Covenant Protestant Reformed
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 9 September, 2012
"Those that be planted in the
house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of
our God" (Ps. 92:13)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
The Pilgrim Psalms (10)
Afflicted Israel Sings
Scripture Reading: Psalm 129
Text: Psalm 129
I. A Confession of God’s
II. An Imprecation Against Zion’s
Psalms: 66:1-7; 5:1-7; 37:1-7;
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Knowing Our Disordered Desires
Scripture Reading: II Peter 2
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s
I. The Meaning
II. The Benefits
Psalms: 36:5-11; 5:8-12; 78:18-19,
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of
the worship services, contact
If you desire a pastoral visit,
please contact Rev. Stewart
CPRC website: www.cprc.co.uk
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
Quote to Consider
Matthew Henry on Psalm 129:5-8:
many that hate Zion, that hate Zion’s God, his worship, and
his worshippers, that have an antipathy to religion and
religious people, that seek the ruin of both, and do what
they can that God may not have a church in the world. We
ought to pray that all their attempts against the church may
be frustrated, that in them they may be confounded and
turned back with shame ... The confusion imprecated and
predicted is illustrated by a similitude; while God’s people
shall flourish as the loaded palm-tree, or the green and
fruitful olive, their enemies shall wither as the grass upon
the house-top. As men they are not to be feared, for they
shall be made as grass (Isa. 51:12)."
Announcements (subject to God’s
Jennifer Hanko’s membership
papers were transferred to the CPRC from Lynden PRC.
Brian Crossett was approved
last week for an additional 3-year term as elder. His
installation will be held next Lord’s Day.
Monday Catechism: 6 PM -
O.T. Beginners (Bradley & Alex) 6:45 PM - O.T. Juniors
(Nathan, Jacob & Joseph) 7:30 PM - Heidelberg (Timothy)
The Tuesday morning Bible
study on the millennium begins this week at 11 AM.
The Belgic Confession Class
will meet this Wednesday, at 7:45 PM, to study article 16 on
The Council will meet
this Thursday at 7 PM.
The Reformed Witness Hour
broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be
"Christ’s Letter to the Ephesian Church" (Eph. 1:1-2) by
Ladies’ Discussion Group:
The study guide binders are available on the back today. Our
first meeting to discuss women of the New Testament is set
for Friday, 21 September, at 10:30 AM.
Plan now to attend this year’s
Reformation Lecture on "Martin and Katie Luther: The
Reformation of Marriage" on Friday, 19 October, at 7:30 PM.
Offerings: General -
£738.65. Building - £298.10.
Website Additions: Two
Hungarian translations (a Hungarian Psalter and Rev.
VanBaren’s article on "Total Depravity") and two Afrikaans
translations were added.
PRC News: Vernon Ibe accepted the call to be pastor
of the Berean PRC in the Philippines.
A Review of The Reformed
Faith of John Calvin
Felipe Sabino, Brazil
(Review published in the English Churchman)
The Reformed Faith of John Calvin:
The Institutes in Summary
David J. Engelsma
Reformed Free Publishing
Hardback, 472 pp.
The author explains the goal of
his book in his Preface:
The Reformed Faith of John
Calvin is, as the subtitle expresses, a summary of
Calvin’s own teaching in his Institutes of all
the doctrines of the Christian faith. The reader of this
book will know the Institutes and the faith – the
Reformed faith – that Calvin taught and defended in this
classic work (p. xiii).
I have known of the writings of
Prof. Engelsma for a long time. But I came to appreciate
more and more his books, and have become much more familiar
with his good theology, only a few years ago. This was
thanks to my dear friend, Rev. Angus Stewart, who gave me
some books from the excellent Reformed Free Publishing
Association. This was like piles of gold arriving here in
Brazil, a land still in need of sound Reformed doctrine.
This new book is a masterpiece and very helpful, both to
people new in the Reformed faith as well to experienced
Although the author says that
"it is not my intention to give a full description of the
life of John Calvin. My purpose with this book is not the
life of Calvin, but the doctrine of Calvin" (p. 1), Chapter
1, "The Man and His Life: A Sketch," contains great material
about the man John Calvin. I had already read many books and
articles about the life of John Calvin, but I still found
this chapter very instructive and very well written. After
all, David Engelsma is a gifted writer, a quality that is
not an exception among the ministers of Protestant Reformed
Churches (Herman Hoeksema, Homer Hoeksema, Herman Hanko,
Ronald Hanko, Robert Decker, Barry Gritters, Steve Houck and
Before entering into the
Institutes itself, Prof. Engelsma deals with "The Nature
of the Institutes" (Chapter 2), "The History of the
Publishing of the Institutes" (Chapter 3) and "The
Style and Structure of the Institutes" (Chapter 4).
These are helpful chapters too, with plenty of good
information that may not be widely known. Highly
recommended! Chapter 5 deals with "The Prefatory Address" of
the Institutes. Writes Engelsma, "The prefatory
address is unanimously and widely regarded as a masterpiece
of such literature" (p. 46).
1) Book One of the
Institutes ("The Knowledge of God the Creator") is the
subject of Chapters 6 to 8.
2) Book Two of the
Institutes ("The Knowledge of God the Redeemer in
Christ, First Disclosed to the Fathers under the Law, and
Then to Us in the Gospel") is the subject of the Chapters 9
3) Book Three of the
Institutes ("The Way in Which We Receive the Grace of
Christ: What Benefits Come to Us from It, and What Effects
Follow") is the subject of the Chapters 11 to 16. The best,
and possibly the most important, chapter in this section is
Chapter 15, "Predestination." Prof. Engelsma is very
accurate in the first lines of this chapter:
Although not the central
dogma in Calvin’s theology (the one dogma out of which
all of Calvin’s teachings flow, and around which all of
his teachings circle, and upon which all of his
teachings depend), as has been proposed, predestination
is fundamental in the theology of John Calvin. Calvin
states this importance of election when he calls it "the
foundation of our salvation" (p. 266).
What makes this chapter so
important is that it is a good antidote to the modern
moderate Calvinism, so prevalent today, even here in Brazil.
Chapter 16, "The Final
Resurrection: Calvin’s Eschatology," although brief (pp.
290-297), is very good and contains a helpful explanation of
the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection.
Even though Calvin did not
write a commentary on Revelation, his thorough treatment
of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body with the
accompanying refutation of related errors gives us a
complete overview of Calvin’s eschatology. His doctrine
of the last things includes the intermediate state of
elect and reprobate; the rejection of millennialism,
which always plays with the thousand years of Revelation
20 as a description of a carnal kingdom of Christ in the
world; the resurrection of both believers and
unbelievers in one general resurrection; and an eternal
destiny both of the righteous and of the wicked. The
foundation of Calvin’s eschatology is the bodily
resurrection of Jesus Christ (p. 294).
4) Book Four of the
Institutes ("The External Means or Aids by Which God
Invites Us Into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein")
is the subject of the Chapters 17 and 18.
I found only one problem in the
whole book: its endnotes. Footnotes are (presumably) written
to be read and I do read almost all of them. I should say
that I highly prefer footnotes to endnotes, unless the
chapter or book is very short. Notes should be on the bottom
of the page and not punted into the last few pages of the
I would say without hesitation
that The Reformed Faith of John Calvin is the best
book ever written about Calvin’s Institutes. Read it.