Author Archives: Kevin DeYoung
This text says something weighty about the person of Jesus Christ: he is the one who came to complete all that Israel was designed to perform.
How is religion passed down across generations? That’s the theme of the new book Families and Faith by Vern L. Bengtson (with Norella M. Putney and Susan Harris). As an exercise in statistical and sociological research, there is nothing particularly biblical or spiritual about the book (though, interestingly, the author describes how at the end of the project he started going to church again and now is an active part of a local congregation). And yet, this doesn’t mean there is nothing to learn from books like this.
In the concluding chapter Bengtson suggests five things families should know, do, or remember if they want to pass on their faith to the next generation (195-98).
1. “Parents have more religious influence than they think.” One of the main themes in the book is that parental influence with respect to religion is not actually waning, despite the alarmist cries from watchdogs and worry-worts. The single most important factor in the spiritual and religious lives of adolescents continues to be their parents.
2. “Fervent faith cannot compensate for a distant dad.” It’s important for children to see religious role modeling in their parents. But personal piety is no substitute for the quality of the parent-child relationship. Parents who are warm and loving are more likely to pass on the faith than those that are distant and authoritarian. This is especially true when it comes to fathers. A relationally and spiritually distant dad is very difficult to overcome, despite the religious zeal of the mother.
It’s been around the block a few times, but still a lot of fun.
And why not one more, just for some great falsetto.
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15)
The Heidelberg Catechism is famous for its threefold outline of Christian theology: guilt, grace, and gratitude. We are guilty sinners before God. God saves us from guilt by his grace. We respond to this grace with heartfelt gratitude. You could add a fourth strand-glory. When we respond to grace with gratitude, God gets glory.
Psalm 50:23 says, “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.” We often think of thanksgiving as a family holiday, or something we give perfunctorily before meals, or something our mother commanded of us when we were in a rotten mood. But being thankful goes deeper, or, I should say, it goes higher. Gratitude makes much of God because it shows (1) that God is the author of all that is good and (2) that we love the Giver more than the gifts.
Paul explained that he ministered for the sake of the Corinthians so that more people might receive grace, so that more people might be thankful, so that more glory might go to God. What marvelous, gospel-proclaiming, God-glorifying logic! When we minister faithfully, God gets glory every step of the way.
The distinguishing characteristic of Christian prayer is not how we pray, or how much we pray, but to whom we pray.
Be glorified through the saints–of every race and ethnicity–as we try to walk together and talk together in a more excellent way.
At a special congregational meeting last night University Reformed Church voted 366-18 (95.3%) in favor of leaving the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and affiliating with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
Of the 384 votes, 335 (320-15) were cast at the meeting and 49 (46-3) by absentee ballot.
The 384 votes represent 91% of our communicant membership. University Reformed Church currently has 422 members and a Sunday morning attendance of around 650.
It may seem like you’ve heard this news before, so let me try to explain the process.
Our congregation also voted in April to leave the RCA. This was only an advisory vote and not required by the Book of Church Order (BCO). In our polity, the consistory is the body that files the petition for withdrawal. The meeting we had in April was the consistory’s attempt to discern the mind of the congregation before making our final decision. We filed our petition with the Classis of South Grand Rapids in May.
After the classis received our petition they established a four person committee to investigate the reasons for withdrawal. As a part of their investigative work, the committee, as per the BCO, met separately with each of the installed pastors and then with the consistory (without the pastors present).
The classis committee called a special congregational meeting for last night. I was given 10 minutes to present our reasons for withdrawal. The committee then spoke for 10 minutes against the motion to withdraw. Following the two brief presentations, the congregation was …
Make sure closed captioning is on. You may need to click on the YouTube clip itself and turn it on.
If you are looking for a resource that will help you think about the issue of homosexuality with unflinching truth and with sincere grace, this is a great place to start.
This Christ is not a reflection of the current mood or the projection of our own desires. He is our Lord and God. He is the Father’s Son, Savior of the world, and substitute for our sins-more loving, more holy, and more wonderfully terrifying than we ever thought possible.