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2000 Issue 3

Rev. Hoge spoke to the General Assembly of 1897, the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Westminster Assembly. The Assembly convened in Charlotte, N. C. where eleven special commemorative addresses were made to large audiences. Rev. Moses Hoge's speech was one such address.

Probably no event has occurred within the memory of anyone in this audience so calculated to awaken the attention of our Presbyterian people to the value of the Westminster Standards in giving direction and development to the social, national, and ecclesiastical life of the world as the commemoration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of their formation.

By now you've heard it more times than you can count, but still it bears repeating: The family is one of the primary institutions of society. It is the societal building block. Because of this reality, long-term reformation of a culture is impossible if the families which make up the culture are not growing in conformity to God's Word. Let us be clear however: I am not saying that the family is the only institution necessary for reformation (as some apparently believe today).

More people have been led to eternal life through John 3:16 than perhaps any other verse in Scripture. It is a familiar, moving, and powerful declaration of the greatness of God's love for sinners and the saving provision he has made for them through his Son Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, the power of this verse is generally weakened by two popular treatments. One weakens its force by universalizing its message to apply to all men without exception, while the other weakens it by restricting the divine love to the elect. It will be seen that John 3:16 does not directly touch upon the issues that divide Arminianism from Reformed and Biblical Christianity. The great theme of John 3:16, that which must govern our interpretation and application of the • verse to our lives, evangelism, and our overall theology, is the amazing nature of God's love for a world that lay in rebellion against him, It is this that must capture our imagination, even as it did John's, if we are to avoid the following two errors and properly conceive of the love of God our Savior.

Again today it can be said that no one has expressed the Roman Catholic view of the Bible as Roman priest Henry G. Grahame in his book, WHERE WE GOT THE BIBLE, which has gone through about 20 printings since it was first published in 1911, (Rockford: Illinois, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.)

"Our Blessed Lord Himself never, so far as we know, wrote a line of Scripture-certainly none that has been preserved. He never told His apostles to write anything. He did not command them to commit to writing what He had delivered to them...What He commanded and meant them to do was precisely what He had done Himself, viz ....-deliver the Word of God to the people by the living voice...not intrust their message to a dead book...and so by a living tradition, preserving and handing down the Word of God as they had received it, to all generations...." - pp. 17-18