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1988 Issue 9

We have been of late greatly struck with the placid, heavenly lives of some of the Puritans. In these days piety is frequently superficial, and meditation and religious exercises are much neglected. We thought it would be one of the best rebukes of this evil, and one of the surest ways of stirring up our brethren to better things, if we gave them a specimen of how a believer has lived, and how he thought and spoke. The person whose way of life is here described was John Row, of Crediton, a county magistrate, who died in 1660. Reader, look at his life, and then at your own, and see wherein to amend.

It is proper to speak of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the affairs of Christian life and conduct. The question that arises, however, is: How does the Holy Spirit guide and direct the people of God? This is a large and complex question and to deal with it adequately would require extensive and detailed treatment. We may deal with only one aspect of this broad question.

In this section the doctrine of liberty of conscience is laid down in most explicit terms. The conscience, in all matters of faith and duty, is subject to the authority of God alone, and entirely free from all subjection to the traditions and commandments of men. To believe any doctrine, or obey any commandment, contrary to, or beside, the Word of God, out of submission to human authority, is to betray true liberty of conscience. And be the power and authority whose it will--be it that of a magistrate or a minister--of a husband, a master, or a parent--that would require an implicit faith and an absolute blind obedience, it would destroy liberty of conscience.

The early Bible Commonwealth, which was to later become the United States of America, was a network of democratic communities -- small republics -- linked by a common Christian ideology, overseen by a Governor and a representative legislature which exercised civil authority by the higher laws of God. Into this framework was nestled the common schools, the original public schools, found in New England and adjoining areas into which New Englanders migrated. The Puritans created town schools to insure continuance of the Biblical commonwealth by rearing a literate community. Biblical literacy was necessary since Biblical authority ruled the community. Hebrew, Greek and Latin were studied in the New England wilderness to enhance the community's understanding of the sacred Scriptures.

Question: How do you make people on Wall Street laugh? Answer: Ask them if Jesus Christ is Lord of finance! Those who don't give you a blank stare or look of horror will probably respond with a chuckle.

Such are the times in which we live. Financiers, with novelist Tom Wolfe's bond salesman, Sherman McCoy (Bonfire of the Vanities), would use debt to gain power rather than foster wealth creation (the production of actual goods and services). By clever dealing they would sweep away all limits to become "Masters of the Universe."

What is Calvinism? Or the Confession of Faith in Harmony with the Bible and Common Sense. In a series of dialogues between a Presbyterian minister and a young convert. Dialogue XIX, Bible Republicanism.

Judah's apostasy was permanent, deliberate and vigorous. They were "clinging" to their sin and defiantly "refusing to return" to God.

Even the migratory birds follow instinctively the creative order of God. But Judah refuses to obey the covenant orders of their loving Jehovah. They do not "know," i.e., love, the orders of the Lord.

"It was an incredible thing that God's covenant people could behave so unnaturally toward their Creator, the sovereign Lord of the covenant." ~ Thompson

The Antinomian Streak in the Reconstruction Movement, by Kevin Reed. A Presbyterian Heritage Monograph. (12 pages).

My dear friend and brother Kevin Reed has written and published a challenging pamphlet which should cause us in the Reconstructionist movement some sober self-examination. Though at points I disagree sharply with Kevin in this review, I give thanks for his concern for God's truth and glory and think he makes some excellent points. Constructive criticism is useful if taken to heart. I hope my Reconstructionists friends and co-laborers who love Christ's Kingdom and the Reformed Faith will not ignore these important issues Kevin raises. We do so to our own detriment and costs to lasting Kingdom progress. In this review, I will follow the order of Kevin's monograph.

The Scriptural Law of Worship, by Carl W. Bogue, Presbyterian Heritage Publication, P.O. Box 180922, Dallas, Texas, 75218, 36 pp., reviewed by the Rev. Byron Snapp, Headmaster at Covenant Christian School, Cedar Bluff, Virginia.

Portrait of a Master Craftsman: Raymond McKeown, a biography by James Handyside; Ambassador Books, 127 pages, paperback. Reviewed by PCA pastor, the Rev. T. Mark Duncan.

Surviving College Successfully, by Gary DeMar. Brentwood: Wolgemuth & Hyatt. 1988. Reviewed by Dr. W. David Gamble, President of the American Reformation Movement in San Diego, CA and college professor in El Cajon, CA.

Gwen Nix is one of those people who knows who she is, exactly. She remembers where she came from and best of all, she says she knows where she's going.

Gwen was born to poor tenant farmers in a postage stamp of a place called Sweetapple, in northern Fulton County, Georgia. Her formal education fell to the wayside in the seventh grade to make way for homemade spelling bees, dictionary memorizing, babysitting baby brothers and picking cotton.