A New School Semester at PRTS

We are grateful that last week each of our Puritan Conference addresses drew from 2000 to 6000 listeners. Thanks to so many of you for joining us online.

Now we pivot this week, by God’s grace, to a new school semester at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary—our 26th year. It is great and feels wonderful to be teaching seminary students face-to-face again. This semester I am teaching The Holy Spirit and the Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology: 36 students), two combined courses on The Christian Minister and Ministry, and Leadership (20 students—see picture), and Practice Preaching (30 students). The classrooms are set up for social distancing with only one student at each table.

Pray that God will bless each one of our students, faculty members, board members, and staff this semester with spiritual growth to His glory. Pray too for our hundreds of alumni serving Christ around the world that God will prosper their ministry.

“Pastors & Their Critics” Launch Team Facebook Group Invitation

The gospel has a lot of encouragement to offer pastors who are easily discouraged and overwhelmed by a constant bombardment of negativity from within and without their congregations. The new book, “Pastors and Their Critics,” co-authored by Nick Thompson and me, offers scriptural encouragement and advice to pastors to help them respond to criticism, offer criticism, and create a healthy church culture.

“Pastors and Their Critics” will officially launch on September 16, 2020. In preparation for the book launch, P&R Publishing have created a Launch Team Facebook Group to help spread the word about this book and its contents. Access to the group will be strictly limited to the first 100 individuals who sign up. Launch Team members will have an opportunity to read the book in advance, receive updates from the publisher and authors, participate in private discussions, and help promote the book prior to launch day.

You can request access to the group by clicking on the following link and answering a few preliminary questions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1174114492957136

Warmly,

Dr. Joel Beeke

PS: What happens in this group stays in this group. It is meant to be a private forum to access this uplifting content ahead of time, for you to receive its encouragement, and for you to help spread the word about it via your own social media platforms.

Jesus is a Specialist in Hopeless Situations

The Weak Faith of Lot vs. the Strong Faith of Abram

I did the first virtual school chapel message of my life on the weak faith of Lot and the strong faith of Abram. What a difference between the two and what lessons for all of us! What kind of faith do you have?

https://bit.ly/2EKSSGm

The Gospel of Exodus: Misery, Deliverance, Gratitude

I am very excited to announce that Dr. Michael P. V. Barrett’s new book, “The Gospel of Exodus: Misery, Deliverance, Gratitude” (Reformation Heritage Books, 275 pages) arrived today. It is the major fruit of his sabbatical study last year.

Written at a popular level with excellent discussion questions, this book is ideal for private or group study. As always, my good friend and colleague’s writing is thoroughly biblical, Christ-centered, experiential, pastoral, practical, insightful, and captivating. Having been the final editor of this great book, I can assure you that you will love this book and will come away from it understanding the salvation paradigm in Exodus in terms of experiential misery, deliverance, and gratitude more and better than ever before. This is a must-read book by one of my favorite living authors. As Derek Thomas says, “It is top shelf—a veritable feast of good things.”

Order your copy today at RHB: https://bit.ly/MPVBGospelExodus

Rev. Michael Riccardi

With Rev. Michael Riccardi, a pastor in John MacArthur’s church in California, who spoke ably and powerfully at our PRTS conference in two addresses this past weekend as our visiting speaker:

Freely and Cheerfully – Part 1: https://bit.ly/3gL65eW

Freely and Cheerfully – Part 2: https://bit.ly/3bcgtez 

My wife and I also very much enjoyed time with him over lunch, sharing our conversion experiences, and speaking about the good things of God.

The PRTS Annual Puritan Reformed Conference – Day Three

Last night we had an enjoyable Q&A time at the 2020 Puritan Reformed Conference (it was chaired by Dr. Greg Salazar just to my left in the picture), and also had a blessed time this morning, especially when Dr. Bilkes closed the conference with a moving message on “Law Death, Gospel Life” from Galatians 2:19, bringing us the cream of Ralph Erskine’s rich sermons on this text. (My own message on “The Puritans on the Grace of Law” was mediocre; may God graciously forgive my shortcomings.) Many thanks to all speakers, volunteers, and attendees—and to all of you who have listened through livestream. I hope you were blessed too!

While we were at the seminary conference yesterday, Carol VandenBogerd, whom I have known since childhood (and who has children and grandchildren and a brother and sister-in-law in our church), passed away at the age of 71. She went to be with the Lord at 10:55 a.m. while the family was singing “Rock of Ages” (“While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death,” etc.) around her bedside in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At 10:59 a.m. we were singing the same hymn at the conference in Grand Rapids. What a blessing when loved ones die in vital union with the Rock of Ages! Please pray with me that God will graciously remember the mourning husband, children and grandchildren, siblings, and other relatives in the upcoming bittersweet days in the tender mercies of our compassionate High Priest.

And now, I return to preparing a sermon for tomorrow evening on a wonderful passage from my series on the Gospel of Mark (the healing of Jairus’s daughter), and to preparing a convocation address for Monday morning as PRTS begins its 26th school year.

Your prayers are coveted.

The PRTS Annual Puritan Reformed Conference – Day Two

Had a great “yesterday” at the PRTS Conference. All the addresses (Barrett, Riccardi, Murray, VanDoodewaard) on various aspects of the law went well, as did the Q&A session with the speakers and the book sales.

One surprise highlight was when Wayne Anderson, who publishes Reformed books in Spanish via his publishing house, Faro de Garcia, presented me with a copy of “La Predicación Reformada”—a translation into Spanish of my book on Reformed experiential preaching published by Crossway (see picture).

The conference concludes this morning with my address on “The Puritans on the Grace of Law” (9:00 a.m.) and Dr. Jerry Bilkes’s address on “Law Death, Gospel Life” (10:45 a.m.). We’d love to have you join us by livestream if you can’t join us in person: https://bit.ly/3gB4452

The PRTS Annual Puritan Reformed Conference – Day One

Last night our PRTS Annual Puritan Reformed Conference—at the Heritage Reformed Church, 540 Crescent NE in Grand Rapids—on “The Grace of Law” got off to a great start.

Dr. Stephen Myers spoke clearly and experientially about the convicting power of the law, and Rev. Michael Riccardi (see the picture) powerfully delivered the first of two addresses on obeying God’s law freely and willingly. If you can’t join us in person today for four more addresses commencing at 9:00 a.m. and a question and answer session in the evening, you can livestream at https://bit.ly/3gB4452.

May God bless you as you join us in person or online.

Don’t Murmur Against God & His Name

After I preached at Immanuel Fellowship Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan last Lord’s Day evening, I was asked to give a 5-minute address on any subject for their Truth Video.

I chose to summarize a few thoughts from the sermon I had preached in our own church in the morning on how our murmuring spirits (think: complaining; grumbling) fly in the face of the Third Commandment because we are implicitly denying the goodness of God’s name and providence. In our days of multiple problems, we too may be prone to imbibe a complaining spirit.

After you listen to this sermon, will you and I ask God to forgive us for our grumbling and pray for grace to truly believe His promise that “all things work together for good to those that love God”?