Contact Committee of the PRCA will arrive this week and stay until Nov. 6, Lord willing. Rev. Richard Smit and Elder Dave Kregel are the delegates. They plan to worship with the PRC in Bulacan next Sunday, and to attend one service at Berean PRC and one service at PCC on Nov. 5.

    • All are invited to the conference “Reformation 500: The Anniversary” on Oct. 31 starting at 8:00 am here at PCC. The speeches will be: “The Reformation: Historical Overview” by Rev. D. Kleyn, “Martin Luther: His Legacy” by Rev. R. Smit, and “John Calvin: His Doctrine of Providence” by Rev. D. Holstege. Speak to a member of the SC to sign up today! [cf. poster below]

    • Let us continue to pray for Rev. Richard Smit, his wife Tricia, and their children as they transition from life and ministry at First PRC in Grand Rapids to life and ministry here in the Philippines. The Smits plan to move here, if the Lord wills, at the end of December.

  • Maranatha PRF Bulletin Page 1

  • Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.
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Special Classis East Meeting - October 18, 2017 *(Updated)

GTPRC2012

A special meeting of Classi East was held on Wednesday, Oct.18, 2017, at Georgetown PRC.

Below is the brief summary report from the Stated Clerk, Gary Boverhof.

JoeH JustinS ClassisEast Oct 2017

Report of special meeting of Classis East for the purpose of examining Pastors-elect Joe Holstege (left in picture above) and Justin Smidstra (right in picture above).

They each preached a specimen sermon and then were examined extensively on the six loci of Reformed dogmatics, and their knowledge of the Scriptures, confessions, controversy, and practica.

Both men gave excellent demonstrations of their knowledge and training in all these areas over roughly 5 hours of oral questioning. Classis voted unanimously to approve of their examinations (and the Synodical Deputies from Classis West concurred), recommending that Zion PRC and First PRC of Holland proceed to the ordination and installation.

With much thanksgiving to God, we rejoice in His provision of these ministers of the gospel to the PRCA.

Also a classical appointment schedule was made for First PRC while they are without a pastor.

Pastor-elect Joe Holstege will be ordained and installed as Zion PRC's pastor on Friday Oct.20 at Faith PRC (7 p.m.), D.V. *UPDATE: Below is a picture from Rev. J. Holstege's ordination/installation service Friday evening in Faith PRC. It captures the important ceremony of the laying on of hands by the professors and ministers who were present.

JHolstege ordination Oct 2017

Pastor-elect Justin Smidstra will be ordained and installed as First PRC-Holland's pastor on Tuesday, Oct.24 at First PRC of Holland (7 p.m.), D.V.

You are cordially invited to witness these events if you are in the area, or via live-stream through these churches' website.

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