Archives for January 2022

Our Three Daughters

Yesterday evening we had a wonderful family dinner and fellowship with our children and grandchildren. It was a beehive of activity and love with seven grandchildren aged five and under. I took a picture of our three daughters as they suddenly realized they were all dressed similarly in black and white. What a blessing our family is to my Queen and me! At these gatherings, I cannot help but think about God’s unspeakable covenant mercies; He has been and is humblingly good to us beyond words.

“Theoretical-Practical Theology: The Works of God and the Fall of Man” by Petrus van Mastricht

The third of seven volumes of Petrus van Mastricht’s “Theoretical-Practical Theology: The Works of God and the Fall of Man” (Reformation Heritage Books, 680 pages), translated from Todd Rester and edited by me, has finally arrived today! The first two-thirds of the volume deals with the works of God, including His actions, decrees, predestination, election, reprobation, creation, the image of God, and providence. The last third considers man’s apostasy from God in the fall, original sin, actual sin, and the penalty and state of sin. The material is a theological feast: scripturally rich, experientially powerful, and practically wise. Jonathan Edwards claimed in his day that this was the best set of books ever written, with the exception of the Bible!

Weekly Sermon Quote – January 16, 2022

The Christian’s Reasonable Service Reprinted

I am very excited that at long last Reformation Heritage Books has reprinted Wilhelmus à Brakel’s 4-volume set, “The Christian’s Reasonable Service” (about 3000 pages), which combines a very simply written systematic theology with ethics in a biblical, Reformed, and experiential way that addresses the mind and the soul equally well.

Brakel wrote this major work for church members and it was hugely popular in the Netherlands in the 18th century—in fact, it became nearly as popular as “Pilgrim’s Progress” in English. We have sold well over 20,000 sets of these precious volumes since Bart Elshout translated it and I edited it in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and have never received one complaint on the set. Thousands of ministers and church leaders have profited immensely from it. Brakel’s practical and experiential applications at the close of each chapter are worth their weight in gold.

I have often said that if I was put on a desert island and could choose to have only one book with me beside the Bible, I would definitely choose Brakel—not just because I would then get four books(!), but because of the amazing biblical, doctrinal, experiential, and practical material found in these volumes. This set of books is definitely a “must read” for every serious Christian who wants to grow in faith and holiness and in a close relationship with Christ. I am so very glad it is back in print (for the 8th time in 28 years)!

God’s Amazing Love for His Zion

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching on “God’s Amazing Love for His Zion” for the Community Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Kalamazoo, Michigan in this vintage church shown below. Mary and I had some serendipitous fellowship afterward with a couple that I knew well from childhood and hadn’t seen for decades as well as with another couple who were Mary’s second cousins whom she did not know!

Today I spoke on “Cultivating Holiness in Church Leadership” for the ministerial staff at Magnify Church in Rockford, Michigan and then later spoke in our studio on “Ten Marks of Reformed Experiential Preaching” for a virtual ministers’ conference to be held next week. Please pray for God’s benediction on these gatherings.

“Fighting Satan: Knowing His Weaknesses, Strategies, and Defeat” in Korean

When it rains, it pours. This is the sixth volume of my writings that I have received from Seoul, Korea in the last week—God is so good! I am grateful for the publication of “Fighting Satan: Knowing His Weaknesses, Strategies, and Defeat” in Korean (Seoul: rMaeng2, 271 pages). Please pray that this book will be a great help in the spiritual warfare that Korean Christians, like all Christians, are engaged in. May God help us all in this intense Romans 7:14-25 battle!

“One Man and One Woman: Marriage and Same-Sex Relations” in Korean

We received another surprise today from Asia: “One Man and One Woman: Marriage and Same-Sex Relations” in Korean (Seoul: rMaeng2, 118 pages), co-authored by Paul Smalley and me.

Please pray for God’s blessing on this straightforward treatment of what the Bible has to say about marriage and homosexuality.

Two New Short Paperbacks at RHB

Reformation Heritage Books has just released two more new short paperbacks that I had the privilege of proofreading: an important book on the Lord’s Day by the Scottish theologian Robert Haldane (1764-1842), “Sanctification of the Sabbath: The Permanent Obligation to Observe the Lord’s Day” and a delightful treatment of Psalm 23 by our good friend, Ian Hamilton, “Our Heavenly Shepherd: Comfort and Strength from Psalm 23.”

Cessationist: A Biblical Perspective

Just finished an hour interview in our studio by David Lovi (photo 1, on my right) and Tim Cannon (on left) on cessationism for their upcoming film, “Cessationist: A Biblical Perspective”—a timely and much-needed project. Mary and I spent three hours with them over dinner last evening as well, together with their videographer, John Van Der Merwe, and their and our accompanying friends, Larry and Lisa Engel (photo 2). Pray that God will use this film to honor Himself and persuade many of the finality and authority of His Word.

Robert Hawker’s “The Poor Man’s Morning and Evening Portions” Back In Print

I am excited to announce that we have printed for the fifth time (the last printing was 2011) my favorite daily devotional, Robert Hawker’s “The Poor Man’s Morning and Evening Portions” (Reformation Heritage Books, 935 pages). For the believer, here is daily devotional writing at is best—warmly Christ-centered, eminently practical, and personally searching. If you’ve never read through this wonderful devotional, get it now and use it this year—all 730 devotionals—or use the 365 morning devotions for this year and the 365 evening devotions for next year!