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.


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


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



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


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


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.


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


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.



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:

Source: Church History’s Greatest Myths – Reformation21

Iron Sharpens Iron Radio TODAY – Chris Arnzen Interviews David J. Engelsma (Update – mp3 file now available)

This is to inform our readers that Prof. David J. Engelsma (emeritus PRC Seminary) will be interviewed Wednesday March 2 (TODAY!) from 4 to 5PM (ET) by national Christian radio host, Chris Arnzen, on his program Iron Sharpens Iron.

Reformed-Faith-of-John-CalvinThe interview will focus on Engelsma’s book, The Reformed Faith of John Calvin, and its subject.  The program is live-streamed world-wide at (see link below).

Chris is a fine Calvinist Christian, a godly man with godly passions, as well as a personal friend and friend of the PRC. He was instrumental in our obtaining radio time in New York City for the Reformed Witness Hour, which he intends to promote on the program today.

We thank Chris for doing this interview today (he promises another one with the professor and author!) and hope that it serves the cause of the Reformed faith throughout the world.

By the way, Chris informed me last night that “Listeners can email questions to me [Chris] to be read to and answered by David on the air at”

Visit the link above or below for the website and live-stream link.

UPDATE: With thanks to Chris Arnzen, we are able to add a link to the mp3 file of today’s interview.

Source: Iron Sharpens Iron Radio with Chris Arnzen | Addressing a multitude of topics from a distinctly Reformed Christian worldview

Martin Luther’s Death and Legacy – Stephen Nichols

mluther.jpegToday marks the 470th anniversary of the death of the Reformer, Martin Luther (1483-1546). Dr. Stephen Nichols did a brief but informative post on this yesterday under the above title. I give you a snippet of it here today, encouraging you to read the rest at the Ligonier link below.

As we near the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, it is good for us to keep before us God’s great work of reforming His church through men such as Luther. Look for more of such posts in the year to come.

Luther and his enlarged traveling party made a triumphal entry in to Eisleben. The hometown hero was welcomed with cheering crowds and escorted by a cavalcade. He preached that Sunday, January 31.

But the journey had taken its toll. Luther wrote to his beloved Katie of bitter winds and freezing rains, not to mention all those threatening chunks of ice. Luther was severely ill. An out of control fire, right outside of Luther’s room, also threatened his life. His room itself was precarious. Plaster fell from the walls, which loosened a few of the stones from the wall. One stone, reported to be the size of a pillow, came rather close to crashing down upon the head of Luther. These misadventures gave reason for Katie to grow anxious back at home. She fired off a letter full of anxiety and worry. So Luther wrote back that he missed her, adding, “I have a caretaker who is better than you and all the angels; he lies in a manger and nurses at his mother’s breast, yet he sits at the right hand of God, the Almighty Father.”

Luther wrote that letter on February 7. Eleven days later he died. Eisleben, the town of his birth, would also now be known as the town of his death. Luther’s three sons would accompany their father’s body back to Wittenberg, where crowds would gather to pay final respects.

Just before he died, Luther preached what would be his last sermon from his deathbed in Eisleben. The “sermon” consisted of simply quoting two texts, one from the Psalms and one from the Gospels. Luther cited Psalm 68:19, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.” Then he cited John 3:16. Our God is indeed a God of salvation, and that salvation comes through the work of His Son.

Source: Martin Luther’s Death and Legacy by Stephen Nichols | Ligonier Ministries Blog

Christianity Today’s 2016 Book Awards | Christianity Today


Recognition for the best books of 2015 is coming in from all quarters, including from the Christian realm. Christianity Today, representing broad Evangelicalism in the U.S. and abroad, has published its list of significant titles in various categories.

There are notable picks and some surprising ones (which may also mean disappointing), but all worth knowing about in terms of recently published books in the world of Christian literature.

Below is their brief introduction and the first title in the Apologetics/Evangelism category. Browse and be aware!

Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.

Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion

Os Guinness (InterVarsity Press)

“Unlike many apologetics books, Fool’s Talk is not a series of quick-fix answers to questions most folks are no longer asking or one-size-fits-all ‘McTheories’ (Guinness’s term) to be applied to any situation. Rather, Guinness draws upon a lifetime of diverse experience to explore and invite us into the art of ‘creative persuasion.’ ” —Joshua Ryan Butler, pastor, author of The Skeletons in God’s Closet

Source: Christianity Today’s 2016 Book Awards | Christianity Today

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 4:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

An Intern Saved a Museum by Finding This Revolutionary War Treasure in the Attic – Smithsonian


I intended to post this yesterday on archive/history Thursday, but didn’t get to it. So it is our first post this Friday.

I love these kinds of stories, not only because of the history involved in the find, but also because of the thrill of the find itself.

Yes, indeed, their opening summary line is so important when it comes to archiving history; never throw anything away.:)

RevWar-treasureThe obvious lesson: never throw anything away

Once in a very long while, a rare book or manuscript discovery is so remarkable that it makes national headlines.  In 1988, for instance, an anonymous Massachusetts collector recovered an 1827 first edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane from a roadside barn. Many will also recall the 1989 story of the man who found an original broadside copy of the Declaration of Independence hidden inside a picture frame that he bought at a Pennsylvania flea market for $4 (and later sold at Sotheby’s for $2.4 million). Or the discovery of the manuscript of Lincoln’s last address found in a secret compartment of an antique table in 1984 (and later purchased by Malcolm Forbes for $231,000). Yet another “believe it or not” tale is that of the Nashville man who paid $2.50 at a thrift store in 2006 for what he thought was a worthless facsimile of the Declaration of Independence that turned out to be a rare, unrecorded copy of an 1820 print. He sold it for nearly $500,000.

The news of an important 18th-century manuscript found in a New York City house museum’s attic in the summer of 2013 was another such story: a discovery in an unlikely place, a document of monumental historic value, and a small museum in strained circumstances that was about to gain lots of positive media attention—and a bundle of cash. It even had a celebrity auctioneer at the helm.

Source: An Intern Saved a Museum by Finding This Revolutionary War Treasure in the Attic | History | Smithsonian

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 6:38 AM  Comments (2)  

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