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Church History by Simonetta Carr

A few days ago Reformation Heritage Books released, in my opinion, our most beautifully laid out book we have ever done: Simonetta Carr’s new “Church History,” which is packed with photographs and illustrations together with well-written, succinct summaries of hundreds of events in church history covering the last two thousand years. Kudos are in order to Simonetta, our typesetting team, and the printer. I had the privilege of editing this volume and can affirm that it is a storehouse of valuable information that can be read by children and young people from ten years of age and up as well as by adults. If you ever wanted a gripping, easy-to-read, basic book on church history, this is exactly what you are looking for—both for the children you may be homeschooling and for yourself as an adult. Highly recommended on the back cover by Rosaria Butterfield as well as by able historians like Michael Haykin and Carl Trueman!

Learn more here.

Sing! Conference

Mary and I spent yesterday at the Sing Conference in Nashville, which was attended by 7,700 people (photo 1) in the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Convention Center (photo 2). It was a busy day for me: I was privileged to speak on “The Prayer Life of the Christian Leader” to a large breakout session (photo 3), met with some editors at Crossway (including Justin Taylor) to talk about future writing projects (which includes Paul Smalley and I hoping to write a one volume Reformed Systematic Theology of about 800 pages at a layman’s level which will be a simplified, abridged version of our four volume RST), did a recorded address for Crossway on ten reasons why Christians should study theology and another impromptu podcast on why and how Calvin and the Puritans were evangelistic, spent several hours selling books at the Reformation Heritage Books table, and then Mary and I closed out the evening by spending a few hours visiting with Mark Dever, sharing with each other how the Lord has converted us and getting to know each other better (photo 4).

Kamp Family Get-together

My wife’s family (the Kamp family) had its first get-together in seven years (photo 1). It was great to see scores of relatives that we had not seen for a long time, ranging in age from two weeks to 97 years (photo 2)!

John Trapp’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

I am excited to announce that “A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments” by the Puritan John Trapp (Reformation Heritage Books, 5 volumes 3,620 pages) has arrived! This major, beautifully reprinted set (originally published in 10 volumes in the mid-seventeenth century) provides helpful exegesis and excels in using colorful paraphrases and captivating illustrations. Spurgeon said that preachers should use Trapp’s commentary for “spicing” sermons. Nearly all of Trapp’s other writings are also included in this edition of his valuable commentaries, so there is lots of edifying reading here as well. Highly recommended!

Learn more here.

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.