Archives for April 2022

Chapel Message by Dr. Changwon Shu and Seminary Collaboration

This morning, my good friend, Dr. Changwon Shu, who is staying in our home for some days with his wife, Myoung Ja, gave us a strong chapel message at PRTS on the need to preach Christ alone (1 Cor. 1:25). Changwon has been a leader in South Korea for decades in promoting the Reformed experiential faith as professor at Chongshin Theological Seminary, president of the Korea Institute for Reformed Preaching (KIRP), and editor of the Korean Banner of Truth. My wife and I have been privileged to stay in their home on most of our trips to Korea.

Meanwhile, faculty representatives from Reformed seminaries in Brazil, Columbia, Germany, Hungary, Honduras, Serbia, and Chile had another good and fruitful day meeting at our seminary with some of our PRTS faculty and staff to collaborate on seminary education—especially for the master’s level degree as an embedded academic and practical program of working in the churches. Tomorrow this collaboration conference concludes. Continue to pray for God’s benediction on these important meetings.

Consultation Meeting with Professors from Eight Seminaries

We are humbled and excited to be hosting a consultation meeting with professors from eight seminaries for the next three days. I just had the privilege of opening these days of meetings with a meditation on Paul’s apostolic model for Christian ministry in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, which is focused on preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The focus of the consultation and collaboration during these days is on the establishing of an embedded MDiv program, so that seminary students receive not only a full academic program that focuses on godly piety in preparation for the ministry, but also have their studies embedded in hands-on work in the churches. Representatives from various Reformed seminaries are present with us from Germany, Serbia, Columbia, Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, Honduras, and Chile.

Pray that these meetings may be fruitful and that collaboration efforts in seminary training may be enhanced around the globe as a result. The whole Christian world urgently needs sound, biblical, Reformed, confessional, experiential, and practical seminaries to co-labor for the advance of Christ’s cause around the world by training men for pulpit and pastoral ministry to the glory of God. Please pray for us in these days.

The Kamp’s 66th Wedding Anniversary

The Queen and I had a wonderful time taking her/our dear parents, Henry and Lena Kamp, out to eat for their 66th wedding anniversary. We reminisced about some of the amazing changes they have seen in the world during their 2/3 of a century of marriage. We love them dearly, and are so grateful that they are still doing so well in their own home. Pray that God will continue to uphold them for the months and years to come, D.V. (Dad hopes to become 90 five months from now).

Blessings to all of you for the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection tomorrow. As has been said, let us never forget that the best news the world ever heard came from a graveyard: “He is not here, for he is risen, as he said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matt. 28:6)! For Christ, the Rock of ages inside the sepulcher, the heavy stone at His tomb was only a small pebble. Rejoice that His resurrection is the Amen of all of God’s promises, but remember as John Blanchard wrote, “The resurrection of Jesus demands not our applause but our allegiance, not our compliments but our capitulation.” So, like Caleb, by the Spirit’s grace, “follow God fully” (Num. 14:24)!

Good Friday Services

Today I had the privilege of preaching twice on our Savior’s death––once this afternoon with six other preachers on the seven last words of Christ (including my Assistant Paul Smalley and one of our PRTS students, Paul van Engelenhoven, who is pastoring Seventh Reformed Church where the 3-hour service was held––see photos) and then again this evening in our own church, I preached on “It is finished” (John 19:30).

What a Savior true believers possess––at best we preachers can only scratch the surface of proclaiming His infinite love to hell-worthy sinners! I wish you and yours every blessing in the crucified and risen Lord of glory!

Watch or listen to “It Is Finished” below:

Two New Titles by Geoffrey Thomas

I am excited to announce that Reformation Heritage Books has just released two very good books by my close Welsh friend, Geoffrey Thomas, who by God’s grace, is a great preacher and great writer. I am grateful to have had the privilege of editing both of them. The first is titled, In the Shadow of the Rock, which is a fascinating 325-page autobiography that doesn’t only deal with his own life but also provides his thoughts about his fifty-year relationship with his Aberystwyth flock and about other friends who have impacted his life. I especially found his section on his former professors at Westminster to be fascinating. The whole is written in Geoff’s inimitable, transparent, fascinating style. This book is a real page-turner; you will enjoy it thoroughly.

The second newly released book by Geoff is his Everyone’s Invited, which explains in 100 pages what it means for sinners to come to Jesus Christ. In this book, as Paul Washer writes, “the reader will encounter a wonderful Savior, great encouragement, and wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Dutch Reformed Translation Society Meeting

Yesterday afternoon we had our biannual Dutch Reformed Translation Society meeting of the Board of Directors, which is now chaired by Dr. Adriaan Neele, and includes more than a dozen brothers from various Reformed denominations in America and the Netherlands. (I have had the privilege of serving as its vice-president since its founding nearly thirty years ago—how time flies!) The society has been responsible for the translation and publication (through Baker or Reformation Heritage Books) of more than a dozen Reformed books, including Herman Bavinck’s “Reformed Dogmatics” (4 vols.). Presently, our major project is a 7-volume translation of Peter van Mastricht’s Reformed systematic theology, which Jonathan Edwards felt was the best work ever written beside the Bible!

In the photo, DRTS members are signing our two newest volumes for our lifetime donors, both published by RHB since our last meeting: van Mastricht’s volume 3 on “The Works of God and the Fall of Man” and Geerhardus Vos’s “Natural Theology.” We are hoping to publish volume 4 of van Mastricht on “Christ” by the end of the year, D.V. Please pray for God’s continued blessing as we strive to spread the Reformed faith and strengthen the church of Christ.

To see the books that have been published, to join the society and get discounts on the published titles, and/or to make tax-exempt donations to DRTS, etc., please visit the DRTS website.

Happy Anniversary to my Parents-in-Law

Wishing a very blessed and happy anniversary to my dear parents-in-law, Henry and Lena Kamp. God has blessed them with 66 years of marriage and faithful service to the church of Christ and to the family. Here they are going to church last Lord’s Day (at the ages of 89 and 87!), as they have faithfully all their lives. By God’s grace, my father-in-law’s humility and my mother-in-law’s cheerfulness in Christ have been a powerful combination in leading the family in the principles of God’s Word. We love you, Dad and Mom—a lot!

Hospitality in Florida

We were at Grace Presbyterian Church in Stuart, Florida this past Lord’s Day, where I preached twice on the sufferings of our Savior. We enjoyed the congregation immensely.

Manny, the “candyman,” offered me some candy from his bag after the service. About 14 years ago, Manny and his family were planning to move to Atlanta on a Monday morning. But on the Sunday before, their teenage son got into an accident with the family car near the church. Pastor Bernie VanEyk (seen in photo #1 behind my left shoulder) and others went to minister to this distraught family. Their son was not injured, but the family car was totaled and their plans were shredded. But they received so much love from the church folks that they stayed in Florida, and they have been coming to Grace Presbyterian ever since. Manny interprets sermons into Spanish, and he is at the center of anything that involves serving food. The infectious love and kindness of Pastor Bernie is palpable in this church, in Manny, and in many others.

Yesterday morning, we went out for a relaxing brunch with Bernie and his wife Patricia, who is a pro at warm, Christian hospitality. They are both from Ontario and have been at Grace for 17 years. Whenever we drove through the VanEyk’s neighborhood, Bernie would drive very slowly, and look for neighbors to wave to. We stopped to chat to a couple boys walking. He told us the story of a lady who survived cancer. He intentionally befriends as many as possible. He said with fervor, “I just want my whole neighborhood to know and love Jesus!” We have been inspired on our Christian journey these days, also by spending time with the warm VanEyk family.

Spring Break

This week was PRTS’s seminary break, so I had no teaching obligations. After spending several wonderful days with children and grandchildren in western Florida (photo #1: grandchildren rolling around in the sand), enjoying bird life on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico (photo #2: White Ibis), as well as enjoying biking dozens of miles with the Queen (photo #3) and going out to eat with her (photo #4: having prawns and grouper), we are now heading for Stuart, Florida, where I hope to preach twice tomorrow for our good friend, Rev. Bernie VanEyk at Grace Presbyterian Church. We are really looking forward to worshiping tomorrow before flying back home on Monday, D.V. Lord’s Day blessings to you all!

Caleb––A Man Whose Life Was Impacted by the Knowledge of God

What is an example of someone in the Bible whose life was impacted by the knowledge of God?

Caleb followed the Lord fully his whole life because God put “a different spirit in him” (Numbers 14:24). He feared God with a child-like fear. He loved the Lord and hated sin. You read that the knowledge of God was so strong in Caleb’s heart that, even when Israel became angry with him about entering the promised land, he would not back down. He had knowledge of God and His will and wanted to do it.

The fruit of knowing God savingly is that you want to do His will. Caleb was willing to die because He knew God.