Encouraging the Next Generation to Read (2) – Rev.B.Huizinga

Part of my Sunday reading again yesterday was the December 15, 2013 issue of the Standard Bearer (as well as the Jan.1, 2014 issue which also arrived in the mail this weekend!) and an excellent article on reading by Rev.Brian Huizinga. This article belongs to the second installment of the text of a speech he gave at the annual meeting of the Reformed Free Publishing Association back in September of this year. At that meeting Rev.Huizinga gave a stirring speech on “Encouraging the Next Generation to Read”, something I highlighted in a post at the time of the speech (and a link to where you can find the audio).


Last Monday I called attention to another part of this published speech, and today I do so again. This part continues where we left off there, as Rev.Huizinga continues to give reasons why we should read – especially the next generation! Here’s what he had to say next:

Finally, the Bible.  The aforementioned passages are all secondary (See my previous post -cjt).  The primary proof that reading has a significant place in God’s covenant is the Bible itself.  In His inscrutable wisdom God determined from all eternity that He would be revealed to His people through the Bible, His written revelation, the entirety of which we new dispensation believers now have in our hands.  And the Bible as a written revelation must be read.  God could have revealed Himself savingly in Jesus Christ through some other means, but He determined that He would be revealed through a written revelation that must be read.  That the revelation of God comes to us in a book with words that are written and must be read is the proof that reading has a significant place in God’s covenant.  And whom does this written revelation reveal but Him who is called the Word, and the Alpha and Omega (Greek letters)?  The necessity and urgency of reading in the covenant is indisputable and could not be emphasized too strongly.  To deny the significance of reading in the covenant is to deny Scripture as such, and thus the Word Himself!  The church will let reading vanish to her peril and destruction.  The divine form of revelation—which demands reading—is the incontrovertible proof that the reading of the Bible and all spiritually-edifying literature is necessary.  No matter what technological developments and transformations take place in the modern world, reading among the covenant people must not be allowed to disappear.  Reading cannot disappear so long as Christ tarries.

Why is reading so significant in the covenant?  It is an instrument of God for fulfilling His promises.  The covenant of grace is the relationship of friendship between the triune God and His elect people in their generations through the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ.  In that covenant, God makes promises to us and our children—chiefly that He will be our God and reveal Himself to us, and that He will shower saving blessings upon us now and everlastingly in Jesus Christ.  That particular promise God will sovereignly realize by His own power and grace.  However, He is pleased to fulfill it by using various instruments, the chief of which is the gospel of the Scriptures preached, but another is the Scriptures and then, by extension, all spiritually edifying literature read.  The purpose of reading therefore is to know Jehovah and His saving works and ways.  The more we know Him the more we will love Him and trust Him and hope in Him and will grow in our relationship with Him.  That is our salvation!  That is the fulfillment of His promise in Christ!  If we love God we will not be able to keep from reading any more than the new bride can keep from reading the letters her husband sends to her from the battlefield across the sea.  I must read to know my beloved!  Through reading we come to know and love our faithful God as He has promised.  Reading has a significant place in the covenant of grace as an instrument of God for the fulfilling of His promises.  We must read!  Our young people must read!

Grace Four Women – T.Tripp

TT-Dec2013The above-named weekend devotional in Tabletalk was part of my Sunday reading and I found it a hidden gem. It is a wonderful follow up to our remembrance of Christmas. Her are some of the fine paragraphs:

God’s grace shines brightest where it is least expected. I caught  a glimpse of grace while reading Matthew’s genealogy. You might expect Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah to be mentioned. They are not. Four unexpected women are included: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. The inclusion of these women in Christ’s genealogy is a special display of grace because they were all born outside the covenant.

…Even more astounding, all these women were either sexually immoral or the product of immorality. Rahab was a prostitute. Bathsheba was an adulteress. Ruth was from Moab, so her entire ethnic origin was the result of incest between Lot and his youngest daughter. Tamar’s story, from Genesis 38, is as seamy and perverse as any supermarket tabloid.

..These women prove Jesus to be a willing descendant of human shame. Most genealogies are written to show that there is no impurity in the bloodline. Herod the Great destroyed his genealogy so no one could compare his background with anyone else’s. But Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers. Jesus not only came to save sinners; He came from sinners. The inclusion of these four women preaches the gospel of grace to us. It shows us how deep and wide and high and long the love of God truly is.

Luther wrote, ‘It is as though God intended this genealogy to say, “Oh, Christ is the kind of person who is not ashamed of sinners – in fact he even puts them in his family tree.”‘ The gospel is the story of the triumph of divine grace over the sordid perversity of sin. God’s grace is greater than all our sin (p.59).

All I can add is, “Amen! for men too!”