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The God Who Keeps His Promises

In ancient times covenants were made in a way very different from our time. We sign papers with ink and keep copies. If a document is very important we have the signature witnessed and even notarized. We use pens, but the ancients also used knives. To show a covenant was serious, it had in it […]

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Read Genesis 34 Introduction When Genesis 33 ended, everything seemed to be going Jacob’s way. Jacob and his household have arrived at Shechem, a significant city in central Canaan. They are camped within sight of the city itself. There is now peace, perhaps even good feelings, between Jacob and his twin brother Esau. Jacob has […]

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In the Old Testament circumcision was the sacrament of initiation and reception into the covenant community. Circumcision defined the covenant community; it was the sign and seal of covenant membership. In this article, I will argue that baptism has replaced circumcision as the sacrament of initiation and reception into the covenant community. Just like circumcision […]

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Children of the Covenant in the Worship of God

A hush spread through the beautiful sanctuary as the congregation waited with expectation to hear the reading of the Scriptures. The pastor had just finished his prayer asking God to illumine the preaching of His Word. Suddenly a cry echoed across the rows of pews: three-year-old Joey Callahan was protesting loudly at the “shushing” of […]

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Growing Up in the Covenant

A child, not even one millimeter in length. Living in the uterus of his mother. Another child of the covenant, though nobody knows him yet. Sharing the guilt of his parents. Also sharing the grace God gave to them. When this child is born, he has already been sharing in God’s grace for nine months. […]

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America’s Pied Piper: Culture vs. Covenant

The legendary children’s poem, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Robert Browning, tells the story about a town named Hamelin, which was overrun with a plague of rats. A strange-looking man with a pipe, in brightly-colored clothes, who gave his name as the Pied Piper, came to the town’s officials; for an agreed upon fee, […]

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America’s Pied Piper: Culture vs. Covenant

Mrs. Groenendyk, in her first article (June, 2000), discussed factors in our culture that are enticements to God’s people which draw them away from their covenantal relationship to God. In this article she adds to that discussion and calls readers to a biblical response to today’s culture. Psychology and Psychotherapy Two fields of study which […]

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Covenant Ties

Many Christian homes are battlegrounds rather than sanctuaries of grace. Many Christian marriages are hollow. Many parents are panic-stricken about raising children in our postmodern culture and many are heartbroken over choices their children have made. Despite all the formulas and checklists, many Christian families are crumbling and people are trying to find the silver […]

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Letter to Madison Anne

Dear Readers, Some years ago, a friend suggested I write a letter to the children I baptize, to be read some years later when they have grown up. The thought was that the child should know something of the commitment of the church at the time of their infancy, something of the prayers that the […]

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Christian Education: Is It a Mess? (Part 3)

Where Can We Turn? If the evangelical and the Reformed communities are experiencing fragmentation in respect to educational philosophy and their employment of a pragmatic ethic, then where is one to turn? Christian schools must follow faithfully the simple solution to this complex mess upon the American ecclesiastical landscape of Christian education. Succinctly stated, that […]

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