In order to study more fully into the doctrine assurance of faith, we must consider the profound and biblically nuanced way the Puritans dealt with the topic of assurance. In this lesson, Dr. Joel Beeke examines Westminster Confession of Faith 18.1, which many people consider the greatest statement ever written on the subject of assurance. Through this section of the confession and the history behind it, we will further examine the subjects of false assurance and true assurance: https://bit.ly/2L6Wce8
Recently, the world has been turned upside-down due to COVID-19 and the measures taken by governments everywhere to slow the spread of the virus. By all indications, the economic impact on Christian colleges and seminaries throughout North America, in the wake of this pandemic, will be significant and in some cases devastating.
In light of this, the seminary’s executive committee recently assessed the situation and concluded that PRTS is in need of your help. By the grace of God, PRTS has no debt and is able to meet its immediate financial obligations. However, the seminary will need your ongoing support with the Operations Fund, and especially the Scholarship Fund. We need to raise $190,000 for the Scholarship Fund over the next month.
The committee has requested that all departments scrutinize expenditures, limiting them to the bare essentials. The committee will also continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed. In an effort to help raise future funds needed to keep the seminary operating, it has just hired Mr. Jeff Holcomb, who resonates with the Reformed experiential emphasis of the seminary and has considerable experience in fund-raising for a Reformed Christian school, as Development Assistant to the President. (We will introduce him in more detail in the next PRTS Update, D.V.) Mr. Holcomb will work part-time, alongside Dr. Beeke and the Director of Development and Marketing, Mr. Chris Hanna.
The committee would also like to thank its donors and supporting churches for their ongoing partnership in training our students to serve Christ and His church throughout the world. Together, with the Lord’s help, we pray that we may be able to weather the uncertainties associated with this crisis. Your prayers are deeply appreciated.
After defining assurance and communicating its importance, Dr. Beeke now looks at the reasons why many Christians lack assurance. This lesson breaks down the common misunderstandings about the character of God, His gospel, and salvation. It lists ten reasons why believers question their faith and shows how these reasons run counter to God’s truth. https://bit.ly/2YqP1p3
Last night was PRTS’ graduation. We had 17 graduates from 13 denominations, 7 countries, and 4 continents. It was a good class. Dr. David McWilliams gave a powerful commencement address from Romans 10, exalting the ministry and its centrality in the coming of Christ’s kingdom. I gave a personal charge on faith, hope, and love (1 Cor. 13), and spoke personal words to each graduate—the 8 present for the occasion and 9 listening in who could not attend. It felt odd having only 8 students and 3 faculty present, with hundreds listening via live-streaming, but these are the days in which we live. Pray for these graduates that everyone of them may live godly and fruitful lives, and preach/teach as dying men to dying people of the living Lord of glory.
Many Christians—true followers of Jesus—are missing out on the robust fullness of their faith. This fullness, and all its accompanying fruit, comes from having full assurance of faith. In this lesson, Dr. Beeke defines assurance and explains why it is a crucial part of the Christian life.
An invitation to join an international online Doctrine Study Day:
‘Preaching the God-Man: Defending and Delighting in the Incarnation’
From the Pastors’ Academy at London Seminary in the United Kingdom
The Pastors’ Academy aims to provide ongoing theological teaching and pastoral support to ministers of the gospel after their initial seminary training. We are part of London Seminary, which was started in 1977 by Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones to train pastors and preachers. You can read more about our work here.
Our Doctrine Study Days have been running for ten years now and each one visits small groups of pastors gathered in around 18 different locations in the UK. The last day was taught to around 250 pastors. Feedback included these comments from one pastor: ‘It was genuinely useful, because we explored themes that affect and regulate so much week-by-week word ministry; and it was faith-building, because we took a step back and could see once again the magnificence of Christ in the depths of his word.’
The current day is titled Preaching the God-Man: Defending and Delighting in the Incarnation. It is taught by our Director, Revd Dr Garry Williams, and by our Tutor in Biblical Studies, Dr Neil Martin. The day will be taught from within a Chalcedonian Christological perspective and both lecturers hold classical Reformed convictions. Neil brings some of the best of recent biblical scholarship that demonstrates an incarnational Christology, and Garry draws insights from the high points of patristic reflection and analytic theology to help us understand more of the coherence and implications of the biblical doctrine. We are very excited to make some of the wonderful insights in this rich literature accessible for pastors. Our desire is that we would honour the Son by speaking, teaching, and preaching rightly of him. What could be more important in our theology?
God willing, we will run the day live for three areas of the world as follows:
Europe and Africa, Monday, 11th May: We will be teaching from 9:00 – 15:00 on British Summer Time (= GMT+1). This would be the same time in Lagos, 10:00 – 16:00 in Johannesburg, 11:00 – 17:00 in Addis Ababa and Nairobi. Book here.
Asia and Australasia, Wednesday, 27th May: We will be teaching from 7:00 – 13:00 on British Summer Time (= GMT+1). This would be 11:30 am – 5:30 pm in Mumbai, 15:00 – 21:00 in Tokyo, 14:00 – 20:00 in Hong Kong, and 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm in Sydney. Book here.
The Americas, Tuesday, 2nd June: We will be teaching from 15:00 – 21:00 on British Summer Time (= GMT+1). This would be 7:00 am – 1:00 pm in San Francisco, 9:00am – 3:00pm in Kansas City, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in New York, and 11:00 – 18:00 in Buenos Aries. Book here.
The charge for the day is £40, but we are aware that this figure is pegged for a Western context, so if you are in a different context and it is too much for you to afford please do tell us and we will be pleased to offer support from our bursary fund.
We say that the days are ‘designed for pastors but open to everyone’. We do presume a seminary education but we are happy to have anyone with us who is prepared to think hard. We often have other church workers and thoughtful, reading lay elders attend the days.
You are invited to join us in watching online the 2020 PRTS graduation service, Friday, May 1, at 7:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time). The link to join us is http://sermonaudio.com/hnrc. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s graduation service has been restricted to graduates only. Please join us for this very special and unique service as we—together with the graduates—give thanks to God for His providential care in bringing each graduate to this end. Although a number of our seventeen graduates will not be in attendance, they will be acknowledged for their accomplishments. Your prayers and support for these graduates, the PRTS faculty, staff, and student body are greatly appreciated.
PURITAN REFORMED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
May 1, 2020 • 7:30 p.m.
Opening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dr. Michael Barrett
Singing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Psalter 134
Scripture Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Romans 10:14–17
Introduction of the Speaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Joel Beeke
THE URGENT CALL TO PREACH GOD’S WORD
Romans 10:14–17 | Dr. David McWilliams
Presenting the Graduates
Frank L. Bartoe IV – Master of Theology
Andrew Steven Bekkering – Master of Divinity
Brian Steven Borgman – Master of Theology
Theonikko San Agustin Del Mundo – Master of Arts
Benjamin Gordon Hicks – Master of Divinity
Hyeon Seob Kim – Master of Divinity
Soo Bin Lee – Master of Divinity
Tianpeng Lyu – Master of Theology
Philippus Jacob Matze – Master of Theology
Keya Davis Shikanga – Master of Theology
Marinus Slingerland – Master of Divinity
Brian L. Spivey – Master of Theology
Nicholas Jon Thompson – Master of Divinity
Eric Daniel Van Der Molen – Master of Divinity
Wenlu Wu – Master of Theology
Xiongzhi Yin – Master of Theology
Anqing Zhou – Master of Arts
Awarding Degrees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Jonathan Engelsma – PRTS Board of Trustees Chairman
Personal Charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Joel Beeke
Closing Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dr. Gerald Bilkes
This Bible reading plan for children ages 6–12 guides them through the life of Christ over the course of a year, teaching kids what Scripture says about Jesus. In less than five minutes a day, children will get to know the life and teachings of Jesus and his offer of abundant life to all who believe in him.
We are excited to announce this exciting new resource for children is on sale at https://bit.ly/MeetingJesusMurray.
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