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A Power of God unto Salvation (or Grace Not An Offer)

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A Power of God unto Salvation of Grace Not An Offer

By Herman Hoeksema

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Chapter 1 The Real Point Not Addressed ..................................1

Chapter 2 Up Against a Stone Wall ..........................................7

Chapter 3 Keegstra’s Citation of Calvin .....................................13

Chapter 4 More From Calvin ..................................................18

Chapter 5 Not According to Scripture .......................................24

Chapter 6 Another Six Texts .................................................31

Chapter 7 Not Confessionally Reformed ...................................37

Chapter 8 Still More Proof?.....................................................43

Chapter 9 His Workmanship ..................................................49

Chapter 10 Review ..............................................................54

Chapter 11 Review ..............................................................67

Chapter 12 Review in De Wachter (Netherlands) ........................71

Chapter 13 Conclusion ..........................................................84

With this publication the Seminary offers to the public an important book in the history of the Protestant Reformed Churches. It was first published in Dutch in 1932 and, therefore, has been
unavailable to most people for the last four or five decades.

Prof. Homer Hoeksema began a translation of the book in the April, 1987 issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal. He was unable to complete the work because the Lord took him to glory. And so the work remained undone until the present. Recently, my father, Rev. Cornelius Hanko, emeritus minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches, completed the work of translation begun by Prof. Hoeksema. And so, at last, a translation is available to the public.

In a certain sense the material is dated because the book was originally a series of editorials in the Standard Bearer in which Rev. Herman Hoeksema defended his denial of the well-meant offer of the gospel over against the criticisms of a certain Rev. H. Keegstra who was at the time editor of the Dutch weekly De Wachter. It must be remembered that the question of the well-meant offer of the gospel was an issue in 1924 when Rev. Hoeksema was thrown out of the Christian Reformed Church. The CRC had made the well-meant offer of the gospel official dogma by its decisions on common grace at the Synod of Kalamazoo. Rev. Hoeksema was expelled for refusing to subscribe to the doctrines of common grace in general and the doctrine of the well-meant offer in particular. In his editorials in De Wachter, Rev. Keegstra attacked Hoeksema’s position. Hoeksema defended his position in editorials in the paper of which he was editor, the Standard Bearer. The Reformed Free Publishing Association, which also published the Standard Bearer, brought these editorials together in a brochure and published them under the name given to this book.
It did not take long for the first printing to be sold out, and a second printing was prepared. While no substantial changes were made in the second printing, a significant section was added.

The brochure had come to the attention of leading figures in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands who reviewed the brochure in various church papers in that country. These reviews, along with Rev. Hoeksema’s comments on them, were included in the second printing. It is this printing which has been translated and is found in this book. Our readers will be especially interested in the fact that one of the reviews was prepared by Dr. A. Kuyper, Jr., the son of the well-known Dr. A. Kuyper, Sr.

Although the entire book forms a part of the controversy waged in the ’30s over the well-meant offer and is, therefore, somewhat dated, the issue of the well-meant offer remains a live issue in the church and debate over it is high on the church’s agenda. That is the value of the book. I can find no clearer statement anywhere of the position of Rev. Herman Hoeksema (and the Protestant Reformed Churches) than in this book. And, let me add, it is difficult to find anywhere a clearer statement of why the well-meant offer is contrary to both Scripture and the Reformed confessions.

The book is an important document in the literature of the Protestant Reformed Churches. May God bless this effort to make more widely accessible to those who no longer know the Dutch language but who are interested in the crucial issues of doctrine which the church of Christ faces in today’s world.

Protestant Reformed Seminary
November, 1996
Prof. Herman Hanko

Preface to the Second Edition

I could hardly have expected when I began to write a series of articles on the subject of A Power of God unto Salvation, in the Standard Bearer, this would not only appear in book form, but that a second edition would be required. Yet this has become a reality and that gives me reason to rejoice.

The main contents of this second edition is the same as the first. Only the opinions expressed by some of the theologians of the Netherlands concerning my views are included in this edition with my answer appended.

It is but proper to express a word of appreciation to the Reformed Free Publishing Association which made this publication financially possible, and especially to the Board of that Society which not only decided to publish this second edition, but also devoted their time and efforts to it.

May the Lord use our meager efforts to open the eyes of many of our Reformed people for the Arminian error which is always a threatening danger to the church, and certainly no less in our time!

H.H.

Last modified on 04 May 2020
Hoeksema, Herman

Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965) was born in Groningen, the Netherlands on March 13, 1886 and passed away in Grand Rapids, MI on September 2, 1965. He attended the Theological School of the Christian Reformed Church and was ordained into the minitry in September of 1915.

"H.H." is considered one of the founding "fathers" of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America.  He and his consistory (Eastern Ave. Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI) were suspended and deposed from their offices in 1924-1925 because of their opposition to the "Three Points of Common Grace" adopted by the Christian Reformed Church in the Synod of Kalamazoo, MI in 1924.  He, together with Rev. George M. Ophoff, Rev. H. Danhof and their consistories continued in office in the "Protesting Christian Reformed Church" which shortly thereafter were named the "Protestant Reformed Churches in America."

Herman Hoeksema served as pastor in the 14th Street Christian Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1915-1920), Eastern Ave. Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI (1920-1924), and First Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI (1924-1964), He taught in the Seminary of the Protestant Reformed Churches from its founding and retired in 1964.

For an enlarged biography, see: Herman Hoeksema: Theologian and Reformer

Notes: You may also find many sermons of "H.H." at the RFPA website. And you may find copies in print of an entire set of "H.H.'s" catechism sermons here.

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