Archives for August 2022

Books Printed in Korean

When the Queen and I were in Seoul, South Korea last week, I had the pleasant surprise of discovering that five more of my books had been translated into Korean and printed by some Korean publishers: “The Family at Church,” “None Else,” “Growing in the Ministry,” “Following God Fully: An Introduction to the Puritans,” and “Fighting Satan.” Please pray for God’s blessings on these new titles.

Beginning of the PRTS Semester

Yesterday was a full day. In the morning, I gave the convocation address at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) for the 2022-2023 school year (photo 1), and a photograph was taken in front of our building of the attendees (photo 2). Please pray for Puritan Reformed Seminary for this school year, especially for our new crop of incoming students! We are now serving about 250 students per year—half of them from overseas. They need your prayers, as do the hundreds of alumni serving in active ministry in a few dozen countries around the world.

After the convocation address, I left immediately to lead the funeral service on Job 14:1-3 for John VanderBoon, a dear brother and member of our church who died at the age of 94 (photo 3). At the cemetery, I spoke only a few minutes on John 14:1-3 due to the heaviest rainstorm we have ever encountered in a graveyard. Please remember this mourning family, especially his dear wife, Margaret, to whom he was married for 73 years!

From there Mary and I went to our annual welcome picnic for our Puritan Reformed seminary community, which was attended by about 150 seminary students, including their family members (photo 4). Afterwards, Mary and I competed in a game of Cornhole with several of the students and their wives (photo 5). We survived the first round but got beat on round 2, which was really a good thing because the winners got some free books—and the students need those more than me at this point in life!

And from there Mary and I ended our evening by visiting Joyce Pols, who lost her husband Pete—another dear brother and member of our church. He died very suddenly at the age of 78 (photo 6) while we were in Asia some days ago. Please pray also for this dear widow and her family that God would fill this huge, empty place with His presence. May you and I ever be ready to meet our Lord.

Conclusion of the Puritan Reformed Conference

The Puritan Reformed Seminary Conference at our church in Grand Rapids is now over. This morning’s sessions ended on a high note, as Dr. Hensworth Jonas (photo 1) expounded on the grace of our perseverance from the rich text of Isaiah 51:6 and Dr. Jerry Bilkes proclaimed the grace of everlasting glory from Revelation 22:1-5. The 300 people that attended our conference hailed from more about 25 states all over America and several foreign countries. God was surely in the midst of us in a wonderful way in these days. If you were unable to make it to the sessions, you will surely want to listen to all of the addresses. We hope to have them available on our website and/or the seminary website within a week to ten days.

Puritan Reformed Conference Day 2

Yesterday was a long and good day for the 300 attendees at our Puritan Reformed conference, concluding with a stimulating QA session with all the speakers, chaired by Dr. Jerry Bilkes (photo 1). Seven topics on the grace of salvation, including the grace of Christ, regeneration, faith, justification, adoption, sanctification, etc., we’re expounded and applied by Drs. Jonathan Gibson, Adriaan Neele (photo 2), David McWilliams, Daniel Timmer, and Hensworth Jonas. Mary and I also enjoyed hosting several attendees in our home for dinner (photo 3). Book sales and fellowship were both robust.

This morning the Puritan Reformed Conference concludes with Hensworth Jones speaking on the grace of perseverance at 9:00 a.m.and Jerry Bilkes speaking on everlasting grace at 10:45a.m. Join us in person at Heritage Reformed Congregation, 540 Crescent NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan if you can, or by live-streaming here.

First Day of the Puritan Reformed Conference

Our Puritan Reformed Conference at our HRC church (540 Crescent NE, Grand Rapids) began last evening (photo 1). Dr. Michael Barrett spoke on “The Day of All Grace” from Leviticus 16—the Day of Atonement (photo 2) and I spoke on “The First Promise of Grace” from Gen. 3:15 (photo 3). Please join us today if you can, either in person or by live-streaming here and pray for God’s rich blessing on the full day of addresses ahead of us on the glorious theme of “The Grace of Salvation” by Dr. Jonathan Gibson, Dr. Adriaan Neele, Dr. David McWilliams, and Dr. Hensworth Jonas.

Puritan Reformed Conference

Well, our trip home didn’t go as planned. First, there were mechanical problems on our plane in Seoul heading for San Francisco which delayed our flight for 45 minutes. When we finally landed in San Francisco, we then sat on the tarmac for another 45 minutes waiting for a gate, and when we finally got to the gate, we sat another 15 minutes waiting for someone to open the door. By the time, we made it through customs, we missed our flight to Denver as well as the next flight to Chicago. Now we will not be landing in Chicago until after midnight, EST, tonight. Our son-in-law Isaac has graciously offered to make the 3.5 hour drive to Chicago to pick us up and drive us to Grand Rapids as there are no flights available tomorrow in time for me to make the all-day PRTS biannual Board meeting, plus tomorrow evening our annual PRTS Conference commences, and I am the opening speaker.

You can still attend the Puritan Reformed Conference which will focus on the beautiful theme of “The Grace of Salvation”! The conference will be held at the Heritage Reformed Congregation (August 25 – 27, from Thursday evening to Saturday noon). Hear Dr. Jonathan Gibson, Rev. Hensworth W.C. Jonas, Dr. David McWilliams, and various faculty members of Puritan Reformed expound the glorious theme of how God graciously works salvation in our souls. You can register online here, or attend without registering ahead of time for a price of $10 per session. See the schedule here.h

We look forward to seeing many of you there. For those of you who cannot join us in person, please try to join us as enabled through live-streaming here.

Your prayers are treasured.

On Our Way Home

We’re finally on the way home from our 2.5 week journey to Bali Indonesia), Singapore, Jakarta (Indonesia), and Seoul (South Korea). Right now, we are sitting by our gate in Seoul ready to take off for the long flight to San Francisco.This morning, David Woollin (CEO of Reformation Heritage Books who is with us in Seoul) and I met with two brothers associated with Reformation and Revival Publishing (who have published five of my larger books in Korean) to become better acquainted and to discuss additional possibilities for the translation of my books and other RHB authors into Korean (photo 1).

I was also interviewed this morning by a young editor (photo 2) for the religious section of a Korean newspaper that reaches 4 million readers by paper copy and on-line. She asked me a number of questions about my Reformed Systematic Theology which is now being published by Reformation and Revival Publishing in Korean as well as my personal convictions on several issues and my impressions of the current condition of the Korean Presbyterian churches.

Our faithful host then drove us, together with David Woollin (who is flying on to Australia to meet with our book distributor there) to the airport where we had our final Asian meal on this trip, and then the time for saying goodbye had come (photo 3). Thank God for bringing us through this rather intense itinerary and for upholding me through three dozen preaching/lecturing occasions on this journey, and please pray for many fruits upon these labors.

And now, pending traveling mercies, we look forward to seeing our precious family, church and seminary people and students–and especially our 11-day-old grandchild who was born after we had left home!

Korean Institute of Reformed Preaching in Seoul, Korea

On Monday and Tuesday, I had the privilege of lecturing five times and preaching twice in Seoul, Korea for the KIRP (Korean Institute of Reformed Preaching), which is celebrating their 30th anniversary. This is the fourth time I have spoken for their annual conference. They exist to promote Reformed and expository experiential preaching. The board members and their wives met in the pastor’s study (photo 1). The theme I chose for my lectures was “Growing Spiritually in the Ministry.” I spoke on growing in: assurance of faith, private prayer, coping with criticism, coping with affliction, and preaching with experiential application. I preached in the evenings on “Christ Forsaken!” and “Christ Married!” Dr. HoSub (Joseph) Shia has translated several of my books into Korean and he interpreted one lecture for me (photo 2). Other interpreters were Chang Won Shu and David Kim.

We had time to take a short walk outside our hotel (photo 3), on a beautiful walkway along a creek. Seoul has many green areas like this built into the city landscape.

Dr. Joey Pipa arrived late Tuesday, and we enjoyed breakfast with him Wednesday morning (photo 4). He is leading the KIRP conference the remaining two days, as we head for home.

Last Lord’s Day in Korea

Last Lord’s Day morning I preached twice for Pastor Kim in the Hehrim Church, in Seoul, Korea–a congregation of 2500 people. Close to half of the people come to the first service, which includes many children (I preached on Luke 22:31-32) and the rest of the members come to the second service (photo 1) which includes many young people and young adults (I preached on Numbers 14:24). Rev. Changwon Shu was my able translator for both services (In photo 2, Changwon and his wife Myeungja are on the left; on the right are Pastor Seomoon who has translated 80 English books into Korean, including many titles by Dr. Lloyd-Jones, and Pastor Kim and his wife).

In the evening I preached for the Hyansen Church in Seoul, Korea. In photo 3, the pastor and his wife are on the right. He is a faithful, humble man who also serves on the Board of the KIRP (Korean Institute of Reformed Preaching), and is very supportive of Reformed experiential preaching and of our church in Grand Rapids. Their son (who is applying to PRTS to study for the ministry) and daughter-in-law are on the left. It was great to speak with them. It was also great to meet Jaerok and his family in this church (photo 4), where Jaerok serves as an intern under the pastor’s supervision. Jaerok attended our church for several months while studying in Grand Rapids earlier this year, and hopes to study at PRTS beginning next year, DV.

It was also good to meet several other godly young men in the last few days who are hoping to study at PRTS in the coming years and are in various stages of their education. Pray that God will send forth thousands of young men around the globe to sound Reformed seminaries with the heartfelt calling, “Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel!”

Meeting with Publishers in South Korea

After arriving in Seoul, South Korea yesterday morning, Mary and I rested briefly in the home of Rev. Chang Won Shu and Myeungja Yoo and enjoyed a delicious lunch of bulgogi beef. Then we headed out in a taxi to meet the Word of Life Korea publishers, along with David Woollin, Reformation Heritage Books (RHB) CEO, who arrived in Korea yesterday. This morning (Saturday), we met with representatives of Covenant Books publisher (photo 1). We were surprised and thrilled to see Dr. David Kim, a PRTS grad, who was also a special part of our church family in Grand Rapids, along with his wife Yumi Lee and their four children. They have been back in Korea for seven years. He is a full-time professor at Chongshin Seminary now and is also the pastor of a church plant. Pastor Daewoon Jeong, who is very involved with Covenant Books together with his church, led the meeting, and Mary and I were filmed doing some book promotions. Finally, we met with Jongjin Kim from Reformed Practice Books, where I did three more promotions. These three publishers have already printed a number of RHB titles (about close to 40 in all!), so we met with them to collaborate on bringing more of our RHB titles out in the Korean language.It’s always great to reunite with old friends (photo 2). We had the pleasure of sharing lunch today with Pastor Kang Seomoon and Pastor Moonjin Kang and their wives, along with David Kim (photo 3), David Woollin, Chang Won, and Myeungja. Pastor Seomoon has translated 80 books into Korean. Both men are faithful pastors in their churches, and have been good friends for decades.

It’s always great to reunite with old friends (photo 2). We had the pleasure of sharing lunch today with Pastor Kang Seomoon and Pastor Moonjin Kang and their wives, along with David Kim (photo 3), David Woollin, Chang Won, and Myeungja. Pastor Seomoon has translated 80 books into Korean. Both men are faithful pastors in their churches, and have been good friends for decades.

The Blue House in Korea was like the White House in America. For the last 70 years, until April of this year, it was the residence of the President. Now the President lives outside the city of Seoul in a new home. So the Blue House is now open for the public to tour. We did this in 93 degree heat this afternoon, though the house itself was air conditioned—thankfully. I spent the rest of the day preparing for the Lord’s Day. I am scheduled to preach at Hehrim Church twice in the morning and at Hyunsan Church in the evening, and then I am to preach eight more times on Monday and Tuesday at the KIRP Conference (Korean Institute of Reformed Preaching) before heading for home on Wednesday. Your prayers are treasured!