Another year is history. From now on the year 1963 and its events will sink farther and farther into the hoary past. This will be whether we like it or not. For many of us it was a year of joy and accomplishment. For many others it was not. Some graduated from High School or College, and 1963 is the year during which they entered upon their life’s work. For these and many other reasons 1963 was a year of happiness for many. But for others, the Lord made it not so. A year of hardship, of personal tragedy, of heartache, of grief and deep sadness, 1963 proved to be for many.

What must be our attitude as we begin another year? Do we stand in fear at what 1964 might bring? Are we filled with a false sense of security? Neither extreme should characterize our living; not if we are walking in the way of faith. By faith we know that whatever befalls us in 1964 will come from the loving hand of our Father in heaven. All of the events of 1964 will be for our good and for our salvation. Certainly, this faith must underlie our attitude toward the year just begun.

We do well, then, to turn to God’s Word to see what He has to say to us concerning the new year. The Apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 11: “…it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” My dear young friend, are you awake? Do you know what is going on? Do you know what it means that another year is begun? Or are you oblivious to all of this and sound asleep?

Always at this time of the year we are reminded of the passing of time, of the fact that we are always moving out of the past into the future. But what does this mean for you and me? It means this: we must be awake and not asleep because our salvation is nearer. That 1963 is gone means that the day when our Lord shall come again is one year nearer. Paul tells us to be awake!

The Christian is further enjoined to put off the things of darkness and put on the amour of light. He must walk honestly as in the day. He must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh (verses 12-14). No, Paul did not mean by this last that we must forget about making a living and wait for Christ to come. He does not mean that we ought to seek the highest mountain and look for Jesus. But he did mean that we may not make provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

Yes, it is high time to awake and be busy with the things of the Lord. Put away the works of darkness. Know that Christ is coming and be busy with all of your powers in the things of the kingdom. Seek its advancement and let us let all of our actions be with a view to the advancement of the cause of Christ.

Then 1964 will be blessed, then we shall have a profitable year.

“Jacob Have I Loved” by Jean Bees, published by Wm, B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids.

This is one of twenty-five books by the author, who has traveled extensively and evidently devoted much research to the writing of this book. The book is a novel on the life of Jacob; it is the first of its kind written by Rees.

This is a fairly well written novel; interest does not lag. The author evidently holds to a literal interpretation of the Old Testament and this is encouraging. The question posed by the book is: “Is Jacob to be considered a thief or one who patiently sought Divine Guidance in getting the birthright blessing?” Around this the author builds her story attempting to show that Jacob must not be considered as a wily supplanter.

There is one criticism this reviewer has and it is this. There is a definite danger in writing a “Biblical novel”; viz. one necessarily must put into the mouths of the characters things which are not actually recorded in Holy Writ. If this is not done the story could not be created.

But we let the reader decide for himself on the merits of the book. Certainly, it is not a waste of time to read this enjoyable book.

Probably the most interesting feature of this novel is the vivid picture it gives of the life and times, the customs and practices of Egypt and Palestine. This alone makes the book worth reading.


Recently the undersigned was given a pamphlet by a friend entitled “Billy Graham, A Critique.” The pamphlet (thirty-eight pages in length) was written by the Rev. Robert Dunzweiler, who is professor of Systematic Theology at Faith Theological Seminary. Dunzweiler is a fundamentalist. Faith Seminary is a conservative-fundamentalistic seminary located in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

It is noteworthy and somewhat strange that a man like Dunzweiler criticizes Billy Graham. Are not both men fundamentalists in their theological position? Graham has ex­pressed publicly his faith in all the car­dinal fundamentalist doctrines, e.g. verbal in­spiration, the deity of Christ, His blood atonement, salvation by faith, New Testa­ment soul-winning, and the premillennial return of Christ. Surely in view of this Graham is a fundamentalist; yet, Rev. Dunzweiler writes in the concluding para­graph of his “Critique”: “In obedience to the Word of God, we have felt it nec­essary to withhold support and cooperation from the ministry of Billy Graham.” Even more strange it is that an avowed funda­mentalist (as Dunzweiler is) condemns Graham when we consider that so very many who go under the name Reformed see no wrong in Billy and praise him and his evangelism to the sky!

There are three main areas in which Graham has been criticized, writes Dunzweiler. These he proceeds to treat in the main section of his pamphlet and all three are found to be valid criticisms by Dunzweiler. These criticisms are: 1) Billy Graham is sponsored by liberals, modernists, and un­believers; 2) The Billy Graham Crusade committees send converts (Graham prefers the term inquirers) back to the church of their choice — whether that church be Prot­estant, Jewish, liberal, conservative, or Roman Catholic; 3) Billy Graham never warns the people of God against unbelief or apostasy in the church. Because point one above is true Billy must needs keep silent in this area.

These three points are treated one by one by Dunzweiler. He points out in re: the fact that Billy is supported by modern­ists that in his early ministry (the early fifties) this was not the case. Billy, in a letter to Dr. John R. Rice dated May 10, 1952, stated: “Contrary to any rumors . . . we have never had a modernist on our Executive Committee … I do not think you will find any man who has sat under my ministry in any of these campaigns who would testify that I ever pulled a punch.” Rice in a 1951 edition of the magazine, the Sword of the Lord, defended Graham against these charges; but a few years later things were different. The same John R. Rice in the same magazine, Sword of the Lord, in the April 18, 1957 issue, writes: “. . . we think he (Billy Graham) is wrong when he goes against the plain commands of the Bible in yoking up with unbelievers.” This was in reference to the New York Crusade (1957) which was sponsored by the New York Council of Churches, an or­ganization dominated by liberals and mod­ernists. We can agree with Dunzweiler on this point.

We also agree that Billy is to be criti­cized for sending converts (inquirers) to the church of their choice. Graham openly admits to this policy. It is interesting to note in this connection that most of the cards of inquirers of the New York Crusade went to modernistic churches with Norman Vincent Peale’s church, The Marble Collegiate Church, receiving the greatest num­ber. Second to the Marble Collegiate Church was Riverside Church, an extremely liberal church founded by the late Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick with Rockefeller money.

Finally, there can be no doubt that Billy never warns against unbelief and apostasy in the church. For him to do so would be highly unethical because modernists support and sponsor his crusades. Hence, William Ward Ayer writes; “Billy spreads himself too thin; he tries not to offend anybody in any way.”

This is what is wrong with Billy. Dunzweiler is correct, but only in as far as he goes. He really misses the point! He does so because he himself preaches the same erroneous message Graham preaches. Rev. Dunzweiler says on page 5 of his pamphlet: “First of all. I think that Billy Graham preaches the simple Gospel of salvation . . . he does preach the simple Gospel …” This is simply not true; here Dunzweiler makes a big mistake! Graham is an out and out Arminian. He teaches that God loves everyone, that God doesn’t want any­one to go to hell, and he (Billy) begs and pleads with people to accept Jesus and be saved. Christ is presented as a mere beggar who wants to save everyone, but cannot unless they themselves believe.

This is what is fundamentally wrong with Billy Graham; let’s not be afraid to say so! It is not at all strange that Billy can flirt with liberals for it can be shown historically that Arminianism always leads to modern­ism. Ultimately there is little difference between the two. Both are a fundamental denial of the Christ of the Scriptures. We can be encouraged that Dunzweiler condemns Graham, but we wish he would do so on doctrinal grounds. These are after all the basis. Graham’s wrong methods and practices stem from his wrong doctrinal basis. What is wrong with Billy is that he substitutes for the truth of God’s Word a wicked caricature.

The Roman Catholic believes that he must perform certain good works. He does these good works in order to help pay for his sins. Two ways by which a Catholic performs good works are by observing the laws of fast and abstinence. The following quotation is a list of regulations for observance of fast and abstinence.

To foster the spirit of penance and or reparation for sin, to encourage self-denial and mortification, and to guide her children in the footsteps of Our Divine Lord, Holy Mother Church imposes by law the observance of fast and abstinence.
In accordance with the provisions of Canon Law, as modified through the use of special faculties granted by the Holy See, we herewith publish the following regulations:

Everyone over 7 years of age is bound to observe the law of abstinence.
COMPLETE ABSTINANCE, is to be observed on FRIDAYS, ASH WEDNESDAY, and the VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS. On days of complete abstinence, meat and soup or gravy made from meat may not be used at all.
PARTIAL ABSTINENCE is to be observed on EMBER WEDNESDAYS and SATURDAYS and on the VIGIL OF PENTECOST . On days of partial abstinence meat and soup or gravy made from meat may be taken only once a day at the principal meal.

Everyone over 21 and under 59 years of age is also bound to observe the law of fast. The days of fast are the WEEKDAYS OF LENT, including Holy Saturday, EMBER DAYS, and the VIGILS OF PENTECOST AND CHRISTMAS.
On the days of fast only ONE FULL MEAL is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs; but together they should not equal another full meal.
Meat may be taken at the principal meal on a day of fast except on FRIDAYS, ASH WEDNESDAY, and the VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS.
Eating between meals is not permitted; but liquids including milk and fruit juices, are allowed.
When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. In doubt concerning fast or abstinence, a Parish Priest or Confessor should be consulted.

We earnestly exhort the faithful during the periods of fast and abstinence to attend daily Mass; to receive Holy Communion often; to take part more frequently in exercises of piety; to give generously to works of religion and charity; to perform acts of kindness toward the sick, the aged, and the poor, to practice voluntary self-denial especially regarding alcoholic drink and worldly amusements; and to pray more fervently, particularly for the intentions of the Holy Father.

According to the above quotation, the purpose of observing these laws is to pay for sins, to make right what was done amiss (reparation).
This is impossible for man. Man, apart from God, is corrupt and only sins continually. All of scripture testifies to that.
By saying that man must perform good works in payment for sins, the Catholic really says that Christ’s death on the cross was not sufficient for the sins of His people. What a far cry this is from scripture which tells us that the beginning, continuance, and end of our salvation is in God. Christ fully paid for all the sins of His People. It is a finished work, all of God and nothing of man. What comfort and blessed assurance is our by the grace of God. We are saved!

Originally Published in:
Vol. 19 No. 2 March 1959

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

Continue reading

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

Continue reading

The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

Continue reading

Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

Continue reading

Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

Continue reading

Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

Continue reading

Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

Continue reading