Archives for July 7, 2022

The Puritan Vision of the Scriptures–Conference in Brazil

We arrived in Aracaju, Brazil on Monday for the Puritan Conference. Thirty years ago, Dr. Manoel Canuto (a pediatric surgeon) was deeply moved reading Jeremiah Burroughs’ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment and was inspired to begin “The Puritan Project.” (Photo 1, from left, is Fabio and Virginia Andrade, Dr. Canuto and his wife Telma, and on the right are the Andrade’s sons. Virginia is the Canuto’s daughter and is very involved in organizing the conference.) He was soon joined by Pastor Josafa Vasconcelos (photo 2, with his wife Graca), a crusade leader whose passionate preaching filled stadiums, but who became convicted that Reformed and Puritan teachings were biblical and that Arminian and Pentecostal teachings were not. This conference brought me to Brazil for the first time ever, back in 1995, and I have enjoyed coming many times since. I count Manoel and Josafa as very special friends.

The theme of this conference was “The Puritan Vision of the Scriptures.” My good friend Dr. Joey Pipa, who has also spoken several times for this conference, and I each spoke five times on this theme. He spoke from an exegetical perspective and I spoke from a historical perspective. I covered the Puritan view of the inspiration, clarity, authority, sufficiency, and efficacy of the Scriptures, as well as their convictions about the regulative principle of worship in preaching, praying and singing the Scriptures. I also looked at how they used the Scriptues in family worship, how they meditated on the Scriptures, and how they taught the transforming power of the Scriptures. Daniel Silveira, one of our Puritan Reformed Seminary alumni, served as my excellent and passionate translator. What a dear brother he is! Four Brazilian pastors also gave one address in Portuguese, of course. Mary spoke to the women on “Teaching Children to Work,” the subject of her book, which is freshly translated into Portuguese. Mary’s translator was Daniel’s dear wife Flavia (photo 3, with their daughters). It was wonderful to be reunited with these dear friends.

The Canutos invited us and others to lunch on Wednesday. It turned out to be a surprise celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary. Dr. Canuto sang a love song to Telma, and she joined in singing it to him. There were six ministers in attendance (photo 4). Later, back at the conference, Christopher showed me his note-taking system of his reading of three of my books that are in Portuguese (photo 5). It does my heart good to see young men being inspired by the Puritans and beginning to publish them themselves in other languages. Soli deo Gloria!Presently we are on our way to the 3rd of our 5 back-to-back conferences in Brazil. Two of our three flights today to get there are behind us. Continue to pray for us please.