The staff carefully considered two young men, Peter Faber and Steve Lotterman, for the position of editor-in-chief. Both men made a favorable impression on the staff which is why the results of the voting were very close. I am glad to let you know that our new editor-in-chief is Peter Faber, from Southeast Protestant Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI. Welcome to the staff Peter and may the Lord bless you as you take up your new responsibilities. Our read­ers will be looking forward to reading your edi­tor’s notes in the years to come. Steve, we thank you for seeking the position of editor, and hope you will take on your suggestion of endeavoring to obtain new subscribers for the Beacon Lights.

The next bit of news will also be exciting for many people.


Division Winners

3rd Grade: Bethany Joy Haak (Lynden, WA), Denise Joy Noorman (Jenison, MI), Sarah Van Egdom (Doon, IA).

4th Grade: Maria Bodbyl (Grandville, MI), Lois Kuiper, Grand Rapids, MI), Bethany Slopsema (Grand Rapids, MI).

5th Grade: Cory Jay Griess (Loveland, CO), Renae Karsemeyer, (Redlands, CA), Joshua Faber (?).

6th Grade: Jan Huisken (Redlands, CA), Nicole Pastoor (Redlands, CA),

Luke Griess (Ft. Collins, CO).

7th – 8th Grades: Ryan Hanko (Houston, TX), Susan Adams (Lynden, WA), Kristin Brands (Edgerton, MN).

9th – 10th Grades: Susanna Inskeep (Otaki, New Zealand), Jennifer Hanko (Houston, TX).

11th – 12th Grades: Philip Van Baren (South Holland, 1L), Megan Jankovic (West Chicago. IL), Rebecca Hugg (Jenison, MI).

18-22 years old: John Huizenga (?), Tom Bergman (Hudsonville, MI).

23 – open: Connie Meyer (Grand Rapids, MI), Larry Meulenberg (Grand Rapids, MI), Mark Vanden Berg (Zeeland, MI).

Congratulations winners! Thank you for writ­ing. Each of you will not only have your article printed in the B.L. but will also receive a book gift certificate.

There were many excellent entries, especially in the lower grades, which made the judging all the more difficult. Many of the pictures you sent were beautiful. We thank all of you who did par­ticipate in the writing contest and hope that you enter next year’s writing contest as well.

Some of the winning articles from grades 3 – 6 are found in this issue. Bethany Haak (3rd Grade) wrote on The Butterfly, Maria Bodbyl (4th Grade) wrote on the Lamb, Cory Griess (5th Grade) wrote on The Bald Eagle, and Jan Huisken (6th Grade) wrote on The Deer. Enjoy the writings of these young writers. We look for­ward to future installments of the other winning articles.

As you can see, some winners did not include their address and we want to send every winner their gift. So, if you see a (?) after your name, you will need to send your address to our treasurer, Brian Kuiper, 4431 Riverbend Dr., S.W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504. He will send your gift book certificate to you as soon as he has your address.

Rev. Van Baren and Michele Elzinga are our two feature writers for this issue. Rev. Van Baren looks at war from the perspective of “The Four Horseman – And Iraq”. As God’s people, it is important for us to be cognizant of the carrying out of the counsel of our God. Michele Elzinga looks at war from the perspective of having a loved one go off to war. “War: An Unfolding of God’s Plan” shows the great comfort that the Word of God provides us in the time of war. Thank you, Rev. Van Baren and Michele for two important articles concerning our lives and time in which we live.

Rev. John Heys brings us what is now a three-part series on “Drifting With The Wind”. In this installment, Rev. Heys will continue to look at the awful tragedy of drifting away from the truth. The encouragement to fight against Satan in order to keep away from his godlessness and devilish ways is important for any age, young or old.

Bernie Kamps writes about “Aids and The ‘Magic Example.’”  He asks such questions as, “Or have we slowly subconsciously been drawn into the allurement of the world and maybe have made for ourselves examples which are improp­er?” Good question that each of us needs to answer, especially parents with young boys and girls. As Bernie puts it, “Step back and consider, are these men and women who live godlessly good examples for us?”

Lori Ellerbroek supplies us with the latest in church news. Keep sending her your church bul­letins. Her new address is: 14320 Pine Creek Dr., Holland, MI 49424. I thank Lori for her faithfulness in being our Church News editor.

The two outlines for the Young People’s Con­vention are “Stewardship” by Bruce and Anne Miedema, and a reprint of Everett Buiter’s out­line “Christian Courtesy.”

Prof. Hanko’s series on the Janssen Contro­versy, Mrs. Brands series on Ecclesiastes and the series on the Ten Commandments will be continued in the August/September issue.

I have enjoyed being the editor-in-chief for the last eight years, realizing that our God has given me, the staff, the writers, and many other people the grace and strength to provide you each issue. I will miss working with the staff but will now enjoy reading future issues of the Bea­con Lights as a regular subscriber. Hebrews 12:28, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.”

I hope to be able to introduce our new editor-in-chief in the next issue. The staff is carefully considering those who desire to be editor.

I knew this would happen. Since we had an overwhelming response to the writing contest in the 3rd – 4th grade level, those grades will have separate winners. And also, you will have to wait until the June/July issue to know who won in each level of the writing contest. The winners will be notified in May. Look for the winning articles in future issues.

Prof. Hanko gives us another excellent article in his series on the Janssen Controversy, “Chap­ter V – The Relation Between Common Grace and Janssen’s Views” (4). I want to thank Prof. Hanko for giving us a clear picture of some of the erroneous views of revelation. In addition, he mentions Prof. Homer Hoeksema’s book, The Doctrine of Scripture. You can obtain this book for $6.95 plus $1.75 for postage by sending your request to the Reformed Free Publishing Associa­tion, P.O. Box 2006, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. The Doctrine of Scripture, a supplement to Reformed Dogmatics, sets forth the truth that Scripture is God’s inerrant Word, coming to us with its own absolute authority and demanding of us an unconditional faith. Contemporary and clearly written, it is a valuable addition to a Reformed reader’s library. A textual index is included.

Rev. John Heys brings us a two-part series on “Drifting With The Wind.” As usual. Rev. Heys captures the meaning of Hebrews 2:1 with vivid pictures from life and presents them to us for our benefit. He covers such subjects as drifting away from the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, Satan’s blowing winds of false doctrine, and the lie of Arminianism. In the next install­ment, Rev. Hevs will continue to look at the awful tragedy of drifting away from the truth.

Revs. Ron Cammenga and Russ Dykstra spoke at the Young Adults Spring Retreat. Rev. Cammenga’s speech, “Living The Antithesis In Our Personal Relationships”, is found in this issue. He writes, “The relationships of the young people ought to be matter of concern to the church because God Himself is concerned about the friendships of Christian young people. This belongs to the antithetical life to which God calls every young person.” With this we wholehearted­ly agree. Rev. Cammenga divides his speech into four parts: The Warning Against Friendship With The World, The Reasons Why Friendship With Unbelievers Is Forbidden, The Positive Calling, and Friendship At What Cost? Thank you. Rev. Cammenga, for sending your encouraging spring retreat speech to us.

Mrs. Brands, in Letter #18, studies Ecclesi­astes 5:1-7, Introduction, “Manipulating God?!!” A surprising title! Solomon looks at “. . . people who realize that there is a God but who fail to love God and His righteousness and therefore who fail to give Him due reverence and feel they can manipulate Him to serve their purposes.” But as Mrs. Brands points out, the question for us is “Do we also in any ways ever try to do this?”

Lori Ellerbroek supplies us with the latest in church news. Keep sending her your church bul­letins. Her new address is: 14320 Pine Creek Drive, Holland, MI 49424. I thank Lori for her faithfulness in being our Church News editor.

The series on the ten commandments contin­ues with The Second Commandment by Mr. Don Lotterman from our Hope (GR) PRC. You will probably be surprised by some of the ways in which Mr. Lotterman shows us how we make images of God in our mind. Thank you, Don, for giving us a deeper understanding of the second commandment.

We are looking for a new editor-in-chief, D.V., within the next two months. A couple of people are considering this important work. I hope to be able to introduce your new editor-in-chief in the next issue.

In case you missed it in the last issue, you will have to wait until the May issue to know who won in each level of the writing contest. The winners will be notified in April. Look for the winning articles in future issues.

Does the following statement shock you? “. . . Abraham could borrow his idea of immortality from the heathen and that Israel could borrow its idea of the resurrection and eternal life from the pagans because God had preserved these ideas in heathen peoples by common grace.” Who would even suggest such a thought. Read Prof. Hanko’s excellent series on the Janssen Controversy. “Chapter V – The Relation Between Common Grace and Janssen’s Views” (3). Seven­ty years later Janssen’s teachings are still being taught.

Letter #17 by Mrs. Brands studies Ecclesi­astes 4:13-16. “Popularity and High Office.” How many times have you seen a person rise to popu­larity for a few years only to be forgotten in future years? Mrs. Brands points out that our goal is not popularity but humility before God, not to please men or get their approval but to know the approval of our Father in heaven.

“Who Am I?” a poem by Angie Schipper is very appropriate for this time of year when God’s people in a special way remember the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, Angie, for your thoughtful poem.

The unfinished series started about four years ago on the ten commandments will begin again with this issue. In this issue, we will reprint Rev. M. Joostens’ introduction to this series, along with the first commandment writ­ten by Rev. B. Woudenberg. I wish to thank those writers who provided their articles for this series a couple of years ago. You have been very patient with me and I apologize for the delay in printing your articles.



The Beacon Lights Staff and the Federation Board of Protestant Reformed Young People Soci­eties expresses their deepest Christian sympathy to our typesetter, Jim Van Overloop and his fam­ily in the sudden death of his wife and their mother, Linda. May they continue to experience the Lord’s sustaining grace and the comfort of His Word in Psalm 135:5, 6 “I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”


My Father! what am I, that all

Thy mercies sweet like sunlight fall

So constant o’er my way?

That Thy great love should shelter me,

And guide my steps so tenderly

 Through every changing day?

                                –Standard Bearer, November 15, 1936

Looking for a new editor-in-chief, D.V. within the next three months. Anyone in the Grand Rapids area who is interested in being the editor of our young people’s magazine can contact me at 896-7715.

The deadline for the writing contest is past. We thank those of you who sent in your articles for the contest. The winners will be notified in April, while our readers, however, will have to wait until the May issue to know who won in each level. Look for the winning articles in future issues.

Prof. Hanko continues his excellent series on the Janssen Controversy. “Chapter V – The Rela­tion Between Common Grace and Janssen’s Views” (2) continues to show how Dr. Janssen connected his views on Scripture with his views on common grace. Janssen’s common grace was basically the second the third points adopted by the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in 1924.

Letter #16 by Mrs. Brands studies Ecclesi­astes 4:7-12, “The Miser’s Poverty.” Four benefits of working with others applies to our own lives and to the church in a much richer way. Solomon shows the characteristics of the miser and also four benefits that are missing to the miser.

Lori Ellerbroek (nee Bouwkamp), our faithful Church News editor, supplies us with the latest in church news. Congratulations on your recent marriage, Lori! For those of you sending her church bulletins, her new address is: 14320 Pine Creek Drive, Holland, MI 49424.

Angie Schipper, as you will recall, enjoys writing poems. “I Wonder What Today Might Hold” teaches us that our God loves us, He is always near, and keeps His promises. Her poem also teaches us that today may be the last day of our lives.

Rich Peterson, one of our associate editors, provides us with an explanation to Matthew 7:1 “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Many questions could be asked such as the following one. Does God judge us? Does Jesus judge us? Does our fellow Christian judge us? Who judges us? Find out the answer to these questions by reading Rich’s article.

Prof. Engelsma as you know wrote an excel­lent book on Reformed Education. Recently he wrote an article in “Contra Mundum, A Reformed Cultural Review.” He wanted his book reviewed in Contra Mundum, so I sent a copy to the edi­tor, T. E. Wilder, suggesting he review Prof. Engelsma’s book. T. E. Wilder then asked for permission to print the chapter on “Scripture in the Schools” as the lead article in the education issue of Contra Mundum. I agreed to this and Prof. Engelsma revised the second chapter for printing in the review. Perhaps Prof. Engelsma will allow us to print his revised chapter in Per­spectives in Covenant Education? If you want the revised version sooner, then contact Contra Mundum, T. E. Wilder editor, P. O. Box 32652, Fridley MN 55432-0652. Maybe Prof. Engelsma will consider revising the entire book?

Melissa Spidel has taken over the mailing of the Beacon Lights. Melissa is the sister of Melin­da La Count of our Grandville Protestant Reformed Church. She is very organized and caught on very quickly as to the system for han­dling the mailing of our magazine. Thank you, Melissa and welcome to the Beacon Lights.

Allen Brummel, from First Protestant Reformed Church of Edgerton, MN, has agreed to take care of the book orders. Allen is attend­ing our Grandville Protestant Reformed Church with his brother Nathan while both of them go to our Protestant Reformed Seminary. Welcome to the Beacon Lights Allen.

Look for a new editor-in-chief, D.V., within the next four months. If anyone in the Grand Rapids area has a keen interest in being the editor of our young people’s magazine, then give me a call at 896-7715 and I will be glad to tell you what your tasks will be as the editor. It is not easy for me to relinquish the position of editor- in-chief. One of my joys I will miss will be work­ing with a staff of dedicated young people.

Prof. Hanko continues his excellent series on the Janssen Controversy. He sent me more arti­cles even before he was asked to send more. “Chapter V – The Relation Between Common Grace and Janssen’s Views” proves to be a strik­ing beginning of how Dr. Janssen connected his views on Scripture with his views on common grace. Read on to learn more about the errors of common grace.

Letter #15 by Mrs. Brands studies Ecclesi­astes 4:4-6, which has an interesting title, “Workaholic? Easy-Going? Slouch?” Do you find yourself answering to these questions? You might even see these characteristics in yourself. Mrs. Brands, however, points out that Solomon compares these three characteristics with each other. You’ll enjoy the wisdom of Solomon as he shows us a proper work attitude.

Lora Bouwkamp, our faithful Church News editor, supplies us with the latest in church news. She receives almost every churches’ bul­letins on a regular basis. The staff thanks those who keep Lora supplied with church bulletins.

Angie Schipper enjoys writing poems and I enjoy reading them. If you have a daughter or you are a daughter, you will appreciate in a spe­cial way the sensitivity of this poem. Angie wrote this for her parents but now shares with you the heartfelt contents of “You Hold the Key to My Heart”.

Robert Brands, from Loveland, Colorado, wanted copies of back issues of the Beacon Lights a couple of years ago. I supplied him with what I had available. He still needs the April and May issues of 1942, and the August-September, October, November and December issues of 1944. If any of you want to be relieved of these issues, send them to Robert Brands, 126 E. 23rd St., Loveland, Co 80538. Thank you, Mr. Brands for sending your article on “The Casket”. You have reminded us of the seriousness of living faithfully each day of our lives as we take one step closer to the casket.

Any questions you would like to ask Mr. Dewey Engelsma can be sent to the Beacon Lights P.O. Box 375, Jenison, MI 49428. The staff is thankful for Mr. Engelsma’s sanctified replies to previous questions and we look for­ward to more of his answers.

Have you written your article for the Beacon Lights yet? I’m talking of course about the writ­ing contest, details of which are in this issue. The staff has put a lot of work into this and we hope for an enthusiastic response from you. This provides the opportunity for many of you to begin writing for the cause of His kingdom. The articles are due March 15, 1992. Articles will be returned to authors if they so request.

Many readers are happy about the change to a larger size magazine. Some of these same read­ers bind their copies each year. When we switched to a larger magazine format with the November issue of 1991 this presented a prob­lem for those who bind the B.L. A dear reader suggested this solution to the problem: bind the November and December 1991 issues with this 1992 issues. The staff thanks you for your encouraging comments and for the suggestion.

Joan Hanko has agreed to handle all sub­scriptions to the B.L. on a trial basis. I am glad Joan and her husband Dave show their faithful support to the B.L. by working together on sub­scriptions. If you want, you may send your dues directly to her address as shown on the inside cover page.

Rev. C. Hanko gives us three scripture texts, Genesis 2:7, Psalm 139:14, and Ephesians 2:10, and explains the truth found in them that we are made by God to serve Him. It is my prayer that our young people will understand that part of that calling to serve God also includes support­ing their own magazine by seeking to be part of the Federation Board and the Beacon Lights staff, and also by writing articles for their maga­zine. Look for a new editor-in-chief within the next five months. Although I would like to con­tinue serving God in this capacity, the work as an elder in Grandville Protestant Reformed Church needs more of my time.

The last of the three speeches spoken at last year’s Young People’s Convention is in this issue. Rev. Russ Dykstra spoke on Experiencing the End. He divided his speech into three parts: Experiencing Persecution, Experiencing Victory, and Experiencing Eternity. As Rev. Dykstra puts it in his speech, “First, we think of persecution, the worst that the church has ever faced. Sec­ondly, we will experience the victory of Christ over Satan and this wicked world. Thirdly, we will experience eternity after Christ returns – for us, eternal life, for the wicked, eternal death.” Thank you, Rev. Dykstra for your words of encouragement and wisdom.

Letter #14 by Mrs. Brands studies Ecclesi­astes 4:1-3, which shows us that we have a Comforter when we suffer oppression at the hands of others. Oppression now is to prepare us for oppression in the future such as the church has never seen before.

Our faithful Church News editor, Lora Bouwkamp, supplies us with the latest in the life of our churches. Lora’s faithfulness in giving us the church news is an encouragement to all of us. May God grant us other faithful writers such as Lora.

A year ago, Adams Street Christian School held a writing contest with the theme: Tending this Garden: Earth-keeping as a covenant friend- servant of our Creator God. Jeremy Thole, a ninth grader at the time, won the Jr. High Essay Division. You will find his interesting short arti­cle, “God’s Earth,” in this issue.

Any questions you would like to ask Mr. Dewey Engelsma can be sent to the Beacon Lights P.O. Box 375, Jenison, MI 49428. The staff is thankful for Mr. Engelsma’s sanctified replies to previous questions and we look for­ward to more of his answers.

We hope to continue Prof. Hanko’s excellent series on the Janssen Controversy when he sends us more copy.

Look for the details to the writing contest elsewhere in this issue. The staff has put a lot of work into this and we hope you respond with enthusiasm. We hope this provides the opportu­nity for many of you to write and to keep on writ­ing for the cause of His Kingdom.

We pray for God’s blessing on our young peo­ple, the Federation Board, the Beacon Lights staff, and all of you who support the Beacon Lights in your prayers, gifts, and time. By God giving us His grace and love and by God working in you to support us, the Beacon Lights is able to provide Christian articles for your benefit. May God grant us another year of being a faith­ful witness to His truths

“A soul in silence, or a silent soul! What a blessed gift of grace! . . . They that wait for the Lord shall never by ashamed!”-Rev. Herman Hoeksema

Look for a new editor-in-chief within the next six months.

“Musing with Molly” is from our writer from “down under,” J.P. de Klerk.  His story of Molly shows us a taste of what Christmas is like in New Zealand.  Christmas in New Zealand is different from a season point of view.  You’ll understand this from what he writes to me.  “Meanwhile we enjoy Springtime over here.  All the fruit trees in the garden have blossomed abundantly, the birds are singing and building their nests, the broad beans and the early cherries will soon be ready for harvesting.”  Thank you, Mr. de Klerk for your story.  We sometimes wish it were a bit warmer here in the Grand Rapids area during the Christmas season.

We don’t often have two stories in an issue.  Mrs. Thelma Westra, our faithful proofreader for many years, submitted “Reality – ? -” which she completed a couple of months ago.  The road that leads home has many stepping stones which teach us to always have our thoughts and desires fixed on the things that are above not on the earth below.  Thank you, Mrs. Westra, for your interesting story that turns our thoughts heavenward no matter what our situation in life is like here below.

Letter #13 by Mrs. Brands is an introduction to chapters 4-6 of Ecclesiastes, which shows us four ways men seek meaning in their labor apart from God.  Thank you, Mrs. Brands, for your letters.

Lora gives us the latest in abundant Church News.  Thank you, Lora, for keeping us abreast of church life.

I have included a couple of short pieces from the very young hearts of Katie Kooienga and Nathan Pastoor which they wrote in school over a year ago.  These are faithful reminders of the importance of Christmas.  Nathan’s appears on the front cover.  Thank you, Katie and Nathan, for bringing to our minds and hearts the Christmas story that we love to read.  And to you, reader, I say that these writings are evidence that the faithful efforts of parents at home and teachers in our schools are truly blessed of God.

This issue also includes two articles that were written for the purpose of obtaining a Protestant Reformed Scholarship that is offered every year.  I thank Daniel Kleyn and Alison Huisken for their articles concerning the Old Paths and The Christian’s Peace.  May these articles not only serve to encourage us to keep the old paths, but also encourage you young people to apply for the scholarships when they become available.

The staff hopes that you enjoy the new cover, size and layout of the Beacon Lights.  These changes have been made after much thought and discussion.  We have consulted our typesetter and printer for their opinions and received their approval for these changes.  Likewise, the Federation Board of Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies has also approved the changes.  We are saving one step in the printing process by having our printer, Mr. Jim Huizinga print the whole cover.  We hope that the changes well serve to encourage Reformed young people to read our publication.

The second of the Young People’s Convention speeches is found in this issue.  Rev. Bruinsma spoke on “Living with a View to the End.”  As Rev. Bruinsma puts it best, “What does ‘considering the toil of an ant’ have to do with living with a view to the end of time?  In light of this, it is our calling in life to be as the ant, that is, to labor and toil to enter into the rest of heaven.”  This excellent speech considers two aspects of living with a view to the end:  living is laboring, and the labors we perform.  Read and enjoy!

“Singing a New Song to Jehovah” reminds us of Psalter number 261 based on Psalm 98:

“Sing a new song to Jehovah

For the wonders He hath wrought

His right hand and arm most holy

Triumph to His cause have brought

In His love and tender mercy

He hath made salvation known,

In the sight of ev’ry nation

He His righteousness hath shown.”

How often do you sing these words and other Psalter numbers during the week?  Rev. Heys encourages us to sing the songs of Zion as young people of God.  The love Rev. Heys has for the Psalter is also shown in his love for the words to the Lord’s Prayer which Rev. Heys put to music and which is now Psalter # 433.

Steve Lotterman takes a close look at being a servant of God.  He answers such questions as:  What images come to mind when you think of servants?  How is it possible for us to serve God?  Can we be content to serve Him simply by doing His will and living as witnesses of His grace?

Thank you, Steve, for giving us the answers to these questions and others in your article you sent to B.L.  We hope Steve’s example will encourage others to write an article for Reformed young people without being asked to write.

Lora gives us the latest in Church News sent to her.  Thank you, Lora, for keeping us abreast of church life.

I found a poem in my files titled “A Pastoral Prayer.”  I am going to attribute this poem to Rev. Harbach, although his name was not on it.

There is a picture of last year’s executive board in this issue.  The staff takes this opportunity to thank Dale Vink, David Reitsma and Julie Huizinga, the retiring board members of the Federation of Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies, for their faithful labors over the past two years.  We welcome Dean Dykstra, Dean Bekkering, Matt Kuiper and Heidi Holstege to the new board and look forward to their enthusiasm as they plan the activities for this year.  May our faithful God give you His Spirit and grace as you serve Him and labor for the cause of His kingdom.

We will from time to time feature short biographical pieces about young people in our churches.  There are no rules for selecting the young people that we will write about.  Our hope is that you will get to know a little more about a few young people in our churches.  In this issue we will feature Shari Brummel who recently wrote a letter to you in the last issue.  Thank you, Shari, for sharing your life with us and your picture.

Rev. VanBaren’s convention speech “Knowing about God” is divided into three parts: the end of time, the approach of the end, and the need for this knowledge.  This speech will encourage you to remember the testimony of Scripture about the end, to notice how near the end is, and to live as children of the day.

A special convention issue will be available, D.V., in the near future.  If you would like a copy, send your request to Beacon Lights, P.O. Box 375, Jenison, MI 49428.  Each conventioneer will receive a copy of the convention issue.

Mr. Dewey Engelsma provides us more words of wisdom as he answers the question “How do I witness to a neighbor that is living in sin?”  The staff encourages more of you to send your questions to the Beacon Lights for Mr. Engelsma to answer.  Mr. Engelsma is pleased to be able to receive and answer the questions you ask him.

Carol Brands’ letter #12 on Ecclesiastes is in this issue, I promise.  She writes on Ecclesiastes 3:16-22, “Even the ugly things have meaning.”  Now what does she mean by “ugly things?”  Maybe she means ugly creatures, or things.  Maybe she means ugly happenings in our lives.  Read her article to find out.

Many of our churches hold discussion groups on Sunday evenings.  At these meetings the group will discuss a portion of Scripture or a special topic that concerns our lives as God’s people in this world.  A discussion sheet is prepared and studied for the group’s meeting.  One such sheet I think you will find interesting.  It is on Bible Translations and includes a list of archaisms used in the King James Version of the Bible.  Rev. Harbach prepared this list some time ago, but you will find it very informative and useful.

I have prepared a Reformation challenge for you.  I have prepared biographical sketches of several important historical figures during the time of the Reformation.  To help you out, I will give you a list of their names.  It is up to you to match the name of the Reformer to the correct biographical sketch.  See how well you do.  The correct match will appear elsewhere in this issue.

We are no longer going to advertise that the Beacon Lights is available on cassette tape.

Match one of these Reformers to their biographical description.

John Calvin, William Tyndal, John Knox, Jacque LeFevre, Martin Bucer, Ulrich Zwingli, Theodore Beza, Henry Bullinger, Thomas Cranmer, Philip Melanchthon, William Farel

1 – (1455-1536).  He never openly joined the Movement, but as a professor at the University of Paris in his lectures and Biblical commentaries on the epistles of St. Paul, he set forth the doctrine of justification by faith.  He published a New Testament in French in 1524 and a French translation of the Old Testament in 1528.  He was one of the greatest scholars of the day in Biblical Greek.

2 – (1484-1531).  In 1418 he was called a people’s pastor at Zurich Great Church and the next year he embarked on his career as a practical reformer, in cooperation with the magistrates of Zurich.  Between 1519 and 1525, he was able to bring that city into a more radical break with the Roman Church than Luther had been willing to accomplish.  More conciliatory in his outlook than Luther, he met him at Marburg in order to achieve an agreement on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, but was unable to reach such an agreement.  He died on the field of battle at Kappel in 1531 after his interest in reform became somewhat replaced by his Swiss patriotism.

3 – (1489-1553).  In 1553 he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury and pronounced the marriage of Henry and Katherine of Aragon null and void.  Under the protection of Henry VIII, he undertook the reform of the English Church.  Under Edward VI he made even greater strides in making the Church in England Reformed in Doctrine if not in structure.  He was instrumental in producing the First Book of Common Prayer in 1549 and the Second Book of Common Prayer in 1551 which did away with the Latin Mass entirely and set the Church of England on its course toward Calvinism.  In 1555 he was tried and convicted of heresy under Mary Tudor and was burned at the stake the following year.

4 – (1489-1565).  Expelled from France in 1524 he became the leader of a group of wandering evangelists in Switzerland.  In 1532 he settled in Geneva and was able to win that city but willingly surrendered his post of leadership realizing that the Lord had sent Calvin to Geneva for just such a leadership.  In 1538 he went into exile with Calvin.

5 – (1493-1536).  To accomplish his goal he was forced to leave England and first settled in Cologne, then in Worms and finally in Antwerp.  Here he produced his translation of the Old Testament into English.  Subjected to constant harassment by the agents of Sir Thomas More and the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was arrested, strangled and burned at the stake near Brussels before he was able to finish his translation of the New Testament.

6 – (1491-1551).  In 1521 he was released from his vows as a Dominican monk and the next year he was excommunicated after his marriage, an act which proclaimed his independence of the Roman Church.  The next year he fled to Strassburg in southern Germany.  He may well be called the Statesman of the Reformation because of his diplomatic activities on behalf of the Reformation.  Many scholars felt his greatest impact on the Reformation resulted from the fact that he gave a home to John Calvin from 1538 to 1541 while the latter was in exile from Geneva.

7 – (1497-1560).  A brilliant linguist, he soon became a staunch member of Luther’s group which was seeking to reform the German Church, and became Luther’s very able colleague in the cause.  In 1521 he published his “LOCI COMMUNES” which was the first systematic statement of Lutheran theology.  He also framed the Angsburg Confession, which was presented to the Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Angsburg in 1530.

8 – (1504-1575).  He was leader of the Second Phase of the Reformation in Switzerland when he succeeded Zwingli in 1531.  He supported the views of Augustine on election and predestination, feeling that they were more moderate than those of Calvin.  He also opposed the introduction of a Presbyterian system of church government into the Palatinate.  He was basically Reformed in his outlook and played an important role in the drafting of the Second Helvetic Confession of 1563.

9 – (1509-1564).  In 1536 the first edition of INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION was published in Basel.  It was a short work of several chapters, but it became very popular, serving as the text book for Reformation doctrine outside of Lutheran Germany in spite of the fact that its author was virtually unknown.  En route to Strasburg to visit Martin Bucer, he stopped in Geneva where William Farel persuaded him to take over the leadership of the Reformation of the church in that important city state.  Here he became the leader of the Reformation in Geneva and here many theologians came to sit at his feet, including many bishops from England, Knox from Scotland and others from many parts of Europe.  Known as the prince of exegesis, he wrote commentaries on every book of the Bible except THE REVELATION.  He also worked on his monumental INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, the definitive edition of which appeared in 1559 in four books and seventy nine chapters.

10 – (1514?-1572).  He brought the Reformation to Scotland.  Taken captive by the French, he returned to England in 1549 and took part in the reformation of the Church of England under Edward VI.  But when Mary succeeded to the throne he fled to Geneva where he came under the influence of Calvin and Beza.  After a short visit back to Scotland, he returned to Geneva and here wrote his: “THE FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET AGAINST THE MONSTROUS REGIMEN OF WOMEN,” aimed against Mary, Queen of Scots.  In 1559, he returned to Scotland and played a major role in drafting the Scottish Confession of 1560.

11 – (1519-1605).  Arriving at Geneva, he threw himself into the task of defending Calvin against his antagonist there, rising to the defense of the doctrine of predestination against Bolsec.  In 1556, Calvin invited him to become professor of Greek at the recently established Academy at Geneva and in 1559 he was made rector of this center of Reformed learning.  He also became involved in the Huguenot movement in France and exercised tremendous theological influence within the Reformed Movement.  At the death of Calvin, he became the leader of the Reformed Churches not only in Geneva, but on the continent of Europe as well.




1– Jacque LeFevre or D’Etaples                              7 – Philip Melanchthon

2 – Ulrich Zwingli                                                       8 – Heinrich Bullinger

3 – Thoman Cranmer                                                9 – John Calvin

4 – William Farel                                                       10 – John Knox

5 – William Tyndale                                                   11 – Theodore Beza

6 – Martin Bucer

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

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