PRC Seminary Library Acquisitions – 2nd Quarter 2020 (2)

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As promised two days ago (see my previous post), here is the second part of the 2020 second quarter list of significant book acquisitions to the PRC Seminary library (April – June). I think you will agree that there are some valuable resources here for our seminary purposes, but also for our members and friends to benefit from. Perhaps a title in the theology section or in the practical theology sections will grab your attention and inspire you to delve into a new subject.

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Dogmatics, Biblical Theology, Historical Theology

  • Solus Decalogus Est Aeternus: Martin Luther’s Complete Antinomian Theses and Disputations / Martin Luther, 1483-1546; Holger Sonntag. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran Press, c2008
  • Five: The Solas of the Reformation / S. D. Ellison; Michael A. G. Haykin. Lansvale, NSW, Australia: Tulip Publishing, 2020.
  • Calvinism and the Making of the European Mind / Gijsbert van den Brink; Harro M. Hopfl, editor. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2014 (Studies In Reformed Theology,) vol. 27
  • Propositions and Principles of Divinity: Propounded and Disputed in the University of Geneva, by certain students of Divinity there, under Mr. Theodore Beza and Mr. Anthony Faius, professors of Divinity. …a summary of common places / Theodore de Beza, 1519-1605; Anthony Faius. (1st English, bound photocopy). Edinburgh: Robert Walde-grave, 1592.
  • God Has Spoken: A History of Christian Theology / Gerald Lewis. Bray. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014.
  • The History and Theology of Calvinism / Curt Daniel; Joel R. Beeke; John MacArthur. Darlington (England): EP BOOKS, 2019.
  • The Theology of the Huguenot Refuge: From the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes to the Edict of Versailles / Martin I. Klauber, editor. Grand Rapids, MI : Reformation Heritage Books, 2020 (Reformed Historical-Theological Studies)
  • The Works of William Perkins: Volume 9 – A Declaration of the True Manner of Knowing Christ Crucified [Etc.] / William Perkins, 1558-1602; J. Stephen Yuille; Joel R. Beeke, editor; Derek W.H. Thomas. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2020.
  • Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account / Steven J. Duby. New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018, c2016 (T & T Clark Studies In Systematic Theology), vol. 30
  • New Studies in Biblical Theology (recently on sale, filled out our holdings in this series), Apollos; InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham:
    • Now My Eyes Have Seen You: Images of Creation and Evil in the Book of Job / Robert S. Fyall. ; Donald A. Carson. 2002. (#12)
    • The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel / Peter Bolt, 1958-. ; Donald A. Carson. 2004 (#18)
    • A Mouth Full of Fire: The Word of God in the Words of Jeremiah / Andrew G. Shead; Donald A. Carson. c2012. (#29)
    • The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of Incarnation / Graham A. (Graham Arthur) Cole, 1949-. ; Donald A. Carson. 2013 (#30)
    • The Feasts of Repentance: From Luke-Acts to Systematic and Pastoral Theology / Michael Ovey, 1958-2017; Donald A. Carson. 2019. (#49)
    • Canon, Covenant and Christology: Rethinking Jesus and the Scriptures of Israel / Matthew Barrett, 1982-; Donald A. Carson. 2020 (#51)
  • A Theology of James: Wisdom for God’s People / Christopher W. Morgan, 1971-.; Robert A. Peterson. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Pub., c2010 (Explorations In Biblical Theology)
  • A Power of God unto Salvation: Or Grace Not an Offer / Herman Hoeksema, 1886-1965. ; Homer C. Hoeksema, 1923-1989, Transl.; Cornelius Hanko, 1907-2005, Transl. — reprint – syllabus. Grandville, MI: Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary, 1996 (Amazingly – and sadly, this English ed. was not in the library!).
  • Herman Hoeksema’s Theological Method / David B. McWilliams. Lampeter: University of Wales, 2000.
  • Approaching the Atonement: The Reconciling Work of Christ / Oliver. Crisp. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2020.
  • Living for God: A Short Introduction to the Christian Faith / Mark Jones, 1980-. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020.
  • The Church: Her Nature, Authority, Purpose, and Worship / Jeffrey D. Johnson. New Albany, MS: Media Gratiae, 2020.
  • The Covenant of Grace / John Colquhoun, 1748-1827; Sinclair B. Ferguson. Orlando, FL: The Northampton Press, 2020.
  • Backdrop for a Glorious Gospel: The Covenant of Works According to William Strong / Thomas Parr. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2020.
  • Finding the Right Hills to Die On: The Case for Theological Triage / Gavin Ortlund; Donald A. Carson. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020.
  • When Doctrine Divides the People of God: An Evangelical Approach to Theological Diversity / Rhyne R. Putman; David S. Dockery. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020.
  • Grounded in Heaven: Recentering Christian Hope and Life on God / Michael Allen. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2018.
  • Biblical Eschatology / Jonathan Menn; Robert W. Yarbrough; Stanley Ntagali. (2nd ed.) Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2018.
  • A Continental View: Johannes Cocceius’s Federal Theology of the Sabbath / Casey B. Carmichael; Herman J. Selderhuis. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019 (Reformed Historical Theology) vol. 41
  • Eschatology / John C. McDowell; Scott A. Kirkland. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2018 (Guides To Theology)

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Practical Theology (1) – Christian Living, Ethics, Family, Marriage, Missions, Prayer

  • Safe and Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles / David Powlison, 1949-2019. Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2019
  • Waging War in an Age of Doubt: A Biblical, Theological, Historical, and Practical Approach to Spiritual Warfare for Today / Robert Davis Smart. Grand Rapids, MI : Reformation Heritage Books, 2020.
  • Created to Draw Near: Our Life As God’s Royal Priests / Edward T. Welch, 1953-. Wheaton: Crossway, 2020.
  • Our Chief of Days: The Principle, Purpose, and Practice of the Lord’s Day / Jeremy R. Walker. Darlington, Co. Durham, England: Evangelical Press, 2019.
  • Between Life and Death: A Gospel-Centered Guide to End-of-Life Medical Care / Kathryn Butler, 1980-. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019.
  • I Still Do: Growing Closer and Stronger Through Life’s Defining Moments / David T. (David Thomas) Harvey, 1960-. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2020.
  • Marriage and Sexuality in Early Christianity / David G. Hunter, editor. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2018 (Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources)
  • A Covenantal Vision for Global Mission / Paul Ronald Wells, editor; Peter A. Lillback, editor; Henk Stoker, editor. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2020. (*Watch for Rev. D. Holstege’s next missions article in the Standard Bearer, as he interacts with an essay in this book that references H. Hoeksema’s doctrine of the covenant.)
  • Recovering from Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: How the Church Needs to Rediscover Her Purpose / Aimee. Byrd. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Reflective, 2020.
  • “The Sum and Substance of the Gospel”: The Christ-Centered Piety of Charles Haddon Spurgeon / C. H. (Charles Haddon) Spurgeon, 1834-1892; Nathan A. Finn, editor; Aaron Lumpkin, editor; Joel R. and Michael A.G. Haykin (series eds.). Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2020 (Profiles in Reformed Spirituality)

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Practical Theology (2) – Church Government/Leadership, Counseling, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Sermons, Worship

  • Ancient Roots for Reformed Polity: De Synagoga Vetere and the Ecclesiology of the Early Church – An Annotated Compendium / Campegius (1659-1722) Vitringa; Joshua L. Bernard, Transl.; H. David Schuringa. (1st English ed.) North Star Ministry Press, 2020.
  • Presbyterianism: Its History, Doctrine, Government, and Worship / Samuel Miller, 1769-1850; Allen. Stanton; Harrison. Perkins. (reprint) Madison, MS: Log College Press, 2020.
  • Crucified and Risen: Sermons on the Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ [Matthew 26-28] / John Calvin, 1509-1564. ; Robert White, Transl. Edinburgh; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2020.
  • Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers / Dane C. Ortlund. Wheaton: Crossway, 2020.
  • Does God Care How We Worship? / J. Ligon Duncan; Mark Dever. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2020.
  • Aiming to Please: A Guide to Reformed Worship / Wes Bredenhof. Fergus, ON: The Study, 2020.

Misc. (Apologetics, Culture, Dutch History, Education, Music, Politics, Science, Work, World Religions, etc.)

  • Origins of Teacher Education at Calvin College, 1900-1930: And Gladly Teach / Peter P. DeBoer. Lewiston: E. Mellen Press, c1991 (Mellen Studies in Education) vol. 18
  • “That Old Dutch Disease”: The Roots of Dutch Calvinist Education in Alberta / Peter C. Prinsen. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta, 2000.
  • Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies for Survival and Success in the Twenty-First Century / Richard T. Hughes, (Richard Thomas); William B. Adrian. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., c1997.
  • With Wings as Eagles: A History of the First One Hundred Years of God’s Blessings to Plymouth Christian Schools, 1908-2008 / 100th Anniversary Committee; Kevin. Ash; Ben Engelsma. Grand Rapids, MI: Plymouth Christian Schools, 2008.
  • Dutch Households in U.S. Population Censuses, 1850, 1860, 1870: An Alphabetical Listing by Family Heads – Volume One: Aamink to Hoogesteeger; Volume Two: Hoogesteeger to Slaan; Volume Three: Slabbekoorn to Zymen and Addendum / Robert P. Swierenga. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1987.
  • The Reformed Christian Day School Movement in North America / Arthur H. DeKruyter. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Theological Seminary, 1952.
  • Faith and Culture in the Governance of Calvinistic/Reformed Christian Schools / Leroy A. Hollaar. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta, 1989 (2 vols.)
  • The Spirit of Calvinist Christian Schools from the Netherlands to North America / William. Lodewyk. Chicago: Loyola University Chicago, 2004 (2 vols.)

I wish to thank Gary Vander Schaaf (Credo Books) for all the great Christian school resources, as well as the academic theses and other great books he brings by the seminary for my preview and purchase (and many that he donates). Through his knowledge and expertise we continue to add many valuable resources to the library. Never tire of seeing Gary’s van pull up in the parking lot! 🙂

Have You Ever Heard These 25 Obscure English Words?

As we have started a new month and have not had a “Word Wednesday” in a while, let’s make use of this one from GrammarBook.com, which came into my email box back in January. Instead of one word, however, you will get to consider 25! And, yes, these are truly obscure, and maybe a tad strange – I only knew a few – but look at the vocabulary you will add to your speech! Well, maybe not.

I include the introduction and the first part of the list – enjoy!

There’s something so satisfying about pulling out a $15 word—the kind that you hardly ever get to use, but fits the situation perfectly. On the other hand, that feeling when you can’t quite find the right word for what you’re trying to express is incredibly aggravating. Well, we’re here to help. Here are 25 weird, obscure, and downright cool words hidden in the English language.

For the rest, visit the link below.

Source: Have You Ever Heard These 25 Obscure English Words? |

Epeolatry: The worship of words. What better piece of vocabulary to kick off this list with?
Aglet: The little piece of plastic on the end of your shoelaces. (Crossword puzzle fans know this one.)
Grawlix: You know when cartoonists substitute a bunch of punctuation marks for curse words? They’re using grawlix.
Borborygmus: A rumbling in your stomach. Time for lunch!
Accubation: While you quell your borborygmus, you might engage in accubation—the act of comfortably reclining, often during a meal.
Jillick: To skip a stone across a surface of water.
Nibling: Here’s a handy word you might just now realize you were missing. Nibling is a gender-neutral term for a niece or nephew.
Tatterdemalion: Some words just sound like their meaning. A tatterdemalion is somebody wearing tattered clothing. It can also be used as an adjective meaning tattered or ragged in appearance.
Tittle: The word tittle has got just one tittle in it, but this sentence has six—no, seven—more. It’s the little dot above a lowercase j or i.
Pogonotrophy: You probably know someone who engages in pogonotrophy, the act of growing a beard, even if they don’t call it that.
Pilgarlic: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a pilgarlic is a bald-headed person—usually one you’re mocking or feeling sorry for.
Published in: on March 13, 2019 at 10:58 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Bookish Life by Joseph Epstein | First Things

This essay in the November issue of First Things is a romping good read about “the bookish life,” which, from this writer’s perspective, is really his personal take on the joys of book-choosing and reading. It is far from the standard fare, for not only does Epstein take you far and wide in describing his “bookish life,” but he also dismisses much of the “conventional wisdom” about what to read and how to read.

There is much that I appreciated and enjoyed – even laughed about – in this article. I saved it when I first read it earlier this month, and as November comes to a close, I share it with those interested. Here are some of the more serious parts from which I benefited. Find the full essay at the link below.

Only after I had departed high school did books begin to interest me, and then only in my second year of college, when I transferred from the ­University of Illinois to the University of Chicago. Among the most beneficial departures from standard college fare at the University of Chicago was the brilliant idea of eliminating textbooks from undergraduate study. This meant that instead of reading, in a thick­ textbook, “In his Politics Aristotle held . . . ,” or “In Civilization and Its Discontents Freud argued . . . ,” or “In On Liberty John Stuart Mill asserted . . . ,” students read the Politics, Civilization and Its Discontents, On Liberty, and a good deal else. Not only read them, but, if they were like me, became excited by them. Heady stuff, all this, for a nineteen-year-old semi-literate who, on first encountering their names, was uncertain how to pronounce Proust or Thucydides.

…Nor, I suspect, is the bookish soul likely to read chiefly on a Kindle or a tablet. I won’t go into the matter of the aesthetics of book design, the smell of books, the fine feel of a well-made book in one’s hands, lest I be taken for a hedonist, a reactionary, and a snob. More important, apart from the convenience of Kindles and tablets—in allowing for enlarged print, in portability if one wants to take more than one or two books along when traveling—I have come to believe that there is a mysterious but quite real difference between words on pixel and words in print. For reasons that perhaps one day brain ­science will reveal to us, print has more weight, a more substantial feel, makes a greater demand on one’s attention, than the pixel. One tends not to note a writer’s style as clearly in pixels as one does in print. Presented with a thirty- or forty-paragraph piece of writing in pixels, one wants to skim after fifteen or twenty paragraphs in a way that one doesn’t ordinarily wish to do in print. Pixels for information and convenience, then, print for knowledge and pleasure is my sense of the difference between the two.

…Reading may not be the same as conversation, but reading the right books, the best books, puts us in the company of men and women more intelligent than ourselves. Only by keeping company with those smarter than ourselves, in books or in persons, do we have a chance of becoming a bit smarter. My friend Edward Shils held that there were four modes, or means, of education: that in the classroom, that through superior newspapers and journals, that from the conversation of intelligent friends, and that obtained from bookstores and especially used bookstores. The so-called digital age, spearheaded by Amazon, is slowly putting this last-named mode out of business. With its ample stock, quick delivery, and slightly lower prices, Amazon is well on its way to killing the independent bookstore. But the owners of these stores are not the only losers. Readers, too, turn out to be ill-served by this bit of mixed progress that Amazon and other online booksellers have brought.

…Nietzsche said that life without music is a mistake. I would agree, adding that it is no less a mistake without books. Proust called books “the noblest of distractions,” and they are assuredly that, but also more, much more. “People say that life is the thing,” wrote Logan Pearsall Smith, “but I prefer reading.” In fact, with a bit of luck, the two reinforce each other. In The Guermantes Way volume of his great novel, Proust has his narrator note a time when he knew “more books than people and literature better than life.” The best arrangement, like that between the head and the heart, is one of balance between life and reading. One brings one’s experience of life to one’s reading, and one’s reading to one’s experience of life. You can get along without reading serious books—many extraordinary, large-hearted, highly intelligent people have—but why, given the chance, would you want to? Books make life so much richer, grander, more splendid. The bookish life is not for everyone, nor are its rewards immediately evident, but at a minimum, taking it up you are assured, like the man said, of never being out of work.

Source: The Bookish Life by Joseph Epstein | Articles | First Things

Published in: on November 27, 2018 at 10:46 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Benefits of a Book-Filled Home Remain Strong | Book Patrol

This recent post from the folks at Book Patrol caught my attention – and not only because of the picture of the beautiful home library! It’s especially the reference to the importance of surrounding children with books in the home.

You don’t have to have or build a room like this, but you can provide some shelves with good picture books and classic literature in any room to open up worlds unknown to your children and grandchildren and stimulate their minds to explore and grow.

Here’s part of the online article; find the rest of it and more to explore at the Book Patrol link below.

It’s no secret that a healthy portion of books in the home leads to more good things happening to the kids that live and grow up there.

In his 2010 piece, Home Libraries Provide Huge Educational Advantage, Tom Jacobs of Pacific Standard alerted us to a comprehensive study that made clear that “the presence of book-lined shelves in the home — and the intellectual environment those volumes reflect — gives children an enormous advantage in school.”

Now, eight years later, Jacobs is back at it with the results of a new study that confirms that not only do books furnish a room but they continue to be a leading indicator of improved performance in a range of areas. The study features surveys of adults (ages 25 to 65) in 31 nations.

“Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills…beyond the benefits accrued from parental education, or [one’s] own educational or occupational attainment,” the researchers report.

Source: The Benefits of a Book-Filled Home Remain Strong | Book Patrol

Published in: on October 20, 2018 at 9:13 AM  Comments (1)  

The Battle Cry of the Reformation and the Surrender of Greek and Hebrew

Seminary building entrance

This post comes in my role as registrar at the PRC Theological Seminary, an institution that has its roots in the great Protestant Reformation in every aspect (church historical, theological, homiletical, pastoral, and educational) and where we place a strong emphasis on learning the original languages of God’s inspired and infallible Word – Hebrew for the OT portion and Greek for the NT portion.

This blog post by Dr. D. Wallace affirms what we still embrace in the twenty-first century – whole-heartedly and unashamedly. Current and prospective students must know this, but so also must our members. And the reasons why, for without the foundation, we will lose the edifice.

So read on and be reminded why we are truly a Protestant and Reformed Seminary.

Daniel B. Wallace

One of the great ironies and unnecessary casualties of the Protestant Reformation is shaping up in America today. The battle cry of the Reformation was ad fontes—“back to the sources!”—which meant going behind Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and reading the original Greek New Testament. This was coined by Erasmus, the man responsible for publishing the first Greek New Testament in 1516. He was a Roman Catholic priest who was swimming against the current of much of 16th century Catholic scholarship. It was especially the Protestants who latched onto Erasmus’ Greek New Testament. During his lifetime, over 300,000 copies were sold! A few years after his death, the Council of Trent banned many of his writings.

The Reformers also went beyond the Vulgate and translated the Bible into modern languages.

Reformation

Now, half a millennium after Luther nailed his theses to the door of the great Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, theological seminaries…

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Children learn best when engaged in the living world not on screens | Aeon Essays

This powerful piece was published by Aeon back on August 2 under the subject of Education. The title says it all. It is yet another criticism of the modern mentality that computers (or tablets or smartphones) and the Internet are the key to learning for this and future generations.

The author demonstrates otherwise, with simple logic and personal experience. Nicholas Tampio is associate professor of political science at Fordham University in New York. He is the author of Kantian Courage (2012) and Deleuzes Political Vision (2015). His latest book is Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy (2018).

Here are a few of his early thoughts in the essay. Find the complete essay at the link below. It is worth your time.

As a parent, it is obvious that children learn more when they engage their entire body in a meaningful experience than when they sit at a computer. If you doubt this, just observe children watching an activity on a screen and then doing the same activity for themselves. They are much more engaged riding a horse than watching a video about it, playing a sport with their whole bodies rather than a simulated version of it in an online game.

Today, however, many powerful people are pushing for children to spend more time in front of computer screens, not less. Philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have contributed millions of dollars to ‘personal learning’, a term that describes children working by themselves on computers, and Laurene Powell Jobs has bankrolled the XQ Super School project to use technology to ‘transcend the confines of traditional teaching methodologies’. Policymakers such as the US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos call personalised learning ‘one of the most promising developments in K-12 education’, and Rhode Island has announced a statewide personalised learning push for all public school students. Think tanks such as the Brookings Institution recommend that Latin-American countries build ‘massive e-learning hubs that reach millions’. School administrators tout the advantages of giving all students, including those at kindergarten, personal computers.

Many adults appreciate the power of computers and the internet, and think that children should have access to them as soon as possible. Yet screen learning displaces other, more tactile ways to discover the world. Human beings learn with their eyes, yes, but also their ears, nose, mouth, skin, heart, hands, feet. The more time kids spend on computers, the less time they have to go on field trips, build model airplanes, have recess, hold a book in their hands, or talk with teachers and friends. In the 21st century, schools should not get with the times, as it were, and place children on computers for even more of their days. Instead, schools should provide children with rich experiences that engage their entire bodies.

 

Source: Children learn best when engaged in the living world not on screens | Aeon Essays

Published in: on September 26, 2018 at 10:42 PM  Leave a Comment  

Children in the Worship Service: Parental Chore and Blessed Calling

ordinary-MHorton-2014Once more I am going to pull a quotation from the ninth chapter  of Michael Horton’s Or-di-nar-y: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (Zondervan, 2014). That chapter, from which I have quoted twice already, is titled, you may remember, “God’s ecosystem.”

In that chapter Horton is stressing the organic idea of the church – the saints’ spiritual life together in Christ – which is ever being sustained and growing in God’s garden, through the “ordinary” means of grace, especially the preaching of the gospel and the sacraments.

Toward the end of this chapter, the author focuses on the important calling the church has to make sure her children are growing up in Christ too. Critical of what the modern church through her “youth ministries” has done, Horton calls for a return to the “ordinary” in this area too – instructing the youth through catechism and bringing them into the regular worship of the church.

Tonight I give you some of his thoughts on this, and I truly hope it is an encouragement to our younger couples with little children whom they may dread to take into the worship service or despair of taking to church. Listen carefully to these words:

Having four of my own, I understand the difficulty of having children in church. Our church has a cry room, where parents can still participate in the service to some extent, but it is a chore. Yet isn’t it a chore of parenthood? Eventually the parents decide when they will move out of the cry room. It is remarkable how early children learn habits of sitting and listening. Even if they doodle and daydream for a couple of years, these habits of participation in the communion of saints are like a trellis. These habits do not guarantee that everyone will eventually respond in faith, but they do make for better hearing of that gospel through which faith takes root and grows in our hearts.

Besides the concern for parents, many Christians wonder if it is good for children to have them in the regular service. After all, they cannot understand what is going on. But imagine saying that you’re not going to have toddlers at the table for meals with the family because they do not understand the rituals or manners. Or keeping infants isolated in a nursery with nothing but mobiles and squeaky toys because they cannot understand the dialogue of the rest of the family around them. We know, instinctively, that it’s important for our children to acquire language and the ordinary rituals of their family environment in order to become mature. Or imagine keeping our teens from their grandparents’ funerals because they don’t understand it. We take them precisely so they will, knowing that our patience (and theirs) will be rewarded in later years and that the event will itself be an opportunity for maturity. Jesus grew in wisdom and knowledge. He learned the Psalter and the rhythms of the synagogue liturgy. When, as a young adult, he took up the Isaiah scroll to read about himself, he knew exactly where to roll it.

At the grammar stage, children are simply absorbing the language of Zion: the terms and ‘the pattern of the sound words’ (2 Tim 1:13) that we share with the wider body of Christ through the ages. I think that we are sometimes too worried about ‘imposing’ our faith on our children. After all, it’s a personal relationship with Jesus, and we do not want to interfere with their free will. [I hope you sense the author’s rightful use of sarcasm here.] We don’t think this way about the other things that they are learning by rote at this stage. We do not upbraid teachers for ‘imposing’ the alphabet or multiplication table. Our moral sentiments are not offended when parents correct poor grammar.

So, do not hesitate to take your young children to church tomorrow. And if necessary, to take them out when they are noisy or misbehave. Just remember to take them back in. They are learning to live in the presence of God and worship Him just as you did when you were taken by your parents. They are soaking up the words of the church and of Jesus their Savior. They are growing roots and growing up as tender shoots in God’s garden. What better place could they possibly be? Never minimize what God is at working doing in them through His “ordinary” means of grace.

Besides, those cries of distress (or for mercy!) as you take them out are music to the hearts of their fellow, older saints. We support you, parents, in this “chore” that is also a marvelous duty.

Covenant Christian High Turns 50

CCHS-Logo

This year Covenant Christian High School in Grand Rapids, MI turns 50 (1968-2018) and this weekend the covenant community behind the school (mainly Protestant Reformed parents and grandparents) will celebrate. Being a graduate of this blessed institution (Class of 1976!), I am personally grateful for the Christian secondary education I received from our godly teachers.

A special program is planned for this evening (Friday, April 27) at Fair Haven Church in Hudsonville, MI, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tomorrow (Saturday, April 28) there will be an open house at the school from 1:00-5:00 p.m. We hope you are planning to attend these significant events!

CCHS-Anniv-pages_0001

A special edition of the “Covenant Courier” has been published, which highlights the history and the development of the school during these 50 years of existence. On Covenant CHS’s website you will find a link to this entire issue (also provided above).

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And on Covenant’s website you will also find a link to an online album of pictures of life and labor at CHHS by the decades. That makes for great memories, besides being quite entertaining! Did we really look that bad in the ’70s?!

The above photos are taken from the Fifteenth anniversary booklet of CCHS (1968-1983), a copy of which is found in the PRC archives and in our seminary library’s vertical files. The first photo marks the laying of the “date stone” on April 20, 1968, which includes “a small copper box containing many items of historical interest on how the society and building originated” (p.6). The second photo shows Rev. John Heys giving a speech on Psalm 103:17,18 at this ceremony.

We join with Covenant’s community in thanking our faithful God for providing and preserving this important Christian school for 50 years. May He continue to bless it and use it in the formation of covenant young people.

Grammar Quiz Review – Resolved to Learn More in 2018

hero-blue-bookFor our Wednesday post this week we will return to grammar, compliments of GrammarBook.com, only this time to take a quiz – a jumbo pop quiz! – to use the words of the website.

They call it a “year-end” quiz, since the 25 questions review various grammar lessons posted last year. But let’s call it our year-beginning quiz, part of our New Year’s resolution to use better grammar in speaking and in writing.

This is how GrammarBook introduces the quiz:

In 2017 we explored an array of ways to enhance your grammar and writing. We hope what you learned follows you well into 2018 as you continue your aim to communicate with even greater precision and eloquence.

The quiz includes twenty-five sentences addressing a range of subjects. Choose your answers and then check them against our answer key that follows the quiz. For your convenience and reference, each answer in the key also includes the title and date of the article that focused on the topic.

OK, now, go ahead and get started! Have fun, do well, and keep learning! You’ll be glad you did. 🙂 You will find that answer key at the link provided above.

Jumbo Pop Quiz: 2017 in Twenty-five Questions

1. Jennifer is still choosing [between / among] three job offers: bank supervisor, financial analyst, or portfolio manager.

2. The principal has [appraised / apprised] us of the changes to school policy.

3. The coach [substituted / replaced] the bigger, slower player [with / for] a smaller, quicker one.

4. My uncle owns a [40-foot / 40-ft.] house boat.

5. The salesperson gave us three [choices / options] of current LED TV models to pick from.

6. My favorite book is [“To Kill a Mockingbird” / To Kill a Mockingbird] by Harper Lee.

7. Robert is an [honest, hard-working / honest hard-working] man.

8. The due date for the invoice is [September 1 / September 1st].

9. When hiring website developers for our company, we always look for [experts / trained experts] in JavaScript and SQL.

10. I [made the decision / decided] to attend grad school after earning my bachelor’s degree.

11. Jason is averse [to / of] doing the military press in the weight room because it’s adverse [against / to] his right shoulder.

12. By holding an auction for rare memorabilia, the VFW raised more than $60,000 [on behalf of / in behalf of] families of deceased or wounded veterans.

13. Between you and [I / me], I think the restaurant is way overpriced.

14. Please return the supplies you don’t use to Mark or [me / myself].

15. [Young people / Youth] today have to contend with more distractions.

16. The review panel found the film to be an [exploitive / exploitative] treatment of postmodern feminism.

17. Crystal composed her essay much (differently from how / differently than) Christian wrote his.

18. The house across the street belongs to the Sanchez family. The SUV in the driveway is the [Sanchez’s / Sanchezes’] car.

19. The lack of voter participation [affected / effected] the outcome of the election.

20. The band eventually left their rented practice space because of the [continual / continuous] drip from the ceiling. It never stopped while they tried to play.

21. The crowd [is / are] so large that the city may need to request extra security from the neighboring town.

22. For the following sentence, identify whether the verb used is a transitive or intransitive verb and whether the pronoun is a direct or indirect object:
Mrs. Johanssen likes to bring [transitive / intransitive] us [indirect / direct] freshly baked cookies every Sunday after church.

23. Peter is always ready to help [whoever / whomever] might be struggling with the assignment.

24. Which salutation punctuation would be appropriate for informal correspondence between good friends?
a) Dear Susan,
b) Dear Susan:

25. [Most importantly / Most important], her credit cards weren’t in her wallet when she lost it.”

Published in: on January 10, 2018 at 10:29 PM  Comments (1)  

The Death of Scholarship – Commentary

This powerful article on the current state of scholarship in the major universities and colleges of the U.S. appeared in the online version of Commentary magazine on Nov.13, 2017.

In it, author Warren Treadgold speaks forthrightly about how the left in America has taken control of the academic world and with its “progressive” ideology removed not merely the voice of conservative thinking (and any contrary thinking) but also the opportunity for conservatives to speak. They have done so by killing any true scholarship.

While the author’s point has broad application in the academic world, it also has narrower application for those of us who are Christians and function in the academic world. But it also has implications for all Christians and their voice in the “public square.”

Below are a few segments from Treadgold’s piece; find the rest at the link above.

Leftist professors have no such inhibitions. In their opinion, there can be no legitimate reason for scholarship except to pursue “the concerns of the present” and conduct “a search for new meaning and a rigorous testing of old bromides.” The works of Shakespeare or any other great men are of no use except to illustrate currently fashionable ideology. Moreover, since the only point of scholarship is to advance ideology, questions of accuracy are irrelevant. In combating racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativity, patriarchy, elitism, and other evils, the genuine study of literature, political science, philosophy, history, art, and religion is quite incidental. Scholarship done for nonideological purposes, perhaps especially if it faithfully represents the past in its own terms, can only serve to reinforce an unjust society and culture.

This attitude inevitably dominates not only academic scholarship but also college teaching. In 2015, the New York Times columnist Frank Bruni denounced Republican efforts to cut funding for higher education by describing how he had been “transformed” by a marvelous course in Shakespeare he took from an outstanding teacher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the mid-1980s. He promptly heard from his old teacher, now at the University of Pennsylvania, that such courses on “dead white men” are thoroughly out of favor in English departments today. “Shakespeare,” she told Bruni, “has become Shakespeare and Film, which in my cranky opinion becomes Film, not Shakespeare.” She advised him to look at the current course offerings of Penn’s English department—“Pulp Fictions,” “Sex and the City,” “Global Feminisms,” “Comic Books and Graphic Novels,” “Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Film,” and “Literatures of Psychoanalysis.” The sort of class that Bruni loved 30 years ago is not the sort that universities now teach.