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Calvin conference begins September 3, 2009

The John Calvin conference begins this Thursday, September 3, 2009. See the conference schedule and the conference site for more details. John Calvin was many things to the church of his day. He was a church reformer and a seminary professor. He was a preacher and a pastor. He was a prolific author and letter-writer.…

Living Antithetically In An Age of Immorality

Speech #3 of The Antithesis: Godly Living in Ungodly Times

Prof. Herman Hanko


The antithesis, as the previous speakers made clear, is that work of God, sovereignly executed, by means of which God reaches down into this world of sin and darkness, seemingly under the control and power of Satan, and, through the salvation of His people, causes the light of His truth and holiness to shine. Satan has made his attempt to seize control of this creation and of the human race, but God does not relinquish His world to Satan. God stakes His claim to the world by the testimony and lives of His people. The world says, “We serve Satan. We will take God’s world from Him and make it ours to do with it as we please.” Over against that loud boast, God says, through His people, “This creation is mine. I made it. I will redeem it. I will glorify it and accomplish my own eternal purpose in making it. I will punish with everlasting destruction those who claim it for their own.”

Living Antithetically In An Age of Covetousness

Speech #2 of The Antithesis: Godly Living in Ungodly Times

Rev. Garry Eriks


The antithesis is a fundamental aspect of a Reformed Christian’s worldview. Although the term “worldview” is of fairly recent origin, the concept is not new for the Reformed Christian. Worldview is simply an understanding from Scripture of the Christian’s place and calling in this world. For the Reformed Christian this worldview is based upon the doctrines of God’s Word. There is much discussion today about a Christian worldview, and even a Reformed worldview at conferences and in print. It is not my intention to treat worldview as such. But I call to your attention, that when we treat the antithesis we are considering a vital aspect of the Christian’s worldview.

Living Antithetically In A Technological Age

Speech #1 of The Antithesis: Godly Living in Ungodly Times

Rev. Daniel Kleyn


The subject before us is both an important and timely one. One reason for this is because the word “antithesis” itself has in many ways fallen into disuse. As a result, there is a measure of ignorance today concerning what exactly the antithesis is. It is good, therefore, that we take the time to look at and set forth the meaning of this term.

It is also an important and timely subject because the truth of the antithesis is very practical. That is expressed in the subtitle for this pamphlet, “Godly Living in Ungodly Times.” The antithesis, you see, has to do with how we live, and more specifically, with how we do so in relation to the world in which God has placed us. We realize that the world we live in is not a godly world. Society is not Christian. Rather, we live in very ungodly times. And that in itself makes this subject very timely and crucially important to every one of us.

Justification and the Believer

Speech #3 of Justification: The Heart of the Gospel

Rev. William Langerak


One thing yet remains in this timely and enriching conference on the subject, “Justification by Faith Alone.” Previous speakers have carefully explained the truth of it. And because almost every attack upon it through the ages has taken the same form, namely by injecting the works of the sinner as a basis for our justification, these speakers have carefully distinguished between justification and sanctification, showed the necessary relationship between them, and demonstrated that justification occurs both objectively and subjectively without any respect to our works, whether good or evil, in body or soul, from the flesh or regenerated spirit. It has been shown that when it comes to justification, our works simply have no place whatsoever. What has been taught is the truth of justification as generally understood by the church for some 2000 years, but especially as developed, formulated and taught by the church of the Reformation over against the pernicious errors of Rome and the Arminians. The thing that remains in this conference is to explain the significance of this truth for the everyday life of the believer.

Justification and Good Works

Speech #2 of Justification: The Heart of the Gospel

Prof. David J. Engelsma


What a grand gospel truth is justification by faith alone.  What a blessed gift of God to us is justification by faith alone.  And what a blessed work of the Spirit of Jesus Christ in our consciousness is justification by faith alone.

Justification is the strictly legal act of God as judge in which He forgives the sins of the one who believes in Jesus Christ and reckons him righteous on the basis alone of the obedience of Jesus Christ in the stead of this sinner.  This is how David describes justification in Psalm 32:1-2, where he proclaims the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness without works.  “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”  And this is how the apostle Paul describes justification, with appeal to this passage in the Psalms, in Romans 4:5.  “To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted [or imputed, or reckoned] for righteousness.”

Justification by Faith Alone

Speech #1 of Justification: The Heart of the Gospel

Rev. Ronald Van Overloop


It is my privilege to speak to you this evening on a most important subject. It is objectively important because it was the material principle of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, and it remains such in Reformed churches. It is subjectively important for every child of God because it is knowing how I am right before God.

Martin Luther maintained that this truth was the difference between a standing and a falling church. If a church upholds the truth of justification by faith alone, then in Luther’s judgment it was a standing church. If they did not, then it was falling. The importance of the truth of justification by faith alone is also evidenced in the fact that thee two creeds which arose out of the Reformation, the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism, maintain and defend this truth, and they do so in precise, powerful, and comforting terms: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Days 23,24,51 and Belgic Confession, Articles 22 – 24.