Knowing and Growing in Assurance

This week my book for lay people on assurance of faith, called “Knowing and Growing in Assurance,” finally arrived from Christian Focus. I’ve studied, meditated, and spoken on this subject for 35 years. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on it for Westminster Seminary, and then another book, Quest for Full Assurance, and dozens of articles, but I’ve always wanted to do a book for typical church members—especially for those who struggle with realizing assurance. So, when Christian Focus from Scotland approached me to do just that, I immediately agreed to do so. In this book, after explaining why assurance of faith is important for Christians, and why many Christians lack assurance, I show that assurance is biblical and ought to be normative for Christians, at least to some degree, when they are not backsliding. I then go on to explain how the Holy spirit enables us to lay hold of assurance through God’s promises, inward evidences of grace, and the witnessing testimony of the Holy Spirit. After that, I look at how to cultivate assurance, as well as how we can both lose it and have it renewed. Finally, I take a closer look at the role of the Holy Spirit in assurance as Paul develops it for us in Romans 8 and then answer various questions that people have about assurance.

My prayer is that this book will impact people in a variety of ways: I pray that the strongly assured Christian will have his or her faith strengthened and will be more healthy, fruitful, and joyous, and will assist other Christians by speaking to them about the importance of obtaining assurance of faith. I pray that the weak Christian will cultivate assurance as a result of reading this book prayerfully and will experience that his or her assurance is greatly enlarged by the Spirit’s grace. I pray that nominal Christians and unbelievers will realize what they are missing and will flee to Christ alone for salvation, and learn to find all their righteousness, peace, and hope only in Him.

Since this subject has been so dear to my heart and I have also had the privilege of counseling many people about assurance for more than forty years, I rather nostalgically like to think that it is not by chance that this is also the 100th book I have written or co-authored. Ever since being a teenager I have often felt closest to God when I write, so yes, I am a compulsive writer—and I trust for the souls of others as well—hopefully including yours! Please read this book yourself and provide copies to any Christian you know who struggles with knowing and growing in personal assurance of faith. God bless you.

 

Reformation Rally in Ontario

Having been asked to post this on social media by the organizer, let me warmly invite you to join us at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, on October 27 (8:00 p.m.) where I will be speaking, D.V., on ten reasons why the Reformation is important today. A good variety of books on the Reformation will also be available that evening at rock-bottom prices!

For more information, contact John Bouwers: jabouwers@hotmail.com.

The PRTS Student Housing Project Was Approved!

We are grateful to announce that PRTS received approval from the Grand Rapids City Planning Commission to build student housing on our campus. The plan is to build sixteen two-bedroom apartments, six in one building and ten in another. The location is just west of our main campus at 2919 Leonard Street NE. The brick front will closely resemble the front of the seminary building. Engineering and architectural drawings have been commissioned.

Fund raising has started for this essential PRTS project, which will cost approximately $2.4 million. Thanks to a generous matching-funds donation, any gift that you give will be doubled. If you are interested in financially supporting this project, please contact Chris Hanna at chris.hanna@prts.edu or 1-616-432-3407.

Author Interview: John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God

Many people know John Bunyan as the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. Few, however, realize that Bunyan wrote many books full of sound doctrine for practical godliness. Recently, Paul Smalley and I wrote a book about how Bunyan’s life and writings radiate “the grace of fearing God.” Here’s a link to the interview that P&R did with us about the book.

PRC Partnership with Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

PRESS RELEASE: Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary forge strategic partnership Puritan Research Center

Grand Rapids, MI / Taylors, SC—Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (“PRTS”) and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (“GPTS”) today announced a strategic partnership of the establishment of a Puritan Research Center. This strategic partnership exemplifies the vision of the strengthening and sharing of resources in the service of the academy and church internationally.

To learn more – https://prts.edu/about/news/

PhD and PRC Partnership with Theological University Apeldoorn

PRESS RELEASE: Theological University Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, USA forge strategic partnership Puritan Research Center

Apeldoorn / Grand Rapids—The Theological University Apeldoorn (“TUA”) and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (“PRTS”) today announced a strategic partnership of the establishment of a Puritan Research Center. This strategic partnership exemplifies the vision of the strengthening and sharing of resources in the service of the academy and church internationally.

Read the whole story here – https://prts.edu/about/news/

PRESS RELEASE: Theological University Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, USA forge strategic partnership doctoral program

Apeldoorn / Grand Rapids—The Theological University Apeldoorn (“TUA”) and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (“PRTS”) today announced a strategic partnership of the establishment of a double doctorate (PhD) degree program. This strategic partnership exemplifies the vision of the strengthening and sharing of resources in the service of the academy and church internationally.

For more information – https://prts.edu/about/news/

Join Us on the PRTS Reformation Tour 2018

I want to extend a very special invitation to you: a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend two weeks with Dr. Michael Haykin, Dr. Ian Hamilton, David Woollin, and me (Dr. Joel Beeke) visiting some of the most amazing places in the world—amazing because of their stunning beauty, but also amazing because of the way God has worked wonderfully throughout history in these locations.

Our desire is to lead you on a spiritually rich and edifying tour of sights across Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands between July 9th and 23rd 2018. We will see mountains and castles, lakes and rivers. We will travel on airplanes, trains, deluxe coaches, and the most luxurious of cruise ships, with first class hospitality the whole way. This is your opportunity to walk in the very footsteps of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Farel, Melanchthon, Huss, Waldo, Ursinus, Olevianus, Oecolampadius, Beza, Knox, and so many more Reformation forefathers, with excellent commentary and fascinating lectures alongside that aim to build you up and encourage you in your faith. The trip will conclude with a unique four hundredth anniversary celebration of the Synod of Dordrecht (Dort) in the Netherlands.

Do everything you can to clear your calendar, because I promise you, this is a tour you will not want to miss.

To find out more please visit https://bookings.wittetravel.com/ and enter the tour code 070918BEEK. A brochure is attached here. For printed brochure copies, please email ann.dykema@prts.edu requesting a brochure.

Please share the news of this exciting tour with your friends. I look forward to being with you.

Here is the link to 21 videos of the Reformation Tour and William Perkins Conference in Scotland and England which we did this year.

New Book: Theology Made Practical (Calvin)

A book we began studying for eight years ago finally arrived today. RHB is grateful to announce the publication of “Theology Made Practical: New Studies on John Calvin and His Legacy.” In this book, Michael Haykin, David Hall, and I have teamed up to present 14 new studies on John Calvin and his legacy just in time for celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We aim to show the significance of John Calvin’s life and ideas—particularly his contributions to systematic theology, pastoral theology, and political theology—as well as the influence he had on others through the centuries.

With focused studies related to the Trinity, predestination, the Holy Spirit, justification, preaching, missions, principles of government, welfare, and marriage, our book demonstrates how Calvin’s thought has been, and still is, a dynamic wellspring of fruitfulness for numerous areas of the Christian life. More than 450 years since Calvin experienced the beatific vision, his thinking about God and His Word still possesses what our culture passionately longs for—true relevancy. So let me encourage to get this book and mine some of the riches of John Calvin and his practical theology.

By the way, Steve Renkema, our RHB book manager, is standing with me because I dedicated the book to him as a “faithful, kind, conscientious, and patient friend, lover of Christ, and the world’s greatest bookstore manager.”

Reformation Tour: Bunhill Fields

When Christ raises his people from the dead, few places on earth will have such a glory as Bunhill Fields, London, where many Puritans and Non-Conformists lie buried. Its monuments testify to the authors of some of the greatest English Christian writings of all time—from the stories of John Bunyan to the theology of Thomas Goodwin and John Owen and to the hymns of Isaac Watts.

 

Reformation Tour: The Jerusalem Chamber

“God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass.” The Westminster Assembly penned these words, and many other wise affirmations of the Christian faith, as they met in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey. Sinclair Ferguson spoke to us at the site where God blessed the church with some of its greatest confessional and catechetical statements.