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New Horizons

April, 1999: Foreign Missions

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Beyond Style Wars: Recovering the Substance of Worship

Last Sunday, when the members of our young church gathered for two services, more than three hundred people attended. Seventy eager believers crowded into our new-members class.

Worship that day was what most of us would call formal: the congregation stood to receive God's blessing from the minister, sat for prayers (which included a public confession of sin and declaration of pardon), heard God's law and gospel proclaimed, and received Christ in the Lord's Supper. People sang from the Psalter and from a selection of great traditional hymns. Read more

Jesus' Redeeming Work

If you ask people on what ground they base their hope of eternal salvation, their answers will fall into one of three categories:

  1. Jesus (what he did)
  2. Jesus (what he did) plus me (my qualifications)
  3. Me (I'm trying my best; I'm as good as most people)
Read more

Children of the Covenant in the Worship of God

A hush spread through the beautiful sanctuary as the congregation waited with expectation to hear the reading of the Scriptures. The pastor had just finished his prayer asking God to illumine the preaching of his Word. Suddenly a cry echoed across the rows of pews: three-year-old Joey Callahan was protesting loudly at the "shushing" of his mother as all three hundred pairs of eyes in the congregation riveted their gaze on the young family.

All Christian families eventually face the decision of whether or not to keep their small children in the worship service of their local congregation. Most of us have been distracted by children like Joey. Many parents decide that their children should remain in the nursery or in "junior church" to avoid these embarrassing and disruptive situations. However, perhaps it is time to reevaluate the attitude of the church toward its youngest family members. The presence of children in the worship services of the local congregation is important to the health of the church. We must make every effort to encourage the attendance of children of all ages in the corporate worship service. Read more

Reaching the Karamojong in Uganda

"There is a vast plain to the north where I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been." So said Robert Moffat, a nineteenth-century missionary to South Africa, to his son-in-law, David Livingstone.

Like that plain in South Africa, Karamoja is also a vast plain, located in northeast Uganda. It is the home of the Karamojong, a people proud of their traditions, religion, and Nilotic heritage. Life for the Karamojong has, for the most part, remained unchanged for thousands of years. Western technology, medicine, dress, culture, and Christianity, found in varying degrees throughout Uganda, have made virtually no inroads among the Karamojong. Geographically, ethnically, and politically, Karamoja is, for all practical purposes, a country within a country. For better or for worse, the land and its people remain a vestige of precolonial Africa. Read more

Training Ministers in Japan

As we celebrate the first anniversary of our return to Japan, we give thanks to the Lord for a year full of his blessings on this new missionary service to Christ and the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ). With grateful hearts, we introduce to the readers of New Horizons the ministry of Kobe Reformed Theological Seminary (Kobe RTS), where I have begun teaching biblical studies.

The History of the Seminary

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