THEODORE VANDERGROE (1705 – 1784) is one of the last and most well known representatives of the Dutch Further Reformation. He devoted fifty-four years of his life to faithful preaching and pastoral ministry, serving two Reformed churches in the Netherlands. His sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism, published in two volumes in English for the first time, have long been regarded as his most important work (adapted from the dust cover).
The following quote is taken from Lord’s Day 9 on God as creator. After dismissing two aberrant views concerning creation he states the following:
“Behold, thus Jehovah God created and fashioned out of nothing the heavens, the earth, and all that is therein. We do not want to debate any longer with those, such as the Socinians and many old heretics, who challenge this truth. The debating of these truths and their defense is in our judgment better suited for the schools and special catechism classes than for the pulpit. In the pulpit, we must expound the truth in all simplicity, confirm it from the Holy Scriptures, and bind it upon the hearts of men.1 We believe that this yields much more edification than engaging in extensive debates and refuting all manner of errors that militate against our doctrine (1 emphasis my own).”
The same should be said and applied to other topics as well. I believe that it is imperative that in the worship service it is the Word of God and the Gospel itself that must be proclaimed, taught and celebrated. There are other venues for issues such as family and political concerns. The Word of God proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit alone can nourish the people of God. Let us worship the LORD in Spirit and in truth, proclaim His Word, and celebrate His sacraments in our churches on Sunday mornings. All is to be done for His Glory.