Author: Daniel Kanis

01 Apr 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part Four)

Today’s Throw Back Thursday article is the final installment of the four-part series entitled “Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada,” originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The series was reproduced in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and reprinted on ARPA’s blog on July 3, 2009. Ron Gray was the leader of the Christian Heritage Party back in 2005, a position that he reliquished in 2008. He is the longest-serving leader of the Christian Heritage Party, with thirteen years at the helm. Ron Gray is...

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25 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part Three)

Today’s Throw Back Thursday article is the third installment of the four-part series entitled “Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada,” originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The series was reproduced in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and reprinted on ARPA’s blog on July 3, 2009. At the original time of writing, Ray Pennings worked at the Work Research Foundation. His comments were set in a context when many Christians were finding their political feet, deciding with which political party to support, and wrestling with the legalization of same-sex marriage. Today, Ray Pennings is the Executive Vice President for Cardus, a rebranded and expanded version of the Work Research Foundations. He continues to contribute to Christians' understanding of public theology; his 2013 article, The Devil's Advocate: Perfection Waits for Another World, builds up the article republished below. If you enjoy the article below, we encourage you to give the newer one a read as well!   Influencing for Good By Ray Pennings Introduction Winston Churchill reportedly once said that party democracy is the worst form of government except for all of the others. Reflecting on the questions provided by the organizers of this evening in their kind invitation for me to address this meeting, I could not help but wonder, “How would we respond to these questions if we asked them in the context of Winston Churchill, World War II, and the stark issues confronting Christian citizens in that time? Would we still regard Churchill with the same respect as I sense most of us do today? Would we have been active supporters of his leadership?”
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18 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part Two)

Today's Throw Back Thursday article is the second installment of the four-part series entitled “Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada,” originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The series was reproduced in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and reprinted on ARPA’s blog on July 3, 2009. The author of the second part of this series is Dr. F. G. Oosterhoff. Dr. Oosterhoff was a historian, active in secondary and post-secondary education, who specialized in European history, church history, and the history of ideas. Dr. Oosterhoff had already retired when she authored this article in 2005, and she recently passed into glory.   Christian Politics, What Does it Involve? By Dr. F.G. Oosterhoff Tonight and next week we speak about our calling as Christians in a secular society. Among the topics to be discussed are the causes of today’s secularizing trend, the strategy we should follow in trying to stem that trend, and the best means of organizing politically. With respect to the last issue, we would seem to have two options. One is to join a Christian political party, such as the Christian Heritage Party; the other is to do what many Christians south of the border are doing. It is to organize as a Christian alliance and so attempt to influence one of the mainline parties. In the United States that is the Republican Party. In Canada it would most likely be the Conservatives.
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11 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part One)

Over the next few weeks, ARPA Canada will be re-posting a number of old articles on Throw Back Thursdays. Today's Throw Back Thursday article is the first instalment of a four-part series entitled "Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada," originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The legalization of same-sex marriage was one of the most pressing issues facing Christians in that era. The series was replicated in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and posted to ARPA's website on July 3, 2009. The author of the first part of this series is Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. At the time when this series was first written in 2006, Dr. Van Dam was a professor of the Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary. In 2011, he published "God and Government: Biblical Principles for Today," an introduction and resource that many ARPA staff have greatly benefited from and that we highly recommend Reformed Christians interested in public theology to read. Dr. Van Dam is currently retired. Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada: The Lord wants us to be salt and light in a world that has a tasteless morality and lives in darkness By Dr. Cornelis Van Dam Shaking foundations With the civic morality of our country dropping to ever lower levels as witnessed most recently by our national parliament passing the same-sex marriage bill last June, many Christians are asking themselves: What can be done to halt the apparently unstoppable slide of Canada going ever deeper into being a modern Sodom and Gomorrah? What used to be considered an abomination and sin, for the Lord said it was so, is now exalted as good and is defended as a human right. “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men” (Ps 12:8). There is no doubt about it; the fundamentals of our national life are being shaken. With the psalmist, we can ask: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3)
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11 Mar 2021 Throw Back Thursday: Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada (Part One)

Over the next few weeks, ARPA Canada will be re-posting a number of old articles on Throw Back Thursdays. Today's Throw Back Thursday article is the first instalment of a four-part series entitled "Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada," originally presented at a 2005 Burlington Reformed Study Centre event. The legalization of same-sex marriage was one of the most pressing issues facing Christians in that era. The series was replicated in the January 6, 2006, issue of the Clarion magazine, and posted to ARPA's website on July 3, 2009. The author of the first part of this series is Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. At the time when this series was first written in 2006, Dr. Van Dam was a professor of the Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary. In 2011, he published "God and Government: Biblical Principles for Today," an introduction and resource that many ARPA staff have greatly benefited from and that we highly recommend Reformed Christians interested in public theology to read. Dr. Van Dam is currently retired. Kingdom Citizens in Secular Canada: The Lord wants us to be salt and light in a world that has a tasteless morality and lives in darkness By Dr. Cornelis Van Dam Shaking foundations With the civic morality of our country dropping to ever lower levels as witnessed most recently by our national parliament passing the same-sex marriage bill last June, many Christians are asking themselves: What can be done to halt the apparently unstoppable slide of Canada going ever deeper into being a modern Sodom and Gomorrah? What used to be considered an abomination and sin, for the Lord said it was so, is now exalted as good and is defended as a human right. “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men” (Ps 12:8). There is no doubt about it; the fundamentals of our national life are being shaken. With the psalmist, we can ask: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3)
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27 Oct 2020 Post-Fall Politics

by John Sikkema “See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:10) My previous article, “Creation and Politics,” focused on God’s sovereignty as the creator and sustainer of all things. In His sovereignty, God gives authority to man. Therefore, while God’s authority is “original, eternal, unlimited,” man’s authority is always “derivative, temporary, and limited.” [1] By God’s design, His character is reflected in human relationships and authoritative offices – including civil authority, which He...

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09 Oct 2020 Immigration Canada wrong to reject “conjugal relationship” of woman and gay man, judge rules

by John Sikkema Last month, a federal court ruled that a man and woman who have a committed friendship, a sexual relationship, financial interdependence, and a child together qualify as having a “conjugal relationship” for purposes of immigration law. “Ok,” you say, “is that news?” Well, you see, the man is same-sex-attracted. And so, the Toronto Star reports that this “groundbreaking judgment” enters “unchartered territory by broadening the definition of conjugal relationships to include mixed-orientation couples.” I’ve got news for the Star. This is well-chartered territory. Same-sex-attracted persons have been forming conjugal relationships (which, until...

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08 Oct 2020 Creation and Politics

by John Sikkema “The God who made the world and everything in it is Lord of heaven and earth… He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth.” – Paul in Athens (Acts 17). (Note: this article is part 2 of a series that began with "Christian Political Engagement in Light of Redemptive History".) “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God was before all things and before time. God is eternal and self-subsistent....

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04 Aug 2020 CBC’s strategic attack on Redeemer University

CBC is at it again. Last week, I explained how CBC’s reporting on a videographer’s decision to decline to film a same-sex wedding was designed to advance a particular narrative: that governments and society still have a lot of work to do to combat homophobia. This week, in a piece posing as investigative journalism, CBC bolsters this narrative and suggests next steps in the progressive battle against homophobia, namely: suing, defunding, and disaccrediting Christian schools. CBC targets Redeemer University, whose code of conduct forbids sexual intimacy outside of (heterosexual) marriage. Framing...

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29 Jul 2020 A Christian wedding videographer and the media’s homophobia narrative

by John Sikkema On July 20, Ms. Hamstra, who operates Caramount Pictures, replied to an email request from Ms. Roberts and Ms. Arthur to be the videographer for their wedding. “I say this with much care,” Hamstra wrote, “because I know your union is incredibly important to you, but we do not film homosexual weddings.” CBC released a story on this email exchange the very next day. “The refusal came 15 years to the day after Canada legalized same-sex marriage,” CBC highlights, as if the videographer planned this for maximal symbolic impact....

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