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Bouwman Spiritual Order For the Church

Spiritual Order For the Church

by Clarence Bouwman


This is a quite extensive work on church polity from a Reformed perspective (which I would assume they have a tendency towards Presbyterian polity).

Baxter Directions for a Peaceful Death
is an article of 15 points on a Christian approaching his death and what he should be thinking about. This theme is good for the sick, but everybody should also meditate on these things. (Baxter is reformed).

  • Key to the Church Order of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia
  • Key to the Church Order of the Canadian Reformed Churches

Evaluation by David Cox

This is another important document in the Dutch Reformed Church, and this document would hold importance for Reformed and Calvinist students in general. The document is arranged in 81 articles and 3 appendices. It would define the break between the Catholic Church and the Dutch Reformed, looking at arguments against Papal authority. This would make the work good for people seeking information on Catholicism or the Reformation. There are parts on Lutheran Church Government, as well as general definitions of elders, ministers, deacons, offices, etc. within church government in general. So students of church polity might be interested in this work as well.

Chapter Content


Part I: From the Bible to the Church Order

Chapter 1 Scripture Principles Forming Reformed Church Polity

1. Understanding the Concept
1.1 Christ is Master in Church
1.2 How Does Christ Rule His Church?
1.3 Church Polity Defined
2. Christ’s Authority is Entrusted to the Local Church
2.1 The Authority of the Apostles
2.2 The Authority of their Replacements
2.3 The Principle of Local Authority
3. Towards a Bond of Churches
3.1 From One Church to Many Churches
3.2 Churches are Autonomous but Not Independent
3.3 Churches Need to Federate Together
3.4 To Join a Bond of Churches is Voluntary

Chapter 2
Historical Overview of Church Government
1. Papal Church Government

1.1 Pressures on the Eldership in the Early Churches
1.2 Developments in the Eldership
1.3 Characteristics of Papal Church Government
2. Lutheran Church Government
2.1 Rejection of Papal Authority
2.2 Replacement by a New Authority Structure
2.3 Characteristics of Lutheran Church Government
3. Reformed / Presbyterial Church Government
3.1 Martin Bucer
3.2 John Calvin
3.3 Elder Centred
3.4 Characteristics of Reformed Church Government
4. Congregationalism / Independentism
4.1 Development
4.2 Characteristics of Congregational Church Government
5. Collegialism
5.1 Development
5.2 Characteristic of Collegial Church Government

Chapter 3
Development of Church Polity in the Netherlands

1. Background History
2. The Convent of Wezel, 1568
2.1 Principle 1: No Lording over Others
2.2 Principle 2: The Need for Ecclesiastical Assemblies
3. From Wezel to Emden
4. The Synod of Emden, 1571
5. The Synod of Dort, 1618-1619
Part II: The Roots of the Church Order in the Bible
The Church Order

Chapter 4
Offices and Supervision of Doctrine Articles 2-27

1. The Offices
1.1 Elders
1.2 Ministers
1.3 Deacons
2. The Calling to Office
2.1 Who calls to office?
2.2 How is a person called to office?
2.3 Who is eligible to be called to office?
2.4 Preparation for Ordination
2.5 The Place the Call is Exercised
2.6 Equality of the Called
2.7 Duration of the Call
2.8 Material Support for the Office-bearer
3. The Work of the Office-bearers
3.1 Elders – Ruling and Teaching
3.2 Deacons
3.3 Office-Bearers and the Government

Chapter 5
Articles 28-50

1. Development of Assemblies
2. Legitimacy of the Assemblies
3. Nature of the Assemblies
3.1 Consistory
3.2 Classis
3.3 Synod
3.4 Regional Synod
4. Relationship Between the Assemblies
5. Delegation to Major Assemblies
6. Frequency of Assemblies
6.1 Consistory
6.2 Classis
6.3 Synod
6.4 Regional Synod
7. Tasks of the Assemblies
7.1 Consistory
7.2 Classis
7.3 Regional Synod
7.4 General Synod
8. Other Matters Pertaining to Assemblies
8.1 Prayer and Censure
8.2 Tasks of the chairman and clerk I Record Keeping
8.3 Constitution of a Consistory /Places without a Consistory
8.4 Mission Work
9. Assemblies in the FRCA without Formal Classes

Chapter 6
Worship, Sacraments and Ceremonies

Articles 51-68
1. Worship
1.1 Church Services on the Lord’s Day
1.2 Two Church Services Per Sunday
1.3 Singing in the Worship Services
2. Sacraments
2.1 Baptism
2.2 The Lord’s Supper
3. Records and Attestations
3.1 Church Records
3.2 Attestations
4. Other Items
4.1 Ecclesiastical Feast Days
4.2 Days of Prayer
4.3 Marriage
4.4 Funerals

Chapter 7
Church Discipline

Articles 69-79

1. The Need for Church Discipline
1.1 The Church is Holy
1.2 Sin May Have No Place in the Church
1.3 The Wages of Sin is Death
2. The Purpose of Church Discipline
3. Who Must Exercise Church Discipline?
4. Against Whom must Church Discipline be Administered?
5. What Sins are Worthy of Church Discipline?
6. The ‘How’ of Church Discipline
6.1 Determination of Repentance
6.2 Discipline of Communicant Members
6.3 Congregational Involvement
6.4 Purpose Achieved
6.5 Discipline of Non-communicant Members
7. Sin Amongst Office-Bearers
7.1 Manner of Discipline
7.2 Which Sins require Suspension?
7.3 Mutual Discipline

Chapter 8
Concluding Articles

Articles 80, 81

1. Principle 1: No Lording over Others
2. Principle 2: Observance and Revision of the Church Order
2.1 Observance of the Church Order
2.2 Revision of the Church Order


Appendix 1 Church Order of Dort (as adopted in 1618-1619)
Appendix 2 Church Order of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia
Appendix 3 Church Order of the Canadian Reformed Churches


Bouwman-church-order Bok
Bouwman-church-order Bok
1.4 MB

evc06 The Young Age of the Earth
We explain why scientific evidence supports a young earth against evolutions long time spans. Evolutionists insist on extremely long time spans in earth's past and formation, because evolution "is not seen", i.e., there is no present evidence of the evolutionary theory process today. So they insert time such that no scientist can study it nor observe it. This tract clears this point up from a creationist's point of view. God formed the earth instantly, not over long time spans.
Topics: The Salinity of the Oceans | Time is important | The Long Spans of Time | Bayes Law | First law of Thermodynamics | Second law of Thermodynamics | The Error of Presuming that everything continues Today as It Happened in the Past | Topsoil Testimony | The Accumulation of Space Dust on Meteors | The Sun, the Meteors, and the Moon | The Magnetic Field | The Deterioration in the Rotation of the Earth | Helium in the Atmosphere | The Process to Discern Age by Carbon 14.
Read the Tract: evc06 The Young Age of the Earth.

MySwordmodules is a website dedicate to the MySword Bible Program for Androird devices. We host MySword Modules.

Missionary on Furlough Spiritual Needs
is an article by David Cox (veteran missionary) to help pastors and missionaries understand missionary needs.
Excerpt: When a pastor "takes in a missionary on deputation or furlough", he ministers to that missionary.... Pastors also need this encouragement as much as missionaries need it. When they get together to fellowship, they are able to encourage one another. But every pastor ministering to a returning missionary should encourage them along these lines of faithfulness and reward in eternity.
Topics: Introduction | Unfit Missionaries that should not be missionaries at all | Stop the Merry-go-round, I want to get off | Some Tips for Pastors Encouraging Missionaries | 1. Do not undermine their way of leading or doing the ministry | 2. The two essential elements are talk and prayer. | 3. Get more than just the pastor involved in praying for the missionary. | Remind your missionary by asking for an update if it has been a while. | Effectively disseminate prayer requests.
Read the Article: Missionary on Furlough Spiritual Needs.

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