Archives for October 2019

Please Pray for PRTS Alumnus Andrew Farr

Andrew Farr, one of our PRTS alumni

Andrew Farr, one of our PRTS alumni, just stopped in to say goodbye to me and to have a time of prayer. He will be leaving tomorrow for Portland, Oregon where he will be ordained as the pastor of an OPC church there. Please pray with me that God will abundantly bless him there to the building up of Christ’s kingdom and the pulling down of the strongholds of Satan, so that the saints will be matured, the unsaved saved, and our Triune God glorified.

The Christian’s True Identity

Another new, excellent RHB title has arrived: Jonathan Cruse’s “The Christian’s True Identity: What It Means to Be in Christ.” Jonathan is an OPC minister in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He writes engagingly and popularly yet deeply on the theme of union with Christ, covering the order of salvation from election to glorification, all the while relating this glorious doctrine to the day-to-day challenges of the Christian life. I love the Christ-centeredness of this book, and if you are a believer, you will too. You can order it here:

The Concise Marrow of Theology

We are excited to announce that the classic by the Swiss Reformed theologian, Johann Heinrich Heidegger (1633-1698), “The Concise Marrow of Theology,” has finally been translated by Casey Carmichael and printed in English by Reformation Heritage Books. Having had the privilege of serving as final proofreader of this 210-page sound work on theology, I can assure you that it is a gem that was long buried in Latin from the period of Reformed Scholasticism. We are thrilled to have it in English and pray that God will use it abundantly for Christians and scholars alike in our needy day. You can order it here:

Home Sweet Home

After three back-to-back trips—the tour in New England, the conference in North Carolina, and the preaching in California—we’re back home as of early this morning (before 1:00 a.m.), so the first thing we did after thanking God, was to have our typical late night snack—the Queen, her cheese and crackers, and me, my favorite breakfast cereal. It sure feels good to be back home—and to get back to lecturing! Thanks so much for your prayers and support over the last weeks.

Three Reformation Sermons

Mary and I left the NCFIC conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon to fly to Los Angeles, California, arriving there by 9:00 in the evening. Yesterday I preached two Reformation sermons for the Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church pastored by a PRTS alumni, Dr. Nathan Eshelman (first picture, with our wives)—the morning sermon was on justification by faith alone from Romans 3:23-28 and the afternoon sermon was on ten lasting fruits from the Reformation (Rom. 11:33—12:2).

At 5:00 p.m., I felt helped in preaching a third time on “Is the Reformed Faith Evangelistic?” (Acts 13:47-49) for several hundred people from seven NAPARC churches that came together for a Reformation evening service. Afterward, the fellowship lasted to 9:00 p.m.! We felt like we made several new friends. I particularly enjoyed speaking with two Reformed open-air preachers, who asked me to do some open-air preaching with them next time we come to California, D.V. (something I am not very good at, I’m afraid, but do want to learn to do more effectively; see second picture). Today we are flying to home sweet home!

NCFIC Conference

The NCFIC Conference in Ridgecrest, NC

We arrived safely back from our PRTS tour group with forty friends, visiting Reformed, Puritan and Pilgrim sites throughout New England, on Wednesday evening, and found ourselves winging our way less than 12 hours later early on Thursday morning to speak for the NCFIC conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at this conference for ten years in a row now. This conference draws about 1500 attendees, more than half of which are children and teenagers. Nearly all present are home-schooling families, many of which have anywhere from six to sixteen children.

This year’s theme is “Hope for the Family: Navigating Through Cultural Chaos.” I spoke yesterday morning on “How to Use and Abuse This World and Its Culture” and this morning I hope to speak on “Following God Fully.” Other plenary speakers are Scott Brown, Al Mohler, Jeff Pollard, John Snyder, Clarence Simmons, Anthony Mathenia, Jason Dohm, and Carlton McLeod. Several of the messages we have heard so far have been outstanding. Our new Puritan Documentary and other books have been selling well in the book room. Pray that God will richly bless this conference to many families.

Old Tennent Presbyterian Church

Old Tennent Presbyterian Church
Gravesite of John Tennent in the Old Scots Burying Ground

Tuesday afternoon, our last stop for the trip, was the Old Tennent Presbyterian Church in Manalapan, NJ, where Whitefield, Edwards, Frelinghuysen, and the Tennent brothers preached. William Tennent is buried under the floor in front of the pulpit. Nearby is the table on which David Brainerd served the Lord’s Supper to the Native Americans. We stopped by the Old Scots Burying Ground, where John Boyd, the first Presbyterian minister trained in the New World, was buried. Kenneth and Fikre scraped away some moss and saw that John Tennent was also buried there.

Princeton Cemetery

Group photo at Princeton Cemetery
Gravestone of Charles Hodge
Gravestones of B. B. Warfield and his wife

From Princeton University our PRTS tour group walked several blocks to the renowned Princeton Cemetery, established in 1757, and now owned and operated by Nassau Presbyterian Church, where we took a group picture (first picture). The cemetery contains the graves of several Princeton College presidents and some of their wives, including Jonathan Edwards and Samuel Davies, as well as long row of professors who served at Princeton Seminary, including Archibald Alexander and Charles Hodge (second picture). We also were grateful to find the gravestones of Benjamin B. Warfield and his wife (third picture, with Michael Haykin). Dr. Haykin and I gave a half dozen mini-lectures at these different gravesites. It was a humbling, moving, and encouraging morning.

Princeton University

Princeton Chapel
Statue of John Witherspoon
Senate Hall at Nassau Hall
President’s Home

Tuesday began with a memorable PRTS tour group visit to Princeton University in New Jersey, where a guide took us to the famous Princeton Chapel (first picture), an impressive statue of John Witherspoon who served as president at Princeton and was the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence (second picture), Princeton’s oldest building (Nassau Hall) which includes the president’s office and the Senate Hall (third picture), and the President’s Home where Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Davies, Ashbel Green, and other seminary presidents and luminaries lived (fourth picture).

Tour of Yale University and Jonathan Edwards Center

Jon Hinkson and Joel Beeke

Monday was an outstanding day on our PRTS tour, as our group visited Yale University where we were treated to an amazing, informative, passionate two-hour tour by Jon Hinkson on Yale’s campus about the university’s Reformed orthodox and godly beginnings and then its subsequent history in which liberalism and heresy won the day (first picture). It was perhaps the best tour presentation I have ever heard; we learned so much, both about our godly mentors and about the dangers of liberalism.

Jonathan Edwards Center lecture

After that, we visited the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale, where JEC’s director gave us a very helpful 1.5 hour lecture on all that they (Dr. Minkema and Dr. Neele, etc.) are doing to promote Edwards’s writings around the world (second picture). Pray earnestly that God will continue to use PRTS to promote the very Reformed orthodox, experiential truths that Yale was originally founded on and that we will not undergo mission drift from that foundation.