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1998 Issue 2

VVhat does God have in store for Chrtistian families? God answers that question for us in the Bible in many ways.

"The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand," Proverbs 12:7.

From some quarter an unparalleled catastrophe will overthrow and overwhelm the godless, so that they will never rise again. It is all over for them. On the other hand, the family of the righteous withstands the storms that sweep away the godless. A righteous family is a family that trusts in Christ and His righteousness alone for salvation; and, who out of gratitude, follows the directions and instructions of God's Word for life.

"The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish," Proverbs 14:11.

Another tool I have mentioned previously is the appeal. The process of making an appeal is one of several biblical resources whereby a child (or anyone in a position of subordination) may protect himself from abusive or tyrannical authorities. It is a balance to the principle of submission to authority taught in the Bible. Time and space will not permit development of other resources and balances in this book. But the appeal has been included because it is especially effective in dealing with angry children.

The fundamental fact about the apostolate is that the apostles were specifically called by Christ to be his authoritative representatives. At every stage of their ministry, Christ "stands behind the testimony of the apostles." The apostle was "directly commissioned by the risen Lord to be His special messenger and personal representative." He who receives the apostle, receives Christ himself (Matt. 10:40; John 13:20; Gal. 4:4). The apostles thus stand in Christ's place to the church. They carry his authority, and ground their authority over the churches in Christ's calling of them to that office (Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1). They exist by virtue of the commandment, appointment, and will of God (1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1, 11). They have received their ministry directly from the risen Christ (Acts 20:24; Rom. 1:5; 1 Cor. 11:23; Gal. 1:12). The one who rejects the word of an apostle will endure greater judgment than will Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:14, 15). Moule went so far as to say that "the Twelve evidently constitutes the earliest Christian 'canon' or measuring rod - the standard by which the authenticity of the Church's message was to be guarded, for the duration of their lifetime."

"We are pleased to welcome Bob Boyd this month as a new contributor to the Counsel. Bob is a current member and former elder at Chalcedon Presbyterian Church. He worked for thirty years in the Fulton Co. school system in Georgia as a high school teacher and principal. He currently sells real estate, builds beautiful furniture, and oversees his growing family." - Chris Strevel

The Christian parent's desire should be to influence our children in every way possible toward living the Christian life with understanding, depth, and commitment. The only way to accomplish that goal is to be able to communicate with our child or children in a manner consistent with the love that Christ gives to us and we attempt to give to Him.

"We are also thankful that Bob's wife, Annette, agreed to contribute for the first time to the Counsel. Not only has she successfully raised her three children by God's grace, but also as a middle and high school English teacher at Chalcedon Christian School, she continues to mold the next generation for lifewide usefulness in the kingdom of Jesus Christ." - Chris Strevel

That Saturday morning twenty-seven years ago began as any other until a telephone conversation occurred which changed my ideas about communication forever. I thought I knew all about listening and sharing; after all, I had a degree in the teaching of English. However, that Saturday morning telephone call from a third grade teacher and friend who had come to visit us upon the birth of our third child revealed my inadequacies. The afternoon of her visit she made no reference to her observations but called on the following Saturday morning to tell me gently that I needed to learn to listen to my son, for when he learned that she was a third grade teacher he became quiet, refusing to converse with her. "Annette," this teacher said, "You must learn to listen closely; draw him out, and discover what is going on in his life."

Rev. John Otis' series, Defending Calvinism, Total Depravity: Man's Heart Held Captive.

In the second book of his Defending Calvinism series, Rev. Otis takes up the subject of man's total depravity. As with the first book, Rev. Otis' chief concern is aiding the Calvinist to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ against the perversions and errors of the Arminian system. An evangelistic, missionary spirit pervades the whole, and the book concludes with a good discussion of how man's total depravity impacts our gospel presentation to the unbeliever. At this point, Rev. Otis rightly maintains that total depravity would lead us to reject an evidential and embrace a presuppositional apologetic. An attractive aspect of this series is the tone of the whole. Rev. Otis is forceful in his refutation of the Arminian system. Yet, he is humble in his presentation of the truth and frequently calls upon Calvinists to follow Paul's advice to young Timothy: "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know tl1e truth" (2 Tim. 2:24-26; NKJV).