Sound Bites Torch and Trumpet 1954

December 1953–January 1954

“The mystic will very seldom contend that the Bible is the truth; for him the Bible is the truth to the extent that it serves his own purpose, namely, to prove his own inner religious feelings. The mystic uses terminology that sounds quite Scriptural, but that it is not Scriptural at all appears when one actually checks it with the Bible.”

Communism: A New Religion Albert Bosscher

“If grace is delimited to signify the favor of God in Jesus Christ which issues in pardon for sin, adoption as children of God and the entitling to eternal life, in a word, salvation – then naturally the non-elect, the reprobate do not share grace, and the term common grace would be misleading and erroneous. Grace, however, in its radical sense is defined as unmerited favor. With this connotation the term allows for wider latitude than saving, sanctifying grace. In the radical sense grace stands opposed to merit. Under the arrangement of the covenant of works man could by his obedience merit the promised good. This privilege he has forever forfeited by his rebellion and disobedience. So drastic was the fall, so drastic and shattering the consequences that unless God intervenes with His sovereign, irresistible saving grace, man cannot be saved, nor can he answer the purpose for which he was created.”

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“[T]he Calvinist draws a sharp line of distinction between common grace and special grace, a not-sanctifying, not-saving grace and a sanctifying and saving grace. Common grace in no sense of the term shades off into special grace; nor are the fruits and benefits of common grace some sort of stepping stone to the preparatory technique or agency for the reception of special grace.”

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“Grace is unmerited favor, and say what we will, by reason of sin man is righteously deserving of God’s wrath, of His curse. But God intervenes with grace, with His goodness and mercy. He still allows life to continue; there is a rich flow and development of natural life. All that man receives, be he reprobate or elect, is undeserved; it is grace.”

Common Grace: The Accepted View William H. Rutgers

February–March 1954

“Common Grace was and still is necessary for the development of the world after the fall of Adam and Eve. Without common grace the creation would have perished into total destruction as the inevitable effect of sin. Therefore common grace was necessary in order to make the plan of redemption in the coming of Christ possible.” The Calvinistic Conception of Life

Steven Harkema

“If we make our doctrine an occasion for the flesh and an excuse for idleness, we lay ourselves open to the charge that our religion is vain.”

Once a Christian, Always a Christian Robert D. Knudsen

“Christ will not break a bruised reed, nor quench a dimly burning wick. He will not say, ‘I do not want this bruised reed; break it off; pull it up by the roots; throw it into the fire to be destroyed.’ He will not say, ‘This dimly burning wick is useless. It cannot serve the purpose of a lamp. Extinguish the smoldering, flickering flame; throw the worthless wick out on the rubbish heap.’ No, Christ will not do that. For the life of the reed is His life, and the flame of the wick is His flame. Bruised as the reed may be, it is not dead; it is alive. That life of the Christian is Christ’s life, imparted in the new birth by the Holy Spirit. That flame of the dimly burning wick is Christ’s flame, the flame given by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Christ suffered and died to give life to the reed, to kindle the flame on the wick. He will not abandon it; He will not reject it.”

Hope for Weak Christians Johannes G. Vos

April–May 1954

“[T]he first White men and women who settled at the foot of the Black Continent were profoundly religious people, imbued with a very real zeal to bring the light of the Gospel to the heathen nations in Africa. These first South Africans lit a torch which was carried to the farthest corners of the sub-continent in the course of the last three centuries and whose light now shines upon the greater part of all non-white peoples south of the Equator.”

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“[T]he full implementation of the policy of separate racial development will take many years. Call it an experiment, if you like, and one could say it is an experiment which is as yet only in its initial stages. Many aspects of the problem are certainly still far from clear, and it would be unwise, even if it were possible, to draw up a blue-print for 50 years ahead. In more than one respect progress will have to be by trial and error. And if in this process we should err, I ask you and your countrymen not to judge our efforts only by our incidental failures nor to reproach us for what you may at this great distance judge as being a lack of the spirit of Christ.”

A letter to the Torch & Trumpet Daniel F. Malen Prime Minister of South Africa

June–July 1954

“Unbelief is not absence of belief but rather the belief of an apostate heart, belief that is directed to an idol.”

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“It is our duty not just to live among people of differing loyalties but to do everything in our power to bring the Gospel to them in such a way that they must out of conviction believe the only true prophecy.”

Christian Witness Requires Christian Organization H. Even Runner

Do you ever face the question what God thinks of your attendance in the house of prayer? If you never consciously face this question I am quite sure that God, who commands you to go to church, is not at all pleased with your churchgoing.”

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“If we love the Lord we shall be most anxious to meet with Him. And if the Lord says that He loves most to dwell where His people come together to worship Him, the heart which truly loves God will declare: that is the place where I love most to be.”

Why Worship God in Church? William Kok

“Christ pictures the way to heaven as narrow and steep, a hard upward climb. It course is always against the gravitational pull of this world, which is ever downward.”

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“[B]y virtue of sin and the curse this good world can become a dangerous snare for us. Often we sin more in connection with things in themselves good than with things specifically and notoriously evil.”

Calvinists – Are They Worthy the Name John De Jong

October–November 1954

“It is well that we constantly remind ourselves of the fact that divine worship is a meeting between God and His people. Every part of our church worship should be either a speaking of God to His children or a speaking of the congregation to God.”

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“It does make a real difference whether we just run in for a moment to chat with a neighbor or whether we are meeting an appointment with our doctor. In our divine worship we have an appointment to meet the God of heaven and earth. If we will only remember that we will pay attention even to our appearance!

Our Help is…Jehovah! William Kok