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International Council of Reformed Churches

I recently returned from the Netherlands where I attended the third meeting of the International Conference of Reformed Churches (ICRC). I was there as an official observer on behalf of Trinity Reformed Church of Lethbridge. There were also three other observers from the Independent churches (having recently seceded from the CRC) in Canada. The others […]

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Heirarchy in the CRC

The ugly specter of hierarchy is never very far removed from the church, and at present it is raising its head in the CRC. A study committee was appointed in 1995 to review the process used by churches leaving the denomination and to review the Articles of Incorporation in use among the churches. Its recommendation […]

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Salvation – Only Through Jesus Christ

Over the years the Rev. Neal Punt has had his own unique {not to say confusing} view about who will be saved and who will not. More than a decade ago his writings created some controversy in the church, a controversy in which I also took part. I was hoping that Punt had come to […]

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Looking Back

When I write now and then about some aspects of the ministry (including ministers), then I have in mind especially the United Reformed Churches. Not only because I am a minister (emeritus) in that federation, but also because we are a young federation with all the attendant weaknesses and problems. One could say that for […]

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Looking Back

Along with a sense of call (or perhaps a part of it) comes the ability and desire to study. We in Reformed circles have always insisted upon an educated clergy. And we must continue to insist on that, perhaps now more than ever before. Paul tells Timothy to guard the deposit which he has received, […]

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Looking Back

A few words about preaching and praying within the worship service. There has been in the past, and still is today, a notion that sermons have to be long in order to be good. A long sermon is a mark of orthodoxy. This idea is especially found in more “conservative” churches, including the URCs and […]

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Looking Back

Candidates for the ministry often have a tendency to push an agenda of their own making. They are going to fix what they think is wrong with the church. One almost gets the impression that the church has been waiting for exactly this moment when at last they are going have things set straight. In […]

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Looking Back

There was a time when the average man in the pew hardly knew the meaning of the word “liturgy.” At least not much attention was given to it. Worship services in the Christian Reformed Church were relatively simple and uniform. All that has changed over the last few decades. “Liturgy” is now the in thing. […]

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Looking Back

In the first years of its existence (roughly a century) the Christian Reformed Church was not characterized by its evangelistic outreach. It had many strengths, some of which we still benefit from today, but evangelism was not one of them. There was a certain introverted spirit among us in those early years. Perhaps you could […]

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Looking Back

Last month I wrote that once the Christian Reformed Church awoke from its ethnic slumber and became less introverted, evangelism became its number one concern of the denomination. Everything within the church had to be geared toward church growth. From an admitted parochial imbalance in its early years, the scale tipped to the other extreme: […]

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