ETS 2022: Holiness

A quick trip: Mary and I were in Denver for the last two days, where the annual Evangelical Theological Society was held with 2000+ professors and ministers in attendance. The major theme of the conference was “Holiness.” I was grateful and humbled to give two seminar addresses yesterday in meeting rooms that were overflowing on “The Beauty of Holiness in Puritan Worship” (photo 1) and “The Puritan Use of Spiritual Disciplines to Promote Holiness.” In the first morning session on “Worship in the Beauty of Holiness,” chaired by Joshua Waggener, other speakers included Bryan Chapell, Don Whitney, and Greg Stiekes. The second afternoon session on “Holiness in the Puritan Era,” chaired by Andrew Ballitch, my fellow paper-presenters included Matthew Barrett and Stephen Yuille. I enjoyed meeting with Andrew Ballitch and Stephen Yuille over lunch (photo 2) to do some brainstorm planning for next year’s Puritan session, which will coincide with ETS’s 75th annual meeting. At the end of the second session, we had a helpful 40-minute panel discussion over the papers presented (photo 3). Between sessions, I was, of course, busy selling books at our Reformation Heritage Books table with David Woollin and John St. Martin, touching base with a host of friends who came by. I also had opportunities to speak with close to a dozen young men who are students at Puritan Reformed, in the process of applying, or hope to apply soon.  

Afterwards, I was pleased to spend some quality minutes with Baruch Brian Kvasnica (photo 4), who hopes to be our leading Israel-based tour guide next spring (May 8-20, 2023), when I hope to lead a tour in Israel and Jordan for close to 100 people, with the assistance of Michael Barrett and Jerry Bilkes. God willing, that promises to be an outstanding trip. We still have room for 2 or 3 more people to join us!

We also enjoyed being briefly with Allen Stanton, our first PhD graduate from Puritan Reformed, and Bani Li, who is presently in our PhD program (photo 5), before moving on to preach last night on “Prayerful Prayer” for Christ Presbyterian Church, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, pastored by Mike Johnson. We especially enjoyed our time there with Roy and Karen VanZweden and their son Miles (photo 6). Roy, who served as MC and is now an elder in the church, reminded the audience that he often sat under my ministry 45 years ago in Sioux Center, Iowa as a 13-year-old. How time flies! After my sermon, John St. Martin and I enjoyed selling a table full of several boxes of Reformation Heritage books to the attendees. The church graciously bought the last handful of books left over, so we returned to our hotel empty-handed.

Today we were up early to fly from Denver to Detroit to Grand Rapids. Due to a snowstorm in Grand Rapids, we had to sit on the plane for an hour in Detroit, but finally there was a half-hour break in the storm which our pilot took advantage of. We arrived in Grand Rapids in the nick of time, before more heavy snow fell. Close to another foot of snow may fall in the next 24 hours in Grand Rapids, but we love the four seasons we experience here. Snow is beautiful and God is good!  

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