The immediately following article by the Rev. William Hendriksen, Th.D. on THE SUPREMACY OF THE WORD is the first in a group of articles that are expected to be the most significant series we have published. The forthcoming centennial celebration of the Christian Reformed Church is an event of stirring importance. A denomination dedicated to the propagation of the great calvinistic heritage that is expressed particularly in three notable historic Reformed creeds is to celebrate 100 years of God’s faithfulness through that witness on this continent.
We who publish torch and trumpet felt that we certainly wished to share in this splendid event. Gratitude and joy fill our hearts as we reflect on God’s goodness in maintaining this witness and life for 100 years. Defection from the great faith we confess and preach is evident all around us. In God’s great mercy we may still rejoice in being part of a communion where the Reformed faith is faithfully preached and devotedly propagated and applied. We want to share in this glowing sense of gratitude for such great favors from the great Head of the church of Jesus Christ.
A second reason constrains us to publish this series of articles. We would be culpably blind and guilty of a most obnoxious spiritual pride if we allowed smug complacency to govern our celebration of God’s century of blessing upon the Christian Reformed Church. We believe we would be unfaithful to our calling as humble servants of Jesus Christ in various walks of life if we in any way contributed toward permitting this time of celebration to become a hollow back-slapping affair. As we rejoice we believe we must also engage in some heart-searching reflection. The arch enemy of Christ and His church naturally wants to weaken and destroy this faithful witness to the message of God’s sovereign grace. He is hard at work trying to mutilate that witness. That hardly needs to be said.
Therefore as we join with many thousands in joyful celebration we would at the same time call the church to sober reflection. We want to reach as many members of the Christian Reformed Church as we possibly can to call then(to this heart-searching appraisal. We would have God’s people rejoice. We want to rejoice with them. But let no one be sinfully at ease in Zion. We call upon the members of the Christian Reformed Church to think seriously upon those things that have made this church what it is. How do these pillars stand today? Do they stand finn, undergirding a true and strong Reformed witness and life? Or are there signs of weakness? These questions must be asked. They must be faced. Loyalty to Jesus Christ demands that our celebration also include such an earnest self-appraisal.
Our prayer is that God may bless these articles unto the strengthening and enlargement of that portion of his vineyard that we dearly love—the Christian Reformed Church.