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)  

The Privilege and Blessing of Seminary Training

romans-10_15Perhaps most of our readers are aware of a series of blog posts on the RFPA’s website by some of our recent PRC Seminary graduates. They are informative, first-hand descriptions of each year of seminary training, as well as of other aspects of preparing for the ministry (including even pre-seminary).

Yes, these descriptions are personal and realistic, not hiding or down-playing the difficulties of the pursuit and the struggles of the studies. But they are also wonderfully encouraging, as the various seminary graduates relate the tremendous privileges and blessings of the call to serve the Lord as pastors and teachers.

The last one to be written is by Candidate David Noorman, a fellow church member at Faith PRC. He wrote on “The Privilege of Seminary Training: Personal Spiritual Development.” (Dated Jan.5, 2018)

I give you the entire post here, and also encourage you – and our young men especially – to read the other articles in this series. The need for pastors remains high in the PRC. May God use these articles to lead young men to consider prayerfully this high calling.

Anyone who has talked to a seminary student or asked his pastor about his years in seminary will likely hear stories about the many great challenges of those years. The work is often difficult, and the amount of work that is placed before the students can be overwhelming for even the most gifted students. Seemingly every student of the seminary has some story to tell of a painful practice preaching session or a graded paper filled with a flood of red ink.

While those difficulties and challenges are real, they are only a small part of the story. It’s a shame that the “headline” about seminary training that most everyone sees or hears is “DIFFICULT.” And if that is the only thing that comes to mind regarding seminary, that is an incomplete, and therefore, an unfair perspective.

What’s missing from that perspective is the wonderful privilege of studying in the seminary. If the difficulties, challenges, and sacrifices of seminary are great, the privileges and benefits of studying in the seminary are far greater.

Here are just a few of the personal benefits of seminary training:

  • As with all education, there is much growth in knowledge, and the knowledge imparted in seminary is of the highest quality, a spiritual, life-giving quality. The words of instruction in seminary are the words of eternal life, imparting knowledge of the one true God. There are many people who have the privilege of being students, but not all have the privilege of giving themselves to the study of the very words of God.
  • Seminary humbles The doctrines of grace humble you, showing you your unworthiness. The amount of work humbles you, showing you your frailty and turning your attention to God. The correction of professors humbles you, showing you your errors and ignorance. The truths expounded in the scriptures also humble you, by showing you your sin and leading you to Christ. In these ways and more, the student is humbled, and in this he is prepared to be a servant of Christ and his church.
  • Seminary training is also a wonderful means of sanctification. Sanctification is God’s work of making us holy, and that work is performed by the Spirit through the means of grace. Sitting under the faithful instruction of professors is no different than sitting under the preaching of the word in church. There is the true privilege of seminary training: the daily practice of engaging in the means of grace and growing daily in the knowledge of God transforms the student’s heart. The men who walk through the seminary doors on that first fall morning are not the same as those who walk out four years later. God works powerfully in the hearts of seminary students through their training, transforming their hearts so that they are ready to serve in God’s house.
  • What about those difficulties? They have their benefits too. The student grows in his ability to read and write. He learns how to communicate effectively. He learns how many hours there are in a day (not enough), and how to be most productive in the time he is given. The difficulties and challenges of the work teach the student discipline, perseverance, patience, and trust. They force him to labor with a conscious dependence on the grace of God for the needs of both body and soul.

Prospective seminary students should not be discouraged from pursuing the gospel ministry by the stories of how difficult the training is. Seminary is challenging, but it is such a privilege as well. And while no man should enter seminary solely for the purpose of personal development, it’s only fair that the whole story is told.

The benefits will begin early on in the training. Taking pre-seminary Greek early in the morning isn’t easy for everyone, but as one emeritus professor told me, “The study of the original languages opens up grand vistas of the truths of the scriptures.” He was right, and those vistas are beautiful, even life-changing.

The benefits continued throughout the four years of seminary. Every day, the scriptures were expounded to us. Every day we were confronted by some truth concerning our majestic God and his wonderful works. Every day, we were humbled, corrected, instructed, and built up by truths of scripture and given the tools to do the same both for ourselves and others.

The calling of the ministry is weighty, and the challenges of seminary are significant and sometimes difficult to overcome. But ultimately, the most difficult obstacles are often the most beneficial, for they teach the student to labor with a dependence on the grace of God rather than his own strength. In the end, the seminary student receives four years of heart-shaping instruction. That instruction, the Lord willing, will benefit both the students personally and the churches they serve.

Sem Scenes – November/December 2017

On this Friday, for fun, let’s take a look around and see what has been happening at the PRC Seminary of late (this Fall of 2017).

An early Fall picture of seminary front.

I have been taking a few pictures of people and things, so here you go!

Sunset on Wednesday night this week.

The next morning – this Thursday after first snowfall of the new season.

Mrs. Judi Doezema’s Christmas cactus (forefront) and Mandevilla plant (background) – taken this week.


One of our students (Jacob Maatman) playing the pump organ at seminary.
Note: He loves good Luther hymns and Genevan Psalms as well as classical pieces.


We enjoyed a special visitor from the Netherlands this week (Cees Van Steenselen), who sat in on classes at seminary, visited two of our Christian schools, and whom I took downtown Grand Rapids by the river for a short (cold!) stay by the fish ladder.

A certain new professor excited about his new office.
Don’t worry, we are teaching him how to use his furniture properly.


Sometimes we get “friendly” visitors outside the doors whom we don’t want to come inside (though they have in the past – just ask Rev. R. Barnhill, our former snake-lover!).

Finally, a book plate I recently came across in one of the Letis books. As we enter the winter season, one to make us long for Spring.

Published in: on December 8, 2017 at 2:17 PM  Leave a Comment  

Recent Additions to the PRC Seminary Library (3rd Quarter 2017)

SemLibrary2In October of this year I submitted the following list of books to the Theological School Committee of the PRC Seminary. It is a list of significant books obtained and processed for the third quarter of this year, covering July to Sept. Not intended to be exhaustive but selective, the list highlights some of the more important additions to our library.

The list also is sent, of course, to our faculty and students, so that they can have an idea of what is being added for their benefit. I trust the list will serve to benefit you readers too. Not simply so you can see how your monies are being spent, but also so that you may find something to use and read for your personal growth.

I divide the list into the following categories to help organize the books. The somewhat unique formatting follows the way the books are catalogued in the program I use (Resourcemate).

Happy browsing!

Biblical studies/ Commentaries/ theology

  • Focus on the Bible Series: Job: The Mystery of Suffering and God’s Sovereignty / Richard P. Belcher, Jr. — 1st-pb. — Fearne, Ross-shire, GB : Christian Focus, 2017.
  • God’s Word for YouJohn 1-12 for You / Josh. Moody; Andreas J. Kostenberger. — 1st-hc. — England: Good Book Company, 2017.
  • Mentor Commentary: Psalms: Volume 1 – Psalms 1 – 72 & Volume 2 – Psalms 73 – 150/ Allan M. Harman – Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Mentor (Christian Focus), 2011.
  • Teach the Text Commentary SeriesEcclesiastes and Song Of Songs / Edward M. Curtis. — 1st – hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013.
  • Reformation Commentary on Scripture, OT & NT (IVP) – I Corinthians /S. Manetsch
  • Welwyn Commentary: The Book of Psalms: From Suffering to Glory; Volume 1: Psalms 1 – 72 – The Servant-King / Philip Eveson. EP BOOKS, 2014.

Individual Titles

  • Justified by Faith: Study Outlines on Romans / Johannes Francke — 1st-pb. — London, Ontario: Inter League Publication Board, 1991.
  • Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms / David Martyn Lloyd-Jones; Christopher Catherwood. — 1st U.S.-pb. – Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005.
  • A History of the Bible as Literature: Volume 1: From Antiquity to 1700 / David. Norton — 1st-hc. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993 [Letis collection]
  • A History of the Bible as Literature: Volume 2: From 1700 to the Present Day / David. Norton — 1st-hc. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993 [Letis].
  • The History of the Higher Criticism of the New Testament: Being the History of the Process Whereby the Word of God Has Won the Right To Be Understood / Henry S. Nash, 1854-1912. ; Shailer Mathews. — 2nd-hc. —  New York: Macmillan, 1906 [Letis collection]
  • The Old Testament Explained and Applied. / Gareth. Crossley — 1st – reprint – hc. — Webster, NY: Evangelical Press, 2002.
  • The Christ of Wisdom: A Redemptive-Historical Exploration of the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament / O. Palmer. Robertson; Walter C. Kaiser. — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, N J: P & R Publishing, 2017.
  • Knowing God in the Last Days: Commentary on 2 Peter / Mark H. Hoeksema. — 1st-hc. — Jenison, MI : Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2017.
  • Divine Sabbath Work / Michael H. Burer; Richard S. Hess — 1st-hc. — Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2012 (Bulletin For Biblical Research Supplements) vol. 5
  • What Christians Believe About the Bible / Donald K. McKim. — 1st-pb. – Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1985.
  • Scribes, Scrolls, and Scripture : A Student’s Guide to New Testament Textual Criticism / J. Harold (Jacob Harold) Greenlee, 1918-. — 1st – pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1985.
  • Stump Kingdom : Isaiah 6 – 12 / Dale R. Davis. — 1st-pb. — Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Christian Focus Publications.

Church History/Biography

  • Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World / Brad S. Gregory, 1963-. — 1st-hc. — San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2017.
  • The Ninety-Five Theses in Their Theological Significance / Benjamin B. Warfield, 1851-1921. — Solid Ground Christian Books, 2017. (Solid Ground Reformation 500 Title)
  • Maarten Luther: Doctor Der Heilige Schrift, Reformator Der Kerk. / Willem J. Kooiman, 1903-1968 — 2nd-hc. — Amsterdam : W. ten Have, 1948
  • Luther and His Katie / Dolina. MacCuish. — reprint-pb. — Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Christian Focus, c1983.
  • Remembering the Reformation: An Inquiry into the Meanings of Protestantism / Thomas Albert Howard, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Introducing Tyndale: An Extract from Tyndale’s “An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue” / William Tyndale, d. 1536; John Piper; Robert J. Sheehan — 1st-pb. — Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2017.
  • Ulrich Von Hutten and the German Reformation / Hajo Holborn, 1902-1969. ; Roland H. Bainton, trans. — 1st Harper ed. – pb. — New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1937.
  • The Counter-Reformation / Arthur G. Dickens — 1st – pb. — London: Thames & Hudson, 1968 [Letis collection]
  • The Catholic Reformation / Michael A. Mullett — 1st-pb. — London: Routledge, 1999.
  • The Counter-Reformation, 1500-1600 / B. J. Kidd — 1st-hc. — London : Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1933 [Letis collection]
  • The Censorship of the Church of Rome and Its Influence upon the Production and Distribution of Literature: A Study of the History of the Prohibitory and Expurgatory Indexes, Together with Some Consideration of the Effects of Protestant Censorship and of Censorship by the State / George H. Putnam, 1844-1930 — 1st-hc. — New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906 (2 vols) [Letis collection]
  • Papist Pamphleteers: The Allen – Persons Party and The Political Thought of the Counter – Reformation in England, 1572-1615. / Thomas H. Clancy — 1st-hc. – Chicago, IL : Loyola University Press, 1964.
  • Inquisition and Society in Spain in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries / Henry. Kamen. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1985 [Letis collection]
  • Robert Bellarmine: Saint and Scholar / James Brodrick, 1891-1973. — 1st-hc. — Westminister, MD: The Newman Press, 1961 [Letis collection]
  • How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion / August Hasler; Peter Heinegg, transl. — 1st-hc — Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1981 [Letis collection]
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church / Malachi. Martin. — 1st-hc. — New York: Putnam, 1981 [Letis collection]
  • Revivalism and Separatism in New England, 1740-1800: Strict Congregationalists and Separate Baptists in the Great Awakening / C. C. Goen — 1st-hc. — New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1962.
  • Church History: An Introduction to Research Methods and Resources / James E. Bradley; Richard A. Muller — 2nd-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2016.
  • Frisians to America, 1880-1914: With the Baggage of the Fatherland / Annemieke Galema — 1st-pb. — Groningen, the Netherlands: REGIO-Project Uitgevers, 1996.
  • Lives of the Fathers: Sketches of Church History in Biography / Frederic W. Farrar, 1831-1903 — 1st- hc — Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1889 (2 vols.) [Letis collection]
  • The Medieval Church: From the Dawn of the Middle Ages to the Eve of the Reformation / Carl A. Volz. — 1st-pb. – Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1997.

Creeds/Confessions/History of

  • Only by True Faith: An Explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism – Book 1 – Lord’s Days 1-24 / Arthur Van Delden — 2nd-pb. — Kelmscott, Australia: Pro Ecclesia, 2000. And Book 2, Lord’s Days 25-52

Dogmatics/Theology/Historical Theology

  • Thomas Aquinas and John Gerhard. / Robert P. Scharlemann; David. Horne. — 1st-hc. — New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964 (Yale Publications in Religion), vol.7 [Letis collection]
  • The Papacy in the Modern World, 1914-1978 / J. Derek. Holmes; John T. Ellis. — 1st-hc. — New York: Crossroad, 1981 [Letis collection]
  • Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief / Bruce. Milne; James I. Packer — 3rd-pb. — Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.
  • Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional and Progressive Views / Herbert W. Bateman; Elliott E. Johnson; Darrell L. Bock; Herbert W. Bateman — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1999.
  • Jerome Zanchi (1516-90) and the Analysis of Reformed Scholastic Christology / Stefan Lindholm — 1st-hc. — Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016 (Reformed Historical Theology), vol. 37
  • Hand in Hand: The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice / Randy C. Alcorn. — 1st-pb. — Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2014.
  • All That Is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism / James E. Dolezal; Richard A. Muller — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • Christ and Covenant Theology: Essays on Election, Republication, and the Covenants / Cornelis P. Venema; Sinclair B. Ferguson — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2017.
  • Confessing the Impassible God: The Biblical, Classical, and Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility / Ronald S. Baines; Richard C. Barcellos; James T. Butler; Ronald S. Baines — 1st-pb. — Palmdale, CA: RBAP, 2015.
  • The Anatomy of Arminianisme: or the Opening of the Controversies Lately Handled in the Low-Countryes, Concerning the Doctrine of Providence, of Predestination, of the Death of Christ, of Nature and Grace / Peter Moulin, 1568–1658. — Bound Photocopy. — London: Nathaniel Newbery, 1620.
  • On the Body of the Lord / Magnus Albertus, Saint, 1193?-1280; Albert M. Surmanski, transl.; Gregory F. LaNave — 1st-hc. — Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2017 (Fathers Of The Church – Mediaeval Continuation), v.17
  • Predestination / Howard G. Hageman, 1921-1992. — 1st-hc. — Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1963.
  • Dispensationalism in America: Its Rise And Development / C. Norman Kraus; Lefferts A. Loetscher, 1904-1981. — 1st-hc. — Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1958.
  • Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession / Robert C. Fuller, 1952-. — 1st-pb. — New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Jerome, Greek Scholarship, and the Hebrew Bible: A Study of the Quaestiones Hebraicae In Genesim / Adam. Kamesar — 1st-hc. — Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1993 (Oxford Classical Monographs) [Letis collection]
  • Cornerstones of Salvation: Foundations and Debates in the Reformed Tradition / Lee Gatiss — 1st-pb. — Welwyn Garden City, UK: Evangelical Press, 2017.
  • Particular Redemption: The End and Design of the Death of Christ / John Hurrion, c.1675 – 1731; Iain Hamish Murray; John Elias — 1st-pb. — Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2017.


  • A Spiritual House: Reflections on Some Current Ethical Issues / W. Pouwelse — 1st-pb. — Winnipeg: Premier Publishing, 1986.
  • Like Living Stones: Reflections on Some Current Ethical Issues / W. Pouwelse — 1st-reprint-pb. — Winnipeg: Premier Publishing, 1985.

Practical Theology/Missions

  • The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments: Three Lectures with an Appendix on Eschatology and History / Charles H. Dodd, 1884-1973. — 1st-reprint-hc. — London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936.
  • Fulfilling the Great Commission: Papers Read at the 1992 Westminster Conference / Jean-Marc Berthoud; Paul Cook; David Kingdon — 1st-pb. — London: The Westminster Conference, 1992.
  • Counsel to Gospel Ministers: Letters on Preaching, Exemplary Behavior, and the Pastoral Call / John (Haddington) Brown, 1722-1787; Joel R. Beeke; Randall J. Pederson — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • The Beauty and Glory of the Christian Worldview / Joel R. Beeke; Thomas Derek W. H.; Michael Barrett — 1st-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers / Jim. Newheiser; Edward T. Welch. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2017.
  • Messages of the Word: Sermons by Ministers of the Reformed Church in America / James F. Zwemer; John W. Beardslee; Ame. Vennema; James F. Zwemer — 1st-hc. — Holland, MI: Holland Printing Co., 1912.
  • Love One Another, My Friends: St. Augustine’s Homilies on the First Letter of John: An Abridged English Version / Saint Augustine , Bishop of Hippo; John. Leinenweber — 1st-hc. — San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1989.
  • Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken / David Powlison — 1st – pb. – Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017.
  • How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth / Christopher J. H. Wright — 1st – pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016.
  • Glorious Remembrance: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as Administered in the Liturgy of the Reformed Churches / Ray B. Lanning — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.

Misc. (Science, Family, Education, etc.)

  • A History of Classical Scholarship: From the Sixth Century B.C. to the End of the Middle Ages / Sir John Edwin. Sandys — 3rd – hc. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1921 (3 vols., covering all periods of history) [Letis collection]
  • History of Classical Scholarship from 1300-1850 / Rudolph. Pfeiffer — 1st-reprint-hc. — Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976 [Letis collection]
  • The American Intellectual Tradition: Volume I, 1630 – 1865 and Volume II: 1865 to the Present / David A. Hollinger; Charles Capper — 1st-pb. — New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • The Bible and Christian Education: Papers Delivered at the Educational Convention of the National Union of Christian Schools, 1925 / J. Althuis; G.W. Hylkema; H. Van Zyl — 1st-pb. — National Union of Christian Schools, 1925.
  • Acts of Synod of the Christian Reformed Church: 2017 / Christian Reformed Church in North America; Steven R. Timmermans — 2017-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, 2017.
  • Godliness and Good Learning: Four Studies on a Victorian Ideal. / David Newsome; James Prince Lee, 1804-1869; David Cannadine — 1st-pb. — London: Cassell, 1961.

Periodicals (Old & New)

  • 9Marks Journal (Calvinistic Baptist)
Published in: on November 14, 2017 at 10:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Seminary – New Building! 1973-74

Besides assisting me in the PRC Seminary library, Kevin Rau also helps with some archival projects, which, being a lover of history – especially church history! – he always enjoys.

The last few weeks he has been taking some time to sort through some old issues (donated loose ones) of the Standard Bearer, with his eyes alert especially to items related to PRC history – seminary news, church organizations/anniversaries, minister ordinations, mission news, memoriams, etc.


Yesterday, while going through some early 1970s issues, he found some news reports on and pictures of the construction of the new seminary building at it current location (4949 Ivanrest Ave., Wyoming, MI) when our theological school moved from the basement of First PRC in Grand Rapids, where it had been stationed for nearly 50 years.

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0002Since we did a feature on the 1993-94 addition to that building yesterday, today we will go back another 20 years to the construction of the original structure. And yes, you will note how free and clear the property was at that time of its current surroundings – not only tall trees, but also malls, stores, houses, and churches.

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0003In fact, I heard a cute story from our secretary yesterday (when I showed her the SB pics) that when they first moved into the area, she and her husband (the former registrar, whose name will go unmentioned to protect the guilty!) used to go on the roof of seminary on 4th of July evening – from which perch they could view fireworks in all directions! Can you see it? What a hoot, as a friend of mine would say. 🙂

Sem-new-building-1973-74_0004Happy Friday to you all! Have a safe and blessed weekend.

Published in: on November 10, 2017 at 3:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Seminary Expansion! 1994-95

Recently, while looking for some paperwork in my office file cabinet, I discovered some old pictures of my predecessor (Mr. Don Doezema) on the major expansion project at the PRC Seminary in 1994-95. This was the addition that housed the new professor offices, the new library, the PRC archives, and the RFPA (the latter two in the lower level). Today we make these our PRC archives feature for this week.

Removing trees and breaking ground on the new seminary addition

Plans and preparations for this addition originated with the PRC Synods in 1991 and 1992, when these broader assemblies instructed the Theological School Committee (TSC) to hire an architect to draw up plans for expansion, approved those plans, and “authorized the TSC to proceed with producing construction drawings when 50% of the estimated cost of the addition has been collected in gifts, and to award a construction contract when 75% of the estimated cost is collected” (from a special brochure published by the TSC in August of 1993).

Footings set and walls poured


In that August 1993 brochure a final appeal was made to the churches to contribute to this project, with hopes of breaking ground in 1994. That appeal was effective and in the Fall of 1994 the project commenced, with completion coming in 1995.

Wood and steel framing goes up

Progress on the exterior during the winter months

Next time we will include some interior pictures and then the open house that was held when the addition was done.

Published in: on November 9, 2017 at 8:57 AM  Leave a Comment  

Letis Collection Book Plates


The last couple of weeks Andrew Koerner, my new summer library helper, and I have returned to cataloging some more books out of the Letis collection.

20170705_083725While the majority of the best books for our seminary library have been incorporated from this collection, we are now working on some of the specialty books (Dr. Letis had, for example, a good number of books on Roman Catholicism, feminist theology,  and biblical higher criticism.).
20170705_152913One of the interesting features of some of the older books is the book plates in the front. Some reflect Letis’ own stamp on the book he purchased,  while others reflect the former owner, including individuals and libraries – and in one case, a convent.
20170707_112323I post pictures of a few here for your enjoyment.
20170707_112059I bought some beautiful plates a few years ago from a local book store, and have placed them in a few of my favorite books. 🙂




Published in: on July 7, 2017 at 9:44 PM  Leave a Comment  

Spring 2017 PRT Journal Available

The Spring 2017 issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal is now available in print form and in multiple digital forms (Vol.50, No.2).


As you will see from the cover image, this issue contains a variety of significant Reformed reading material.

Prof. R. Cammenga, editor of the PRTJ, gives these “notes” at the beginning in summary of this issue:

This is the second and last issue of the fiftieth volume of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal.  We welcome our readers to its pages.  Included are several articles.  The Rev. Thomas Reid favors us with the transcript of the second of two speeches that he gave last spring before the faculty, student body, and area Protestant Reformed ministers.  The article highlights the labors and contributions of a recent French Reformed theologian, Auguste Lecerf.  PRCA pastor, Rev. Thomas C. Miersma, contributes an article on the special offices and gifts in the New Testament church.  He asks whether these gifts and offices continue in the church today, and if not, why not?  The undersigned has two contributions to the issue.  The first is the second part of my examination of the teaching of common grace in light of the five solas of the Reformation.  The contention of the series is that the doctrine of common grace vitiates the five solas that constitute the Reformation’s enduring contribution to the New Testament church.  The second contribution is another installment of the “John Calvin Research Bibliography.”  A number of our readers have expressed appreciation for the bibliography as a useful tool for doing research into all the main areas of Calvin’s theology.  The bibliography arose out of my work in crafting a special interim course on the theology of John Calvin.  The course is scheduled to be taught once again as the winter interim between the two semesters of the 2017-18 school year.

      Included in this issue is what we hope will be a regular feature from the seminary’s librarian, Mr. Charles Terpstra.  Mr. Terpstra highlights the significant recent additions to the seminary library.  We include this not merely for the information of our readers.  But we invite our readers to make use of our library for study and research.  We are even open to loaning our books to our constituency and friends.

      And, of course, we have our section of book reviews—a goodly number of reviews in this issue.  We want to do what we can to inform our readers of new books of special interest that are being published.

      Read and enjoy!

    Soli Deo Gloria!                                                                                                      —RLC

If you wish to receive a free print copy of this issue, or to be added to our mailing list, contact our secretary at the email found on our home page. To download free print edition, use the link given above.


End of Semester at Seminary

This past week the PRC Seminary concluded its second semester, with classes ending on Friday May 12 and exams yesterday, May 18. There are still some papers to be written (for Dogmatics) and the seniors are still busy preparing for their synodical exam in June, but most everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

Because some were leaving for out of town rather soon, we held our annual Spring picnic last night at the home of Prof. and Mrs. R. Dykstra. Though the evening cooled off quickly, it was a beautiful night of good food, rich fellowship, and healthy fun. After a delicious potluck supper, outdoor games were played, and later group singing took place inside.

Below are a few pictures from the evening, including a nice group picture set up on Prof. Dykstra’s camera.

Don Doezema shows off his bean-bag form, with Prof. Gritters waiting for his turn. In a classic battle between registrars and professors, the registrars lost. 😦


Lots of bean bag toss was enjoyed, but also ladder toss and bocce ball.


The whole Seminary family!

A week ago, we had our final grilled brat lunch together, complete with some extra guests from Singapore and a few of the wives. That time of fellowship was finished off with some intense games of ping-pong. Below are a couple of snapshots of that fun.



As you will see, the seminarians take their game seriously, headbands and all. 🙂

Published in: on May 19, 2017 at 10:44 PM  Leave a Comment  

More Special Visitors to the PRC Seminary (and some beautiful blossoms)


This week the PRC Seminary once again hosted some special visitors – two more Christian school classes. On Tuesday, April 25, the fourth graders from Hope PR Christian School (Walker, MI) paid us a visit (taught by Mr. Dan Hanko).


After listening to Prof. R. Cammenga’s introductory talk on the seminary and its work, the students were given a tour of the building.


Following that, the students gathered for devotions with the faculty and students, with the students introducing themselves for the benefit of the Hope CS students. And then it was time for snacks over coffee – or, in the students case, over juice boxes.


On Thursday, April 27, Mrs. Jordan Pettit’s fourth-grade class from Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI) made a visit to us. This group too was informed by Prof. R. Cammenga of the nature and labors of the seminary and then given a tour of the facilities.


And, of course, shared homemade snacks were provided – something we always look forward to! 🙂

We are grateful that our Christian school teachers take an interest in the special school we have in our PRC Seminary, and that they take the time to stir up interest in their students. In this way we are encouraged in our labors – and we trust some special seeds of interest in the ministry of the Word are sown in the souls of a few of the young boys. May the Lord so work!


As part of this post, I will also include some pictures of the beautiful trees blooming on our property. April and May are special times as the spring trees blossom here and everywhere in West Michigan. Once again, see the handiwork and glory of our Creator-Father!



O, and it’s Friday – time for grilled brats! 🙂 Have a good day!


Published in: on April 28, 2017 at 2:22 PM  Leave a Comment