William Perkins Conference Videos

On May 19 and 20, we had the privilege of participating in the William Perkins Conference in Cambridge, England. William Perkins was a spiritual father in the early Puritan movement, and his preaching and writings influenced Reformed theology and piety for generations to come. It was a special moment for us to gather in the historic Round Church, where Perkins preached for a season.

If you were not able to join us, you can still benefit from the videos of the talks given there. Sinclair Ferguson spoke on Perkins as a “Plain Preacher,” Stephen Yuille on “Faith and Love in Perkins’s Defense of the Protestant Religion,” Greg Salazar on “Scripture, Tradition, and Holiness” in Perkins and Puritanism, Geoff Thomas on “The Pursuit of Godliness in the Ministry of William Perkins,” and I addressed “William Perkins’s Largest Case of Conscience.”

You may watch all five talks on Sermon Audio.

Also, don’t miss the sale on the first four volumes of The Works of William Perkins. Though this set retails at $200, RHB has discounted it to a mere $130. That’s less than a nickel per page of Perkins!

How to Lovingly Probe Your Children in Spiritual Matters

How can fathers more effectively discuss spiritual matters with their children? In this video, I explain how important it is for fathers to gently and lovingly discuss theological matters with your children. Fathers ought to ask questions to a child at their age level or just a bit above it. Asking them questions about a specific passage or verse is an ideal way to do this.

 

Probing Children in Spirtual Matters from NCFIC on Vimeo.

Fully Accredited PhD!

Faculty (Dr. Adrian Neele and Dr. Stephen Myers) and the first students of the PhD program in Historical Studies

The faculty and staff of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) are humbled by and grateful for the recent news that The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Board of Commissioners has fully approved the seminary’s PhD program, effective February 21, 2017. The leadership of PRTS has worked diligently to design a doctoral program that is domestically and internationally affordable, accessible, and academically credible. Its design is to support original research that is both historically informed and relevant for the church and academy. The seminary’s fully accredited doctorate program offers degrees in Biblical Studies and Historical Theology, focusing on the Reformation and Post-reformation eras.

Faculty involved in the new program includes . . .

Dr. Michael Bar­rett is Vice President for Academic Affairs/Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is a min­is­ter in the Heritage Reformed Congregations. For­merly, Dr. Bar­rett served as pres­i­dent of Geneva Reformed Sem­i­nary. He earned his doc­tor­ate in Old Tes­ta­ment Text with a spe­cial focus on Semitic lan­guages.

Dr. Stephen Myers is Associate Professor of Historical Theology for the PhD program at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Prior to his appointment at PRTS, Dr. Myers served as the pastor of Pressly Memorial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Statesville, N.C. While in the full-time pastorate, Dr. Myers also served as a visiting professor of theology at RTS Charlotte and a professor at International Biblical Seminary in Kiev, Ukraine.

Dr. Adriaan Neele is Director of the Doctoral Program and Professor of Historical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is an ordained pastor in the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk, South Africa. Prior to arriving at PRTS in 2016, he lectured in Post-Reformation studies at Farel Reformed Theological Seminary, the University of Pretoria, and the African Institute for Missiology. He was Professor of Historical Theology and Director at the Jonathan Edwards Centre at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Since 2007 he serves as Research Scholar and Digital Editor at the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, and as a member of various businesses and academic boards.

Greg Salazar, who recently joined our PhD faculty team

Mr. Greg Salazar (PhD candidate, University of Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology for the PhD program at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. In 2013, Mr. Salazar began doctoral studies at The University of Cambridge. His research interest is focused on how Dutch and continental Reformed scholastic divines shaped the theological and historical landscape of English Puritanism. The seminary’s president, Dr. Joel Beeke, will be team-teaching English Puritan Theology with Mr. Salazar.

The doctorate program at PRTS provides an advanced and affordable education that promotes both robust academic standards and a strong spiritual focus on Reformed experiential piety. The program utilizes the best of hybrid learning through traditional teaching and technology. For more information, visit PRTS online at www.prts.edu/academics-aid/doctoral-program/ or contact the seminary’s Admissions Director, Jonathon Beeke, at 616.432.3408.

The Value of Reading the Puritans

William Perkins, Richard Sibbes, Samuel Rutherford, Anthony Burgess, John Owen, John Bunyan, John Flavel–these are some of the greatest names in Christian literature. I have spent a lifetime reading the theological, devotional, and practical writings of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Puritans. Why is it worthwhile to do so? To find out, listen to the recent podcast: The Value of Reading the Puritans.

Just Arrived: Family Worship Bible Guide

family-worship-guide

family-worship_bible_guide__53657-1465502613-1280-1280An exciting day for RHB in Grand Rapids—we just received our shipment from the Netherlands of 10,000+ copies of the Family Worship Bible Guide, which presents rich devotional thoughts for private and family worship on all 1,189 chapters in the Bible, including searching questions to promote conversation in your family. I thank Michael Barrett, Jerry Bilkes, Paul Smalley, and others who joined me in producing this book. Pray that the Holy Spirit will mightily bless the daily use of this book, offered both in leather and in hardback, so that families will be more richly informed, reformed, and transformed by daily family worship.

New Book: Theodorus Vander Groe, Sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism

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I’m very excited that, with the help of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, we at Reformation Heritage Books can finally bring into English print in 2 volumes Theodore VanderGroe’s (1705–1784) classic Heidelberg Catechism sermons, which were nearly as famous in his day for their doctrinal soundness and experiential warmth as Wilhelmus à Brakel’s The Christian’s Reasonable Service (4 vols.). Brakel excepted, this is the most major work ever translated from the Dutch Further Reformation.

Steeped in Scripture and pastoral in nature, these sermons promote a healthy form of spirituality; they contain both great comforts for believers and powerful warnings to unbelievers. Bartel Elshout has provided an excellent translation and I thoroughly enjoyed editing it.

If you or someone you know enjoys Brakel, or appreciates the Heidelberg Catechism, this would make a perfect year-end gift—a beautiful set of books for only $45.00 which now reads in English like it was written yesterday. You will love this renowned classic exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism written for lay people. Buy, read, and be edified.

Ministry in Mexico, Brazil, and North America

Preaching in Brazil

Preaching in Brazil

To read and view pictures about my ministry trips from September through November, 2016, including visits to Mexico and Brazil, please download my pastoral letter here.

Summer Ministry in Brazil, United Arab Emirates, England, Wales, South Africa, and the Netherlands

Old HHK Church Building in Opheusden, The Netherlands, Home of a Reformed Congregation Since 1639

Old HHK Church Building in Opheusden, The Netherlands, Home of a Reformed Congregation Since 1639

God has been very merciful to me over the summer of 2016 in various opportunities to preach and teach. If you would like to read about my travels in Europe and Africa, with pictures of many dear friends I saw there, you may download my pastoral newsletter by clicking here.

John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God: New Title from P&R Publishing

bunyan-bookOld friends can be full of surprises. Have you ever visited with a dear friend whom you have known for years, only to discover something new about him that makes you admire him all the more? I grew up with John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and though of course I never met Bunyan, I count him a dear friend whose writings have long nourished my soul. Yet after co-authoring a book with Paul Smalley on Bunyan and the fear of God, my admiration and gratitude for the tinker-theologian has deepened.

As a seminary professor, I never cease to be astounded by Bunyan. He had little formal education, but he received a Ph.D. from the School of Suffering with Christ. His persecutors thought they had confined this preacher to jail, but in reality Bunyan lived in the Bible—and the word of God cannot be bound. To read Bunyan’s voluminous writings is to be immersed in the text of Holy Scripture.

That’s why I find Bunyan’s perspective on the fear of God so valuable. This topic is clouded with much confusion today. It seems that most people think that the fear of God annihilates faith in God’s grace, and vice versa. Some preachers distort the love of God in a manner that would take God off His throne and make Him our spiritual buddy. Other preachers fixate on God’s law and wrath to the neglect of the gospel so that people cower in degradation or run away from the Lord.

Bunyan, however, discovered in the Bible that God’s grace ignites the fear of God in us. God puts His fear in those whom He loves and intends to bless forever. Many of God’s best promises are to the people who fear Him and hope in His faithful love. While it is true that some fear is bad, Bunyan teaches us how to discern between healthy and unhealthy fear toward God. We need not fear the true fear of God, for it is our best friend as we travel by grace along our pilgrimage toward His glory. In fact, God’s very grace is fearful, for it is the grace of God. Our distaste for the fear of the Lord shows how poorly we know God.

So I commend the book to you in the hope that, by learning from Bunyan, you will learn more about God and will delight to fear His name.

(Right now, RHB is selling John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God at a discounted price of only $8.00, over 45% off its retail price. For a sample from the book, click here.)

Teologia Puritana: A Puritan Theology in Portuguese

portuguese-puritan-theology

Rejoice with me for the translation into Portuguese and printing of A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, written by Mark Jones and me. (Click here for a sample of Teologia Puritana.) It is printed by Vida Nova, a large Portuguese publisher which does a good job at getting its publications into bookstores all over Brazil. Please pray that God will bless my trip to Brazil next month and that He will bless this volume to thousands of readers to help promote even more reformation and revival in that country.