Prayers of the Reformers (15)

prayersofreformers-manschreckFor this first Lord’s Day in May we post two more prayers from the book Prayers of the Reformers, compiled by Clyde Manschreck and published by Muhlenberg Press (1958).

These prayers (slightly edited) are taken from the section “Prayers for Baptism” and, as you will note, accord with the Reformed, covenantal (biblical) view of children.

For sanctification

Almighty and everlasting God, who of Thy infinite mercy and goodness hast promised unto us that Thou wilt not only be our God, but also the God and Father of our children: We beseech Thee, since Thou hast vouchsafed to call us to be partakers of this Thy great mercy in the fellowship of faith: that it may please Thee to sanctify with Thy Spirit and receive into the number of Thy children this infant, whom we shall baptize according to Thy Word.

May he, coming of age, confess Thee as the only true God, and Him whom Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ, and serve Him and be profitable unto His church, in the whole course of his life. After this life be ended, may he be brought unto the full fruition of Thy joys in the heavens, where Thy Son our Christ reigneth, world without end. In whose name we pray as He hath taught us…. Amen.

For the Spirit of light and grace

O Almighty God, which in commanding us to pray hast assured us that we, believing steadfastly in Thy promise, shall have all that we desire, especially concerning the soul, wherein we seek Thy glory and the wealth of our neighbors; our humble petition to Thee, O most dear Father, is, that forasmuch as this child is not without original sin, Thou wilt consider Thine own mercy, and according to Thy promise send this child thy good Spirit, that in Thy sight it be not counted among the children of wrath, but of light and grace, and become a member of the undefiled church espoused to Christ, Thy dear Son, in faith and love unfeigned, by the means of the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (attributed to M.Coverdale)

 

PRC Seminary Lectures on the French Reformed Tradition- Dr. T. Reid

Today and tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. (ET) the PRC Seminary will be hosting two special lectures by Dr. Tom Reid of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

While the Seminary is limited in seating and the event is especially for our faculty, students, area ministers, and special guests, the lectures are going to be live-streamed both days.

Below is the notice of the lectures from Prof.R. Cammenga and below that is the video link to the Seminary’s YouTube channel, from which you may watch the live-stream. We welcome you to join us in this way – at 1:00 p.m. TODAY and TOMORROW.

On Thursday and Friday, April 28 and 29, Mr. Tom Reid of the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA) will be giving two addresses to our student body, faculty, and area ministers. Both speeches will begin at 1:00 PM. On Thursday, April 28, he will speak on “The Battles of the French Reformed Tradition,” and on Friday, April 29, he will speak on “A Recent French Reformed Theologian, Auguste Lecerf.”

This is the video link for Thursday’s lecture (full recording):

This is the live-stream video link for tomorrow’s (Friday) lecture:

Note:

Yesterday we experienced some initial difficulties with our first major live-stream effort of the first lecture of Mr. Reid – our apologies! Mid-way through his speech the stream worked fine and that portion of the video is available on our YouTube channel. But I have also posted above the full video recording of this first lecture above.

The second lecture will be held Friday at 1:00 p.m. I have the event scheduled at the link above. If this is not working, I will start a new live-stream event, which may be found at the link provided.

Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God

A new title has recently been published and has arrived at the PRC Seminary library and bookstore – Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God (Zondervan, 2016; 160 pp., paper). This unique book is the fruit of the combined labors of pastor/author Tim Challies and graphic designer Josh Byers.

Below is part of a post Challies recently had on his blog about the new title and its purpose. Since then, he has had additional posts on the book and how to use it.

Be sure to visit the site where many of these visuals may be seen and purchased too. I downloaded a free one on the five solas of the Reformation a few months ago and had it printed and framed. It now hangs on the west wall of our assembly room at Seminary.

We live in a visual culture. Today, people increasingly rely upon visuals to help them understand new and difficult concepts. The rise and popularity of the Internet infographic has given us a new way to convey data, concepts, and ideas.

But the visual portrayal of truth is not a novel idea. God himself used visuals to teach truth to his people. If you have ever considered the different elements within the Old Testament tabernacle or temple you know that each element was a visual representation of a greater truth. The sacrificial system and later the cross were also meant to be visual—visual theology.

And this is where Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God comes in. This book is the result of a collaboration between me, a writer, and Josh Byers, a graphic designer. We worked together to create a book that brings together two great media—words and infographics. Combining the power of each of them, we created a book that both describes and illustrates the truth about God and man.

Our purpose in creating Visual Theology is to provide a guide to the joy and privilege of Christian living, a systematic look at living in this world for the glory of God. We teach that living for God’s glory is a matter of Growing Close to Christ, Understanding the Work of Christ, Becoming Like Christ, and Living for Christ—the four major sections that comprise the book. As you progress through these four sections you will learn the centrality of the gospel in all of life, you will come to understand both the doctrine and the drama of the Bible, you will see the importance of putting sin to death and coming alive to righteousness, and you will come to see how the Christian faith transforms vocation, relationships, and stewardship. All the while you will see these truths illustrated through beautiful visuals.

Visual Theology is a work meant to celebrate and combine two complementary media—words and pictures. It is meant to combine them in a way that teaches and disciples Christians to better know, love, and serve the Lord. It is a book to read on your own, a book to enjoy with your family, a book to read with people you are discipling. It is a book to read, too look at, and to enjoy.

Order It: Visual Theology is available at all major book distributors, including: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.

Source: Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God

Prayers of the Reformers (14)

prayersofreformers-manschreckFor this second Lord’s Day in April we post another prayer from the book Prayers of the Reformers (compiled by Clyde Manschreck; Muhlenberg Press, 1958).

This prayer is taken from the section “Prayers in Time of Affliction and Suffering” and, as you will see, is fitting for us as we gather with God’s people in worship today.

The editor gives it the German title “Wenn wir in hochsten Nothen sein,” (from Paul Eber, 1566 based on a text from Joachim Camerarius, 1546) while the prayer itself is in English arranged in poem form thus:

When in the hour of utmost need
We know not where to look for aid,
When days and nights of anxious thought
Nor help nor counsel yet have brought.

Then this our comfort is alone,
That we may meet before Thy throne,
And cry, O faithful God, to Thee
For rescue from our misery.

To Thee may raise our hearts and eyes,
Repenting sore with bitter sighs,
And seek Thy pardon for our sin
And respite from our griefs within.

For Thou hast promised graciously
To hear all those who cry to Thee
Thro’ Him whose name alone is great,
Our Savior and our advocate.

And thus we come, O God, today
And all our woes before Thee lay;
For sorely tried, cast down, we stand,
Perplexed by fears on every hand.

O hide not for our sins Thy face,
Absolve us through Thy boundless grace,
Be with us in our anguish still,
Free us at last from every ill.

That so with all our hearts we may
Once more our glad thanksgivings pay,
And walk obedient to Thy Word,
And now and ever praise the Lord.

An Internet search reveals that this is a hymn set to music under the title “When in the Hour of Utmost Need, ” arranged by Louis Burgeois (c.1510-1559), as part of the Genevan tunes.

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

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 Ironsharpensironradio.com (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 ChrisArnzen@gmail.com.”

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

Prayers of the Reformers (13)

prayersofreformers-manschreckFor this second Sunday in February 2016 we post two more prayers from the book Prayers of the Reformers (compiled by Clyde Manschreck; Muhlenberg Press, 1958).

The first prayer is taken from the section “Morning and Evening Prayers” while the second is drawn from the section “Prayers for All Sorts and Conditions.” I have slightly edited both of these for ease of reading.

Prayer for the morning

We render unto Thee, O heavenly Father, most hearty thanks, by Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, that this night past Thou hast granted of Thy fatherly goodness to preserve us from all evil, and to give our bodies rest and sleep:

We now most entirely beseech Thee that, as Thou hast raised up our bodies from sleep, so likewise Thou wilt deliver our minds from the sleep of sin, and from the darkness of this world;

that we, walking in the light of Thy blessed Word, may do only that which is pleasant in Thy sight, profitable to our neighbors, and healthful to our souls.

Amen [p.110, attributed to T.Becon]

For good ministers

Almighty and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast commanded us to pray that Thou wouldest send forth laborers into Thy harvest:

Of Thine infinite mercy give us true teachers and ministers of Thy Word, and put Thy saving gospel in their hearts and on their lips, that they may truly fulfil Thy command, and preach nothing contrary to Thy holy Word;

that we, being warned, instructed, nurtured, comforted, and strengthened by Thy heavenly Word, may do those things which are well-pleasing to Thee and profitable to us;

through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen. (p.106)

 

The Reformation and Family Worship – D.Whitney

family-worship-whitney-2016Recently we began to exam a new publication of Crossway that I requested for review. The book is Donald S. Whitney’s Family Worship (2016, 80 pp.), which includes a nice chapter covering “family worship in church history”.

Chapter 2’s full title is “Here the Reformation Must Begin,” and in it Whitney gives a brief survey of how family worship was treated in the history of the church – for better and for worse. It includes this summary of what happened prior to and under Martin Luther, and why the Reformation was also a reformation of family worship.

As individual access to the Bible became increasingly rare and expensive, and with progressively more hierarchical clergy, family worship generally declined into dust from about this point in Christian history until the Reformation [That is, from the time of Chrysostom (c.349-407) referenced just before Luther]. But when the Bible reentered the house, so did family worship. By the time of Martin Luther (1483-1546), the trend began to reverse and the windows of a recovery of family worship were thrown open.

Luther preached almost every day, pastored a church, and wrote massive amounts of theology and Bible commentary. But he also recognized that like any other Christian husband and father, he had the responsibility to be the worship-leading pastor of his family. In one place Luther wrote of

Abraham [who] had in his tent a house of God and a church, just as today any godly  and pious head of a household instructs his children…in godliness. Therefore such a house is actually a school and church, and the head of the household is a bishop and priest in his house (p.30).

Prayers of the Reformers (12) – “O Christe, Morgensterne”

 

For this fourth Lord’s Day of January 2016 we post two more prayers from the book Prayers of the Reformers (compiled by Clyde Manschreck; Muhlenberg Press, 1958). Both of these are taken from the section “Prayers for Newness of Life.”

May they help prepare us for worship on this day of our risen Savior, so that He is glorified in all we do.

rev22-18-morningstar

 

O Christe, Morgensterne

O Christ, Thou bright and morning Star,
Now shed Thy light abroad;
Shine on us from Thy glorious throne afar
With Thy pure glorious Word.

O Jesus, Comfort of the poor,
I lift my heart to Thee;
I know Thy mercies still endure,
And Thou wilt pity me.

For Thou didst suffer for my soul,
Her burdens to remove:
O make me through Thy sorrows whole,
Refresh me with Thy love.

Then, Jesus, glory, honor, praise
I’ll ever sing to Thee;
And Thou at last my soul wilt raise
To endless joys with Thee.

-Unknown, 1579 (p.81)

For hearing God’s Word (slightly edited)

Almighty God, as nothing is better for us or more necessary for our chief happiness than to depend on Thy Word, for that is a sure pledge of Thy good will towards us, grant that, as Thou hast favored us with so singular a benefit, we may be attentive to hear Thee and submit ourselves to Thee in true fear, meekness, and humility.

May we be prepared in the spirit of meekness to receive whatever proceeds from Thee, and may Thy Word not only be precious to us, but also sweet and delightful, until we shall enjoy the perfection of that life which Thine only-begotten Son has procured for us by His own blood. Amen

-John Calvin (p.79)

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