The Libraries of Famous Men: Ernest Shackleton | The Art of Manliness

It has been sometime since I referenced this series of posts on The Art of Manhood website, but this Feb.26 post grabbed my attention and I decided to inform you of it here.

You may remember the story of Irishman Ernest Shackleton’s exploratory trips to the South Pole in the early part of the 20th century (especially notable is the one on the ship Endurance in 1915), but you probably did not know the story of his library. That’s the focus of this article on AOM. And while this story is interesting in its own right, the part of that also caught my attention was the reference to his Bible.

We quote from the first part of it here, and then from that section that references Shackleton’s Bible. So read on and learn the importance of every library, large or small, in a library, a home, or on a ship.

Part of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s genius for leadership, was how keenly he understood the way in which idleness can destroy men’s morale. Thus when his ship, the Endurance, became stuck in pack ice en route to a planned Antarctic expedition, he didn’t let his men simply sit on their hands. Instead, he charged them with daily maintenance tasks, organized games of football, hockey, and soccer on the ice outside the ship, and encouraged the keeping of daily diaries. As a help in biding the time, Shackleton also lent members of the crew books from his personal library, the exact contents of which were unknown, until recently.

Two years ago, when pictures taken by the expedition’s photographer, Frank Hurley, were digitized and restored by the Royal Geographical Society, it became possible for the first time to clearly make out the titles of the books Shackleton kept in his shipboard cabin. We now know his field library contained quite a mix of genres, including a set of encyclopedias, popular and classic novels, collections of poetry and quotations, manuals of grammar, several dictionaries, and accounts of other polar expeditions.

And now this special reference to the things Shackleton took when they had to abandon the Endurance:

While most of Shackleton’s library could not be brought along, he did encourage his men to take one of his books if it fell under their weight allowance.

Shackleton himself tore out the flyleaf of his Bible, upon which Queen Alexandra had inscribed a prayer for his safety, as well as the pages for Psalm 23 and Job 38:29-30 (“Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.”), before laying the rest of the book down on the ice.

To finish reading this story, visit the link below.

Source: The Libraries of Famous Men: Ernest Shackleton | The Art of Manliness

Published in: on February 27, 2019 at 10:29 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Canons of Dordt and Missions – Rev. D. Kleyn (Feb.15, 2019 “Standard Bearer”)

sb-logo-rfpaThe latest issue of the Standard Bearer (February 15, 2019) is now out and among its ten (10) articles are two on the Canons of Dordt, marking its 400th anniversary.

The first is Part 7 of Prof. Douglas Kuiper’s series “Dordt 400: Memorial Stones,” a year-long tribute to the “great Synod.” This installment treats Dordt’s consideration of “training students for the ministry.” It is another interesting, edifying, and relevant article on the Synod’s work and decisions.


The second article is the one we feature in this post. It is PRC Missionary-pastor (Philippines) Daniel Kleyn’s second installment on “The Canons of Dordt and Missions.” We pull a section from this fine article, which shows how the Canons teaches that the gospel is to be preached “far and wide.”

Missions is to Preach Promiscuously

More significantly, the Canons of Dordt give an explicit call to the church to do mission work. Among the Three Forms of Unity, the Canons is the only creed to do this. This more than anything else proves the missionary character and missionary usefulness of this creed.

The Canons order the church to go out into the world with the gospel. That order is found in Head II, Article 5, which reads: “Moreover, the promise of the gospel is that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified shall not perish but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of His good pleasure sends the gospel.”

Who can deny that this call to missions is in full harmony with the biblical commands concerning missions? Even if no other passages in the Canons either taught or implied anything regarding missions, Head II, Article 5 would be enough to prove that the Canons promote mission work.

The word “promiscuously” is key here. This means the preaching must go far and wide, to every land and nation under heaven. This must be done by the church “without distinction.” God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). The church must not be such in her mission work either.

God’s purpose is that the promiscuous preaching of His Word will be used by Him to bring the elect to a conscious faith in Christ. The church and missionaries do not and cannot know who the elect are. They must, therefore, preach God’s Word to all to whom God gives them opportunity. In this way the elect will hear that Word and will, by the power of the Spirit, be saved.

The English Separatists Find Refuge in Holland

they-came-freedom-milbrandtIn Scrooby [England], the Separatists began preparations for their flight to mainland Europe [due to increasing persecution]. Their escape would need to happen in secret to circumvent England’s severe restrictions – and avoid the undoubtedly painful retribution. First, they needed a destination.

The Separatists chose Holland. The Dutch Republic offered freedom of conscience where religion could be openly practiced. Holland not only spoke of defending religious freedom but had a record of doing it. It had become home to other religious exiles in recent years, including the Huguenots, French Protestants driven out by the Catholic Church. They trusted Holland.

…When they finally limped into the port in Holland, people came flocking, ‘astonished at their deliverance.’ [the ship had come through a horrific storm that blew them 400 miles off course – near to the coast of Norway!] Their arrival was long overdue, and most assumed that the Dutch vessel had been lost at sea. Their survival was a remarkable sight.

For the Separatists now in Holland, they had arrived. While many would wait for loved ones, this offered the chance to start the life and freedom they imagined for many years. They could begin to worship freely, but also build their sacred community. For the foreseeable future, they would call Amsterdam home, and the men would take jobs in this port city’s growing global economy.

Taken from chapter 3 , “Dissenters,” in They Came for Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims by Jay Milbrandt (Nelson Books, 2017), pp.62-67. This is one of my current reads – and a good one.

WORLD’s Top 25 articles for 2018 – WORLD

As we near the end of the year of our Lord 2018, it is good to reflect on all that has transpired according to the sovereign plan and providence of our almighty God in this year. That, after all, is what we believe all the events of history are – the unfolding of our God’s perfect plan through His mighty providential hand. And, we also add this, that all these events of history – of 2018 too – are for the salvation of Christ’s church and the good of His redeemed and renewed people.

Many news sources produce year-end summaries of the year’s major stories, which are useful in helping us to reflect on the more significant events of the year. World Magazine (a Christian news source) has also produced its summary of the major stories it reported online throughout 2018. It included this list of 25 items today as part of its “Saturday Series” (which often feature books, writing, reading), and I thought it worth your while to point you to it here.

What follows here is the little blurb that introduced the list; after that I post here the last five news items (which were published at the “top” of the list on their website).

In 2018, WORLD’s online readers were drawn to major cover stories and timely features from the magazine, daily news reports from The Sift, and insightful Saturday Series essays. But issues related to marriage, family, and sexuality were often foremost in the minds of our readers this past year, as the website’s weekly Relations roundup makes multiple appearances in our countdown of the 25 articles that grabbed your attention the most.

25. A long way from home

Before getting lost in a cave, Adul Sam-on found direction for his future at a Thai church and school

by Angela Lu Fulton
July 13 | WORLD Magazine | Features

24. Moody Bible Institute leaders resign amid turmoil

Moody Bible Institute announced Wednesday the resignation of President J. Paul Nyquist and Chief Operating Officer Steve Mogck amid ongoing turmoil following staffing cuts

by Leigh Jones
Jan. 11 | WORLD Digital | The Sift

23. Willow Creek elders respond to new Hybels accusations

The elders of Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago said in a letter Saturday they could have done a better job holding former Senior Pastor Bill Hybels accountable for inappropriate behavior toward women

by Lynde Langdon
April 23 | WORLD Digital | The Sift

22. Facing cultural storms

Six trends that are rapidly reshaping the lives of American Christians

by John S. Dickerson
Nov. 24 | WORLD Digital | Saturday Series

21. Turkey seeks life sentence for U.S. pastor

Turkish prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for a U.S. pastor accused of participating in the 2016 coup that attempted to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

by Leigh Jones
March 13 | WORLD Digital | The Sift

Find the other 20 top stories at the link below.

Source: WORLD’s Top 25 articles for 2018 – Media – WORLD

Top Ten Books of 2018 – Kevin DeYoung

It is that wonderful time of year when the “best-books-of-the-year” lists are published. I have received notice of several already and will begin to reference them in the next two weeks.

These lists can be helpful in knowing what to read and/or to add to your personal or family library, especially, of course, those lists compiled by fellow Christians (including the Reformed ones). I also find them useful in learning what I may have missed for the PRC seminary library.

Pastor (now PCA) and author Kevin DeYoung published his “top ten books of 2018” on The Gospel Coalition website recently (Dec.14 – cf. link below). I will give you part of his introduction, which includes his criteria for choosing the titles he did. After that part of his introduction, I will post a part of his list; you may find the full list at the link below.

This list is not meant to assess the thousands of Christian books published each year, let alone every interesting book published in 2018. There are plenty of worthy titles that I am not able to read (and lots I never hear of). This is simply a list of the books (Christian and non-Christian, but all non-fiction) that I thought were the best in the past year.

When I say “best” I have several questions in mind:

• Was this book well written and enjoyable to read?
• Did I find it personally challenging, illuminating, edifying, or entertaining?
• Is it a book I am likely to reread or consult again?
• Do I see myself recommending this book to others?

Undoubtedly, the “best” books reflect my interests. This doesn’t mean I agree with every point in these books, but it does mean I found them helpful and insightful.

And now the top four of DeYoung’s “top ten.”

4. Alex Hutchinson, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance (William Morrow). With Breaking2—the 2017 Nike-led project to run a sub-two hour marathon—as his backdrop, Hutchinson (a runner, columnist, researcher, and Cambridge PhD) explores the limits of athletic achievement and human endurance. This isn’t a training volume with secrets for getting a PR in your next race. Instead, it’s a journalistic examination of the different theories, studies, stories, and scholars trying to answer the simple question: what makes people keep going and what makes them stop? To that end, Hutchinson has chapters on muscles, heat, oxygen, thirst, fuel, and belief. His conclusion? We don’t finally know what makes people push through pain, but there is at least as much brain and belief involved as body and brawn.


3. D. Bruce Hindmarsh. The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World (Oxford). In this important new work on evangelical devotion, Hindmarsh, a top flight historian and professor at Regent College, focuses on Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys, but goes far beyond them in his analysis. Without discounting doctrinal continuity with the past, Hindmarsh argues that evangelical devotional ideas and practices were innovative, rooted in antecedent spiritual traditions, but new in their language and eclecticism.


2. Lewis Allen. The Preacher’s Catechism (Crossway). I’m always thankful for books that simultaneously convict and encourage. Using the Westminster Shorter Catechism as his inspiration and (loose) guide, Allen goes through 43 questions and answers designed to remind the busy/distracted/discouraged/puffed-up/cast-down preacher what really matters (and what doesn’t) in a life of faithful ministry. A Puritan throwback.



1. Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey (eds). Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present (New Growth Press). My top book from 2018 is likely to be the least purchased and least read of all the books on this list. And at nearly 700 pages, it’s also the biggest of the books here. But that’s part of what makes the book so valuable. Few people will read straight through, cover to cover, a collection of Reformation-era liturgies (I didn’t). But the sheer size of this volume tells us something important. Namely, the Reformers thought a lot about worship. It was essential to their Reformation project, which makes our relative indifference to the forms and flow of worship all the more surprising (and scandalous). Every Reformed pastor and worship leader with a book budget should have this on their shelves.

Source: Top Ten Books of 2018

Recent Pick-ups for Winter Reading

I have recently collected a few books for winter reading that I thought I would share with you. A couple I have already started, while the others will have to wait for later.


I am always on the lookout for books relating to local (Grand Rapids, Ottawa County) and Michigan history, and a while back I found this one in a thrift store – White Hurricane: A Great Lakes November Gale and America’s Deadliest Maritime Disaster – by David G. Brown (International Marine/McGraw Hill, 2002). I really wanted to read this one last month (November), but it will have to wait. If you want to watch a video presentation by the author on this incredible storm and the havoc it wreaked on the Great Lakes, go here.


Another recent purchase ($5 for the hardcover at Ollies discount store in Wyoming – a treasure trove for new books – and Bibles – and children’s titles!) is noted historian Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Viking, 2016). The publisher gives this summary of the book:

A surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.

In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.

Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.


Did you know Christian author Douglas Bond has a brand new title out?! The Resistance is his latest historical novel and it looks to be another great read.  I am looking forward to delving into this one – and hopefully getting my older grandsons into it too.

Here’s the description and one blogger’s description:

Lt. Eli Evans, B-17 bomber pilot, is shot down over enemy-occupied France in 1944. Surrounded by Resistance fighters, a licensed-to-kill SOE British agent, and Marxist sympathizers, Evans and his navigator must evade a ruthless Nazi manhunt if they are to survive. Resistance sympathizer Aimée hates war but is forced to act with courage, risking her life for others. Amidst ambush and sabotage, the combatants will debate broadcast talks by C. S. Lewis, heard as they listen to the BBC for coded messages from London.
“True to form, Douglas Bond delivers yet another historical novel sure to capture the hearts and imaginations of both the young and the old. Readers will thrill at the high-stakes, fast-paced cat and mouse game …tension hovering above an 8 on a 0-10 scale. From the moment the B-17 crashes, until the invasion of Normandy; time (and pages) seemed to fly by.”
AMANDA GEANEY, book blogger at Shelf Esteem


Speaking of children and grandchildren, I also just bought a copy of the “Coloring Book of Church History” titled A Colorful Past, by William Boekestein and Naomi Kamphuis (Illustrator), published by Reformation Heritage Books (2018). This brief description will give you an idea of its contents and purpose:

This coloring book introduces children to important characters from church history, focusing on at least one person per century. The basic timeline illustrates how God has woven humanly flawed characters into a single living story. And this story is not over. As children color these pages and see God’s unfolding plan in church history, pray they will learn to praise God for the “wonderful works that He has done” (Ps. 78:4).


And, finally, one I found at a recent Baker Books sale and have started to read is They Came for Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims by Jay Milbrandt (Nelson Books, 2017). I have always enjoyed early American history, in part because of its Christian – even Calvinistic – character (at least some aspects of it), and the story of the Pilgrims has always intrigued me. This is my first exposure to this author, and so far I find his style lively and instructive.

Amazon gives this description of the book:

Once a year at Thanksgiving, we encounter Pilgrims as folksy people in funny hats before promptly forgetting them. In the centuries since America began, the Pilgrims have been relegated to folklore and children’s stories, fairy-tale mascots for holiday parties and greeting cards.

The true story of the Pilgrim Fathers could not be more different. Beginning with the execution of two pastors deviating from the Elizabethan Church of England, the Pilgrims’ great journey was one of courageous faith, daring escape, and tenuous survival. Theirs is the story of refugees who fled intense religious persecution; of dreamers who voyaged the Atlantic and into the unknown when all other attempts had led to near-certain death; of survivors who struggled with newfound freedom. Loneliness led to starvation, tension gave way to war with natives, and suspicion broke the back of the very freedom they endeavored to achieve.

Despite the pain and turmoil of this high stakes triumph, the Pilgrim Fathers built the cornerstone for a nation dedicated to faith, freedom, and thankfulness. This is the epic story of the Pilgrims, an adventure that laid the bedrock for the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and the American identity.

For more on this book, visit the publisher’s marketing page.

Happy reading this fall and winter! What’s in your book bag? 🙂

The Sessions of the Synod of Dordt – Dordt 400

In case you have been missing the special blog posts on the newly published Synod of Dordt website in connection with the PRC Seminary’s commemoration of Dordt’s 400th anniversary (1618/19-2018-19) next spring, I give you this reminder here.

Prof. Doug Kuiper (newly appointed professor of NT and church history) has begun writing a series of posts on the sessions of the “great synod.” His first one was introductory, but the next one (linked below) begins to treat the business of each of the 180 sessions.

Here is a portion of that post (find the rest at the link below):

Sessions 1-5

Session 1: Tuesday, November 13 AM
The morning began with Balthasar Lydius preaching a sermon in Dutch, and Jeremias de Peurs in French. Probably these sermons were preached in two different churches, to different audiences. Both men were delegates to the Synod. As the minister in Dordrecht, Lydius was able to sleep in his own bed during the months the Synod met. De Peurs was minister of the French refugee (Walloon) church in Middelburg.
After the sermons the delegates went in procession to the building in which the Synod met, the Kloveniersdoelen. The state delegation (representing the national government) welcomed the other delegations and showed them their assigned seats. Then Balthasar Lydius opened with prayer, after which Martin Gregorius made opening remarks. Gregorius was the president of the state delegation that week; this presidency rotated weekly.
The 18 state delegates presented their credentials, which Balthasar Lydius read. Then they elected Daniel Heinsius as their secretary. He was to keep minutes of the meetings of the state delegation, and to create his own set of minutes of the Synod.

These posts should have wide interest in the Reformed church world and therefore deserve wide notice. If you have an interest in Dordt’s work and decisions – especially her Canons written against the errors of the Arminians and her defense of sovereign, particular grace – we encourage you to look these up and spread the word.

And, make plans to attend the PRC seminary’s conference next April! 🙂

Source: The Sessions of the Synod of Dordt (2) Week One: Sessions 1-5 – Dordt 400

American Archives Month – What Are You Doing to Preserve History? (And a PRC Trivia Question)

Did you know that October is known in archivist circles as American Archives month? Don’t feel bad if you were not aware of this and were not celebrating with great exuberance. I probably wouldn’t have known either but for the email reminders I receive from various library and archive sources.

Information Today, Inc. is one such source, and it posted this interesting note to introduce us to what archives involve:

What Are Archives?

Our first thoughts when we reflect on archives, their mission, and their purpose may lead to likening them to a library. This makes sense—libraries are where we find ourselves inquiring about topics, learning, and gathering information. However, archives have a significant uniqueness when compared to a library. While you may pore through books to acquire information at a library, it is less likely that you will find primary sources (or first-account records) on the shelves for your perusal.

Archives are where primary sources bloom. Primary sources—letters, photographs, postcards, recordings, film, maps, and the like—are paramount to archival collections. Archives are a location (physical or digital) where we can connect with historical content as well as current records.

Archives play an integral role in preserving our cultural heritage, ensuring that we have reliable information assets to support individuals’, governments’, and societies’ increasing information needs, such as genealogical records and ledgers. The archive is the entrusted caretaker of these resources.

You may start to see the parallel between archival collections for public consumption and your own personal collections of items. As individuals, when we gather items that hold intrinsic value—for example, when we document occurrences and events in our life or the lives of those close to us—they form meaningful collections of artifacts. A personal collection of artifacts is an archive in its own right.

This is only an overview of what an archive is; the totality goes far deeper. If archives have piqued your interest, October is the time to discover the archival institutions in your area.

One of those wonderful archival institutions is our National Archives in Washington, D.C., a place I have never visited but hope to some day (when I also visit the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian 🙂 ). For more on this amazing archives and its resourceful website, visit the link below. The photo above is from the NA’s collection, showing archive assistants working to catalog items.

Photo: spring 2016 southern exterior view of the MLHC

And for our fellow Michiganders, don’t forget the Michigan Archives (History Center) in our state capitol of Lansing. They always have interesting events going on, along with displays and presentations.

And, as you know by now, the PRC also has her own archives, stored in the seminary’s basement, but soon to have a new home in the new addition off the library being readied for construction this week as we write (trees removed and AC units moved in the last few days). This new home will not only give us more room for our expanding collection, but will also make our denominational archives more accessible and create opportunities for displaying them for public viewing. I am extremely excited for this to become reality.

But for this week, let’s bring a small part of our PRC archives to the foreground and make her history come alive with a little trivia prompted by a question of a reader. That question is this: how tall is the bell tower in the old First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI? You see two images of it here – one from an old bulletin cover (1964) and the other from a more recent trip of church history classes from Covenant Christian High.

I have picked the brains of a few former First PRC members and have a fairly good estimate of the height of that bell tower but not a firm number, and so I would like to hear from you. Go ahead, take a guess! Or, if you have more information from your connection to this majestic church building, please share your knowledge!

Source: American Archives Month | National Archives

Published in: on October 18, 2018 at 10:30 PM  Leave a Comment  

New Titles Added to the PRC Seminary Library: July – September 2018

I recently completed the next list of “significant additions to the PRC Seminary library” for this year 2018. This one covers the third quarter, July to September. You may recall that I started to put this together a few years ago for the benefit of the faculty and students as well as for the Theological School Committee that oversees the seminary.

You will notice that title says “significant additions.” The list I produce is not a complete list of everything added to the library in the last quarter, for there are actually many more (including small pamphlets and articles to the vertical files). But this list is designed to highlight some of the more significant titles in various categories, so that these titles are representative of what we obtain for and add to our library.

You will note that there are many older (and slightly used) titles added to our collection each time. Some of these I pick up from area thrift stores, but I would also like to acknowledge the help of Dr. Tom Reid, the registrar and librarian at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. Tom is a dear friend of the PRC seminary (he lectured here two years on the French Reformed Church, which lectures you may find on the seminary’s YouTube channel) and he has a wonderful book service he provides. He browses our online catalog, sees what we are lacking, and then regularly sends me boxes of books to peruse and purchase as needed (through the regular travelers between Grand Rapids and Pittsburgh). While I do send a few back, I end up buying most of his books. This list especially reflects his contributions. Because his suggested titles reflect a Reformed emphasis and are pre-sorted, they are greatly appreciated! Thank you, brother Tom!

By the way, these lists are now being published in our PR Theological Journal, (or here)although our last issue (Spring 2018) was too full and we had to leave the last few quarters out. Hopefully, we can catch up in the fall 2018 issue.

I hope this list not only gives you a feel for the quality of resources we are adding to our library, but also inspires you to find one to read and perhaps even add to your personal or family library. Maybe during this Reformation remembrance month, you will find something of interest. And, yes, our library is open to our members and friends!


Other Commentaries (Individual)
The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of Israel / James M. Boice, 1938-2000. ; Philip G. Ryken. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2018.
An Exposition of Ruth and Esther / George Lawson, 1749-1820; Alexander Carson. MacDill AFB, FL: Tyndale Bible Society, n.d.
A Passion for Faithfulness: Wisdom from the Book of Nehemiah / J. I. (James Innell) Packer. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, c1995.
Be Worshipful: Glorifying God for Who He Is: OT Commentary, Psalms 1 – 89 / Warren W. Wiersbe. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009.
Be Exultant: Praising God for His Mighty Works: OT Commentary, Psalms 90-150 / Warren W. Wiersbe. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009.
Counsel from Psalm 119 / Jay E. Adams. Woodruff, SC: Timeless Texts, 1998.
Life Under the Son: Counsel from the Book of Ecclesiastes / Jay E. Adams. Woodruff, SC: Timeless Texts, 1999.
Hearing the Message of Daniel: Sustaining Faith in Today’s World / Christopher J. H. Wright. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017.
The Death of the Messiah: From Gethsemane to the Grave: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels / Raymond E. (Raymond Edward) Brown, 1928-1998. New York: Doubleday, c1994, 1998 (Anchor Bible Reference Library) vols. 1, 2
Matthew Twenty-Four: An Exposition. / Jacob Marcellus Kik. Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1948
Commentary on Romans / Anders Nygren, 1890-1978; Carl C. Rasmussen, Transl. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1949.
Studies in Ephesians / H. C. G. Moule, (Handley Carr Glyn), 1841-1920. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1977 (Kregel Popular Commentary Series)
A Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians / Francis W. Beare, 1902-1986. London: Adam & Charles Black, c1973, 1976.
The Church in God: Expository Values in Thessalonians / Harold John Ockenga, 1905-1985. Westwood, NJ: Revell, 1956.
The Epistle to the Hebrews: An Exposition. Adolph Saphir, 1831-1891; Arno C. Gaebelein. New York: Gospel Publishing (and Forgotten Books, reprint), 1902. vols. 1,2
A Commentary on the Johannine Epistles / J. L. (James Leslie) Houlden; Henry Chadwick. New York : Harper & Row, c1973


Individual Biblical Studies Titles
Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar / Gary D. Pratico; Miles V. Van Pelt. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, c2007.
The Effect of Textual Criticism on Some Recent English Translations of the New Testament / Robert Fulton Hull (bound thesis). Princeton, NJ: Princeton Theological Seminary, 1977 – Letis collection
Confident: Why We Can Trust the Bible / Michael Ovey. ; Daniel Strange. Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Christian Focus, 2015.
The Divine Unity of Scripture / Adolph Saphir. Delaware : Forgotten Books, 2017 (Classic Reprint)
The Bible Among the Nations: A Study of the Great Translations / John W. (John Walter) Beardslee, 1837-1921. Chicago, New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1899.
Bible Study: A Student’s Guide / Jon Nielson. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013.
Biblical Interpretation: An Integrated Approach / W. Randolph. Tate. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, c2008, 2011.
Studies of the Old Testament / Austin Phelps, 1820-1890. Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground, 2015.
The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology, and the Deluge Debate / Tremper Longman; John H. Walton. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2018.
Jerusalem: The Biography / Simon S. Montefiore. New York: Vintage Books, 2011.
A Beginner’s Guide to New Testament Exegesis: Taking the Fear Out of Critical Method / Richard J. Erickson. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, c2005.
Rose Guide to the Temple / Randall Price, Torrance, CA: Rose Publishing, c2012.


Church History, General and Biography
Tried By Fire: The Story of Christianity’s First Thousand Years / William J. Bennett. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018.
A History of the Early Church: Vol.1: The Beginnings of the Christian Church; Vol.2: The Founding of the Church Universal; Vol.3: From Constantine to Julian; Vol.4: The Era of the Church Fathers / Hans Lietzmann, 1875-1942. ; Bertram L. Woolf, Transl. London: Lutherworth Press, 1961.
Luther’s Works: Companion Volume – Sixteenth-Century Biographies of Martin Luther / Justus Jonas, 1493-1555. ; Philipp Melanchthon, 1497-1560. ; Johann. Mathesius; Brown. Christopher B. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing, 2018.
• Luther’s Wittenberg World: The Reformer’s Family, Friends, Followers, and Foes / Robert Kolb. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2018.
Prophet, Pastor, Protestant: The Work of Huldrych Zwingli After Five Hundred Years / Edward J. Furcha; H. Wayne. Pipkin; Timothy George. Allison Park, PA : Pickwick Publications, 1984.
Papers Commemorating Quater-Centenary of the Scottish Reformation / Robert R. Sinclair; Fraser Macdonald; Alexander Murray. Glasgow: Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, 1960.
• The Jesuits, A History / Christopher Hollis. New York : Barnes & Noble, 1992.
The Synod of Dordtrecht 1618-1619 / Fred A. van Lieburg; Dick Swier, Transl.; Herman A. van Duinen. Dordtrecht: Stichting Historish Platform Dordtrecht, 2017. (Verhalen van Dordtrecht 1a) vol. 49
Through Many Dangers: The Story of John Newton / Brian H. Edwards. Darlington: Evangelical Press, c2001, 2005.
John Owen: Prince of the Puritans / Andrew Thomson. Great Britain: Christian Focus, 1996.
Struggles and Blessings: The Pilgrimage of Henry R. De Bolster / Henry R. De Bolster, 1926-; Harry Van Dyke. Canada: Henry R. De Bolster, 2003 (was member of 1st PRC-GR and attended our seminary in 1950).
The Doctors of the Church: Thirty-Three Men and Women Who Shaped Christianity / Bernard McGinn. New York: Crossroad Pub. Co., c2010.
The Great Catholic Reformers: From Gregory the Great to Dorothy Day / C. Colt. Anderson. New York: Paulist Press, c2007.
A Commentary on the Minutes of the Classis of Holland, 1848-1876: A Detailed Record of Persons and Issues, Civil and Religious, in the Dutch Colony of Holland, Michigan / Earl William. Kennedy. Holland, MI: Van Raalte Press, 2018. (Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America) vol. 94 – 3 vols.
The Last Illusion: Letters from Dutch Immigrants in the “Land of Opportunity,” 1924-1930 / Herman Ganzevoort; Janice Dickin. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, c1999.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America / Randall Herbert. Balmer. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
For the Union of Evangelical Christendom: The Irony of the Reformed Episcopalians / Allen C. Guelzo. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.


Creeds, Confessions, History of
Know the Creeds and Councils / Justin S. Holcomb, Grand Rapids, MI : Zondervan, 2014 (Know Series)
The Catechism of Pierre Viret. Pierre Viret; R. A. Sheats, Transl.(1st Engl.) Tallahassee, FL: Zurich Publishing, 2017.
Christ and the Law: Antinomianism at the Westminster Assembly / Whitney G. Gamble. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2018 (Studies on the Westminster Assembly)
Anthony Tuckney (1599-1670): Theologian of the Westminster Assembly / Youngchun Cho. ; Robert Letham; John (John R.) & Chad Dixhoorn Bower. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017. (Studies on the Westminster Assembly)
Grace and Assurance: The Message of the Canons of Dordt / Martyn. McGeown. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Pub. Association, 2018.


Dogmatics, Theology, Historical Theology
The Reception of the Church Fathers in the West: From the Carolingians to the Maurists. Irena Dorota Backus. Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1997. (vol.1)
On Difficulties in Sacred Scripture: The Responses to Thalassios / Confessor Maximus, Saint, approx. 580-662; Maximos Constas, translator. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018 (The Fathers of the Church, A New Translation), vol. 136
Still Protesting: Why The Reformation Matters / D. G. (Darryl G.) Hart; John R. Muether. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2018.
A History of Puritanism, Pietism, and Mysticism and Their Influences on the Reformed Church / Heinrich Heppe; Arie Blok, Transl. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, c1997, 2015.
The Reconciling Wisdom of God: Reframing the Doctrine of the Atonement / Adam J. Johnson. ; Michael F. Bird, series. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016.
Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context / Stanley J. (Stanley James) Grenz, 1950-2005; John R. Franke. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, c2001.
Two Views on the Doctrine of the Trinity / Stephen R. Holmes; Paul D. Molnar; Thomas H. McCall. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014 (Counterpoints : Bible & Theology)
The Covenant Connection: From Federal Theology to Modern Federalism / Daniel Judah. Elazar; John. Kincaid; J. Wayne Baker. Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, 2000.
The Word Became Flesh: A Contemporary Incarnational Christology / Millard J. Erickson. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1991.
Christ and His Benefits: Christology and Redemption in the New Testament / Arland J. Hultgren. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
The Cross of Jesus / Leon Morris, 1914-2006. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1988.
Observations Doctrinal and Practical on Saving Faith. / Archibald Mason, 1753-1831. York, PA: The Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2002.
A Discourse of the True and Visible Marks of the Catholic Church / Theodore Beza, 1519-1605. Pottstown PA: Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian, 2014.
The Growth of the True Church: An Analysis of the Ecclesiology of Church Growth Theory / Charles E. Van Engen. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1981 (Amsterdam Studies In Theology), vol. 3
An Inquiry into the Principles of Church Fellowship / John T. Pressly, 1795-1870. Pottstown PA: Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian, 2014.
Imago Dei: The Byzantine Apologia for Icons. Jaroslav Pelikan, 1923-2006. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990.
Abraham Kuyper’s Commentatio (1860): The Young Kuyper About Calvin, A Lasco, and the Church: I – Introduction, Annotations, Bibliography, and Indices / II – Commentatio [Latin text] Jasper Vree; Johan. Zwaan; Abraham Kuyper, 1837-1920. Leiden/ Boston: Brill, 2005 (Brill’s Series in Church History) vol. 24
Theoretical-Practical Theology: Prolegomena / Peter van Mastricht, 1630-1706; Todd M. Rester, Transl.; Joel R. Beeke, Ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2018.
Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth / John MacArthur; Richard Mayhue. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017.
Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life: Doctrine and Life as Fuel and Fire / Jason C. (Jason Curtis) Meyer; Sinclair B. Ferguson; Stephen J. and Justin Taylor Nichols. Wheaton, IL : Crossway, 2018 (Theologians on the Christian Life)
No Other Name: An Investigation into the Destiny of the Unevangelized / John Sanders, 1956-. ; Clark H. Pinnock. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1992.
Resurrection and Eschatology: Theology in Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. / Richard B. Gaffin; Lane G. Tipton; Jeffrey C. Waddington. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub., 2008.
Behold I Come Quickly: The Reformed, Biblical Truth of the End / David J. Engelsma; Andrew Lanning; Angus Stewart. UK: British Reformed Fellowship, 2018.
The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth / Scott Hahn. New York: Image, 1999.
• A Bibliography of Calviniana 1959-1974 / Dion. Kempff. Potchefstroom Instituut vir Bevordering van Calvinisme, 1975.
Contemporary World Theology: A Layman’s Guidebook / Harvie M. Conn. Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1974.
Between the Times: The Travail of the Protestant Establishment in America, 1900-1960 / William R. Hutchison; Edwin S. Gaustad; Dennis Voskuil; William R. Hutchison. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. (Cambridge Studies In Religion And American Public Life)

Philosophy, Logic, Ethics
Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning / Wayne Grudem. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018.


Practical Theology – Christian Living, Church government, Counseling, Family, Marriage, Missions, Prayer, Preaching, Sermons, Worship
In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life / Sinclair B. Ferguson. Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Pub., 2007.
Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian Life / Francis A. Schaeffer; Lane T. Dennis. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985.
The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship / Jonathan Holmes; Ed Welch. Minneapolis, MN: Cruciform Press, 2014.
• The Children for Christ / Andrew Murray, 1828-1917. Chicago, IL : Moody Press, 1952.
When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God and Joy / John Piper. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, c2006.
Depression Through a Biblical Lens: A Whole-Person Approach / Jim Halla. Greenville, S.C./Belfast, N.Ireland: Ambassador International, 2014.
Handbook of Church Discipline / Jay E. Adams. Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library, c1986.
Spousal Abuse in the Reformed Community / David J. Engelsma; Jeff Doll. Byron Center, MI: Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church, 2018.
The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life / Albert N. Martin. ; Joel R. Beeke. Montville, NJ : Trinity Pulpit Press, 2018 (Pastoral Theology – Volume 1)
Equipping Preachers, Pastors, and Churchmen: Selected Articles by the Faculty of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary / Joseph Pipa; Ian Hamilton; Michael Morales; Zachary. Groff. Taylors, SC: Presbyterian Press, 2017.
Called?: Pastoral Guidance for the Divine Call to Gospel Ministry / Michael A. (Michael Anthony) Milton. Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2018.
On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work / Derek. Prime; Alistair Begg. Chicago: Moody Publishers, c2004.
The Ministry in Historical Perspectives / H. Richard Niebuhr, 1894-1962 , ed. ; Daniel Day Williams, 1910-1973 , joint ed. ; John Knox. New York: Harper, 1956.
Pastoral Work: A Source Book for Ministers / Andrew W. Blackwood. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books House, c1945, 1971.
Pastors in Pain: How to Grow In Times of Conflict / Gary D. Preston. Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Books, 2005 (The Pastor’s Soul Series) vol. 6
Practical Wisdom for Pastors: Words of Encouragement and Counsel for a Lifetime of Ministry / Curtis C. Thomas, 1937-. Wheaton, Ill. : Crossway Books, 2001.
The Preacher’s Catechism / Lewis Allen, 1971-. ; Sinclair B. Ferguson. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018.
Preaching According to the Holy Spirit / Jay E. Adams. Woodruff, SC: Timeless Texts, 2000.
Biblical Preaching For Today’s World / Lloyd M. Perry; Gilbert A. Peterson. Chicago: Moody Press, 1990.
For Christ and Country: Radio Messages Broadcast in the Ninth Lutheran Hour / Walter Arthur Maier, 1893-1950. St. Louis, bMO: Concordia Pub. House, 1942.
For Better, For Worse: Stories of the Wives of Early Pastors of the Christian Reformed Church / Janet Sjaarda Sheeres. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2017 (The Historical Series of the Reformed Church In America ; 91)
Apostle to Islam: A Biography of Samuel M. Zwemer.  J. Christy Wilson, 1891-1973. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1952.
What Is Your Answer?: A Survey of the worship service, liturgical forms and form prayers / Meindert H. Sliggers; R Koat, Transl. Chatham, ON: Inter League Publication Board, 2004 [companion to Canadian Reformed Church’s Book of Praise]
The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship [and other titles in series] Robert E. Webber; Robert E. Webber. Nashville, TN: Star Song, c1993 (The Complete Library Of Christian Worship) – Vols.1-4, 6,7
The Covenant Family / Gerard van Groningen; Harriet van Groningen. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Editora Cultura Crista, c1997.
Acts of Synod of the Christian Reformed Church: 2018 / Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven R. Timmermans, Executive Director. Grand Rapids, MI: Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, 2018.
Verbond En Zending [Covenant and Missions: Een Verbondsmatige Benadering Van Zending [A Covenantal Approach to Missions] / Barend. Wielenga. Kampen: Mondiss, 1998.
You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions / Tim. Chester. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, c2010.
To God All Praise and Glory: Under God: Celebrating the Past, Claiming the Future, The Presbyterian Church in America / Paul Settle. ; William S. Barker. United States: PCA Christian Education Bookstore, 1998.


Misc. (Apologetics, Culture, Education, Music, Politics, Science, Work, World Religions, etc.)
Where in the World Is the Church?: A Christian View of Culture and Your Role in It / Michael Scott. Horton. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, c2002.
Let Children Come: A Durable Vision of Christian Schooling / N. H. (Nicholas Henry) Beversluis; Gertrude. Beversluis. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Schools International, c2001.
Christian Scholarship– For What? / Susan M. Felch; Richard J. Mouw; Joel A. Carpenter. Grand Rapids, MI: Calvin College, c2003.
Teaching and Learning: An Integrated Approach to Christian Education / Ronald P. Chadwick; Kenneth O. Gangel; Roy W. Lowrie, Jr. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, c1982.
The Gospel & Gender Identity: Gender as Calling / Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Pittsburgh, PA: Crown & Covenant Publications, 2017.
Encyclopedia of American Religious History. Edward L. Queen; Stephen R. Prothero; Gardiner H. Shattuck. New York: Facts on File, 2001 (Facts on File Library of American History) 2 vols.
The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam / Cyril Glassâe. San Francisco, CA : Harper & Row, 1989.
Mormon America: The Power and the Promise / Richard N. Ostling; Joan K. Ostling. — San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999.
Labor Problems in Christian Perspective / T. C. Douglas; Harry W. Flannery; W. Maxey Jarman; John Harold Redekop, ed. Grand Rapids, Mich., : Eerdmans, 1972.

Periodicals (Old & New)
The Burning Bush: Theological Journal of the Far Eastern Bible College (Singapore) / Timothy Tow. ; Jeffrey Khoo. Singapore: Far Eastern Bible College, 2000-2018.

Book Alert! New Release from the RFPA – “Grace and Assurance: The Message of the Canons of Dordt”

While the Reformed Free Publishing Association was heralding the news of the arrival of their newest book last week on their blog, I had to wait until yesterday to receive my personal copy and the copies for the PRC Seminary library. And, yes, the book is a “beauty,” inside and out.

Grace_and_Assurance_mcgeown-2018The new release is Grace and Assurance: The Message of the Canons of Dordt, written by Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary-pastor laboring in Limerick Reformed Fellowship on behalf of Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N. Ireland.

The title is clearly timed to coincide with and celebrate the “great Synod” of Dordt (1618-19), the four-hundredth anniversary of which is being marked by many Reformed churches and Christians this Fall and into next year. (Just a reminder that the PRC Seminary is sponsoring a special conference on Dordt next Spring.)

The publisher gives this brief description of this wonderful volume:

In 1618-19 the great Synod of Dordt met to counter the Arminian error that was threatening the peace and welfare of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands. The fruit of their deliberations was the Canons of Dordt, a creed which has defined the Calvinist, Reformed faith for centuries.

This accessible commentary on the Canons leads readers through the comforting message of the creed: being wholly saved by God’s grace—not one’s own merit—comes with the steadfast assurance of eternal and unchangeable election.

  • 384 pages
  • hardcover
  • ISBN 978-1-944555-39-9

At the beginning the book includes a “historical introduction to the Synod of Dordt” as well as a introductory section on “the importance of creeds.” The end of each main section of commentary (on the five “heads of doctrine”) includes study questions, enhancing the books use and encouraging careful study of the main points of Calvinism treated by the Canons and explained in the commentary.

The end of the book includes a section on the “conclusion to the Canons” and three appendices:

  • The Remonstrance of 1610
  • The Opinions of the Remonstrants 1618
  • The Judgment of the Synod of Dort Concerning the Five Articles of the Arminians

To close tonight’s introduction to the book, we give you this brief quote made about Article 2 of the First Head (on predestination and salvation being rooted in God’s love):

It is striking that the Canons treatment of salvation begins with the love of God. Perhaps if you are new to the Reformed faith or if you have only encountered caricatures of it, you are surprised because you have heard that the Reformed faith makes little of the love of God. But the Reformed faith actually extols and highly celebrates the love of God.

…According to article 2, God’s love was ‘manifested.’ God’s love cannot remain hidden eternally within the mind of God, but it must display itself. The chief display of God’s love, declare the Canons, is in the sending of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, into the world to save sinners [pp.30-31].

Look for more on this book in the months to come as we too commemorate Dordt’s 400th.