The Best Things Found Between the Pages of Old Books – Atlas Obscura

Time for our “Friday Fun” item for this week, and for that we turn once more to Atlas Obscura, that global geographical gem that often features things library and bookish.

Back on February 19 of this year they listed the above-titled item. Having asked their readers to share their best stories about things they had found between the pages of books, hundreds responded with tales of their odd, strange, and amazing findings. What followed was an entertaining list of their “surprising discoveries.”

I have picked out a few of them to highlight, but be sure to visit the link at the end and find out many more. Here are a few to get you started:

Not just money … really old money

An old family Bible contained an envelope with a note on the outside saying, “Grandfather’s revolutionary war pay.” Inside was a colonial currency bill and a signed receipt for its payment for service in the Connecticut 2nd Continental line. —W. Kevin Dougherty, Brackney, Pennsylvania

Forgotten tickets

A 1967 Red Sox World Series Ticket, unused in mint condition. —Robert Bolduc, Boston, Massachusetts

Lost pets

I was about eight years old and had a small goldfish bowl with one goldfish in it on top of a small bookcase in my room. One day he just disappeared and we couldn’t figure out where he went, until the day I was reading one of those books and found a petrified goldfish between the pages. —Rebecca MacLeod

Secret devices

A World War II hidden radio —Ron G. Woering


Found in an old hardcover book about the siege of Fort Sumter, on the discount rack outside of Second Story Books in Dupont Circle. A faded tan piece of construction paper, torn along the bottom edge, as if hastily ripped out of a notebook. Yet the text is carefully typed and dripping with the hope and excitement you’d expect from the title at the top: “MY TRIP AROUND THE WORLD.” It spans from 1970 to 1982, and has our unknown adventurer deep-sea fishing, hunting tigers, sailing distant seas, touring Europe and Asia, and ultimately arriving in San Francisco, where the plan is to, “Sell boat buy land and start cattle ranch.” —Bruce Falconer, Washington, D.C.

So what have you found inside (used) books you had purchased? I can report that what I have mostly found is bookmarks and newspaper clippings. But I am always on the lookout for those truly unusual and special items!

If you have a story to tell, please do!

Source: The Best Things Found Between the Pages of Old Books – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on March 16, 2018 at 9:35 PM  Leave a Comment  

Friday Fun, Catton Style: Playing the Benzonia Orchestra with a Bad Pompadour

For our Friday fun post today we take you back to Bruce Catton’s Waiting for the Morning Train (Wayne State University Press, 1987), the multifaceted story of his life growing up in northern Michigan, specifically, Benzonia.

retro-mens-1950s-hairstyles-short-pompadourThe chapter I just finished last night, “Interlude with Music” (chapter 8), includes a humorous section in which Catton describes how, as a mediocre violin player in the local orchestra, he sorely wanted to at least look like a dashing, debonair young man – complete with a pompadour. If you look that up in the dictionary, you will learn that a “pompadour” is a hairstyle “in which the hair is brushed up high from the forehead.”

Now listen to Catton describe his sorry experience as the Benzonia violinist with an uncooperative head of hair:

Probably I ought to have taken heart from something John the barber had said to me a few years before this obsession took hold of me. John was a dedicated socialist, and while he trimmed my hair he used to give long lectures on socialism. …Anyhow, one day John was working on my hair when he discovered that I had a double crown, which he said was a great rarity and something to be proud of, because it meant that I could part my hair on either the right side or the left side, at my choice.

‘I tell you,’ he said, gesturing with his scissors, ‘Rockefeller with all his millions couldn’t buy that.’

What Rockefeller with all his millions actually did was buy a wig, but I did not know that at the time and could not speak of it. But John had given fair warning: I could part my hair on either side, and if I left it alone it would part itself down the middle, but some sort of part it was going to have no matter what my intent might be. The smooth, sleek, sophisticated pompadour I could not have.

I came to my senses, at last, after one of our orchestra concerts. We had gone to Frankfort to play, and my problem was at its worst. Frankfort was more like a city than Benzonia was – not much more, actually, because it was also a small town, but compared to Benzonia it was a metropolis – and here if anywhere I ought to look like a debonair youth who had risen far above his country-bumpkin origins. But circumstance was against me. As an earnest violinist of moderate capacity I was something of a head-jerker, and when I  fiddled my way through my assignments I used much body English; and the constant head-wagging, of course, destroyed any chance that my sleek, slicked-down hair-do would stay in place. Things were especially bad that night. Luckily, as it then seemed, there were quite a few brief rests indicated in my score, and whenever one of these came, I would lay my bow down and run my hand desperately over that triply accursed crop of hair. All in all, I had a busy evening.

When the concert ended I started out of the building, violin case under my arm, and I came up behind a couple of local people who were exchanging greetings. One of them asked the other how he had enjoyed the concert, and the man replied that he had hardly noticed it – ‘I was so fascinated watching that young violinist trying to get his hair straightened out that I didn’t pay much attention to the music.’

I was crushed, of course, and for the first time I realized that I was in a fix. There I was, the young musician who was on public display every time the orchestra performed, building up my ego by the fact that I was undoubtedly the center of admiring glances; and it had not entered my monkey’s head that those same glances took in every detail of my frantic attempts to keep my hair in order. I gave up, with a regular Fort Donelson surrender, and next morning I combed my hair with a nice part on the left side and forgot about being a young man about town. It was a relief to me and unquestionably to many other people [pp.161-62].

waiting-train-catton-1987This was another section of the book that had me laughing out loud several times. I continue to enjoy this “good read” very much. Perhaps this little story will bring a chuckle to your soul and mouth too. 🙂

Published in: on March 2, 2018 at 10:11 PM  Leave a Comment  

Miscellaneous Winter-time Meanderings

On this Friday, we post a little fun in photos for our readers, which we will call miscellaneous meanderings, because I have a collection of miscellaneous pictures that I have taken this winter while meandering here and there. So, join me as we move about randomly, enjoying this, that, and the next thing. At least I did 🙂


Of course, we have to show some pictures of our seminary animal friends! This was taken during our January thaw.

And then we got hit some with some major snow again.


With several grandsons involved in winter basketball, we took in a few of their games. Future CCHS Chargers are they.

And we have seen the current CCHS Chargers play a few games too – including last week at Calvin  College against South Christian. A certain quartet was privileged to do the national anthem. 🙂

Last night we took in Heritage CS’s “Fine Arts” night, which included this fine piece by our granddaughter, Laelle – a budding artist.

And Mr. Dan Van Dyke’s room included awesome book summaries in poster form. Yes, I was pretty excited about these!

Speaking of books, here are a few miscellaneous items related to such real, printed-on-paper things:

A book snowman made at Herrick Library in Holland, MI (thanks to Bob Drnek for the photo!)

A few more bookplates from books in the Letis collection found in the Seminary library.


And a few examples of title pages with wonderful publisher ensigns – a distinguishing mark of publishers in the past, and still today, though not as elaborate as these.


And how could we forget on such days that we do still have our Friday grilled burger/brat lunches. Tim Bleyenberg at Sheldon Meats is our supplier. Once you’ve had his meats, you will not need to go elsewhere. The best!



Have a wonderful weekend!

Published in: on February 23, 2018 at 8:19 PM  Leave a Comment  

Mrs. Frisby and the Library of Nimh

Rats-of-nimh-OBrienThe room they entered was big, square, well lit, and had a faint musty smell. ‘It’s reasonably comfortable, and if you like to read…’ he gestured at the walls. They were lined with shelves from floor to ceiling, and on the shelves stood – Mrs. Frisby dredged in her memory. ‘Books,’ she said. ‘They’re books.’

‘Yes,’ said Justin. ‘Do you read much?’

‘Only a little,’ said Mrs. Frisby. ‘My husband taught me. And the children…’ She started to tell him how.

…Mrs. Frisby looked around her. The room – the library, Nicodemus had called it – had, in addition to its shelves of books, several tables with benches beside them, and on these were stacked more books, some of them open.

Books. Her husband, Jonathan, had told her about them. He had taught her and the children to read (the children had mastered it quickly, but she herself could barely manage the simplest words; she had thought perhaps it was because she was older). He had also told her about electricity. He had known these things – and so, it emerged, did the rats. It never occurred to her until now how he knew them. He had always known so many things, and she had accepted that as a matter of course. But who had taught him to read?

Found in the chapter “In the Library” in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien (Aladdin Paperpacks, 1975) a Newbery Medal book I recently picked up for my grandchildren, but was told to read myself before I gave it to them. It is a fun and easy read, filling the mind with imagination and adventure in the world of soft, furry animals. I just had to share the library part of the story with you. 🙂


Published in: on February 9, 2018 at 6:27 AM  Leave a Comment  

The Largest Library in Latin America

What is the largest library in Latin America and the seventh largest in the world? This one:


The Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, (that is, the national library of Brazil) the origin of which is quite striking. The interesting geography website Atlas Obscura recently featured it, and today we do here – for our “Friday fun” post.

Here’s the first part of the story of how Brazil came to host this mammoth library. Find the rest of its history at the link provided.

On November 1, 1755, a massive earthquake almost destroyed the city of Lisbon, the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal. Between 10,000 and 100,000 people were killed in the city, and countless buildings turned to rubble, in what remains one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.

Also lost in the quake was the 70,000-volume Royal Library inside the devastated Royal Ribeira Palace. At the time, this library was considered one of the finest and most important in Europe.

Soon after the earthquake, King Joseph I of Portugal organized the construction of a new Royal Library, and over the next half century the collection grew significantly with many valuable books and prints. Still, the threat of another major quake loomed over the library, prompting talk of moving the entire collection to the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

And here is a picture of its magnificent interior:

Inside of the National Library. Image shot 03/2010. Exact date unknown.


Published in: on February 2, 2018 at 8:58 PM  Leave a Comment  

And the Winners Are…. Announced! (*Update)

*UPDATE: Today (Saturday, Feb.3, 2018) we may finally announce the winners in the Seminary library guessing contest.

The first winner is Andrew Koerner (SE-GR PRC), who won the “how many books were added in 2017?” portion of the contest. Andrew guessed 1350, and 1,189 were added. Congratulations, Andrew, one free book of your choice is yours.

Our second winner is Dawn Howerzyl (Hope PRC, Redland, CA), who won the “how many total resources are now in the library?” portion of the contest. At the end of 2017 there were 20,578 items cataloged in the library; Dawn guessed 21,062. Congratulations, Dawn,a free book of your choice is due to you too.

Thanks to all who participated!


Last week Friday I announced a guessing contest concerning the PRC Seminary library’s resources. Here’s what I posted then:

Guessing Contest

It’s time we restored the annual PRC Seminary library guessing context! I believe I have been remiss for a least one year, maybe more.

So, on this Friday night, after giving my final 2017 library report to the Theological School Committee yesterday, we can throw the BIG QUESTION out to you: HOW MANY BOOKS were added to the Seminary library in 2017?

And, in the interests of having TWO contest winners this year, we add a bonus question: How many TOTAL RESOURCES do we now have in our library? That means books, pamphlets, and periodicals, cataloged in the library system.

ContestWinnerThink long, think hard, and guess right! The closest to the actual numbers – calculated by our infallible library program, Resourcemate – wins the prize!

Yes, the prize is …. a book – of your choice, from our seminary bookstore or from other collections we have on hand! If the winner happens to be long-distance, we will work that out. So don’t be afraid to guess away. Only once please. Using your real name. 🙂

Let’s give this contest one week – have your answer in by NEXT WEEK FRIDAY, please.

You may submit your guess either to my email address or in the comment section of the blog.

Have fun! Be a good sport!

Do you remember? Did you forget? What happened? Are you afraid to guess? How can you not be excited about this?! 🙂

All is know is that at this point we have to continue the contest due to lack of participation! Notice, I didn’t say CANCEL! I said CONTINUE it, one more week. Don’t hesitate to make your guess in either or both categories. Young and old may take a stab at those numbers!

If you prefer to make your guess by email instead of comment, contact me at cjterpstra@sbcglobal dot net.

And because it’s Friday, we end this post with a little “Friday fun,” library style.


A search for library jokes revealed this one:

Two Chickens
One day the Library was lonely with no one in it for the librarian to help.
These two chickens came through the door screeching “bouk bouk.” The librarian quickly got up and gave them each 5 books. The two chickens left satisfied.
Just a few minutes later the same two chickens come through the door with no books screeching “bouk bouk.” The librarian once again jumps up and gives each chicken 15 books this time. The chickens leave satisfied once again.
Then again for the third time the chickens return screeching “bouk bouk” But this time being suspicious the librarian gives each chicken only one book because they have still have not returned the other books.
As the chickens leave, the librarian slowly follows behind to see where all the books are going.
The chickens come to a stop and start throwing the books into a pond where some frogs grab the books and throw them behind their back croaking “red-it red-it”
Published in: on January 26, 2018 at 9:33 PM  Comments (6)  

Seminary Library Guessing Contest! Plus, 4th quarter books added in 2017!

Guessing Contest

It’s time we restored the annual PRC Seminary library guessing context! I believe I have been remiss for a least one year, maybe more.

So, on this Friday night, after giving my final 2017 library report to the Theological School Committee yesterday, we can throw the BIG QUESTION out to you: HOW MANY BOOKS were added to the Seminary library in 2017?

And, in the interests of having TWO contest winners this year, we add a bonus question: How many TOTAL RESOURCES do we now have in our library? That means books, pamphlets, and periodicals, cataloged in the library system.

ContestWinnerThink long, think hard, and guess right! The closest to the actual numbers – calculated by our infallible library program, Resourcemate – wins the prize!

Yes, the prize is …. a book – of your choice, from our seminary bookstore or from other collections we have on hand! If the winner happens to be long-distance, we will work that out. So don’t be afraid to guess away. Only once please. Using your real name. 🙂

Let’s give this contest one week – have your answer in by NEXT WEEK FRIDAY, please.

You may submit your guess either to my email address or in the comment section of the blog. Have fun! Be a good sport!


And now, that list of significant books added to the library in the 4th quarter of last year (October – December 2017). Remember, this is not an exhaustive list but only some of the books from various categories I highlighted for their significance. Maybe the list will give you an idea of what to read next. That would make your librarian very pleased. 🙂

Biblical studies/ Commentaries/ Biblical theology

  • Opening Up the Bible: Opening Up Proverbs / Jim Newheiser. Leominster, England: Day One Publications, 2008.
  • Teach the Text Commentary Series:
  • Reformation Commentary on Scripture, OT & NT (IVP) – Hebrews, James / T.George
  • Reformed Expository Commentaries: Revelation / Richard D. (Richard Davis) Phillips, 1960-. ; G. Ryken Phillips.; 1st-hc, Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing

Individual Titles

  • How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation / Stanley E. Porter — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013 (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)
  • Mighty to Save: A Study in Old Testament Soteriology / T. V. Farris — 1st-hc. — Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, c1993.
  • The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies Prepared In Honor Of Oswald Thompson Allis / Oswald T. Allis, (Oswald Thompson) , 1880-1973; John H. Skilton; Milton C. Fisher — 1st-hc. — Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1974.
  • Judges and Ruth / Robert A. Watson, 1845-1921; W. Robertson Nicoll. — 1st-hc. — London : Hodder and Stoughton, 1898 (The Expositor’s Bible)
  • Ruth : A New Translation With Introduction, Notes, And Commentary / Edward F. Campbell, (Edward Fay); William F. and Daniel N. Freedman Albright. — 1st-hc. — Garden City, NY : Doubleday, 1975.
  • The Book of Job: With Notes, Introduction and Appendix / A. B. Davidson, (Andrew Bruce), 1831-1902. ; J. J. Stewart (John James Stewart) Perowne, 1823-1904. — 1st-hc. — Cambridge [Eng.]: The University Press, 1889 (Letis collection)
  • As Rich as Job / C. Bijl — 1st Engl – pb. — Kampen : Van den Berg, 1989.
  • Malachi: A Prophet in Times of Despair / Baruch Maoz. — reprint-pb. — Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, c2011, 2016 (Founders Study Guide Commentary)
  • Heirs of Paul : Paul’s Legacy in the New Testament and in the Church Today / Johan Christiaan Beker — 1st-reprint-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K. : William B. Eerdmans Pub., 1996, c1991.
  • 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James / Leon Morris. — reprint-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1970 (Scripture Union Bible Study Books)
  • James: Bible Study Commentary / Curtis Vaughan. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapds, MI : Zondervan, 1969.
  • The Overcomers: The Unveiling of Hope, Comfort, and Encouragement in the Book of Revelation / Chuck Colclasure; D. James (Dennis James) Kennedy, 1930-2007. — 1st-pb. — Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, c1981.
  • The Apocalypse: A Reading of the Revelation of John / Charles H. Talbert — 1st-pb. — Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, c1994.

Church History/Biography

  • Twentieth-Century Dictionary of Christian Biography / James D. Douglas; A. Scott Moreau; Walter A. Elwell. — 1st-hc. — Carlisle, Cumbria, England/Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster Press; Baker Books, c1995.
  • Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe / Brad S. (Brad Stephan) Gregory — 1st-pb. —  Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999 (Harvard Historical Studies ; 134)
  • Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World / Eric. Metaxas. — 1st-hc. — New York: Viking, 2017.
  • Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography / Herman J. Selderhuis, 1961-. — 1st-hc. — Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017
  • Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation: The Unconventional Life of Katharina Von Bora / Ruth Tucker — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017.
  • George Wishart: Scholar, Saint, Reformer, Martyr / St. Mary’s College; John Knox, ca. 1514-1572. — 1st. — 1946 : University Press, St. Andrews (Letis collection)
  • Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions / Timothy J. Wengert, ed.; Mark A. Granquist; Robert Kolb — 1st-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017.
  • Heralds of the Reformation: Thirty Biographies of Sheer Grace / Richard M. Hannula — 1st-pb. — Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2016.
  • The Protestant Reformation and World Christianity: Global Perspectives / Dale T. Irvin, ed.; Charles Amjad-Ali; Joel M. Cruz; Norman A. Hjelm, Philip D. Krey, William G. Rusch. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : William B. Eerdmans, 2017 (Reformation Resources, 1517-2017)
  • Wittenberg Meets the World: Reimagining the Reformation at the Margins / Alberto L. Garcia; John Nunes. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2017.
  • A Short Life of Martin Luther / Thomas. Kaufmann; Norman A. Hjelm, Philip D. Krey, William G. Rusch — 1st Engl-pb. — Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2016 (Reformation Resources, 1517-2017)
  • For Christ’s Crown: Sketches of Puritans and Covenanters / Richard M. Hannula. — 1st-pb. — Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2014.
  • Galley Slave / Jean Marteilhe, 1684-1777; Vincent. McInerney. — abridged reprint-hc. — Barnsley: Seaforth, 2010 (a Huguenot story).
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Theologian, Christian, Man for His Time; A Biography / Eberhard Bethge, 1909-2000; Victoria Barnett — Rev. ed.-pb. — Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, c2000
  • Cosmos in the Chaos: Philip Schaff’s Interpretation of Nineteenth-Century American Religion / Stephen Ray Graham; Martin E. Marty — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, c1995.

Creeds/Confessions/History of

  • Faith of Our Fathers: A Popular Study of the Nicene Creed / L. Charles. Jackson. — 1st-pb. — Moscow, ID: Canon Press, c2007.

Dogmatics/Theology/Historical Theology

  • Was the Reformation a Mistake? Why Catholic Doctrine Is Not Unbiblical / Matthew Levering; Kevin J. Vanhoozer — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017.
  • From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention: What Hath Geneva to Do With Nashville? / Thomas K. Ascol; Roger Nicole — Revised-hc. — Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2013.
  • Whatever Happened to the Reformation? / Gary L. W. Johnson; R. Fowler White; R. C. (Robert Charles) Sproul — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, NJ : P & R, c2001.
  • Martin Luther and the Seven Sacraments: A Contemporary Protestant Reappraisal / Brian C. Brewer. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, 2017.
  • Roman But Not Catholic: What Remains at Stake 500 Years After the Reformation / Kenneth J. Collins. ; Jerry L. Walls. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, 2017.
  • The Authoritative Inspiration of Holy Scripture: As Distinct from the Inspiration of Its Human Authors / C. H. Waller; J. C. (John Charles) Ryle, 1816-1900. — 1st-hc. —  London: Blackie & Son, 1887 (Letis collection)
  • God’s Inspiration of the Scriptures / William Kelly, 1821-1906. — 2nd-hc. — London : F. E. Race, 1908 (Letis collection)
  • The Inspiration and Accuracy of the Holy Scriptures. / John. Urquhart. — 1st-hc. — London : Marshall brothers, 1895 (Letis collection)
  • The Birth of Modern Critical Theology: Origins and Problems of Biblical Criticism in the Seventeenth Century / Klaus Scholder. — 1st-pb. — London – Philadelphia: SCM Press ; Trinity Press International, 1990 (Letis collection)
  • Studies in Reformed Theology and History: The Disputations of Baden, 1526 and Berne, 1528: Neutralizing the Early Church / Irena Backus; David Willis-Watkins. — Winter 1993-pb. — Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism / John H. Gerstner; R. C. (Robert Charles) Sproul; Don Kistler — 3rd-pb. — Draper, VA: Apologetics Group, 2009.
  • The Gospel of Free Acceptance in Christ: An Assessment of the Reformation and ‘New Perspectives’ on Paul / Cornelis P. Venema — 1st-hc. — Edinburgh : Banner of Truth Trust, c2006.
  • Getting the Garden Right: Adam’s Work and God’s Rest in Light of Christ / Richard C. Barcellos; Thomas K. Ascol — 1st-pb. — Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2017.
  • The Pathway of Holiness: A Guide for Sinners / John White, 1924 – 2002. — 1st-pb. — Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, c1996.
  • Gleanings in the Scriptures: Man’s Total Depravity / Arthur W. Pink, 1886-1952. — 1st-hc. — Chicago: Moody Press, 1969.
  • The Royal Priesthood of the Faithful: An Investigation of the Doctrine from Biblical Times to the Reformation. / C. Cyril (Charles Cyril) Eastwood — 1st-hc. — Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Pub. House, 1963.
  • The Priesthood of All Believers: An Examination of the Doctrine from the Reformation to the Present Day / C. Cyril (Charles Cyril) Eastwood — 1st-hc. — Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Pub. House, 1962.
  • Made in America: The Shaping of Modern American Evangelicalism / Michael Scott. Horton. — 1st-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, c1991.


  • You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit / James K. A. Smith — 1st-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2016.
  • Morality After Calvin: Theodore Beza’s Christian Censor and Reformed Ethics / Kirk M. Summers — 1st-hc. — New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2017 (Oxford Studies In Historical Theology)
  • Introducing Protestant Social Ethics: Foundations in Scripture, History, and Practice / Brian J. Matz. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, 2017.

Practical Theology/Missions

  • Portraits of a Pastor: The 9 Essential Roles of a Church Leader / Jason K. Allen. ; Daniel L. Akin; Jared C. Wilson; Jason K. Allen — 1st-pb. — Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2017.
  • Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life / Robert W. Kellemen — 1st-pb. — Greensboro, NC : New Growth Press, 2017.
  • The Whole Church Sings: Congregational Singing in Luther’s Wittenberg / Robin A. Leaver. ; John D. Witvliet — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2017  (Calvin Institute Of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series)
  • The Taste of Sabbath: How to Delight in God’s Rest / Stuart W. Bryan. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, c2009.
  • Let the Waters Roar: Evangelists in the Gulag / G. P. Vins, (Georgii Petrovich) — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, c1989.
  • Race and Redemption: British Missionaries Encounter Pacific Peoples, 1790-1920 / Jane Samson; R.E. and Brian Stanley Frykenberg, eds. — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, Michigan : William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2017.
  • What Is Anglicanism? / Urban T. Holmes, III , 1930-1981. — 1st-pb. — Wilton, Conn. : Morehouse-Barlow Co., c1982.
  • Reaching Muslims for Christ / William J. Saal; Warren W. Wiersbe — 1st-pb. — Chicago : Moody Press, 1993, c1991.
  • The Mission of the Church: Five Views in Conversation / Craig Ott, editor. ; Stephen B. Bevans; Darrell L. Guder — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, 2016.
  • Thou Holdest My Right Hand: On Pastoral Care of the Dying / D. Los; Theodore Plantinga, Transl. — 1st-pb. — Neerlandia, AB; Pella, IA: Inheritance Publications, c1994 (Pastoral Perspectives II) vol. 2

Misc. (Culture, Education, Family, Marriage, Music, Politics, Science, etc.)

  • Engaging the Culture, Changing the World: The Christian University in a Post-Christian World / Philip W. Eaton — 1st-pb. — Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, c2011.
  • Good News of the Kingdom Coming: The Marriage Of Evangelism And Social Responsibility / J. Andrew. Kirk. — 1st-pb. — Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, c1983.
  • On Rebellion / John Knox, ca. 1514-1572; Roger A. Mason — 1st-reprint-pb. — Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, c1994 (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • My Only Comfort: Death, Deliverance, and Discipleship in the Music of Bach / Calvin Stapert; John D. Witvliet — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Wm.B. Eerdmans, c2000 (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series)
  • What Is Creation Science? / Henry M. Morris, 1918-2006. ; Gary. Parker. ; Dean H. Kenyon. — Rev. & expanded-pb. — El Cajon, CA: Master Books, c1987.
  • Refuting Evolution 2 / Jonathan D. Sarfati — 1st-pb. — Green Forest, AR : Master Books, c2002.
  • The Challenge of Our Age / Hendrik. Hart. — 1st-pb. — Toronto : Association for the Advancement of Christian Studies, 1968 (Christian Perspectives Series ; 1967/1968)
  • The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, But Why? / Gary Thomas. — 1st-pb. — Colorado Springs, CO : David C Cook, 2013.
Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 9:03 PM  Leave a Comment  

Friday Fun(ny)


A classmate and I were walking past a poster in our school hallway. It featured a photo of Einstein with the words ‘Even Einstein Read Books.”

My friend was amazed: ‘I didn’t know Einstein’s first name was Evan.’

Found and read in a recent issue of Reader’s Digest while waiting at my dad’s physical therapy session this week. I simply couldn’t resist sharing it with you. 🙂

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 10:10 PM  Leave a Comment  

Winter Has Arrived in West Michigan! (Updated with Lake Michigan Pictures)


No doubt those outside of Michigan have heard about the fast, furious, and frigid winter that has descended on us here in West Michigan. After a beautiful, mild, drawn-out Fall, winter came with a flourish in mid-December and has not let up yet – although the hope of a “January thaw” is in the forecast for next week.


These are pictures taken back and front of our home last weekend when we received over a foot of lake-effect snow in two days. And this week on top of 8-10 inches of fresh snow, it has been bitter cold – -3 (F) this morning and wind-chills below 0 (F) all day yesterday and today – and colder yet tonight!


But, as you can see, there is a marvelous beauty that is revealed in God’s winter work. Truly, He makes a wonderland of white that covers all the death and decay underneath and around us. What a gospel picture!


And His creatures all look to Him for food – the deer and wild turkeys have been coming close at Seminary, poking around in the landscape for food (where are those luscious hostas?!) – or visiting Prof .Cammenga’s bird feeders for free seed.



How do we snow-stricken, frozen-chosen Michiganders cope? Why, we get out and enjoy the snow, of course! Monday, a few brave souls in our family – including some grandkids for the first time – went cross-country skiing at Pigeon Creek Park west of us. It was cold but was it ever beautiful in the woods and along the creek!



And if one really wants to have fun, do some backyard ice bowling! [This video appeared on MLive this week.] See what you are missing!

Late this (Saturday) afternoon my wife and I went out to Holland State Park to see Lake Michigan. Word was that the ice formations were amazing, so we decided to check things out, partly because the time-frame for seeing ice caves, etc. can be so short. Though we have seen icier conditions, it was still good. Here are a few pictures I took with my phone.






Most Expensive Book Sales in 2017 – Abe Books

As is their custom this time of year, the people at AbeBooks have posted their most expensive book sales for 2017. You might be surprised to see what led the way.

This is the introduction they give to their list:

Literary icon J.D. Salinger wears the crown as AbeBooks’s most expensive sale of the year. The American author scores extra points for appearing again at number 11. A signed poster – not a book – comes in at number two. Notable sales also included Dali and Picasso, three helpings of wizards and orcs, some vicious plants causing mayhem, ruins in the Middle East, a catcher (and not the baseball variety), and a book containing the first mention of ‘I think, therefore I am’. It was another great year for collectors.

And this is the first title – check out the rest at the link above!

1. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger – $22,500
A unique edition of Salinger’s second work, this was Little Brown & Company’s only file copy. The publisher’s penciled word count calculations (61,823) and pasted label stating ‘Sample – return to manufacturing department’ can be seen on the rear free endpaper.

Publisher’s file copy of Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

Do you have a rare edition of a classic lying around the house? Or maybe you are on the prowl at the local thrift stores? That unique item could catch you thousands!

Published in: on December 29, 2017 at 6:57 AM  Leave a Comment