An easy read from the RFPA

From Hull, Iowa to Oak Lawn, Illinois; from Manhattan, Montana to Grand Rapids, Michigan; and from Redlands, California to Hudsonville, Michigan, this memoir tells the story of Rev. Cornelius Hanko’s life and forty-eight years in the ministry.

But Rev. Hanko does not just tell his own history. He recalls the story of the Protestant Reformed Churches during the 20th century. From the perspective of a long-serving pastor, we are given anecdotes and stories of the people Rev. Hanko loved and served in the Midwest and the far West, and we hear a first-hand account of two heart-wrenching church splits—in which Rev. Hanko and many others remained unwaveringly committed to the truth of sovereign grace.

In a very accessible way, this book brings Protestant Reformed church history to life.

Purchase a copy of Less Than the Least: Memoirs of Cornelius Hanko in hardcover or ebook format.

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My Sins Forgiven!

Question 56. What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sin"? 
Answer. That God for the sake of Christ's satisfaction, will no more remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ, that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God.—Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 21

No condemnation!

There is therefore now no condemnation, not in this present time nor in the great day of days as I stand before the tribunal of the Most High God! My sins are forgiven! I am righteous in Christ!

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Our Natural Depravity

We received the following question: "Is a regenerated person still depraved?

Your question reminds me of two errors that often arise within the church: on the one hand, the error of perfectionism, and on the other hand, the error of antinomism.

The perfectionist argues that we are new creatures in Christ; old things are passed away, and, along with these old things, also our depravity. He appeals to such passages of scripture as I John 3:9: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." The perfectionist will also refer to saints like Job, of whom it is written that he was a man, "perfect and upright, and one who feared God and eschewed evil.” The Pentecostals seem to lean in that direction when they speak of being baptized by the Holy Spirit, enabling them to live sinless lives. These perfectionists stress, of course, an outward perfection of "touch not, taste not, and handle not."

On the other hand, there are the antinomians who stress that we are by nature depraved sinners who cannot keep God's law. They remind you that Christ has fulfilled the law for us. In Him is all our righteousness, so that we can add nothing to that nor detract from it. Nor must we try with our good works to add to the righteousness of Christ. Some will, therefore, object to admonitions in the preaching, since we cannot fulfill them anyway. In extreme cases the antinomian will condone sin with the attitude, "Let us, then, sin, that grace may abound."

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Less Than the Least: Memoirs of Cornelius Hanko

Less Than the Least: Memoirs of Cornelius Hanko is expected to be available sometime in June.

Less Than the Least is the memoirs of Rev. Cornelius Hanko’s long, fruitful life of nearly a century (1907–2005). He lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the rise and fall of communism, and the advent of the space age, and spanned the terms of eighteen US presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush.

Son of Dutch immigrants to America, Rev. Hanko served six pastorates in five states, most notably in First Protestant Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1948–1964), along with Rev. Herman Hoeksema and Rev. Hubert De Wolf. Rev. Hanko poignantly describes the grief caused in the PRC by De Wolf’s heresy and schism (1953).

This delightful book comes complete with photos. 

 

***NOTE: Book Club members may opt-out of receiving this title by calling or emailing the RFPA. Must respond by May 31.***

 

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