Public Theology

26 Mar 2018 Scripture, not state law, instructs us how to do church discipline Part 2 of 3

An ARPA Three-Part series on Church and State in Canada By John Sikkema and André Schutten Two weeks ago, in the first of our three-part series, we discussed foundations. We explained that God divides human authority between at least three institutions: the family, the church, and the state. Their authority or power comes from God and is limited by Scripture. The church must defer to the state in matters of state jurisdiction but cannot defer to the state in matters of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, particularly the preaching of the gospel and the exercise...

Read More

14 Mar 2018 Who holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Part 1 of 3

An ARPA Three-Part series on Church and State in Canada By John Sikkema and André Schutten The back story… A few years ago, a man named Randy Wall was “disfellowshipped” from the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses in Calgary. The elders deemed Wall “insufficiently repentant” for drunkenness and verbal abuse of his wife. Mr. Wall didn’t think this was fair. Wall was a real estate agent and about half of Wall’s customers were Witnesses. But after he was disfellowshipped, they refused to do business with him. So he took the Congregation to court,...

Read More

23 Jan 2018 LN feature – God and Government: Apply now!

ARPA Canada Grassroots Manager, Colin Postma On the feature this week, a look ahead to this year’s God and Government conference, which is being planned for April 18-20th in Ottawa. The guest is ARPA’s Grassroots Manager, Colin Postma, who is one of the main organizers of the event. -------   LN: We don't often find the words "God" and "government" even in the same sentence. In some sectors of society, there's an outright hostility to "mixing religion and politics." But that's the title of this conference. This is pretty counter-cultural. CP: Well, Al, ultimately that's the mission...

Read More

03 Jan 2018 I belong! True happiness doesn’t come from autonomy

By Mark Penninga In his recently-published sketchbook/devotional Just Thinking, Jason Bouwman includes an entry called “Start with ‘Whose?’” Bouwman is working off a popular TED talk by Simon Sinek about inspiring people to action, one that I have showed to the ARPA team a couple of times. Sinek convincingly demonstrates that if we want to get people to do something, we need to start with answering “Why?” It’s well worth watching. But Bouwman argues that Sinek has not gone deep enough. The “Heidelberg Catechism teaches us to start not with ‘Why?’ but with...

Read More