An Introduction to C.S. Lewis: Writings and Significance — A Hillsdale College Online Course

 

Reserve your spot in Hillsdale College’s free Online Course, “An Introduction to C.S. Lewis: Writings and Significance.”

In the last week I received this notice from Hillsdale College about a free online course on C. S. Lewis. I pass it on in case there are those who may be interested in pursuing it.

Hillsdale is a conservative liberal arts college with a strong academic record (consistently ranked among the top colleges in the country). It offers other free online courses as well, such as one on the U.S. Constitution. Check out the online course page and the courses offered in the areas of politics, literature, history, and religion.

Below is the introduction to the course that was sent with the email.

I’d like to invite you to join me in Hillsdale College’s newest free course studying the greatest Christian apologist of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis.

C.S. Lewis, best known as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, also authored works on apologetics and philosophy, including The Abolition of Man and Mere Christianity. This free online course will study both Lewis’s apologetics and his fiction, as well as his philosophical and literary writings, and their continuing significance today.

I have the privilege of delivering three of the nine lectures, and I will be joined by Michael Ward, a leading expert on the works of C.S. Lewis, and Hillsdale professor of English and Provost, David Whalen. I hope you enjoy the course.

Source: An Introduction to C.S. Lewis: Writings and Significance — A Hillsdale College Online Course

Published in: on April 27, 2017 at 10:38 PM  Comments (2)  

The Uniqueness of the Psalms – Dr. Robert Godfrey

The book of Psalms remains an important object of study on the part of Christians and the Christian church. Every year new books about and commentaries on the Psalms appear. This year is no exception. No doubt with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, books will appear relating the two, since the Reformation was also a return to this OT songbook for the church.

Reformation Trust has recently published a new book on the Psalms, Learning to Love the Psalms (March, 2017; 263 pp.). It is written by Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, president of Westminster Seminary (Escondido, CA) and professor of church history there.

The publisher provides this summary of the title:

The Psalms are undeniably beautiful. They are also difficult, and readers often come away convinced that tremendous riches remain just beyond their grasp. In this book, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey invites us to journey with him towards a greater understanding and love for these sacred verses. The timeless elegance of the Psalms, their depth of expression, and testimony to the greatness of God have enchanted and edified God’s people for centuries. Learning to Love the Psalms is intended to help today’s Christians share in that delight.

In connection with this new book, Ligonier posted a brief video with Godfrey describing the richness of the Psalms (dated April 11, 2017). You may watch it here:

This book has been added to the PRC Seminary’s collection of books on the Psalms. It may be a title you wish to add to your personal or family library as well.

Source: The Uniqueness of the Psalms

Literary Treasures from the Library of Congress Archives | Literary Hub

This week is National Library Week 2017 and special events are being held throughout the week throughout the country. One special place is the Library of Congress, where you will find all kinds of treasures (including special items relating to WW I).

Literary Hub pulled together some rarely seen treasures from the LOC and featured them in a post yesterday (April 10, 2017). That feature is related to a new book published by the LOC titled The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures.

Below I post their introductory paragraph and one such sample pair. Visit the link at the end to enjoy the rest.

 

And to celebrate the week, don’t forget to visit your favorite local library. I stopped by the Georgetown one last night. Though a small community library, it is full of wonderful resources and events. Take your children or grandchildren and explore. It will make their day 🙂

In honor of National Library Week (April 9-15), we have curated a selection of rarely seen literary treasures from the Library of Congress Archives, from William Blake’s engraved prophecies to a first edition of The Fire Next Time. Each book cover is paired with its card from the Library of Congress card catalog. Some of these are hand-written, some are printed, and many are annotated by hand, reflecting the meticulous work and invaluable skills of generations of librarians.

Source: Rarely Seen Literary Treasures from the Library of Congress Archives | Literary Hub

Published in: on April 11, 2017 at 6:38 AM  Leave a Comment  

Presidential Inaugurations and the Bible

Today here in the United States our forty-fifth president, Mr. Donald Trump, is being inaugurated, along with his vice-president, Mike Pence.

As is the custom of those being inaugurated into office, these men will swear their oath of allegiance on the Bible, God’s Holy Word. Whether or not they profess to be Christian and take that vow seriously, those who take office stand before God and are responsible to honor and obey that Word on which their hands will rest. And God will judge them according to that oath and that Word.

CNS News reported yesterday on the special Bibles that Trump and Pence will use for their swearing-in ceremony:

Both President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will swear their oaths of office Friday on historic Bibles used by former Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced.

Trump will be sworn-in by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts using the same Bible that President Lincoln used during his swearing-in by Chief Justice Roger Taney on March 4, 1861.

In addition, Trump will also use another Bible that was given to him by his mother in 1955 when he graduated from Sunday Church Primary School at the First Presbyterian Church in New York.

…Pence will be sworn-in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – who will become the “first African-American in history to administer the oath of office to the Vice President or President of the United States” – using the Reagan Family Bible. He will be the first official since Reagan to do so.

The Reagan Family Bible is on permanent display behind bulletproof glass at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. During Pence’s swearing-in, it will be “open to the same passage used during President Reagan’s two inaugurations,” according to the PIC.

[Reagan Family Bible. (Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute)]

That passage is from II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The Museum of the Bible posted a couple of videos recently on past presidents and the Bibles they used for their oath of office. Below is one of them.

As is our own duty before God and according to His Word, let us pray for our new president, vice-president, and their cabinet, as those entrusted with a sacred and solemn responsibility. And let us give them due honor and submission, as unto the Lord Who has set them in office for this time and for His purpose (Rom.13; 1 Tim. 2).

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Thousands of rare books left to Trinity College’s Wren Library in Cambridge

This interesting books news item appeared in Cambridge News December 15, 2016. This is the kind of thing librarians dream of – and sometimes are privileged to experience in their lifetime.

As we close out 2016, I am thankful for the PRC Seminary acquisitions of this past year – purchased and donated. None of these books was perhaps as rare as those received by Trinity College, but to us they are all invaluable.

Below is the beginning of the story as reported by Cambridge; read the rest and view more images at the link below.

An extraordinary’ private collection of books has been bequeathed to Trinity College’s Wren Library in Cambridge.

More than 7,500 texts were left to the library by Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe – one of the largest bequests in its history.

The vast collection features rare first editions by the poets Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth and Tennyson.

Other fascinating texts include previously unknown manuscripts of Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens.

Dr. Nicholas Bell, Trinity’s librarian said it was “an extraordinary library – one of the most important private collections in Britain, which offers untold discoveries.”

Source: ‘One of the most important private collections in Britain’ – thousands of rare books left to Trinity College’s Wren Library in Cambridge – Cambridge News

Published in: on December 29, 2016 at 10:01 AM  Leave a Comment  

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

RWH New Logo

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!