Remembering The Canons

Not everything in my (surface) mailbox at work is equally fascinating but on Monday afternoon I found these sent as a gift from someone (thank you!) from The Dort Store in Otsego, MI (about 37 miles south of Grand Rapids). These are replicas of the medallions presented to the delegates to the Synod of Dort (November 13, 1618–May 9, 1619), which met in the armory in Dordrecht, the Netherlands in order to resolve the controversy between the Remonstrants (the Arminians) and the orthodox. According to the store site, these medals reproduce the design of the unknown artist who depicted the Synod in detail on the obverse side and Mt Zion on the reverse. They have been minted according to the specifications of original specifications. The set also includes two easels and complimentary Cambridge Dort Commemorative Pen. One of my Heidelchildren recently gave me a magnifying glass so that I can now study these interesting medallions. They are a handsome reminder of a very significant event in the life of the Reformed churches, a proverbial turning point when, in the providence of God (the politics seemed almost entirely opposed to a good outcome until just before Synod) pastors and scholars gathered in the Netherlands from German provinces, Dutch Provinces, the Lowlands, and the British Isles (among other places) to consider a fundamental threat to the gospel. We may be thankful that they stood for the Reformation message of salvation by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), in Christ alone.

My colleagues and I will also be remembering the Synod of Dort at our annual faculty conference January 18-19, 2019, Remembering The Canons. The scheduled speakers are Bob Godfrey, Mike Horton, Joel Kim, Charles Telfer, and myself.

I am also scheduled to speak on the Canons of Dort at the 2018 Cheyenne Reformation Conference October 13, 2018 at North Woods Presbyterian Church, Cheyenne, WY and at St John’s Reformed Church in Lincoln, Neb on November 3, 2018.

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  1. The Canons of Dort are a great testimony of the Reformed churches’ commitment to the doctrines of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone, when we defended the most essential doctrines of the Christian faith. It is a pity that they have become to be so neglected and ignored, especially since our churches are being threatened by those who would promote precisely the same errors that the Canons of Dort were written to identify and condemn.

    • Angela, I see it as an issue that came up on another post. Reformed Churches are, in some ways, forgetting what it is to be Reformed. We lose sight of our identity. Just look at what ,tragically, the CRC has become as a federation. Man’s wisdom creeps into the Church, and it takes hold. I am grateful for Dr. Clark and his efforts.

    • I agree, I too am grateful for Dr. Clark and his efforts to help Reformed Christians to recover their theology, piety and practice. The Heidelblog has been a great help and encouragement for me to learn about and appreciate our Reformed heritage.

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