Video Documentary on the Puritans

Dr. J.I. Packer being interviewed and filmed for our documentary on the Puritans at Regent College

Yesterday the cameras began rolling.

We are pleased to announce that Reformation Heritage Books and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary are partnering with Media Gratiae to produce the definitive documentary project and multimedia study package on the Puritan era, titled PURITAN: All of Life to the Glory of God.

Matthew Robinson (director of Logic on Fire: the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and the Behold Your God series by Dr. John Snyder) and Stephen McCaskell (director of Through the Eyes of Spurgeon and Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer) will be directing the project.

The project will consist of a feature-length documentary as well as thirty teaching sessions with accompanying printed study material.

Ministry Trips July-Dec. 2017

At Yellowstone, where God made Himself real to me fifty years ago.

For a summary of my ministerial itinerary in the last half year, including trips to California, Kentucky, Wyoming, Canada, England, North Carolina, Idaho, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, please see the pastoral letter attached.

R. C. Sproul (1939-2017)

Dr. R.C. Sproul’s (Feb. 13, 1939-Dec. 14, 2017) passing on to glory this afternoon is his gain and our loss. The Reformed Christian world will miss this clear, biblical, bigger-than-life thinker greatly. The funeral will be on December 20, at 2:00 p.m. and will be livestreamed. You can go to rcsproul.com for further details. Meanwhile, here is the blog Ligonier has already posted.

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Called Home to the Lord

(Chris Larson, Dec. 14, 2017)

Dr. R.C. Sproul went home to be with the Lord this afternoon around 3 p.m. surrounded by his wife, Vesta, and family in his hospital room in Altamonte Springs, Fla. He was 78. He died peacefully after being hospitalized twelve days ago due to severe respiratory difficulties exacerbated by the flu and complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Known to millions of Christians as simply “R.C.,” he was used of the Lord to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness. Through his teaching ministry, many of us learned that God is bigger than we knew, our sin is more deeply rooted than we imagined, and the grace of God in Jesus Christ is overwhelming.

God called R.C. to proclaim the gospel to as many people as possible. R.C. did this knowing the Lord did not need him. In fact, he wanted people to know the enduring, faithful witness of God’s servants throughout church history. God powerfully used R.C.’s ministry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to awaken people around the world to the truths of classical Christianity.

It belongs to others in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead to assess the impact of R.C.’s ministry in the history of the church. In this moment, we feel loss—immense sadness and profound loss—the loss of a pastor, a teacher, a leader, a brother-in-Christ, a friend.

R.C. now sees the object of his faith, the risen Christ, high and lifted up. He now hears the seraphim’s song before the throne, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

We will be publishing details about the memorial service and providing an opportunity to leave a note of appreciation for Dr. Sproul’s ministry at RCSproul.com in the coming hours.

Double Your Dollars with a Year-End Gift to Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

(The following post was written by Chris Hanna)

I recently spoke with a student who will shortly be returning with his family to Singapore. There he will again serve the church he left to attend PRTS. He is grateful for his theological education and for the tremendous outpouring of love he and his family experienced while studying at the seminary.

Maybe you’ve given to the seminary in the past, or considering a first-time donation, and you’re wondering what donation options are available. You can give a one-time gift or become a monthly partner through the seminary website or by calling the Development Office at 616.432.3407. In fact, a gift given by December 31 will be generously matched by loving partners of PRTS. We are hoping to raise $400,000 by year end so as to have a two-month balance for the opening lean months of 2018. Please remember that no gift is too small. Your $50 donation will become a $100 gift to the seminary.

You can also give a gift of appreciated assets. To start this process, please contact the Barnabas Foundation – a PRTS partner – at 888.448.3040 and ask for Cindi Riemersma. If you’re in Canada, please contact our Canadian Development Coordinator, Corney Les, at 604.795.6938 or email him today at cles@shaw.ca.

If you or your spouse is 70 ½ or older, you may consider an IRA Charitable Rollover. As of 2015, the US tax code allows seniors of this age to donate tax-free up to $100,000 in IRA assets. The Charitable IRA Rollover is tax-free and will not be included in your adjusted gross income. Once again, please contact Cindi Riemersma at 888.448.3040 for more information.

By supporting PRTS you will be stewarding your resources in a lasting ministry, a ministry that the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to pass on to others (2 Tim. 2:2). Thank you again for prayerfully considering a matching gift to PRTS before December 31.

Puritan Movie: All of Life to the Glory of God

On December 1, I spent the day working on the script to an upcoming documentary that RHB is producing in partnership with Media Gratiae. Pictured with me here is Media Gratiae director Matthew Robinson, director Stephen McCaskell, writer Barry Cooper, and Sales and Marketing Manager at Reformation Heritage Books David Woollin. The film will be titled “PURITAN: All of Life to the Glory of God,” and we are anticipating a 2019 release. Please pray for us as we enter the production phase of the project in the new year, and watch my blog for updates!

Beautiful, Historic Tour Opportunity

We would absolutely love to have you join us on the upcoming Reformation cruise down the Rhine River. We have a great group of people going. In addition to what the attached brochure says, Dr. Michael Haykin, world-renowned historian, will now be accompanying us and giving short practical, Reformed, spiritual summaries of historical sites (together with Rev. Ian Hamilton, David Woollin, me, and a Witte Travel guide). It is shaping up to what I think will be the best tour group vacation that we have ever done.

Witte Travel would like to have everyone sign up by the end of December so that they can make appropriate plane reservations, etc. in the first week of January. If you have any questions, please feel free to call (616-307-4022 or 616-432-3403). Or you can contact Witte Travel directly by calling or emailing Kristina Choura (KristinaC@wittetravel.com, 616-954-7492).

Please share this with any of your friends whom you think might want a wonderful vacation of great beauty combined with historic Reformation sites and special fellowship.

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.