It's here!

 

Endorsements:

"The book is an enjoyable and easy read....It reads like I imagine a conversation on these topics would go with a wise older brother who happened to be a pastor.”
Rev. Cory Griess, pastor of First PR Church in Grand Rapids, MI

“Dating Differently abounds with wisdom. The author knows his topic. Yet, the strength of the book lies not in its author, but in its basis of God’s Word governing every aspect of our life, including dating.”
Jim Regnerus, administrator of Trinity PR Christian High School in Hull, IA

“[A] virtue of the book is the practical approach.  The author successfully takes the biblical wisdom of Scripture and applies this to real life situations.”
Rev. Garry Eriks, pastor of Hudsonville PR Church in Hudsonville, MI

________________

160 pages
Softcover
Retail: $16.95 
Book Club: $14.41

NOTE: This book will NOT be sent automatically to book club members. You must order this book to receive it.

 Gold Star members will receive this title.

Comments

October 15, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

In a world that has perverted and idolized sex, we need to have a proper attitude toward sex. God has made each of us a sexual being, either male or female, and each of us will either use or abuse the gift of sex.

Only the Scriptures can give us a proper perspective on human sexuality. God created us with this gift, and God knows our sinful inclinations with regard to sex. The Scriptures speak plainly and purely about sex, powerfully warning us against the dangers of its abuse, as well as extolling its blessedness when used as God in­tends.

Because there is not a word in Scripture that can be harmful to the believer, and because Scripture speaks openly about sex, we must also discuss this subject openly and biblically with our children. If we do not do this, then they will inevitably learn the wrong lessons about sex from peers and culture.

Comments

Arriving in one week!

 

"The book is an enjoyable and easy read....It reads like I imagine a conversation on these topics would go with a wise older brother who happened to be a pastor.”

Rev. Cory Griess, pastor of First PR Church in Grand Rapids, MI

 

“Dating Differently abounds with wisdom. The author knows his topic. Yet, the strength of the book lies not in its author, but in its basis of God’s Word governing every aspect of our life, including dating.”

Jim Regnerus, administrator of Trinity PR Christian High School in Hull, IA

 

“[A] virtue of the book is the practical approach.  The author successfully takes the biblical wisdom of Scripture and applies this to real life situations.”

Rev. Garry Eriks, pastor of Hudsonville PR Church in Hudsonville, MI

 

 

DATING DIFFERENTLY:

A Guide to Reformed Dating

by Joshua Engelsma

Coming this month

We’re bombarded with antichristian messages everywhere in life, and from casual hookups to casual sex, our culture’s messages on dating are no different.

But Christians don’t have to follow these norms. The Bible gives us a better way.

It’s a way of chastity and wisdom. A way that understands that marriage—the end goal of dating—is for life. The person you marry will shape who you become spiritually. And that person will also be the father or mother to the children God is pleased to give you some day.

Pastorally and accessibly, Joshua Engelsma answers the practical questions of Reformed, Christian dating based on the truth that we must date differently—with marriage as the goal and scripture as the guide.

 

Joshua Engelsma is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches of America. He lives in Doon, Iowa, with his wife, Courtney, and six children. He has served as pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church since 2014.
 

160 pages
Softcover
Retail: $16.95 
Book Club: $14.41

 

***This book will NOT be sent to all book club members. You must order this book to receive it.

Gold Star members will receive this title.

Comments

Announcing a new book for teens on Christian dating!

 

DATING DIFFERENTLY:

A Guide to Reformed Dating

by Joshua Engelsma

Coming October 2019!

We’re bombarded with antichristian messages everywhere in life, and from casual hookups to casual sex, our culture’s messages on dating are no different.

But Christians don’t have to follow these norms. The Bible gives us a better way.

It’s a way of chastity and wisdom. A way that understands that marriage—the end goal of dating—is for life. The person you marry will shape who you become spiritually. And that person will also be the father or mother to the children God is pleased to give you some day.

Pastorally and accessibly, Joshua Engelsma answers the practical questions of Reformed, Christian dating based on the truth that we must date differently—with marriage as the goal and scripture as the guide.

 

Joshua Engelsma is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches of America. He lives in Doon, Iowa, with his wife, Courtney, and six children. He has served as pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church since 2014.

 

160 pages
Softcover
Retail: $16.95 
Book Club: $14.41

***This book will NOT be sent to all book club members. You must order this book to receive it.

Gold Star members will receive this title.

Comments

Dating Differently chapter preview: Who's the One?

In many ways this chapter gets right to the heart of Christian dating. What I write here is devoted to helping answer the question, “Whom should I be dating? What do I look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend?” Once you’ve answered the questions raised in the previous chapter—Why do you want to date? Are you ready to date?—then you’re ready to ask yourself the next question: “Who’s the one?”


I’m not sure it’s possible to overstate the importance of this question and its answer. What makes marriage the most important decision you might ever make is that you are going to be living with that person for the rest of your life. You’d better be quite sure before you enter into the lifelong bond of marriage that you know exactly the kind of person you are marrying.

Comments

Christian Marriage

As head of the wife the husband must love his wife even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (v. 25). In the love of God the husband must love his wife. Love never seeks to hurt or destroy, but always seeks the salvation of its object. God so loved us that he gave his only begotten Son to atone for our sins and give us everlasting life and glory. That love must be reflected by godly husbands. Loving his wife as Christ loved the church, the husband will never be a ruthless tyrant. He will lead his wife in the way of the word of God. Together husband and wife will bow before that word in all of their married life. God's word will be the foundation for their marriage. In God's love the husband will provide both the earthly and spiritual need of his wife. Just as Christ gave himself for the church, so the husband will love his wife. With the self-sacrificing love of Christ the husband will seek his wife's welfare in this life and for the life to come. A godly husband lives for his wife. She is first in his life. He is not harsh or bitter towards her. He is tender and kind. He nourishes and cherishes her as Christ cherishes the church. He rules not with an iron hand expecting to be waited on hand and foot. His wife is no harried, tired slave who lives in fear of him. As the church has all of the love of Christ so the wife has all of the love of her husband. He loves her so much that he will not only put up with her weaknesses and bad habits, he loves her so much he is willing to die for her.

Comments

The Grammatical Gymnastics of an Advocate for Divorce and Remarriage: Active Voice

We have seen that the use of the passive (or middle) voice in the Greek of Matthew 5:32, 19:9 and Mark 10:11, 12 (even if we accept the translation in the passive or middle, which we do not) does not justify remarriage after divorce (at most it increases the guilt of the man who divorces his wife, but it does not permit the divorced woman to remarry). Luke records the teaching of Jesus on divorce in a different context, and in the active voice.

Since in Luke 16:18 Christ uses the active voice (and moicheuoo instead of moichaoo), a different argument is required to justify remarriage after divorce. In Luke 16:18 our advocate for remarriage clings to the present tense of the participles and the verbs: “Everyone putting away…and marrying…commits adultery.” This supposedly refers to the Pharisees who “were continually divorcing and continually marrying…The actions of divorcing and marrying resulted in continual adultery, actively destroying the very institution of marriage.”

Perhaps, to capture the fullness of the present tense, we could render it thus, although it would be an over-translation: “Everyone (who keeps) putting away his wife and (who keeps) marrying another (keeps on) committing adultery and the one (who keeps) marrying her who has been put away from (her) husband (keeps on) committing adultery.”

Nevertheless, I do not see how an appeal to the present tense helps the case of our remarriage advocate. In Matthew 5:32a the same phrase appears: “Everyone (who keeps) putting away his wife…” The point of the present tense is that when remarriage occurs the relationship that results (the second or subsequent marriage) involves the remarried persons (both of them!) in continuous, ongoing adultery. This is true whether the remarrying person is a Pharisee on his second or seventeenth relationship or whether he or she is a modern Westerner (even a church member or officebearer) on his or her second or third marriage. If the original spouse still lives, any subsequent relationship (second, third, fourth marriage) is adultery.

Continue reading...

Comments

The Grammatical Gymnastics of an Advocate for Divorce and Remarriage: Passive Voice

The first argument concerns the “voice” of the verbs in Matthew 5:32, 19:9, and Mark 10:11–12. In grammar the voice of a verb describes the relationship of the action of the verb to the subject of the verb. For example, “John eats an apple” is in the active voice, for John performs the activity of eating (John is the “subject” of the verb “to eat”). On the other hand, “The apple is eaten by John” is in the passive voice, for the subject of the verb (the apple) does not perform the activity of eating. Instead, the activity happens to the subject, for the apple is eaten.  

Our advocate for remarriage writes,

The verbs in Matthew 5 translated “to commit adultery” are passive. The woman put away and the man who marries her are passive. The original husband is the only active agent in the adultery. He commits adultery against them… To say that the woman commits adultery is as false as can be.

If we attempted to translate Matthew 5:32 with passive verbs, it would read something like this: “Everyone putting away his wife [active]…makes her to have adultery committed against her [passive] and if anyone marries [active] the divorced woman he has adultery committed against him [passive].” This would make the remarried woman (32a) and the man who marries her (32b) the victims (rather than the culprits) of adultery. Our advocate for remarriage writes:

God is principally protecting the innocent. The wife who is put away for any reason other than fornication is wronged. God protects those. Adultery is committed against them wrongfully in that the dismissed woman and the man who marries her are made to appear as adulterers.

We should notice that in the mind of our remarriage advocate, the remarrying people (the divorced woman and her second husband) are not adulterers; they only appear so in the eyes of others. Only the divorced woman’s first husband actively commits adultery. If this were true, it would mean that the guilty party in the divorce is an adulterer and it would forbid him from remarrying. It would not forbid, so the argument goes, remarriage to the innocent parties. Sadly, few advocates for remarriage limit remarriage to the innocent party; they allow remarriage for the guilty and the innocent party.

Continue reading...

Comments

The Grammatical Gymnastics of an Advocate for Divorce and Remarriage

Recently I have come across some novel arguments to justify remarriage after divorce while the original spouse is still living. I will not name the advocate of remarriage on the blog: suffice to say that on social media he began commenting on a video link to Prof. David Engelsma’s lecture at the British Reformed Fellowship Conference (2018), “Unbiblical Divorce and Adulterous Remarriage: A Scandal.” He labeled it “proscribed heresy” and called those who agreed with the lecture “hypocritical legalists” who “damage the church and mock the grace of Christ,” adding that we were “perfect illustrations of the haughty Pharisees,” and called us to repent. Then he called our position “false, anti-Reformed, and unbiblical,” as well as “schismatic and destructive of true Christian compassion.” He argued (correctly) that neither Luther nor Calvin agreed with our position, which Prof. Engelsma fully admits in his book Marriage: The Mystery of Christ and the Church. While we admire the Reformers, they were (sadly) not strong on the subject of divorce and remarriage. This is reflected in the otherwise excellent Westminster Confession of Faith.

Because I did not want my answer to be buried in a long Facebook thread where the advocate for remarriage made his novel arguments, I decided to make it public here. I hope it will serve as a witness to the truth of the unbreakable marriage bond. Some of the arguments from Greek grammar are quite involved, so I ask for the reader’s indulgence.

In addition, I am not interested in attacking personalities or churches. I am merely interested in the arguments, especially exegetical arguments, for God’s word is the final arbiter on this and all matters.

I should point out right at the beginning, however, that knowledge of Greek grammar is not necessary for the child of God. The King James Version of the Bible is an accurate translation of the original Greek and Hebrew, and no theologian or pastor should give the impression that the Bible cannot be comprehended without recourse to the original languages: we believe in the perspicuity of holy scripture, that is, we believe that the Bible is clear, so clear that, if a child of God has a good translation, he can understand the scriptures; yet the Bible is so profound and rich that the greatest theologian cannot plumb its depths. Moreover, we believe in the office of believer according to which every child of God has the blessed privilege of knowing and understanding God’s word without the need of “experts” or a “priestly class” in the church.

In addition, the main issue is clear. Marriage is a lifelong, unbreakable bond between one man and one woman, in which the two become one, enjoying intimate fellowship with one another, which fellowship, both in the Old Testament and New Testament reflects the relationship between Christ and the church. In scripture God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16); and even when he gives his adulterous, unfaithful wife a “bill of divorce” (Jer. 3:8), he still declares himself married to his people (v. 14), and he never takes another people (i.e., the Lord never remarries).

Continue reading...

Comments

Marriages and Mercy

“How did this marriage turn so cold when, once upon a time, it was beautiful and loving? The young Christian couple shared everything together and lived as one. The years passed and their relationship deteriorated to a mere outward performance of duties and responsibilities. Sometimes they verbally attacked one another. Usually, they did not talk at all. Each prided himself/herself that the other was not worthy to know his/her inner thoughts. Rather than constructively discussing the problem, this silent treatment was a convenient way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Its main purpose, however, was to inflict pain. “How,” begs the question as we ask incredulously, “did this happen?” No one remembers the events for sure, but an offense took place along the way. It may have been relatively small, yet one angry comment led to another one back. There were no sincere apologies and plenty of grudge bearing. The couple continued to go to church regularly, sit next to one another, and the congregation was none the wiser. Though they resided in the same house, they lived separate lives. They wept sore, but there were no cries for forgiveness, no cries for mercy. Their children suffered and grew up confused and bitter. The End.”

—Mrs. Margaret Laning writes about 'Marriages and Mercy.' Read the rest of her article in the upcoming March 15, 2018 issue of the Standard Bearer.

Comments

Post Tags

On Twitter

Follow @reformedfreepub