Resource, Book or Booklet

This book (Messages from Egypt: Ancient Egypt: Walking the Paths of the Ancient Egyptians (Volume 1)) outlines some of the connections between Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel in eight lessons. 

August 14, 2017 0 0 comments
Q&A

I would like to make use of the book "Austin's Topical History of Christianity." To do this, I need permission from the current copyright holder, perhaps a descendant of Bill R. Austin. Can you help?

July 17, 2017 1 0 comments
Resource, Audio or Podcast

"The Heidelberg Catechism - 450th Anniversary Edition" is now available as an audio book on iTunes and Audible.

June 28, 2017 1 0 comments
Q&A

I am trying to locate the booklet 'Someone Cares' by Rev Leonard Schalkwyk. It is out of print and may have a revised title. Can anyone direct me on this? 

June 27, 2017 1 1 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

I've learned that congregations love to hear the Christmas story as it is found in Matthew and Luke during the Advent season. This book attempts to be a handbook for preachers as they face Advent year after year.

May 2, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

The Temple Curtain is especially appropriate during Lent and Easter. See my website for more details, the first chapter, educational resources written for each chapter, and your free sample copy.

March 17, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Rev. Edwin Walhout went to be with the Lord on January 1, 2017. Here are his parting words and many of his writings. 

January 23, 2017 1 1 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

If you are needing suggestions for preparing to teach or preach on the Book of Acts, let me suggest my new little book, Together for the World: The Book of Acts from Lexham Press.

January 12, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Neighborology provides a blueprint for how churches and servant leaders of every ministry can be neighborly helpers.

January 12, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

The Temple Curtain, written for children 8-14, tells the story of a Palestinian family living in Jerusalem in Jesus' day. If interested, I'd be willing to give your church an electronic or print version of the book. 

January 10, 2017 1 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

This book of daily readings highlights stories of God’s work with the Old Testament saints (and their world) that are a part of the spiritual history of every Christian. 

December 8, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

Looking for free devotional resources to challenge your mind and inspire your heart? Check out these devotions by CRC authors in the new CRC Digital Library

November 21, 2016 1 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Recent conversations on worship fail to answer this simple question, “What’s love got to do with it?” In this volume, I answer that question and more by identifying biblical principles that shape our love as worshipers. 

November 10, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Not Just a Soup Kitchen is an excellent guide on how the local church can be involved in Mercy Ministry.

August 23, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

"The Moral Disciple: an Introduction to Christian Ethics," is a text that introduces readers to the study of ethics, Classically, ethics has dealt with character/virtue, norms/laws, and consequences/goals. 

August 11, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

This book came out of my experience as a missionary in Latin America and is a reflection on the big difference that occurs in the world economy, and what a Christian should think and do about it. 

August 11, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

When I first served as a deacon, a book that encouraged my growth was the CRC's Deacons and Evangelism. This book made me realize that mercy and sharing the gospel are inseparable. 

January 19, 2016 0 1 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Designed for small groups, but also valuable for personal use, this 10-session guide uses Bible study, reflection, writing, prayer, and art to engage people in active participation with God on a journey of restoration and healing.

October 10, 2014 0 0 comments
Blog

With a delightful sense of irony and reality, Stan Mast calls his 110 page book Someday You’ll Be a Good Preacher. 

April 5, 2011 0 3 comments
Discussion Topic

The book features a treatment of each article of our Church Order—half of it exposition, being theological, historical or practical in nature, the other half of it real life questions and answers. 

December 18, 2010 0 7 comments
RSS

Hi Justin, 

I have two copies of Someone Cares, which were given to me from John. Has he run out of copies? If so, I can certainly give you a copy when I'm in the area next.

Blessings, 

Victor

Edwin Walhout's ideas are not new, not in line with CRC teaching, and not particularly interesting or robust.

Obviously, the worst example is his support for the idea that Jesus Christ is not divine.  How can someone abandon this bedrock Truth of Christianity and still claim orthodoxy?

Walhout's over-reliance on modern "science" also leads him to faulty theology.  In fact, some of the scientific theories he elevates above Scripture have already been abandoned and/or modified by secular scientists, demonstrating why the Church should never alter its teachings to fit the fickle scientific theories of the day.

Read his writings to gain an understanding of poor theology; read Scripture for Truth.

Wow.  Thanks, David!  This sparks my thinking about the role of deacons at classis and synod.  How can the deacons help us as assemblies and as a denomination, to infuse this servant-hood into our life together in our neighborhoods, cities, towns, and nations?  If ever our world needed to experience fearless incarnational service, it's now.   

     Back in the day, we all were aware of the phenomenon of "changing neighborhoods".   People left, churches left, and then those who came next experienced the irreversible decline of the systems and networks that are the vessels and sinews of healthy community.  It was an incredibly complicated tangle  of social, economic, religious dynamics, and the church basically walked away.... or in some cases ran. I think we thought we could give up on some of the square inches over which Jesus is Lord.

 It feels like the cities of the nations are experiencing something like that today.  Societies are at risk of being overwhelmed by the needs of people pressing to be allowed in.  Systems can't cope.  Cultures can't assimilate that fast.  Those with resources leave the turmoil  and walk away.  And we all watch as things unravel.  Some of us try to help.  Unless the Spirit of Jesus the Servant pervades the global church, the Church may again find itself out in suburbia, where things may feel a little better.... for a while.  What does radical servant-hood mean for the Church today?  

If the Church in North America is in fact being challenged by the secularizing of our society as never before, surely we are also being challenged to renewed commitment by the global themes of war, ecological decline, prejudice, and homelessness on a scale we couldn't have imagined.  We simply cannot respond only as individuals or congregations. We are called to be many members unified in large scale responses, so that systems and cities, populations and nations, may turn toward justice and mercy.  That means that we'll have to discern as assemblies, as a denomination among sister denominations, what needs to be done.  By us.  And then we'll have to follow the Spirit to think bigger, speak wiser, and work humbler, and get more done.

David, you have been at this for a lifetime.  Thank you.  And may God continue to use you.

 

Professor DeMoor,

Military chaplains in the CRCNA at nearing a crossroads.  In the near future, our CRC Chaplaincy Committee will have to provide a statement to the Department of Defense regarding what we can and cannot do regarding ministry to and with persons in same-sex relationships.

Many of the issues are black and white.  For example, we are not permitted to officiate at a same sex marriage ceremony.  However, some issues are less clear.  For example, can we co-celebrate communion with another chaplain who comes from a denomination that endorses same-sex relationships?  Is there a difference between co-celebrating with a heterosexual UCC pastor or a practicing gay UCC pastor?  Both would endorse same-sex relationships, but only one actually practices it.

We are hesitant to make agreement on same-sex relationships the litmus test of whether or not we co-celebrate communion.  Although it is a hot issue, I don't think that it is on the level of core doctrines like justification by faith, the virgin birth, or the inspiration of scripture.

 

What guidance does our church order have for us?  Your thoughts would help us in the process of formulating a policy that would be sensitive to multi-denominational environment in which we operate each day.

 

Dave Jeltema

Chaplain, US Navy

Jim,

  I have many pastor friends and confidants. It is a extremely difficult profession by any imagination. Being a pastor as well know, creates unique demands on people unlike most professions. That being said Jim, your greatest service in the church is how you relationally spread the Word. People will remember you by how leadership lifts up the church and for your personal interactions. Sermons are extremely important by providing the window to meaning of His words. But peope are more relational than intellectual. Most lay people are very intimidated by a Pastors knowledge and moral authority. That, I believe is one the reasons Pastors are challenged by some lay people. You know how big our male ego's are.

  Anyway Jim you are good person. Your reaction shows your matured faith that cries for Divine justice. I like you Jim. Thanks for listening to a broken, sick shutin.

Ken

posted in: A Preacher's Memoir

Thanks, Ken, for your comments, thoughts. You always stimulate readers! 

I guess there IS a theme of  "pastoral oppression," as you call it. I admit some of that comes from my own personal experiences, but at least as much from hearing colleagues over the years sharing--and rarely whining--about the sheer difficulty of the calling of being pastor. We are often confidants to each other. 

I fully realize every profession-calling has its own difficulties and I make no special case for overburdened preachers and pastors. We live in a fallen world, but one heading to complete redemption. There are so often tensions in trying to follow Jesus faithfully, no matter what the calling. I believe that in this fallen and recovering world, the tensions have to be kept in perspective. The pastoral calling has its own tensions and struggles. From your contributions to the Network, it is clear you have suffered and continue to suffer your own struggles; you have been courageous in describing some of them. I also believe you find support for the most part from this Network project--all while you contribute generously, thoughtfully, even provocatively.

When I find a dandy little book like Stan Mast's I am grateful for one more course correction that I'm offered to help keep me on the path of faithful preaching. The crass comments from sisters and brothers have to be lived with, dealt with fairly, patiently, looking for helps within them, even though some of them might hurt ("oppress") at the moment. And I must also remember that there surely have been times when I have made less than immediately helpful comments to colleagues, parishioners, family, friends. They still love me and I love them. Who has the harder task? Well, I'd rather not speculate on that one! 

Anyway, thanks again. May our little interchange help not only preachers of the Word, but also listeners and above all doers!

posted in: A Preacher's Memoir

Jim,

  You seem to be hurt. When you have posted various articles I observe a theme of pastoral oppression. I hope, if I'm correct, that you have a lay confidant. Stans article reflects a journey everyone is on. In the other professions, those kind of interactions that "crass" people comment and negative remarks are spoken is a lot more intense than you will be good at what you do someday. I just trying to set some context to this post and I mean no harm.

Thanks

Ken

posted in: A Preacher's Memoir

I read the first chapter of your book.   I think technically it was well-written.   However, I suspect your book simply explains and supports the status quo.   Which is okay I suppose for those who enjoy the status quo. 

Where I have problems with the church order are some of its inconsistencies, where it contradicts itself.    For example, it states all the offices are equal in importance and then proceeds to have about 20 articles or more on the office of "minister of the word", and one article shared between elders and deacons.   I get the impression sometimes that the church order is as much a professional document for maintaining the professionalism of "ministering" as it is for order in the church. 

Many of the ideas in the church order seem to be predicated on worldly hierarchies and institutions, rather than on a careful examination of scripture.   This is no less true today than when it was written, although the worldly priorities have changed and have thus affected the church order subsequently. 

The idea of distinguishing ministerial associates from ministers in terms of function, and the underlying impact on retirement, pension funds etc., distort the true roles and significance of pastoring, preaching, leading, teaching.  

The sometimes duplicity in the church order, where for example it identifies "ministers" as leading the sacraments, without any biblical or scriptural warrant for doing so, and yet technically the order does not mandate or forbid elders or deacons from leading these sacraments...., but the impression is left to the point that people think it is another rule. 

The unscriptural, or at least very contrived reasoning, that limits elders from presenting the blessing or benediction....

The regulation upon regulation, precept upon precept, that imposes a hierarchical requirement (rather than a suggestion or an opportunity) for congregations to require the blessing of classis for decisions that ought to be their's alone.   

There is more that could be said, but I find that I had more respect for the church order as a christian document before I studied it closely, than afterwards. 

 

I just got my shiny new copy!

Got mine in the mail today!  Woo hoo!

I've got my order in ....

Henry,

Come on....that was barely half a toot.

A full toot of the horn should really include a link so we can read the sample chapter and, of course, buy! Let me help you out:

http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/155303/christian-reformed-church-order-commentary.aspx

This may not reach mass-market status with an interview by Oprah, distribution through Costco, and the rest. Not to shatter any dreams, of course.

But Christian Reformed pastors, elders, and entire congregations are in debt to you for putting this all down. And to Faith Alive for publishing it. Thank you.

Sorry.  That first sentence should say CRC Church Order COMMENTARY.  Newly writing a Church Order is not really my style!  Only a synod could do that.