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UNFOLDING COVENANT HISTORY SERIES (volumes 1-5)

From creation to the book of Ruth, Prof. Homer Hoeksema and Prof. David Engelsma teach familiar stories from the unique perspective of God’s covenant. His relationship of friendship with his people of the Old Testament is the same one he makes with us and our children!

THE TRIPLE KNOWLEDGE SERIES (volumes 1-10)

Rev. Herman Hoeksema’s timeless commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism. Your graduate hears the Catechism preached every week. What better way to prepare for the Lord’s day than to read from a commentary that expands on each question and answer?

REFORMED SPIRITUALITY SERIES

Every graduate should begin a strong devotional life as he or she enters the workforce or pursues further education. Each meditation in these devotionals contains three or four sections. Read a section or two in the morning, another at lunch, and the last in the evening. This way, your graduate can think on one passage over the course of the whole day.

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Belgic Confession (volume 1) by David J. Engelsma

An orthodox commentary on the confession, that is, one that is in wholehearted accord with the teachings of the confession, and resolutely faithful to them, will be profitable to Reformed Christians and churches in the twenty-first century, not only for invaluable instruction in the Reformed faith, but also for the maintenance and defense of Reformed orthodoxy. Founded on holy scripture, the Belgic Confession determines sound doctrine for Reformed churches and believers. This doctrine is rich, lovely, and powerful. The confession also authoritatively exposes contemporary heresies. As they read this commentary which proclaims the doctrine and authority of the confession, all believers who love the Reformed faith will be faithfully guided in the truth of the “old paths.”

THE BELGIC CONFESSION
a commentary
(volume 1)

$31.95 retail  |  368 pages  |  hardcover
Coming early June 2018...

 

 

Click the pdf to read the opening preface to the book.

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May 1, 2018 Standard Bearer issue preview

Christ’s voluntary sacrifice on the cross points to God’s great love toward us. He sees us in our misery and sets himself to deliver us and give to us abundant life. He came so that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. Abundant life is nothing less than the fullness of joy in the Father’s presence, ultimately life in eternity. That is what the cross is about.

Now when we see Christ crucified, we must know he is not like the hireling who does not care for the sheep. Rather, let us see him as our Shepherd who loves us and gave himself for us. Christ’s voluntary sacrifice manifests his everlasting love to us. What wondrous love is this!

—Read Rev. John Marcus’ article entitled ‘Christ’s voluntary sacrifice’ in the upcoming May 1, 2018 issue of the Standard Bearer.

 

Dispensational premillennialism is false doctrine concerning the truth of the last days, or end. It is false doctrine in its fantasy of a rapture of the church off the earth and out of history at any moment, importantly before the rise and raging of Antichrist.

It is false doctrine in its assurance of members of the church that they will escape the great tribulation of the last days under the Antichrist.

This false eschatology is no minor matter. It not only fails to prepare the members of the church for the coming conflict with the beasts of Revelation 13, but it also blinds the churches to the signs of the rising of the beast out of the sea and the establishing of his antichristian kingdom as this rising takes place before our very eyes at the present hour.

—Read more in the upcoming article ‘Fundamental Reformed critique of premillennialism’ by Prof. David Engelsma in the upcoming May 1, 2018 issue of the Standard Bearer.

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MP3 of Third Radio Interview with Professor Engelsma


If you did not have an opportunity to listen in on Monday, you can do so now by clicking the link below. Yesterday, on November 27, Prof. David J. Engelsma had a radio interview with Chris Arnzen, the national, religious radio host of Iron Sharpens Iron. This was the third interview on a book that Engelsma authored, Gospel Truth of Justification: Proclaimed, Defended, Developed. This interview was of special significance since this year is the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation and this book was especially was intended by the Reformed Free Publishing Association and the author to celebrate that glorious work of Christ.

  Click on the icon to listen.

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TODAY! Radio Interview with Professor David J. Engelsma on Gospel Truth of Justification


 

Today from 4-6 pm EST, Prof. David J. Engelsma will be interviewed by Christopher Amzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron."

The subject will be his recent book, Gospel Truth of Justification. Visit www.ironsharpensironradio.com and click on live stream to tune in and listen from any device. The program can also be listened to by phone (563)999-9206, following the prompts and press #3 for Christian Radio.      

Be sure to tune in later today. You don't want to miss it!

 

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Gospel Truth of Justification (6): Polemical and Necessary


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Third Radio Interview on Gospel Truth of Justification with Professor David J. Engelsma

 

This coming Monday, November 27, Prof. David J. Engelsma will be interviewed by Christopher Amzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron” from 4-6 pm EST. 

The subject will be his recent book, Gospel Truth of Justification. Visit www.ironsharpensironradio.com and click on the livestream box to tune in and listen from any device. The program can also be listened to by phone at (563)999-9206; press #3 for Christian Radio when prompted.

Be sure to tune in Monday!

 

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MP3 of Radio Interview with Professor Engelsma on 'Gospel Truth of Justification' is now available!

Last week Thursday, November 16, Prof. David J. Engelsma had a radio interview with Chris Arnzen, the national, religious radio host of Iron Sharpens Iron. This was the second interview on a book that Engelsma authored, Gospel Truth of Justification: Proclaimed, Defended, Developed. This interview was of special significance since this year is the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation and this book was especially was intended by the Reformed Free Publishing Association and the author to celebrate that glorious work of Christ.

If you did not have an opportunity to listen in on Thursday, you can do so now by clicking the link below.

  Click on the icon to listen.

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Gospel Truth of Justification (5): Polemical

The apostle Paul, after addressing the churches of Galatia in verses 1-5, immediately administers a rebuke to them with the expression, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6, 7).

John Calvin, commenting on verse six of this opening chapter of Galatians, observes that the apostle Paul’s “greatest severity of language is directed...against the false apostles.”[1] Writes Calvin,

He [Paul] charges them [false apostles] with the additional crime of doing an injury to Christ, by endeavoring to subvert his gospel. Subversion is an enormous crime. It is worse than corruption. And with good reason does he fasten on them this charge. When the glory of justification is ascribed to another, and a snare is laid for the consciences of men, the Saviour no longer occupies his place, and the doctrine of the gospel is utterly ruined (emphasis mine, AJC).[2]

In defense of the truth of justification by faith alone, the apostle Paul used polemics. In Galatians 1:8, the inspired apostle Paul pronounces a curse upon them which “preach any other gospel unto you than that which we preached unto you.” He states again emphatically in the next verse, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Polemics is the activity of identifying, opposing, fighting against, and destroying false teachings, either in doctrine or walk. It is spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The word itself comes from the Greek word polemos, meaning “war.” That the true church militant carries on war against false teachers and their teachings should not surprise or offend members of the church. God declared this war. In the garden of Eden God declared, “I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This war has been ongoing since the beginning of time. In the New Testament, Satan continues his attack upon the church, so that Peter warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He attacks the church, as Paul warned the elders of Ephesus upon his departure (Acts 20:28-30), by sending “grievous wolves...in among you, not sparing the flock.” Jude exhorts the beloved to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (v. 3). Why? “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 4). The apostle Peter warns the saints that as “there were false prophets also among the people....there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1).

Knowing the truth and defending it is of utmost importance to Reformed believers, especially officebearers, for as Calvin observes, “To know what are the leading points of the gospel, is a matter of unceasing importance,” for “when these are attacked, the gospel is destroyed.”[3]

(Protestant) Reformed officebearers, upon signing the Formula of Subscription, vow that they “heartily believe” the doctrines contained in the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and Canons of Dordt to be in full agreement with the Word of God.” Further, they “promise...diligently to teach and faithfully to defend the aforesaid doctrine.” Moreover, they “declare”....that they will “not only reject all errors that militate against this doctrine”—particularly those doctrines condemned at the Synod of Dordt—but that they are “disposed to refute and contradict these, and...exert [them]selves in keeping the church free from such errors” (emphasis added).[4]

Equally clear is the section of the Church Order, a minor confession, dealing with the responsibilities of the officebearers of the church. Article 18 states, “The office of the professors of theology is to expound the holy scriptures and to vindicate sound doctrine against heresies and errors” (emphasis added).[5] Article 55 of the Church Order, following upon Articles 53 and 54, which require of professors, ministers, elders, and deacons that they subscribe to the Reformed confessions, reads, “To ward off false doctrine and errors that multiply exceedingly through heretical writings, the ministers and elders shall use the means of teaching, of refutation or warning, and of admonition, as well in the ministry of the Word as in Christian teaching and family-visiting.”[6]

The author, in penning the contents of Gospel Truth of Justification: Proclaimed, Defended, Developed, is necessarily polemical. The author, holding the office of professor emeritus of theology in the Protestant Reformed Churches, is bound by the Reformed confessions and the Church Order. To avoid polemics in writing on the truth of justification by faith alone would be a shameful dereliction of duty.

The author is also properly polemical. First, in the book he addresses particular errors which are a genuine threat to God’s people. Second, Engelsma addresses serious, confessional, and fatal errors. None of the errors are imagined or invented. Third, the author in his polemics is fair, allowing the advocates and defenders of false doctrine to speak for themselves. He does not “put words in their mouths,” nor does he take their words out of context. Their positions are given ample space and accurately cited. Finally, in refuting heresies, the author is motivated by love for God and the glory of his name. He writes,

Nothing, not even impenitent idolatry or sodomy, would so defile the heavenly choir as th[e] attribution of the glory of salvation to the saved sinner. To the redeemed in heaven forever, as to the saints now on earth, comes the effectual call, “Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him” (Rev. 19:5). From the great multitude in heaven, as from the true church in the world today, comes back the response, “Let us...give honour to him” (v. 7) (p. 331).

Next time, a brief summary of the heresies and errors refuted and why this defense of justification by faith alone is necessary.

_______________

[1] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, trans. William Pringle (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1998) 1:29.

[2] Calvin, 1: 31.

[3] Calvin, 1:31.

[4] Formula of Subscription, in Confessions and Church Order, 326.

[5] Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches, in Confessions and Church Order, 386.

[6] Church Order, in ibid., 397.

________________

This article was written by Aaron Cleveland, a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you have a question or comment for Aaron, please do so in the comment section.

____________________

Gospel Truth of Justification - A Review (1): Timely

Gospel Truth of Justification - A Review (2): Comforting

Gospel Truth of Justification - A Review (3): Comforting and Confessional

Gospel Truth of Justification - A Review (4): Instructive

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TODAY! Radio Interview with Professor David J. Engelsma on Gospel Truth of Justification


Today from 4-6 pm EST, Prof. David J. Engelsma will be interviewed by Christopher Amzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron."

The subject will be his recent book, Gospel Truth of Justification. Visit www.ironsharpensironradio.com and click on live stream to tune in and listen from any device. The program can also be listened to by phone (563)999-9206, following the prompts and press #3 for Christian Radio.      

Be sure to tune in later today. You don't want to miss it!

 

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