Archives for October 2021

Old School Conference

Mary and I hope to fly to Brazil today where we hope to speak at the Old School Conference, October 30-November 2, organized by pastors Paulo Junior (picture below) and Danilo, his assistant

It will be held at their church: Rua Afonso Pena, 776. Cidade Nova. Franca, São Paulo. Brazil. There will be 14 plenary sessions from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening. Among other speakers are our good friends, Josafa Vasconcelos and Heber Junior. Mary will be speaking to the women at 3:30 p.m. on the Lord’s Day, and I will be speaking as follows: “The Puritans on Regeneration, Coming to Christ, and Conversion” (Lord’s Day, 10:45 a.m.); “The Puritan View of Sanctification” (Monday, 9:15 p.m.), and “The Puritan View of the Church’s Mission on Earth: Family, Church, and Society” (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.).

Join thousands of others, if you can, by linking up with us online: (you need to register for the online transmission). If you can’t join us, we still covet your prayers for divine benediction on this conference.

Weekly Sermon Quote – October 24, 2021

Three Reformation Chapels

This morning I had the privilege of speaking three Reformation chapels in a row: first, for high-schoolers; second, for elementary students (photo #1 for half of the students present); third, for the Expositors Seminary (photo #2–some of the students in the Comstock Park, Michigan campus), which has eleven campuses (photo #3 for the other 10 campuses coming in on Zoom).

For the first two chapels, I provided 12 practical lessons for life from the life of John Calvin, and for the last chapel (to seminary students) I spoke on “sola Scriptura” and its intimate connection with the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. (Speaking at chapels is one of my favorite things to do!)

Pray that God would make young children, teenagers, and seminary students all over this nation—and the world—to become genuine sons and daughters of the Reformation!

The Works of Thomas Goodwin

As a teenager, God used Thomas Goodwin’s writings more than anyone else’s to bring me to liberty in Christ, and to grow me in Christ. I wept often as I read his “Christ the Mediator” at the richness and fullness of my Savior and Lord. Already then I dreamt of one day publishing Goodwin’s entire Works of 12 volumes in a beautiful hardcover edition. Half a century later that dream finally became reality today as I just received a few hours ago this handsome set of books newly published by Reformation Heritage Books. I am excited, moved, and humbled by and about this publication.

In my 23-page introduction in volume 1 of this set of Goodwin I provide you with a reading plan for the twelve volumes, suggesting that you begin with some of his smaller and more practical works (such as “Patience,” “A Child of Light walking in Darkness,” and “The Vanity of Thoughts”), then moving on to his more classic works that explain major doctrines of the faith (such as “Man’s Guiltiness Before God,” “Justifying Faith,” and “Christ the Mediator”), and finally, reading his 900-page masterful exposition of Ephesians 1 and 2.

Read Goodwin slowly, meditatively, and prayerfully, and you will reap spiritual dividends far beyond what you can imagine. You will understand as you read why Goodwin has been my favorite Puritan author for most of my life.

What better year-end gift could you give a God-fearing spouse, child, parent, or good friend than the Works of Thomas Goodwin? You can order it here:

May God bless this angel’s food in abundance to grow you in soul, in mind, and in life.

Zekerheid Van Het Geloof: Volgens de Puriteinen

A welcome new arrival: I am grateful to Jan Zeeman for ably translating my book for lay people on assurance of faith (“Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith,” Christian Focus, 2017) into Dutch as “Zekerheid van het geloof: volgens de puriteinen,” and to De Banier for publishing it. Pray that God will bless it to many Dutch readers to assist them in their personal struggles of knowing and growing in assurance of their own salvation in Christ Jesus.

It can be purchased here:

Weekly Sermon Quote – October 3, 2021

Milan, Italy – Day 5

On Wednesday, we toured Milan and saw the marble cathedral that is built on the spot where Ambrose baptized Augustine after his remarkable conversion (photo #1). The cathedral represented one of the foremost places that promoted the Counter Reformation in the 16th century.

Afterward, we began our lengthy journey home, arriving in Grand Rapids at midnight on Thursday—tired from our 18-day itinerary and 30 speaking occasions but humbled by God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout our journey. Please pray for God’s blessing to follow this trip. In God’s kind providence, we received a good view of the snow-capped mountains and glaciers of Greenland on the flight home (photo #2) and we also got bumped up to the first row of business class seats on our 11-hour flight from Istanbul, Turkey to Chicago. Apparently, they recognized that my wife is indeed the Queen!

Monte Tamaro, Switzerland

Last Tuesday we had a day off with no speaking. Keith and Debbie Jones took us and a friend (Marina) to the Monte Tamaro in the Alps in Switzerland where we took a cable car a good piece of the way up the mountains and then hiked for close to 6 miles on a rather stony, rough path up and down the mountains surrounded by stunning scenery (photos #1-3).

Afterwards, we devoured a tasty meal of bratwurst and fries (photo #4).

Milan, Italy – Day 3

This week Monday afternoon Keith Jones and three brothers (Jonathan, Danilo, and Daniel (photo #1), took us to the church site in Milan, Italy where Augustine was buried (photo #2).

Though the church was closed, in God’s kind providence we found someone to open the church and give us a very informative tour for half an hour.
Later in the afternoon and evening, I thoroughly enjoyed giving four hours of lectures on Reformed experiential preaching to a few dozen ministers (photo #3). They asked excellent questions.

Throughout the weekend, both the pastor’s wife, Debbie, and Pastor Keith served as excellent translators for me—and treated us superbly. After my last session, Mary felt helped in speaking to 65 women on “Blooming in Your Church Garden” (photo #4).

Milan, Italy

Last Saturday, Mary and I flew from Athens, Greece to Milan, Italy in the morning. At the airport, we discovered that we had failed to fill out one of the forms that was needed for my entrance into Italy, but by God’s grace we managed—not without stress—to complete the job in order to board the plane on time.

We were warmly greeted at the airport in Milan by Keith Jones, pastor of the Veritas International Church of Milan, and a young pastor named Marco who was wonderfully converted about half a dozen years ago. Pastor Jones served as the organizer of my itinerary, which included speaking ten times in three days. First up was a conference of five messages for about 150 attendees (photo #1; which is not a small conference for Italy!)—three addresses on Saturday and two sermons on the Lord’s Day—that revolved around the theme of how to live for God’s glory, particularly as exemplified by the Puritans. On Saturday, I spoke on vital Christianity for God’s glory, marriage and children-rearing for God’s glory, and embracing a Trinitarian view of God for God’s glory. On the Lord’s Day, I preached on worshiping God for His glory and on being united in utopian marriage with Christ for His glory. After the service on Lord’s day evening, I gave an address to a few dozen ministers and elders on the need for and challenges of holiness in the ministry (photo #2).