Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 2 November, 2008

"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help,
whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Ps. 146:5)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Lie Not One to Another      [download]
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 43; Colossians 3:9-11
I. The Command
II. The Reasons
Psalms: 63:1-8; 148:1-8; 52:1-7; 51:4-10

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Covetousness is Idolatry      [download]
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44; Colossians 3:1-7
I. The Meaning
II. The Mortification
III. The Antidote
Psalms: 95:1-7; 148:7-14; 10:3-8; 42:1-5

CPRC website:

Quote to Consider:

Herman Hoeksema on the ninth commandment: "The curse is that by the lie there is, under the wrath of God, created an atmosphere of suspicion and malice and hatred and envy and distrust in which one chokes rather than lives. The liar destroys his neighbour, destroys himself, and destroys, if possible, the church of Christ. But if we speak the truth in love, there is, under the blessing of God, created an atmosphere of confidence, the confidence of love, of seeking one another’s well-being, in which it is a joy to live, in which one can breathe freely as a child of God in the Lord Jesus Christ. He that speaks the truth in love saves his neighbour, saves himself, and saves the church of Jesus Christ. For God dwells where the truth dwells. Hence, as children of God we have a double calling, or rather, one calling with two aspects: put off the old man, that moves in the sphere of lying; and put on the new man in Jesus Christ our Lord, that always speaks the truth in love. Then there will be joy and peace and light in the midst of Zion, and God will dwell with us" (Triple Knowledge, vol. 3, p. 420).

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

A new CPRC book/pamphlet/audio catalogue is available on the back table.

The second offering this morning will be for the Building Fund.

The Council meets tomorrow evening at 7:30 PM at the manse.

Catechism: Tuesday, 4:30 PM - Jacob Buchanan
Tuesday, 5:30 PM - Jamie & Debbie Murray
Tuesday, 7 PM - Campbells at the manse
Thursday, 11:00 AM - Beginners OT Class

Midweek Bible Study meets this Wednesday, 7:45 PM at the manse. We will continue our study of I Peter 1:8f. on joy unspeakable.

Prof. Engelsma’s 2-hour radio interview on the truth of the Lord’s Day and the fourth commandment can be listened to live on-line this Thursday, 6 November at 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time or 12:30 AM that night UK time (

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is "Facing Death - Talitha Cumi" (Mark 5:21-43).

Ladies’ Bible Study meets next Tuesday, 11 November, at 10:15 AM at the Murrays.

Offerings: General Fund - £455.45. Donations: £100 (Building Fund), £71.50 (Ballymena Lecture), £2,940.00 (Wellington PRF in New Zealand).

Upcoming Lectures: "The Reformation’s Teaching on the Church"
Limerick School Project, Friday, 5 Dec., 7:30 PM
Porthcawl, South Wales, Friday, 12 Dec., 7:15 PM

Website Additions: A new Psalm-Singing Resources page has been set up. Also added this week were 4 Italian and 2 Afrikaans translations.

Luther and Reformed Education

Mr. Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope Protestant Reformed Christian School


I am not telling you anything new by stating that Michigan, the United States and now also the world are facing tough economic times. The business section of The Grand Rapids Press reported on these troubles in its Saturday, October 18, 2008 edition. From an article from the Associated Press titled "Building Report Spells Recession," I quote:

The nation is on track to build fewer homes this year than at any time since the end of World War II, adding to the woes of an economy that analysts said Friday almost certainly has entered a recession.

While the economic outlook darkened even further with bad reports on layoffs and consumer confidence, it was one of the quietest days since the financial meltdown began a month ago. Wall Street’s tumultuous week turned out to be its best in five years …

A monthly survey by the National Association of Home Builders showed sentiment among home builders hit a record low in early October.

David Seiders, chief economist for the group, said builders are being hit by the double whammy from the financial turmoil: It’s harder for them to get loans to pursue new houses, and more difficult to sell those they do build.

He forecast that builders will keep slashing production in coming months, with construction starts for new homes and apartments totalling just 936,000 this year, the lowest level since 1945 …

"I don’t think there is any ambiguity with respect to whether we are in a recession," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s "I think it actually started at the end of last year, and because of the financial panic we are going through now, it is likely to last another year."

Other economists said they were looking for at least three consecutive quarters of contraction, reflecting in part the fact that consumers, who account for two-thirds of total economic activity, are showing the strains of the biggest upheaval in the financial sector in 70 years.

Although the present economic situation is not as dire as the Great Depression of the 1930s, we certainly face some challenges. One factor is that until the last few years when the construction business began slowing down, we have enjoyed many years of good economic times. We have grown accustomed to a standard of living which would be remarkable to our grandparents and great-grandparents. For those among us who are younger, these are the first challenging economic times we have faced. Now that our wallets, purses, checking accounts and other financial balances no longer appear as healthy as they once did, we have some priorities to re-establish. When money is tight, and it seems as if every dollar matters, we begin to ask fundamental financial questions. What causes are worth our financial support? How great a sacrifice are we willing to make for Reformed education? How much are our schools worth to us?

Tuition for the schools we use and donations to the deficit drives of the other schools we support constitute a significant portion of our incomes. We can begin to wonder whether Reformed education is worth the cost.

When a baseball team struggles, they work on the fundamentals of the game. Pitchers will work on throwing strikes. Fielders will work on sure-handed catches and making strong, accurate throws to the proper base. Batters will concentrate on swinging at strikes and putting the ball in play. The same holds true for us. An examination of the fundamentals of Reformed education would help us to determine what our schools are worth to us. Are these Christian schools which are dedicated to Reformed education worth the cost during these financially troubled times?

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Prof. D. Engelsma wrote several articles about Christian education which appeared in the Standard Bearer. In his articles Prof. Engelsma cites three important works by Martin Luther. These works are Luther’s "Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate" which was written in 1520; his 1524 work titled, "To the Councilmen of all Cities in Germany that They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools;" and a sermon written in 1530 titled "A Sermon on Keeping Children in School."

My plan (which is subject to God’s counsel) for my "Back-of-the-Note" articles this school year is to look at these fundamental works of Luther on Christian education in the order in which he wrote them. Next month we will take our first look at Luther’s "Open Letter." I do not know whether I will be able to finish my treatment of Luther’s three important works this school year. If I do not finish, many financial experts say the current economic recession could continue for a year, and if such is the case, we might benefit from continuing to examine Luther’s works next school year.