A Prayer After the Explanation of the [Heidelberg] Catechism

prayer-bible-1The 1934 edition of the Psalter Hymnal published by the Christian Reformed Church contains a section of “Christian Prayers” in the liturgical part in the back. Two of those prayers relate to the preaching of the Heidelberg Catechism. Prof. B. Gritters referenced these in his first Interim course lecture last Friday (Jan.4).

[This course on Heidelberg Catechism Preaching is being live-streamed daily this week and through next Tues, Jan.15 on the PRC Seminary’s YouTube channel. The videos from each day (2 lectures, except for yesterday’s class) may also be found there.]

In our Sunday post (Jan.6) we quoted the first one; in this one we post the other. This one has the heading “Prayer After the Explanation of the Catechism.” I believe you will find it to be thoroughly Reformed and biblical, and therefore, a prayer that is edifying and fit to be used ourselves.

And this is the prayer (slightly edited with paragraphs):

O gracious and merciful God and Father, we thank Thee that Thou hast established Thy covenant with believers and their seed. This Thou hast not only sealed by holy baptism, but Thou daily showest it by perfecting Thy praise out of the moth of babes and sucklings, thus putting to shame the wise and prudent of this world.
We beseech Thee that Thou wilt increase Thy grace in them, in order that they may unceasingly grow in Christ, Thy Son, until they have reached complete maturity in all wisdom and righteousness. Give us grace to instruct them in Thy knowledge and fear, according to Thy commandment.
May by their godliness the kingdom of Satan be destroyed and the kingdom of Jesus Christ in this and other congregations strengthened, unto the glory of Thy holy Name and unto their eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying,
Our Father who art in heaven, etc. Amen.

Posted yesterday on the PRC Seminary’s new website blog.

The Wonder of a Sprouting Bean | Aeon Videos

 

Two days ago I referenced Aeon Essays for the first time year. Today, for our “Friday Fun” item we point you to Aeon Videos for the first time. They have some wonderfully inspiring clips of the simplest things, but things that make you say “Wow!” all over again.

Such as the miracle of a bean kidney seed sprouting. I realize there are thousands of such videos on the Internet, but Aeon does some unique things with theirs, such as adding classical music to the sprouting bean.

So, enjoy the amazing growth of a bean plant, bottom to top. And stand in awe not just of “nature” but of nature’s God. For this is our Father’s world and He is Designer, Maker, and Sustainer of every such little bean seed. Watch His work and wonder!

Here is Aeon’s brief introduction:

Though it’s rather more ordinary than its Jack and the Beanstalk cousin, the kidney bean in this timelapse video puts on quite a performance as it sprouts, breaks through the soil’s surface and springs upward into a plant. Just as enchanting is its development below ground, where a single tendril expands into a complex and deeply embedded root system.

Whimsically employing Johann Strauss’s famous waltz ‘The Blue Danube’ (1866), the video puts one of nature’s unsung spectacles front and centre stage.

Source: It might not be magic, but a sprouting bean can still hold you under its spell | Aeon Videos

Published in: on September 28, 2018 at 9:25 PM  Leave a Comment  

RFPA Interview with Prof. R. Cammenga on “Here We Stand”

Last week on its blog the Reformed Free Publishing Association published an interview it produced earlier this year in connection with the publication of its Reformation 500 title Here We Stand: Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

The interview is with Prof. Ronald Cammenga, editor of the book, which is made up of the speeches given at the PRC Seminary’s 2018 Reformation 500 Conference.

After watching the video and learning more about this significant contribution to Reformation 500 studies, visit the RFPA website and order yourself a copy.

 

 

Soar around the Moon, carried by the music of Debussy | Aeon Videos

Not too late to squeeze in our “Friday Fun” item while also appreciating amazing video of the moon and a beautiful piece of classic music.

Below is the introduction; click on the link at the end to view the wonderful video.

Behold the handiwork of God – in creation and in creative music! Enjoy!

Vast lunar landscapes set to the aching, shimmering piano of Claude Debussy’s 1905 composition ‘Clair de Lune’ (French for ‘moonlight’) offer an enchanting melding of science and art through the interplay of light, texture and music. The video, which traces the flow of sunlight over the Moon’s surface, was created by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio using images captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. It was first shown at a celebration of NASA’s 60th anniversary along with a live performance of Debussy’s music.

Source: Soar around the Moon, carried by the music of Debussy, in this breathtaking space flight | Aeon Videos

New and Notable Books (Three-Minute Thursdays #16) – Tim Challies

Pastor, author, book reviewer, and blogger Tim Challies has a relatively new book feature called “Three-Minute Thursdays,” in which, by means of video, he presents briefly some “new and noteworthy” books.

I appreciate the format and in general the books he features. This one (#16) is from last week (May 17, 2018) and introduces six new Christian titles. As we approach the summer reading season, I am confident you will find one here of profit – or from one of the other episodes. You may recall that I already featured that last one here (God’s Timeline).

If you click on the YouTube link to the video below, you can subscribe to this channel also.

Here is Challies’ introduction to this particular episode.

Welcome to another edition of Three-Minute Thursdays. Every year I get literally hundreds of books in the mail—one of the perks of being a book reviewer. From time to time I take the big stack and turn it into a little stack, so I can tell you about some of the new and notable books that I think will be interesting to people like you.

And that leads to a short video like this one: The books featured in this episode are: Watchfulness by Brian Hedges; Christianity Considered by John Frame; Christ from Beginning to End by Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum; Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi Reformed Expository Commentary by Iain Duguid and Matthew Harmon; The Gospel According to God by John MacArthur; and God’s Timeline by Linda Finlayson.

Source: New and Notable Books (Three-Minute Thursdays #16) – Tim Challies

Reshaping Marriage, Reformation Style – “Refo Thursday”

On this Thursday, the last day of August, we bring to mind again the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. And we do so through another video clip from the Church History Institute, which they are sending out each Thursday this year – what they refer to as their “Refo Thursday,” “your weekly throwback to the Reformation.”

This particular video, sent out on August 10, celebrates the Reformation’s reform of marriage, including Martin Luther’s wonderful union with Katherine von Bora. On this day of my own thirty-ninth wedding anniversary to my lovely bride (August 31, 1978!), this post seems appropriate. Verna and I are personally grateful to the Reformers for restoring this aspect of the Christian life to its biblical foundation!

The article that goes with it – “The Reformation of Marriage” – includes these paragraphs at the beginning:

It is a remarkable fact that none of the leading Protestant reformers ended up a bachelor—Luther, Zwingli and Calvin all married in the course of the Reformation. It is remarkable because the prevailing late medieval ideal was that one should not marry in order to devote full attention to serving God. The same ideal prevailed for women. St. Jerome, writing in the fourth century, even offered a kind of algorithm for measuring one’s devotion to God. He assigned a spiritual value of 100 to virginity, but to marriage he assigned a paltry spiritual value of 30. The message was clear: if you really loved God, you would remain a bachelor or bachelorette.

The Reformation is most often identified with theological debates, whether over  justification by faith alone, predestination, or the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. However, it can be argued that the most enduring consequence of the Reformation was not theological developments, but the transformation of the institution of marriage. By 1520, just three years after the 95 Theses, Luther publically renounced clerical celibacy in his famous pamphlet, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.

Read the rest of the article at the link provided, and be sure to watch this video and many others that make up this informative and interesting series. You can sign up to receive the “Refo Thursday” posts each week at the CHI website.

Friday Fun: Cubs-Diamondbacks’ bullpen antics during rain-delays

On this rainy Friday here in West Michigan, my thoughts turn to the rain delays at Wrigley Field in Chicago yesterday, when this cool front started to make its way through the area.

In another classic display of bullpen entertainment, the Cubs pitchers challenged the Arizona Diamondbacks to some friendly competition. And what you are about to see is the result.

Great, fun baseball stuff. Even if the Cubs lost. No wonder they are the lovable winners! 🙂

Need a good laugh on this cool, gloomy Friday afternoon? Cheer up with these images and video. Yes, by all means, watch the video found at the link below.

Here’s part of the description as found on the MLB.com website:

The D-backs beat the Cubs, 10-8, on Thursday in a game that featured three rain delays (Paul Goldschmidt homered after EACH one). Although much action happened on the field, perhaps the most important action occurred during the second stoppage in play in the Wrigley Field bullpens.

Source: Antics amaze in D-backs-Cubs delays | MLB.com

Published in: on August 4, 2017 at 3:59 PM  Leave a Comment  

2017 Reformation Books for Children – ABCs and More!

Looking for good books for your children during this year of celebrating the great Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary? I have a fine one for you, one I purchased this week and read through last night.

Ref-ABCs-Nichols-2017

Reformation ABCs: The People, Places, and Things of the Reformation from A to Z is a wonderful children’s “ABC” book written by Stephen J. Nichols (author) and Ned Bustard (author/illustrator) and published by Crossway (2017). The publisher gives this description:

Reformation ABCs is a fun way for kids to learn about the places, things, events, people, books, and ideas that shaped this pivotal time in church history. Through whimsical illustrations and engaging storytelling, this book teaches kids that even though the Reformation occurred five hundred years ago, it isn’t just about people and places in the past. The Reformers’ fight to reclaim the gospel is still relevant today.

To give you an idea of what’s inside, under “A” the book has “A is for ants, artists, and Augustine” (showing how the Reformation was a return to the theology of St. Augustine); “H” has “H is for hippos, hats, and Heidelberg” (a nice tribute to the Heidelberg Catechism)’ “T” has “T is for torch, trains, and Tyndale” (pointing out the significant Bible translation work of this godly man and martyr). One of my favorites was what they had for “Y” – “Y is for yellow, yodeling, and YOU,” part of which says this:

The Reformers wanted children to learn the Bible. Every morning Martin Luther opened his doors, and young boys and girls ran across his yard and gathered around his dining table to be taught. Since all of the German boys and girls could not fit around his table, he wrote a catechism for them. The Reformers in Heidelberg wrote a catechism. And the Reformers at Westminster wrote a catechism. All of these catechisms had one purpose: to teach boys and girls the Bible, the gospel, and the truth of the Christian faith. When these young boys and girls grew up, they became the next Reformers. And for centuries God has given the church Reformers. You are the next Reformer.

The back part of the book includes a section on “Reformation by the Numbers” (noting the significant numbers associated with the movement, such as Luther’s  95 Theses and the 5 solas of the Reformation) and a Reformation timeline.

I highly recommend this book to you. If you buy one Reformation children’s book this year, make this the one. In light of my post on Tuesday of this week about reading to your children, this would make an excellent one to use. Read it to your young children and let the young readers in your home read it again on their own. And, grandparents, this would make a great gift for your grandchildren. That’s what I bought it for. 🙂

PMVermigli-Carr-2017

Also, do not forget the wonderful church history series Reformation Heritage Books publishes, “Christian Biographies for Young Readers” series, featuring Reformed author Simonetta Carr. This series includes Reformation titles on Martin Luther,  John Calvin, John Knox, Lady Jane Grey, and the newest, Peter Martyr Vermigli. Here’s a video on that title:

John Calvin and his Institutes – “Refo Thursday”

On this Thursday night, it is time for another “Refo Thursday” feature.

As we have mentioned several times here already this year, the Christian History Institute (which also publishes the magazine Christian History – issue #120 is about Calvin and the Reformation – cf. image here) has a special post each week featuring various aspects of the Reformation.

It is called “Refo Thursday” (“your weekly throwback to the Reformation” [in their words] – connected to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017), and usually features a quote from one of the major Reformers and a brief video on an aspect of Reformation history.

Today’s short video, featuring Karin Maag from the Calvin Meeter Center and Michael Horton from Westminster Seminary (West-CA), focuses on John Calvin’s attempts to bring reformation to Catholic France, his home country, by writing his first edition of the Institutes of the Christian Religion – from Basel, Switzerland.

Listen in and learn about how Calvin viewed himself and the other Reformers as more “catholic” than the Roman Catholic Church.

The Price of Knowledge – Refo Thursday – Christian History Insititute

Yesterday’s “Refo Thursday” post from the Church History Institute (focusing on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation) looks at the significance of the development of the printing press on the Reformation.

In his post Dan Graves references Erasmus and his use of this means for the promotion of his Greek NT, among other things. He says in part (read the rest at the link below the quotation),

Thanks to the development of the printing press, books were coming down in price during Erasmus’s years (c. 1466–1536), but he was preparing scholarly versions of hitherto unprinted manuscripts for the press, and that was not an inexpensive task. He had to correspond with scholars across Europe, visit libraries, and pay for hand-copying. It’s a cinch he wasn’t picking up ten books for four bucks. In fifteenth-century England, one could still rent a cottage for a year for six shillings—the price of a moderately-priced book. In fact, his work was so expensive he had to beg large sums from patrons all over Europe. He remarked that it cost him and his co-workers more in time and money to restore the works of Jerome than it cost the saint to write them.

Of course, we also know how much the press was used by Luther and the other Reformers to advance the cause of the Protestant Reformation. The Word of God in print and the doctrines rediscovered by the Reformers in that Word could not have spread among the common people without the printing press.

In the video below Dr. Karin Maag (Director of the Meeter Center for Calvin Studies at Calvin College) gives a short talk about the impact the printing press had on the Reformation – and vice versa.

Source: Blog: The price of knowledge | Christian History Insititute