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MARCH 5, 2014
VOLUME 32, #9


For those making plans for college or university, there are important consideration to keep in mind. Pastor Nick Smith begins a series of three articles on the subject in this issue. Pastor Joel Dykstra weighs in on a recent conference on Bible interpretation and what it means for the future of Reformed churches in the Netherlands. Emma Elliott Freire writes about a unique international Christian fellowship in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Michael Zwiep reports on the exodus of a group of orthodox Jews from Quebec that may have implications for other religious groups in that province. Gerry Wisz provides an insightful overview of the Nye/Ham debate. Pastor William Boekestein continues his series on the Five Points of Calvinism (the second of six). Hermina Dykxhoorn looks at the Canadian Supreme Court ruling on prostitution laws and what it means. Gerry Wisz continues his review of The Poverty of Nations. Norm De Jong examines the distinction between a republic and a democracy. Norm Bomer considers the work and life of Emily Dickinson. Hanna Korvemaker recognizes the importance of true friendship. Dave Sikkema continues a three part series in his Tech Lines column on The Internet of Things and how it impacts households. D. Allan Stares examines Gold. This and more.


John Van Dyk

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Don't forget about the church –
An introduction (Part 1 of 3)

The secondary school mortar boards tossed aside
to make way for post-secondary thinking caps.


Leaders and writers in the Reformed and evangelical world are wrestling with what seems to be a growing crisis: the waning commitment of twenty-somethings to the church. In the book To a Thousand Generations, Mark Sumpter (pastor of Faith OPC in Grants Pass, OR) seeks to diagnose part of the problem, writing of the “success” of youth ministry in Reformed and evangelical churches, a success when measured in numbers and busy-ness and programs, but a success that he argues has had unforeseen consequences:
“This ‘success’ has allowed young people to grow up in a youth ministry program of nurture and teaching, but sadly this is done with an emphasis that isolates the younger age groups from the rest of the community of the congregation. Therefore, we have seen a growing absence of young adults in the local church when they arrive at their early and mid-twenties. We lose our youth in their young adult years because the church never had them” (251-252).

When our youth leave the church, it’s because we never really had them in the church in the first place. To be sure, we had them busy in all manner of programs – many of which have their value and importance – but often while neglecting the difficult work of simply living with them in the every-day, inter-generational life of the church.
  This is a widely acknowledged phenomenon in the broader evangelical world, and while it can be debated to what extent it has affected Reformed churches, the anecdotal evidence and the concerned conversations among parents and church leaders are growing: our young people often have difficulty transitioning from childhood to mature participation in the life of the local church. Some of our churches even speak of an absence of young adults in their early and mid-20s, similar to what Mark Sumpter describes.


Mayer Rosner standing outside of the community in Chatham-Kent.


The Southwestern Ontario banks of the Thames River in Chatham-Kent, a shelter for Loyalist refugees, exiled Indian tribes and pacifist Moravians during the War of 1812, a Northern terminus for enslaved Africans on the Underground Railroad and promised land for waves of immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, were again a haven for a displaced community this past November, when a devout Jewish community known as Lev Tahor, fled child protection authorities in Québec.
  A modern exodus, the 200-member Hasidic Orthodox community left their homes in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Québec in the early hours of the morning Monday, November 18, after officials from the Youth Centre of the Laurentians (Centre jeunesse des Laurentides) threatened to remove 14 children from their families alleging neglect, abuse, inadequate schooling and forced underage marriages. Despite an appeal from the families, the Court of Québec (Cour du Québec) has ruled the children be placed in foster care for 30 days.

For the full article, contact Christian Renewal or subscribe today.


Bars of gold along with nuggets.

All that glitters is not necessarily golden.


Gold is, for all practical purposes, useless. 
  Gold does not tarnish, can easily be purified and is difficult to find. It can be, and is, smelted over small fires in the streets of any third world country from the electronic garbage we send them by the boatload. Except for its application to certain types of advanced circuitry, gold has never been of much practical good. 
  Because gold is so malleable, lending itself to be pounded out into very thin sheets or bent into any number of shapes, it can be easily worked, but the product of this work is decorative at best. The choice between a sword of gleaming gold and a sword of rusted iron is only a choice to be made carefully if you know nothing of gold, or iron, or swords. History is not full of golden ploughs, or shovels, or zippers, for that matter. The owners of these sparkling tools would have found themselves hungrily holding their clothes together and not in any position to write history.
For the full article, contact Christian Renewal.



Did you miss this one?

MARCH 21, 2012


Audio Resource