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2010 Issue 2

Liberal theologian, A.M. Hunter, in his book, THE TEACHING OF CALVIN, wrote that: “Certainly he [Calvin] displayed no trace of missionary enthusiasm.” He made that statement either out of prejudice or ignorance. Others have said that Calvin’s horrible doctrine of predestination makes nonsense of all missionary and evangelistic activity. However, the truth is that one of the consequences of Calvin’s doctrine of predestination is an intensified zeal for evangelism and world missions. Some people have used Calvin to justify their unconcern for evangelism; but a careful study of Calvin’s life, actions, doctrines, and influence on successive generations will prove him to be a man truly committed to both evangelism and world missions.

Calvin’s most thorough exposition of predestination is his book, CONCERNING THE ETERNAL PREDESTINATION OF GOD. In that book he wrote: “Since we do not know who belongs to the number of the predestined and who does not, it befits us so to feel as to wish that all be saved. So it will come about that, whoever we come across, we shall study to make him a sharer of peace…even severe rebuke he administered like medicine, lest they should perish or cause others to perish. But it will be for God to make it effective in those whom He foreknew and predestined.”

The late A.W. Tozer entitled one of his fine booklets, “Worship - The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church.” Written over thirty years ago, Dr. Tozer rightly diagnosed the trends of his own day as alarming at the least and ominous for the future of the church in North America. He could scarcely have envisioned, however, just how far the church of the late twentieth century would continue to depart from the “jewel” of true biblical worship as mandated in God’s Holy Word. Today, therapeutic techniques, marketing strategies and the beat of the entertainment world often have far more to say about how the church worships, how it functions and what it wants and what it offers, than does the Word of God.

For instance, in recent years there has been a sudden and quite widespread introduction of dance, drama, mime, and rock music into worship and evangelism by charismatics and evangelicals. In many evangelical churches it is now quite common to find ‘sketches’ slotted into a service of worship, and in some churches stages are being erected alongside pulpits. The Gospel is being mixed with entertainment. And this is happening in “Reformed” Churches to an alarming degree.

D. L. Moody, who was not in the Puritan tradition, said, ‘You show me a nation that has given up the Sabbath and I will show you a nation that has got the seeds of decay.’

And to quote an enemy of the gospel, Voltaire declared, ‘If you want to kill Christianity you must abolish Sunday.’

The restoration of Christianity, which is in decline, will go hand in hand with the restoration of the Lord’s Day.

One of the most controversial issues in child raising is corporal punishment. Spanking a misbehaving child is seen as a despicable act to people today. There are politicians in Canada who would even like to make it illegal.

One of the arguments used to discredit spanking is that it teaches children that violence is okay. “Mommy and Daddy use violence against me when I’m bad, so it’s okay for me to use violence to get what I want too.” That’s what the anti-spankers claim anyway. The antispankers are against violence and since spanking is violence it is obviously bad.

Hmmm. Are the anti-spankers really against violence? Let’s look at this a little closer. Suppose the anti-spankers get their way and corporal punishment of children is criminalized. A Christian parent is struggling with a child throwing a tantrum, and thus spanks the child on the bottom to bring the child under control.

Located in the very heart of modern-day Germany, in the province of Hesse, is a small humble town of only 15,000 inhabitants. In the middle of that town stands an imposing old cathedral built in the 12th-14th centuries of reddish stone. Situated in front of that cathedral is the statue of a man in a monk’s garb on a stump of a freshly felled oak, with a huge Saxon ax in his hand.

The humble town is Fritzlar, called Gaesmere in ancient times. It is known in Germany as the birthplace of two beginnings: Here began the Christianization of Germany, and here’s where the German Empire was born as a political entity. The statue is that of the Anglo-Saxon monk and missionary Wynfrith, also known as St. Boniface, the patron saint of Germany and the Netherlands. And the stump is the remains of the tree that belonged to the highest German god, the Oak of Thor. The Oak of Thor was the center of the pagan religion of the local tribe of the Hessians, and the most pagan Germans at the time.

The book is a grand survey of the influence of Calvin and his followers upon society and the formation of civil governments based on Calvinistic principles. Primary sources are used to reference the views of Calvin and Calvinists. This is refreshing since so many have opined this or that about Calvin without benefit of referencing his own writings. Thus we have a treasury of original citations from Calvin and Calvinists in their doctrine of rightly formed civil governments.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Warmest greetings to all in the name of Him who is “called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Without a doubt Christmas is about the greatest news to ever be heard by man: the birth of The Child announced from the beginning “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her send; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” Genesis 3:15: waited for by His people during four thousand years “…there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel …” Luke 2: 25, but unwanted by the vast majority, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” John 1:11, 12.