This article discusses Neo-Pentecostalism. It considers its history, traced all the way back to the second century and the appearance of Gnosticism and Montanism, yet becoming more official on account of John Wesley. The author explains its teachings and where they deviate from the full gospel revealed in Scripture.
What is a sect? This article offers a definition, and explains that the word also appears in Scripture with reference to all religious groups that follow a master other than Christ. It suggests that the main traits of a sect are religious individualism, anti-church religiosity, religious subjectivism, and fellowship for reaching a higher level.
Why bother with mission and evangelism if God is sovereign and will thus fulfill his purpose anyway? Isn't evangelism made much more attraction in the Arminian framework, where Christ is said to have died for all mankind? This article shows this to be erroneous thinking, for the doctrine of election is not a hindrance in evangelism when properly understood.
This article addresses the title's question by first examining its presuppositions, and indicating that being afraid is not an inherent trait of being Reformed, and that the Reformed are not second to sectarians in Bible knowledge, as the latter do not have real Bible knowledge. Yet the author does identify that often, we as Reformed churches lack an integrated system of training in the truth, which manifests itself in the level of knowledge among professing members, impacting evangelism.
When new members join a Reformed church, who needs to adjust, they or the church? This article discusses the question, looking at the matter of tradition, and from there demonstrating that it is not always wrong to go against a respectable tradition.
Does the church have a duty toward members of other churches where the full truth is not proclaimed, but rather where there exist errors? This article explains that we do have an obligation in this regard, in order to honour the prayer of the Lord Jesus for full unity here on earth.
This article explains that the extent to which instructing newcomers in the faith depends on their prior exposure to Christianity. In general, the message in evangelism done by the established church is going to assume more than the message on the mission field. Yet discipleship and training in the faith is still called for, and at much depth.
Is evangelism "sowing" or "harvesting"? This article explains that this can be a false dilemma, that the two ought not to be separated. The Bible gives both tasks to the church, as illustrated from John 4, which shows how the sower and reaper are joined together and rejoice together. And so we are urged to fulfill our evangelistic task well.
This article looks to cut through the dilemma in the title, showing that a faithful church should do both at the same time. It lays a stress on church discipline, by which it will "repel" some of its own members. And it urges the church never to be "repulsive" to outsiders.
This article looks at a couple of example in order to cut through the dilemma sounded in the title. It shows that a church's practice of evangelism ought not to wait until its theory is perfected, because that may never happen.
May the need for building up the body of Christ be used against the need to save souls? This article explains that this is a false dilemma. Both aspects are integral to the work of the church—the preaching of the gospel is meant the preserve the saints and equip them so that "their faith goes everywhere."
This article addresses the dilemma sometimes posed in a church, namely, whether it should prioritize home mission or foreign mission. The author explains that ultimately this is no dilemma, that the best support the home church can give to foreign mission is by being fully active in local evangelism.
This article considers the question of whether or not evangelism ought to be organized, and shows this to be a false dilemma. There are forms of evangelism that do call for some amount of organization. Yet the author is careful to point out certain dangers, including that these forms can lead to the general membership delegating the personal calling of witnessing to Christ.
This article considers whose responsibility within a congregation is the work of home mission. It shows from Ephesians 4:11-16 that the leadership is to equip the saints to fulfill the task of home mission or evangelism. It does consider the degree to which consistories, and possibly major assemblies, might be involved in the work of evangelism.
What are possible obstacles to evangelism? This article mentions several, including that the church's uniqueness from the world has led to its isolating itself by way of private schools, refusal to join unions, its strong emphasis on being covenantal, and its stress of preserving the church at the cost of increasing it. The author responds to the various alleged obstacles.
This article considers some of the common objections to evangelism. Among the objections are the following: the New Testament emphasizes simply living in a godly manner in front of one's neighbours; evangelism runs the risk of having the gospel watered down; new converts seem to remain strangers in the church; and evangelism easily leads to false ecumenism.
Who should be on the frontlines in evangelism, according to Scripture? This article discusses the respective role of office-bearers and members in this matter. Taking his cue from Ephesians 4:12, the author suggests that office-bearers need to equip the congregation for evangelism.
Why are Reformed Christians often silent before others about our faith? This article considers some data from John Stott's Our Guilty Silence. Stott suggests that the causes of our guilty silence when it comes to evangelism are: a lack of incentive and motive, a struggle to know the message that must be proclaimed, an uncertainty as to whose task it is to evangelize, and an inadequate view of the sovereignty of God.
How is the church made known beyond its four walls? This article addresses this question, discussing personal evangelism and then the possibility of neighbourhood Bible groups. It clarifies that such groups would consist primarily of members of the same congregation before including others from the neighbourhood. The author outlines some dangers with such groups, but also the biblical foundation for them. It offers some suggestions on how to organize such groups.
Does the order of the liturgy lie with the local body of elders, or is it a matter that belongs to the churches in common? This article discusses this question, looking at church history, and advocates for some uniformity in our liturgies. It argues that being bound to a specific order does not mean losing your freedom as a local church, and explains how this is so.
This article considers the conclusion to the covenantal worship service: the closing song and the benediction. It also discusses the place of the accompanist in the service, as well as the announcements, and finishes off with addressing the question whether there should be more participation of the members in the service.
What is the relationship between Word and sacraments in the worship service? This article explains that the sacraments confirm the Word, and thus should follow it. The author also gives some thought to the way in which the sacraments are administered.
What belongs to the beginning of the worship service? This article mentions typical elements found at the opening of a Reformed church service, and the reasons for them: a votum, salutation from God, and an opening song of praise.
What is it that makes Reformed liturgy beautiful? This article addresses this question in some detail. It explains the essence, character, and form of Reformed liturgy. It shows the heavenly pattern of liturgy, harking back to Old Testament worship. It then offers some principles that should govern corporate worship, and concludes with providing a sample order of worship.