Survey…An Annotated Guide to Certain Magazines Current Among the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches


Calvin Theological Seminary, 3233 Burton St., S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49506, Subscription Price: $2.00 per year

I find it tempting to comment critically upon the contents of this 125 page issue, but this is not the place spacious enough to allow such reaction. May 1 simply point to the main articles, “New Perspectives in Biblical Research” by Prof. Bastiaan Van Elderen, and “The Doctrine of Revelation in St. Paul,” by Prof. Henry Stob. Dr. Van Elderen’s contribution is his inaugural address delivered upon his acceptance of indefinite tenure as professor of New Testament in Calvin Seminary. As a participating archaeologist, his views as reflected in this article are indicative of something which he intends, I take it, to be characteristic of the Calvin Seminary of today and tomorrow. Prof. Fred H. Klooster offers a helpful bibliography under “The Heidelberg Catechism and Comparative Symbolics,” and Prof. Andrew Bandstra comments briefly on “‘Adam’ and ‘The Servant’ in Philippians 2:5ff.” Some twenty-five books are reviewed, all by Calvin college and seminary professors. Anyone complaining that he cannot discover the nature of “Calvin thinking” ought to invest a few dollars in this publication!

CHURCH AND NATION January 10, 1967

10 Golfdown Drive, Rexdale, Ontario, Canada, Subscription Price: $3.00 per year

This is an exceptionally good issue of Church and Nation Prof. M. H. Woudstra of Calvin Seminary offers the lead article, “The Creation through Israel’s Eyes,” in which he concludes, “In spite of what the Higher Critics have been saying for some time, the line in the Old Testament does not run from the Redeemer to the Creator, but in reverse. The reason why this is so is exactly because the creation account informs us that there once were a man and a woman who knew God as Creator only and who, only after they had fallen into sin, came to know him as their Redeemer.” “After Winnipeg, What?” is a report and analysis by Rev. John Vriend of the interclassical meeting of Canadian Christian Reformed churches; interesting! “Universal Atonement?” by Dr. Remkes Kooistra offers comment and reaction on “the Dekker Case.” Kooistra does not hesitate to say that Dekker’s teachings “are at variance with the traditional Reformed position.” He concludes: “…I would ask Prof. Dekker and those who agree with him not to confuse us. If they believe that the love of God and Christ’s atonement are universal, let them then also say that all men will be saved. This makes sense, though it contradicts the teaching of Scripture. But, terms like the love of God and the atonement of Christ should not be stretched out like pieces of elastic till they have lost their resilience or springiness so that they mean something entirely different from what they used to mean.”

THE STANDARD BEARER December 1, 15 1966, January 1, 1967

Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1326 W. Butler, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49507, Subscription Price: $5.00 per year

One cannot begin to give a complete run-down within the limits of this department of the complete contents of these issues. We have been following Prof. Homer Hoeksema’s series, “The Nature of the Atonement, Limited or General?” In the Dec. 1 issue the writer concludes an examination of the Belgic Confession by asserting, “The atonement is definite, and the atonement is personal.” In the Dec. 15 issue the Lord’s Supper formulary is studied, and a beginning is made of an analysis of the Canons of Dordt on this subject. Prof. Herman Hanko comments critically on Rev. J. K. Van Baalen’s provocative article, “Evolution and the Bible” (Reformed Journal, Oct., 1966). Prof. Hoeksema pleads for a Christian High School under Protestant Reformed auspices in the Grand Rapids area. “Willing to Come to Grips?” is an editorial by Hoeksema reflecting upon relations between the Christian Reformed and Protestant Reformed churches, stating: “we of the Protestant Reformed Churches have always declared ourselves ready for such a conference” (i.e., a meeting at which open and frank discussion of the history and issues involved in the life of these communions.) In view of the fact that Christian Reformed classes are now actually engaging in the exchange of fraternal delegates with neighboring classes of the Reformed Church in America, and that its congregations are being asked to further such contacts on the local levels, why do we ignore such offers as Hoeksema’s?


7401 Old York Road, Philadelphia, PA 19126, Subscription Price: $3.00 per year

This issue’s cover carries a picture of one long respected and loved as a most respectable biblical, Reformed exegete and theologian, Prof. John Murray. Mr. Murray returned home last month after serving Westminster Theological Seminary since its very beginning in 1930. “Home” is Scotland, whose claims and charm held the professor captive through the decades of his service in this country. The Reformed Fellowship and TORCH AND TRUMPET count this brother as a choice friend, and we with all who love him find tears in our eyes as we think of the fact that his service as teacher and preacher among us is completed. Many fine things are said about Prof. Murray in this issue, and we would endorse everyone of them! “The Practise of Truth” by Francis A. Schaeffer is an address delivered at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin. It re-states the true principle that evangelical cooperation requires separation from all whose doctrinal heresies render them enemies of the Gospel. “How Are You Related?” by George W. Marston is a homiletical tract which covers succinctly the full range of biblical truth with respect to salvation.


Rev. W.C. Lamain, editor, 2115 Romence St., N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49504, Subscription Price: $3.00 per year

“Good Tidings of Great Joy” is a meditation based on Luke 2:10, 11. written by Rev. A. Vergunst. It proclaims that the Christmas message is for them who “give up all pretensions to save (themselves) by (their) own power.” For those able to read the language of “the old country” (for most people of Reformed persuasion in some areas) Rev. William C. Lamain offers a homily on Luke 1:13, “Uw Gebed Verhoord” (“Your Prayer is Heard”). Various other samples of devotional writings, some quoted from other periodicals, are included. In our opinion, The Banner of Truth might be more significant for those outside the Netherlands Reformed congregations if its writers would devote some space to comment on current happenings in the church and world.

THE REFORMED JOURNAL December 1966, January 1967

231 Jefferson Ave, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49502, Subscription Price: $3.00 per year

“Behold the Man” by John Beversluis strives to describe the true humanity of our Savior. “The Christ of the Present Time” is a series of two articles by Lewis B. Smedes on the lordship of Jesus Christ now. “Who is Twentieth-Century Man?” by Roderick Jellema attempts a feeling of the pulse of modern thinking as expressed in recent literature. “Predestination” comes as a series of two articles by H. Pietersma. Its spirit can be determined by this statement, “We must learn to understand that predestination is not an eternally fixed state of affairs, outside our human history, but God’s entering into history to deal with men in a new way.” (This kind of language is rather difficult for those who in simplicity believe what they have professed in the Canons of Dordt, I, 7, “Election is the unchangeable purpose of God. whereby, before the foundation of the world, He has…chosen…a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ…”) “The Church and Its Committee” by Lester De Koster might be the first sound of the big guns in attack upon the Report of the Doctrinal Committee in the Dekker Case. Its opening salvo: the Committee delimited its mandate and therefore cannot be taken too seriously.