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Quote of the Week— January 17, 2023

Here’s a quote from my most recent sermon, “Out Trinitarian Gospel.” You can listen to the entire sermon here: https://www.sermonaudio.com/solo/hnrc/sermons/114231546227072/

“Pastors and Their Critics” in Korean

This morning a new Korean student at Puritan Reformed surprised me by gifting me with a Korean copy of my newly published “Pastors and Their Critics” (Gyeonggi-do: Covenant Books; co-authored with Nick Thompson), ably translated by one of our alumni, Dr. David Kim, who is now a busy professor at Chongshin Seminary. I am very grateful to this dear brother for undertaking this translation. I pray that this book will be helpful for many Korean pastors in Korea, America, and around the world, as they too grapple with criticism, which is by far the number one reason why pastors are leaving the ministry today all around the world. Pray that God will bless this Korean edition as much as he has the English edition. 

The Labors of a Godly and Learned Divine, William Perkins: Including Previously Unpublished Sermons (Payne & Yuille)

After completing a 9-year project in 2020 of bringing the 17th-century edition of William Perkins’s “Works” into print in modern typeface in 10 volumes, we were amazed to discover that there were other writings of this “father of Puritanism”—including some of his sermons—that had never been printed before. I am excited to inform you that Reformation Heritage Books has just released another volume of Perkins’s writings today that includes all of these writings under the title, “The Labors of a Godly and Learned Divine William Perkins, Including Previously Unpublished Sermons”—thus, an “11th volume” if you will—in a beautifully written and edited tome compiled by Matthew Payne and Stephen Yuille. You will want to purchase this to “complete” your set or to use it as a stand-alone volume: https://heritagebooks.org/products/the-labors-of-a-godly-and-learned-divine-william-perkins-including-previously-unpublished-sermons-payne-yuille.html

A Blessed Time of Fellowship!

We’re just back from a blessed time of fellowship over a delightful dinner with Dr. Jim and Caroline Newheiser (2nd and 3rd from left in photo) and Dr. Mark and Donna Kelderman (Mark heads up our Biblical Counseling program at Puritan Reformed Seminary). Jim is presently teaching an adjunct course in counseling for us at Puritan Reformed. He is the Director of the Christian Counseling program and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, and is the author of several good and important books in critical areas of counseling. Pray for us that this much-needed counseling program now being offered at Puritan Reformed will be greatly blessed by God.

Fellowship with 50 Gospel Ministers! What a Blessing!

Yesterday, I finished teaching 50 doctoral students—all ministers—from The Master’s Seminary (associated with Dr. John MacArthur) a course on Reformed Experiential Preaching. Dr. Steve Lawson leads the program.
Christian fellowship is an amazing thing—especially between ministers. It is remarkable how close one can feel to a group of fellow ministers after only 18 hours of teaching and fellowship. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this class and getting to know these brothers (photo). In fact, I was almost sorry to be done with teaching!
Due to the torrential rains in Los Angeles on Monday and Tuesday, our flight out of Burbank was canceled, but we managed to drive up to the main Los Angeles airport and catch a standby flight to Chicago just in time. We were going to overnight in Chicago and had reservations for a flight home by noon today, but due to my many commitments this morning, we decided instead to rent a car and drive the 3.5 hours to Grand Rapids, arriving home this morning at 1:30 a.m.—all the while having no idea that our flight and many others would also be canceled this morning. God’s providence is so kind!
Pray please for God’s rich blessing on the course taught and on the ministries of these 50 doctoral students/ministers.

More Teaching at The Master’s Seminary

By God’s grace, we had another great and thoroughly enjoyable day today, teaching four more hours of Reformed Experiential Preaching to Dr. John MacArthur’s doctoral students at The Master’s Seminary, Grace Community Church, Los Angeles. This doctor of ministry program is headed up by Dr. Steve Lawson (photo 1), who is assisted by Rev. Andrew Curry (photo 2). It was great to spend some time with both of these dear brothers throughout this time of teaching, including having lunch with them each day.

Tomorrow morning I conclude the REP class, and then the Queen and I head for the airport if it is still open. Presently, Los Angeles is experiencing steady, torrential rains that are supposed to continue through tomorrow. Please pray that our plane would be able to arrive and depart despite the heavy rain.

Blessed Lord’s Day at Grace Community Church

We had a blessed Lord’s Day yesterday at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles (pastored by Dr. John MacArthur for the last 50+ years). About 5000 people attend the two (repeat) morning services (photo 1), and close to 2000 attend the evening service. Dr. Michael Reeves from Wales preached an outstanding sermon in the morning on the fear of God from Isaiah 8 (photo 2), which was very helpful for many (including my own soul), and I preached in the evening on Jacob’s five contagious blessings that accrued from his experience of wrestling with the Angel of the Covenant (Gen. 32:24-32). (You can listen to my and Dr. Reeves’ sessions here: https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/20582
https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/20583 )

After the morning service, we had a delightful time of fellowship and a delicious meal at the home of one of the leading pastors who has been working closely with Dr. MacArthur for close to fifteen years—Dr. Austin and Merrily Duncan and their four children (photo 3). (Dr. Duncan also did two segments of interviews with me last Friday for Grace Community Church’s popular new podcast. So far, they have done 14 podcasts which have resulted in more than one million listeners!). Here is a link to the first episode of the podcast series: https://macarthurcenter.org/the-expositor/

We also enjoyed speaking with Dr. Phil and Darlene Johnson (photo 4). Phil assists Dr. MacArthur in editing his books for publication and speaks at various conferences as well. I first got to know him as a friend about twenty years ago when we were fellow speakers at conferences held in London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon’s former church).

I covet your prayers for today and tomorrow as I conclude teaching my Reformed Preaching Class to 50 of Dr. MacArthur’s Doctor of Ministry students—just 6 more hours, and then we will be homebound! Pray that it may be a blessing to these dear brothers who are asking great questions in class—it has been a great joy to be with them.  

Reformed Experiential Teaching at TMS

I am enjoying teaching my Reformed Experiential Preaching class to about 50 doctoral students (photo 1) from The Master’s Seminary (associated with Dr. John MacArthur). Today I am finishing teaching about what it means to preach experientially in a biblical way, and I am focusing on the experiential aspect of preaching in the sermons of John Calvin, John Bunyan, and Samuel Davies. Lots of good questions are being asked both in class and during break times (photo 2). Tomorrow evening I am preaching for Dr. MacArthur, and then my lectures for the REP class conclude with six more hours of teaching on Monday and Tuesday, D.V.

Here is Mary standing in front of some beautiful old trees, with our hotel in the background (photo 3). Our room is on the sixteenth floor overlooking beautiful mountains to the east (photo 4).

The Queen in Denver!

My Queen on a ski lift yesterday in Denver en route with me to Los Angeles, where I am to teach Dr. John MacArthur’s doctoral students a course on Reformed experiential preaching this weekend and preach for Dr. MacArthur on this Lord’s day evening.

Pre-Marital Counseling via Zoom! (A First for Me)

Well, after 45 years of ministry, I did another “first” last night–a three-hour premarital counseling session over Zoom with a lovely couple, Luke, who is completing his study to be a medical doctor, and Sara, a young God-fearing woman from Brazil. They were not able to meet with me in Grand Rapids, so I was able to connect over Zoom with them in Kentucky. I hope to have the privilege of officiating their marriage in March, the Lord willing. Please pray for them that all the necessary paperwork will be in place by the time of their desired date for a wedding.