11 December, 2015
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
On Thursday, 3 December, two pallets of Reformed literature from the US were delivered to the CPRC manse. They contained many boxes of specific titles: the last two British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) books, The Reformed Worldview and Ye Are My Witnesses; Federal Vision: Heresy at the Root and Our Goodly Heritage Preserved from the RFPA; Christ's Spiritual Kingdom from Redlands PRC; our Reformed creeds, both the green hardback and the pink softback versions; A. W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God; three books of sermons by John Calvin; and Don Doezema's three-volume Upon This Rock. Other boxes were packed with pamphlets from various PR evangelism committees and the daily devotionals from the Psalms. Besides these were many other individual titles from the RFPA.
It was a busy day with the opening of the boxes, checking them all off, putting CPRC stickers at the back of the many hundreds of books and pamphlets, and arranging them on our shelves. Over the next few days, the excess books were transported to church, where some filled out the bookcase in the narthex and others were stored in boxes upstairs.
Amazingly, though we had deliberately let our stock run low, we did not run out of a single book, but it was getting mighty close. Now our spiritual arsenal has been replenished! With the arrival of the beautiful new hardback on Gottschalk by Connie Meyer, we created a webpage to let our online customers know that it is now available from the CPRC Bookstore.
Our thanks to the staff at the RFPA for packing all these materials for us and taking care of the paperwork for the transportation. We are also grateful to the saints at AIM (Active in Missions) who gave us $1,000 towards the cost of the shipping at the American end.
This year, 2015, was the 600th anniversary of the martyrdom of Jan Hus, the great pre-Reformer from Bohemia. I had been looking forward to this commemorative year for some time, as it would give me an opportunity to study this great man, his life and his doctrine of the church.
I gave a lecture in South Wales on “Jan Hus: His Martyrdom and Ecclesiology” (8 October) with a good number in attendance. This trip to Wales also enabled Mary and me to meet up with Timothy Spence, a member of the CPRC, who is studying medicine at Cardiff University.
On 30 October, this speech was given as a Reformation lecture in the CPRC, this time with slides of quotations from Hus and pictures of the key locations in his life, including Husinec (where he was born), Prague (where he was a university lecturer and preacher at the Bethlehem Chapel), Kozi Hradek (the castle where he wrote much of his great work, De Ecclesia), and Constance (where he was burnt at the stake). We had a fine night. Advertising included an article in the Ballymena Guardian (29 October), and the English Churchman carried a report of the event (13 & 20 November). The audio (www.cprc.co.uk/ huslecture.mp3) and the video (www. youtube.com/watch?v=ED8fpNVZ07M) of the lecture are both online.
I had a letter exchange with a humanist in the pages of the Belfast Telegraph regarding the redefinition of humanity (9-17 November). Alongside the evolutionary and politically-correct redefinitions of mankind, persons, marriage, gender, love, bigot, etc., is the redefinition of the omnipotent, holy God as the pathetic god of one attribute: an unrighteous, ineffectual love (www.cprf. co.uk/articles/redefininghumanity.html).
Recently, the 13 CPRC catechumens had their midyear test; they did well.
The church has now set up the minister's pension. The UK civil government is rolling out a programme that requires all employers to provide a pension to their employees. Julian Kennedy, one of our deacons, spent many hours arranging this on behalf of the church council.
“Christ's Intercession” is the subject of the latest CPRC box set of CDs. It explains the character, extent, content, and mode of our Lord's intercession, as well as errors and mistrust concerning it, in connection with Belgic Confession 26. Our Wednesday night doctrine class has now moved on to the next article on “The Catholic Christian Church” (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgicconfessionclass.htm). What great and comforting truths!
32 translations have been added to our website in the last two months (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm): 14 Spanish (baptism and the church), 9 Hungarian (Psalm singing, plus Calvin's sermons on election and reprobation, etc.), 7 Indonesian (Christian education by Brian D. Dykstra of Hope PR School, etc.), 1 Portuguese (God's uncommon grace) and 1 Nepali (Heidelberg Catechism, our 40th on-line language of this beautiful creed).
The booking form for the 2016 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) conference (“Behold, I Come Quickly: The Reformed, Biblical Truth of the End”) should soon be coming out (http://brfconference. weebly.com). We hope to see many of you at Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland (16-23 July)!
Thank you all for your cards, support, and prayers!
Rev. and Mary Stewart