PRC Seminary Convocation Tonight!

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*Note: You may find an update of the convocation, complete with pictures, on the PRC website.

The PRC Seminary faculty and students, along with the Theological School Committee, remind you of the annual convocation to be held TONIGHT in Grandville PRC starting at 7:30 p.m.

RDykstra1Prof. Russell Dykstra will speak on “The Ezra Model: Having a Heart for the Lord’s House.” Students old and new will be introduced and special music will be provided as part of the program.

All PRC members in the area and friends of the Seminary are cordially invited to join us as we mark the beginning of the new school year.

Show your support for the Seminary and its cause by attending this important program! Hope to see YOU there!

Profitable quote (from program):

It has been shown, that by the faith of the gospel Christ becomes ours, and we are made partakers of the salvation and eternal blessedness procured by him. But as our ignorance and sloth (I may add, the vanity of our mind) stand in need of external helps, by which faith may be begotten in us, and may increase and make progress until its consummation, God, in accommodation to our infirmity, has added such helps, and secured the effectual preaching of the gospel, by depositing this treasure with the Church. He has appointed pastors and teachers, by whose lips he might edify his people (Eph. 4:11); he has invested them with authority, and, in short, omitted nothing that might conduce to holy consent in the faith, and to right order. In particular, he has instituted sacraments, which we feel by experience to be most useful helps in fostering and confirming our faith. For seeing we are shut up in the prison of the body, and have not yet attained to the rank of angels, God, in accommodation to our capacity, has in his admirable providence provided a method by which, though widely separated, we might still draw near to him…. I will begin with the Church, into whose bosom God is pleased to collect his children, not only that by her aid and ministry they may be nourished so long as they are babes and children, but may also be guided by her maternal care until they grow up to manhood, and, finally, attain to the perfection of faith. What God has thus joined, let not man put asunder: to those to whom he is a Father, the Church must also be a mother.
~ John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.1.1.

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Published in: on September 7, 2016 at 11:36 AM  Leave a Comment  

Voices of Victory at CRC Conference Grounds Tonight

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The Voices of Victory quartet will be performing tonight at the CRC Conference Grounds and we cordially invite you to join us there for a wonderful night of song in praise to our great God and Savior.

The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. (ET) and will be held in the new (air-conditioned!) worship center. We will be doing many of the songs on our new album, which we are always excited to sing live.

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For more information or directions, visit the links to our Facebook page and the CRC Conference Grounds website.

Hope to see you there! It will be a beautiful night for a ride out to the lake and some great music!

Published in: on June 25, 2016 at 8:06 AM  Leave a Comment  

X-Rays Reveal “Hidden Library” on the Spines of Early Books | Smithsonian

medieval-spine-hiddenResearchers are uncovering fragments of medieval texts used in early book binding.

This exciting news item appeared on Smithsonian on June 6, 2016 and gives a fascinating look at the early history of book binding and what historians are discovering on the spines.

Below is part of the story; find the rest at the link provided at the end.

When the printing press made its debut in Europe in the 15th century, hand-written manuscripts went the way of eight track tapes and CD players—becoming unfashionable in the face of new technology. So early book binders cut up some of these older texts and used the paper to reinforce the spines and covers of the newfangled printed books.

That practice has put researchers in another type of bind: To get to the valuable fragments built into these early modern books, they have to tear them apart. But according to Dalya Alberge at The Guardian a new technology is giving researchers a peek at the manuscript fragments without damaging the printed books.

Using macro X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (MA-XRF), Dutch researchers are able to scan the bindings to image the manuscripts hiding underneath. Erik Kwakkel, a book historian at Leiden University in the Netherlands tells Alberge that one in five early modern books contain the fragments. “It’s really like a treasure trove,” he tells Alberge. “It’s extremely exciting.”

Source: X-Rays Reveal “Hidden Library” on the Spines of Early Books | Smart News | Smithsonian

Voices of Victory Introduce New CD – “Cherish the Cross”

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On this holiday Monday here in the U.S., the Voices of Victory quartet, of which I have been a part for two years now following the retirement of long-time first tenor Mr. Jerry Kuiper, is pleased to announce the arrival of their new CD – “Cherish the Cross”.

This has been a special project for us, and it has been a privilege and blessing to work with fellow quartet members, Jim Daling, Rick Noorman, and Dan Van Dyke, as well as pianist Karen Daling on this great collection of songs. We worked very hard for many months on these songs, fine-tuning them until we were ready to do this recording. If you saw any of our Facebook pictures and comments during the process, you will know how challenging and taxing this was!

The title of the new album comes from the song “More Than Ever”, a duet featuring Jim Daling and Dan Van Dyke, and is one that we believe captures the heart of the message of these gospel songs. If you look at the titles of the collection below and listen to the words of each one, you will see that we personally “cherish the cross” of our Lord Jesus Christ and seek our listeners to do the same (cf. Gal.6:14).

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You will find sample tracks of the CD on our Facebook page and you may order one from any of the quartet members (cost is $12). You can also find copies for sale at Covenant Christian High School, Heritage Christian School, the PRC Seminary Bookstore, or the Reformed Book Outlet.

And if you prefer to purchase the digital version of the album, visit this special website, where you may also listen to the tracks.

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RWH 75th Anniversary: Special Beacon Lights Issue – January 1958

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In this year of noting the 75th anniversary of the Reformed Witness Hour radio program sponsored by First PRC and supported by the PRC and her Mission Committee, we call your attention today to a special issue of the Beacon Lights that featured the RWH.

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The issue was January 1958, and besides interesting and informative articles on this radio program,

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it also included some nice pictures in connection with describing how the program was produced.

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Also noteworthy is the fact that this special issue contained an ad for a RWH Open House to be held Jan.23, 1958.

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Now, don’t forget that the RWH Committee has planned something similar for Saturday, August 13 of this year. Not only will the event mark the 75th anniversary of the RWH, it will also highlight certain aspects of PRC mission work.

Mark this morning on your calendars – physical and digital – it will be a great celebration! Hope to see you there!

National Library Week 2016

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Even though we are mid-way through the week, it is not too late to inform you that this week (April 10-16) is National Library Week. Surely an event to note and to celebrate, also at the PRC Seminary library!

The American Library Association (ALA) has a special page of information and promotion, all centered on the theme “Libraries Transform.” So does their “I Love Libraries” website.

I was also informed by email from the Association of Christian Librarians that they too are marking the event. In keeping with their Christian theme, the ACL sent out this note on Monday:

Happy National Library Week 2016!

Please pray today, Monday, for our brother and sister colleagues in ACL, for this community of believing librarians. The official theme for this year’s National
Library Week is “Libraries Transform”—and that’s absolutely true.  May our manifest faith in Jesus Christ also work to transform our own hearts and the hearts of those around us.  Please pray for:

  • Those who are facing challenging physical or spiritual needs, or who carry responsibility for a family member who is in ill health;
  • Librarians who have lost loved ones in recent months, or since the last conference, and are in need of comfort;
  • Those working as solo librarians, or with very small staffs, and need an extra measure of strength and encouragement;
  • Librarians carrying large workloads and needing wisdom in their use of time and energy;
  • Those working in institutions facing difficult challenges due to financial hardship;
  • Our newest members, that they may find a home in ACL;
  • Long-standing members, with our gratitude for their years of service;
  • Those who are potential members, that they will hear our collective voice.

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How will you celebrate National Library Week? How about a trip to your local library with your children or grandchildren? How about visiting a special library in your region? Why not make a stop at the PRC Seminary library and check out what we have to offer?

However you mark the event, remember that libraries transform – everyday! Keep reading! Reading more and reading better!

Published in: on April 13, 2016 at 6:40 AM  Comments (2)  

The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, New from Steven Lawson and Reformation Trust

Passionate-Preaching-Lloyd-Jones-Lawson-2016I am pleased to introduce you to a new title from the pen of Dr. Steve Lawson published this year by Reformation Trust – The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (hardcover, 188 pp.).

Many of us are familiar with this godly and exemplary British preacher and perhaps have listened to or read his sermons. This book will introduce you to more of the man and his “passionate preaching.”

I have a review copy from Reformation Trust and would love to give it to a reviewer who is willing to write a brief review for the Standard Bearer. If you do, you may keep the book. If that interests you, let me know.

Below is the link to the publisher’s information and a brief summary of the book. You will also find a video interview about the title with the author.

In The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the latest addition to the Long Line of Godly Men series, Dr. Steven J. Lawson introduces us to the life and ministry of a trained physician who sensed an irresistible call to preach. Surrounded by theological liberalism, Lloyd-Jones began a pulpit ministry that would exert profound influence on both sides of the Atlantic.

Source: The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, New from Steven Lawson and Reformation Trust

Published in: on March 29, 2016 at 6:27 AM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Archives Day – Reformed Witness Hour’s 100th Program

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For our PRC history/archives focus today we feature the program for the 100th broadcast of the Reformed Witness Hour, a radio ministry of First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) supported by all of our PRCs. This program was brought in yesterday (along with the program for the 200th broadcast) by Don Faber, and we thank him for this.

This program is particularly significant and satisfying because this year marks the 75th anniversary of the RWH. It was on Oct.12, 1941 that the “Protestant Reformed Hour” was first heard live from the sanctuary of First PRC, with Rev. Herman Hoeksema (her pastor and first voice for many years) delivering the noteworthy message, “God is God.”

According to the program (which has no date), Rev. Hoeksema had been the radio speaker for four years, so this 100th broadcast must have taken place in 1945, meaning  that in its early history the RWH program was not broadcast every Sunday as it now is. The program states as much too in its note on the history on the back.

Later this year (August 2016) the RWH along with other PRC mission endeavors will be featured at a Mission Awareness Day being planned. Look for details on that to be advertised soon. And, in that connection, let me say we will be on the lookout for items on the RWH, especially programs like this, and pictures. So, start looking in those closets and drawers for RWH items!

For now, you may enjoy the program itself along with its informative content and pictures.

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And by the way, yesterday Mr. Marv Lubbers brought in a photocopy of the picture from last Thursday (Hudsonville YP’s Society) with all the people identified. I will try to get those names up at some point today too. Thank you, Marv!

In Memory of Jerry Bridges: A Roundup of Articles and Quotes | LogosTalk

You may have heard that author and teacher (Navigators) Jerry Bridges passed away on Sunday March 6, 2016. Bridges is the author is such Christian life classics as The Pursuit of Holiness and The Practice of Godliness.

There were a number of fitting tributes to this godly man on the Internet. Logos pulled a number of these together in one place last week (March 9), which I point you too if you are interested in learning more about this man and his work and influence. And if you have never read any of his books, now would be a good time to start.

Here is Logos’ introduction; follow the link below to read some or all of the tributes.

Jerry Bridges, the author of more than a dozen books on discipleship and Christian living, passed away this week. The outpouring of love from the Christian blogosphere has been tremendous. Evangelical leaders are celebrating the legacy of a Christian who humbly demonstrated the power of grace-fueled spiritual discipline.

Here’s a roundup of articles celebrating Bridges, and a selection of quotes for you to share in his memory.

Source: In Memory of Jerry Bridges: A Roundup of Articles and Quotes | LogosTalk

Erasmus and the 500th Anniversary of His Greek NT

ErasmusAs you probably are aware by now, the 500th anniversary of the great Reformation of the 16th century will be celebrated next year, with many events and publications already marking the event.

A lesser-known but still highly significant anniversary this year is the 500th anniversary of Erasmus’ Greek NT, which edition of the Bible may in some respects be said to have fueled the fire of the Reformation. Yes, Erasmus’ views on free will also fueled the fire in Luther’s soul to defend salvation by sovereign grace (cf. his Bondage of the Will); but there is no question God in His great and good providence used the Greek NT Erasmus pieced together to kindle the renewed interest in His Word, which in turn led to the spread of that Word throughout Europe – and indeed the world – in manifold new translations – the language of the people.

Below is the beginning of and a link to a recent article that appeared on the Reformation21 website detailing some history of Erasmus’ Greek NT – and dispelling some myths about it. I believe you will find it informative and interesting.

And if you want to want another source, look up the Dunham Bible Museum website at Houston Baptist University. They recently did a feature on Erasmus’ Greek NT also, which you may find here in their newsletter.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament. It was a landmark publication for biblical studies, though we may tend to forget its role in the Reformation. 2016 will not receive as much attention as 2017, which may as well be dubbed Luther-palooza for all the books, seminars, and conferences that will cover the 95 Theses. But to those who have struggled with their aorist declensions, this is the root of your frustration. Tyrant, thy name is Erasmus.
The mythology of Erasmus’ New Testament is another story–one repeated by well-intentioned Greek professors hoping to inspire students. In my life, it was during an exegesis course that I first heard of Erasmus’ slapdash efforts to bring the Greek text to print. For all the grandeur I expected in the story, I was unprepared for how Erasmus stepped into a quagmire of textual criticism that even his mind could not fathom.
Still the story made sense in seminary. If Greek was good enough for Luther, then it is good enough for us–and we later heard stories of Luther translating in the Wartburg with Erasmus’ text resting under his elbow. The story is only compounded by the fact that Erasmus’ third edition New Testament was used to produce the translations of William Tyndale, the Geneva Bible and the KJV.
But the tale is embellished to the point of being an overfed caricature of Reformation hagiography.

– See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/articles/church-historys-greatest-myths.php#sthash.adpzOiee.dpuf

Source: Church History’s Greatest Myths – Reformation21