Archives for February 2021

Two New Titles

Two new books have just arrived, for which I was privileged to write forewords:

First, “A Workman Not Ashamed: Essays in Honor of Albert Martin,” edited by David Charles and Rob Ventura—which contains a variety of valuable articles by the likes of Conrad Mbewe, Michael Haykin, Rob Ventura, Richard Barcellos, Sam Waldron, etc.

Second, “The Man in the Gap: The Life and Ministry of Martin Holdt” by Rex Jefferies—an inspiring and informative biography of an influential pastor in South Africa who became one of my very best friends. The lives and ministries of Al Martin and Martin Holdt have touched thousands of people with remarkable outcomes for more than half a century.

I highly recommend both volumes.

“The Christian’s Reasonable Service” in Spanish

I am grateful to announce that 2 volumes of Wilhelmus à Brakel’s great classic, “The Christian’s Reasonable Service,” have just been released in Spanish, covering Prolegomena, Theology Proper, Anthropology in volume 1, and Christology and Ecclesiology in volume 2. Pray that God will bless this major work to tens of thousands in the Spanish-speaking world.

Considering Job

Another new RHB title that has just arrived: Anthony Selvaggio, “Considering Job: Reconciling Sovereignty and Suffering.” This practical 175-page paperback is so very helpful for the suffering. Give a copy to every suffering friend you have. And read it yourself—it will humble you and move you to worship our great God!

The Sermons of the Rev. Samuel Davies (3 vol.)

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones felt that Samuel Davies (1723-1761) was the greatest preacher America ever produced. I am excited that we (Reformation Heritage Books) have just reprinted his 3 volumes of sermons containing 82 sermons in 2000 pages on many important biblical, doctrinal, experiential, and practical subjects. Davies is easy to read, was a very gifted evangelist, and became well-known for his preaching both of law and of gospel. You will treasure these volumes.

Prayer Requests

Please remember us this week as we return to full-time teaching, as the Board of Trustees meets to interview several men for prospective faculty positions, and especially as we have two funerals to lead of very dear members of our church family who have been taken home: Betty VanderStel who passed away at the age of 88 (her funeral will take place at our Heritage Reformed Church on Thursday at 1:00 p.m.) and George VanStrien, who was on the cusp of turning 100 (his funeral will also take place at the HRC Church at 11:00 on Friday which coincides with his birth 100 years ago—his wife Edith died at age 95 less than 12 weeks ago). Both funerals will be live-streamed from our church:

Please remember these mourning families in prayer.

Home Safe and Sound

The Queen and I arrived safely home this evening from our time in North Carolina and Florida. I was privileged to preach nine times, and we had wonderful visits with several families (including three from Grand Rapids!), but most of last week was a special vacation time with just the two of us. I was also privileged to edit three of our forthcoming publications, as well as doing a last pass on the typeset copy of Reformed Systematic Theology, vol. 3. (For some odd reason, the cheapest vehicle rental last week was a large pick-up, which we will never rent again—these huge vehicles are way too hard to park!)

Marco Island

Mary and I enjoying a delicious outdoor dinner last night—fresh, locally caught mahi-mahi and grouper—on Marco Island in Florida as the sun was setting. The air was a bit chilly and windy (not like Michigan or Texas, however!), but the fellowship was warm!

Surviving the Fishbowl

Reformation Heritage Books just received its latest new title: “Surviving the Fishbowl: Letters to Pastors’ Kids,” edited by Catherine Stewart. As far as I know, this is the first good book for pastors’ kids. It covers numerous issues, including identity crisis, expectations, friendships, loving the church, criticism, loneliness, cultural change, depression, rebellion, financial crisis, and counting blessings.

Contributors include pastors and their wives, as well as pastors’ kids. My wife and I had the happy task of writing the chapter, “Count Your Blessings: Enjoying the benefits of Being a PK.” Pray for God’s benediction on this book not only for pastors and their families, but also for laypeople as they seek to understand pastors and their families and learn how to reach out more effectively to them.

North Carolina & Florida

Yesterday we had a wonderful Lord’s Day serving the Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. It was good to preach there on the subject of faith as it relates to the past, the present, and the future. The pastors, Scott Brown and Michael Davenport, asked me a series of questions in an afternoon Q&A session. Evening fellowship with the Noah and Brown families and some friends from the church and visitors to the conference at the Noahs’ home (see picture below) was thoroughly enjoyable as we reminisced on God’s ways and marvelous doings in relation to a number of God-fearing people and God-glorifying subjects.

This morning Mary and I are winging our way to Florida for several days of a much-needed vacation at a quiet condo. In addition to spending quality time with my dear wife, I hope to enjoy editing a final typeset copy of volume 3 of Reformed Systematic Theology on the Holy Spirit and His work of salvation (1200 pages). Please pray for a restful, re-energizing time for us, and for sweet fellowship with the Lord and each other.

Marriage Retreat

Last evening and today I enjoyed speaking five times for a Marriage Retreat organized by Scott Brown in his home (a great setting!) in Wake Forest, North Carolina for a few dozen couples. My subjects included Five Secrets for Developing a Better, God-glorifying Marriage; The Christ-centeredness of Marriage and a Husband’s Love; The Honorableness of Marriage and a Wife’s Respect; How to Develop Friendship and Handle Conflict in Marriage; and Utopian Marriage with Christ in Heaven. I also did a QA with Scott Brown and Jason Dohm who also gave a helpful address on Helping Our Children Form Marriages for the Glory of God. Pray for God’s blessing on this conference.