FILTER BY:

Dear Mr. Editor:

May I reply to Mr. Edward J. Knott whose article appeared in the April issue of Beacon Lights: with its heading, Our Doctrine? A Way of Life.

The brother reminds his readers of the fact, that some years ago he wrote an oration in which he cited various things which he believed constituted dangers to our Christian schools.  The dangers were: alliance with the public school, dishonesty, and conformity.  But as time goes on, the brother is of the opinion that things become worse; for not only the school but also the church goes in the wrong direction.  It is the spirit of worldliness which seems to have invaded not only the school, but even the church.

At the school where the brother is student things go wrong.  Some of his classmates uphold the movies, profanity is common, and the general spirituality is low.  The only criterions seem to be: How can we enjoy ourselves?

Even the church has not escaped.  Knowledge of the truth and interest in the church is slight. People have other interests.  The church as a vital, living factor in their lives seems to be gone.  And the brother asks, what is the reason? Where can we put the blame? And he comes to the conclusion that the church itself must assume a good share of it.  For in the preaching, and otherwise, the emphasis has tended to be placed on a system of doctrine.

Now I fully agree with the writer; if the doctrine is wrong people go in the wrong direction.  It is an established fact that the church as a whole is worldly-minded.

However, the brother is of the opinion that also in our own church things go wrong; for we have this in common with other churches that in the preaching, and otherwise, the emphasis has tended to be placed on a system of doctrine; and under this systemization many of the deeper spiritually joys have been lost.  It is no anymore a vital living factor in the lives of the believers.
To be sure, the brother is not opposed to doctrinal preaching, but it must be practical doctrine and not too intellectual.

Now, it is my conviction that we receive just that, namely, practical doctrinal preaching:  the full rich gospel of salvation.  It is not man-made, but God centered.  It is not intellectually dry and dead, but living and full of action.  It is preached with holy zeal and enthusiasm.

It is the doctrine of God in Jesus Christ, who saves to the full.  It is a savor of life unto life, but also a savor of death unto death. It is a power of God unto salvation; and by the grace of God it is surely applied unto the hearts of believers.

It is not a Salvation Army talk or a Sunday-School lesson, or a good for nothing alter call.  It is not an offer, but the gift from the Triune God, the Alpha and the Omega, the I Am.

It is the gospel of Predestination and Reprobation; the gospel of the love of God, who in Sovereign Grace predestinated a people which should serve Him forever and ever.

It is not a nice 20 minute talk or a political speech; but the gospel that is preached amongst us is the Bread of Life; the only comfort in life and death for the people of God.

I feel quite confident that brother Knott finds it that way in our churches.

Let us as Protestant people live our confession and our homes will be dwellings of spiritual joy.

Thank you, Mr. Editor, for the space allowed me.

Mr. S. De Vries,

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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