urcna

"Athanasius" by Simonetta Carr

When you think of areas of the world that are profoundly shaping the face of Christianity today Africa may not be the first place you think of. Perhaps it should be. The center of the Christian world is presently experiencing a geographical migration from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere and specifically to Africa. It is estimated that more than 360 million Christians throughout the world today are Africans.

Call it a resurgence.

North Africa was one of the leading centers of Christian thought for most of the first millennia after Christ. Near the heart of early North African Christian influence was a fourth century Egyptian Bishop named Athanasius; a churchman revered by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians alike.

Simonetta Carr’s newest book in her “Christian Biographies for Young Readers” (CBYR) series, Athanasius (Reformation Heritage Books, 2011) depicts the life of this hero of the faith. And again, she has skillfully woven the main character’s biography with the doctrine for which he labored, in a way that is both engaging and informative.  

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It was a big day today: we had new elders installed, heard a sweet report from churches we’re partnered with in Canada in support of our ongoing Spanish ministry to our community. We had an all church potluck (which didn’t disappoint either!), and yours truly was communed as a new member at church. This was a sweet day for me, beloved. And I’m also deeply thankful for this guy, my pastor and friend, Rev. Adam Kaloostian. I’ve been learning so much from him and I hope to encourage him in appreciation for his labors of love in his ministry to us at Ontario URC. (at Ontario United Reformed Church)

I do not think that the authors of this critique have considered that Federal Visionists often engage in double-speak, redefinition of key terms, and pour unorthodox meaning into language that we would normally identify as orthodox.  It should be no surprise that one can find “more orthodox statements of FV men”, and it is completely appropriate that the Report would omit them for the sake of brevity.  In an important sense, such statements are not relevant because they are not distinctives of the Federal Vision theology.  The error lies in the distinctives.  Is this not always the case with theological error? [emphasis mine]

This is not always the case.  In fact, for the TRs, the distinctives always lie in the [perceived] errors.  This excerpt ignores the fact that the perceived errors of the FV are inevitably labeled as distinctives by the TR crowd.  This has been the case from the beginning.  The FV has consistently been defined from the outside by its critics and all attempts at self-definition have been ignored as irrelevant or double speak.  The URC Synod is just another case of this, the critical interaction not withstanding.

RCNZ Synod (2)

The following summary of events from the September 5 proceedings of the 27th Synod of the RCNZ is abbreviated and used with permission of reporter John Van Dyke.

Rev John Haverland lead in devotions from Ephesians 4:17–5:2 to open the first day of business proper.

 In opening remarks, Rev Bruce Hoyt first of all expressed sadness, on behalf of all those gathered, at the closure of the Reformed Church of Mangere. Ministers farewelled included Revs Reiner Noppers, Sjirk Bajema and Jim Klazinga. Also Craig van Echten who, having served his vicariate, is departing to Western Australia. Conversely it is a pleasure to welcome into the RCNZ Revs Peter Moelker, Tim Rott, Andrew de Vries, Daniel Wilson and Nathan Ketchen (Palmerston North designate), and Mr Erik Stolte (vicar Pukekohe). Welcomes to synod were extended to fraternal delegates from likeminded churches…

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