News

All News

Denominational News

Spring 2019 Issue of PRC Seminary Journal Now Available!

The Spring 2019 issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal is now available!

The print copies just arrived from the printer and will be mailed next week, while the pdf is available here (cf. the attachment) and on the seminary's website. Watch for the ePub format in the weeks to come.

If you would like to receive a print copy and/or be added to our mailing list, please call the seminary or email us at the contact information provided on this webpage.

Spring 2019 PRTJ cover 2

Prof. R. Cammenga includes these comments on the contents in his "Editor's Notes":

This issue includes a number of articles that we are confident you will find edifying, instructive, and thought-provoking. Our lead article is by the Reverend Martyn McGeown and is entitled “Faith: A Bond, a Gift, and an Activity, but Not a Condition for Salvation.” Rev. McGeown focuses on how we are to understand the activity of faith, while at the same time rejecting any teaching that makes faith a condition for salvation, or denies the activity of faith. With appeal to Scripture, the Reformed confessions, and the Reformed tradition, he demonstrates how properly Reformed Christians are to view the activity of faith.

The undersigned contributes to this issue an article on the Old Testament judge, Jephthah. The article focuses on the vow that Jephthah made to offer up to the Lord whatever came out of his house to greet him, when he returned victorious from the battle against the Ammonites. On his return, his daughter came out of the house to meet him “with timbrels and with dances” (Judges 11:34). Controversy swirls around whether or not Jephthah actually offered his daughter up as a human sacrifice, and whether, therefore, his vow was righteous or rash. Read the article to discover my viewpoint and the grounds for the support of the position that I take.

The Reverend Garrett J. Eriks, pastor of the Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan, contributes an article entitled, “The Needed Light of Biblical Counseling.” Pastor Eriks is doing advanced degree work in the area of pastoral counseling. His contribution is a revised form of a paper that he submitted for one of his courses. In the article, he demonstrates the need for sound, biblical counseling for the people of God in their distresses, burdens, and sins. The article is a call for truly biblical counseling, as opposed to unbiblical, Freudian psychology, which is the basis for much of what passes for counseling in our day.

This issue of PRTJ also includes two entries that bring to a conclusion two bibliographies that we have been publishing in installments. My colleague, Prof. Douglas J. Kuiper, concludes his bibliography of the writings of George M. Ophoff, one of the original faculty members of the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary. Our readers should know that Prof. Kuiper has recently been awarded his Master in Theology degree from Calvin Theological Seminary. Congratulations to Prof. Kuiper on this achievement! I also bring to a close my “John Calvin Research Bibliography.” The last two entries are sections #17 and #18: “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Last Things,” and “Calvin’s Views on Worship.” It is possible that in the future the entire “John Calvin Research Bibliography” and the George Martin Ophoff bibliography will be published in some form or other, and made available by our seminary.

And there are our book reviews. We are able to include eight reviews in this issue. The reviews are always an enjoyable and worthwhile part of PRTJ. Thanks to all our reviewers, but special thanks to Prof. David Engelsma, who, although emeritus, continues to write and to produce. His book reviews are always insightful and worthwhile.

Read and enjoy!

Soli Deo Gloria!

PRC Synod 2019: Day 5 - Monday, June 17 *Updated with Report

session pic 2

The PRC Synod reconvened Monday morning at 10 a.m. in First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI).

The main item on the agenda was consideration of two protests involving Synod 2018's decision on the relation between faith and good works. Synod unanimously adopted the advice of its committee of pre-advice (Committee 4), that neither protest be sustained. Synod 2019 gave detailed grounds to both parties, which will become available in the published Acts of Synod.

In other business, Synod voted for members of its standing committees (Contact Committee, Domestic Mission Commitee, Foreign Mission Committee, Theological School Commmittee, etc.) and officers. These too will be published in the summary report and in the Acts.

Synod concluded its work a little after 2:00 p.m.

The expenses for synod totaled $11,524.83.

Let us pray for God's blessing to rest upon the decisions reached, for the good of the PRC, her sister churches, and her mission endeavors - and above all, for the glory of God and the King of the church, Jesus Christ.

coffee wed 1
One of the coffee-time breaks at Synod 2019

coffee grad 1
Coffee and cake time after seminary graduation Thursday night (at Eastside Christian School next door)

RevGVB exam thurs
Rev. G. Van Baren was able to attend the end of the seminary student examination on Thursday.

PRC Synod 2019: Day 4 - Friday, June 14 *Updated with Report

sem grads 1a
The PRC Seminary graduates are introduced by Prof. B. Gritters, rector of the seminary.

sem graduation 2019 1

After a wonderful seminary commencement program Thursday night in First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI), (see pics above)

sem grad cake

the PRC Synod 2019 returned to its regular business at 8 am Friday morning.

synod fri 2

Much of the work was based on the report of Committee 3 dealing with the protests concerning Psalter revision and Contact Committee work.

synod fri 1

That included addresses from the three foreign men representing our sister churches:

JFlores address fri
Rev. John Flores from the PRC in the Philippines

LeeM Hsien CEREC address fri
Deacon Lee Meng Hsien from Covenant ERC, Singapore

MMcgeown address fri
and Rev. M. McGeown representing Covenant PRC, N. Ireland (he is her missionary-pastor in Limerick, Ireland)

*The summary report on today's decisions has now been attached to this news post. Included in that are these words:

Delegates from our sister churches were given an opportunity to address synod on behalf of their churches. Deacon Lee Meng Hsien spoke on behalf of the CERCS, Rev. McGeown spoke on behalf of Covenant PRC in Northern Ireland. and Rev. John Flores spoke on behalf of the PRC in the Philippines. These delegates spoke of the work that God was doing in their churches and expressed thanks to God for our sister church relationship. The chairman of synod responded by express to these delegates our thanks to God for them and for the fellowship that we have them.
Synod expressed to the PRCP and CERCS that the PRCA has no objections to their entering into a sister-church relationship with each other, and expressed to our sister churches our joy and our thankfulness to God for opening the way for this manifestation of the unity and catholicity of the church and our prayer for God’s richest blessings upon this relationship.

Synod plans to reconvene at 10 am Monday morning.

PRC Synod 2019: Day 3 - Thursday, June 13 *Updated with Report

rdykstra exam 1
Prof. R. Dykstra examining the seminarians in church history (early church focus).

This morning synod returns to the oral examination of Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman. The seniors will be examined in O.T. History, N.T. History, Church History, Church Polity, and Practica (a practical exam). These portions of the exam will also be live-streamed on First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

bgritters exam polity
Prof. B. Gritters examining the men in Reformed Church Polity (government) and OT history.

RC NT exam Thurs 1
Prof. R. Cammenga examining in NT history.

exam audience thurs
Audience observing the examination in First PRC sanctuary

Following the exam, synod will make a decision to approve these men and declare them candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRCA.

*Update: That decision has now been made. Both M. Kortus and J. Maatman have been unanimously approved and declared to be candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRC, eligible for a call beginning July 13. We rejoice with these brothers and their wives and families, and thank God for the gift of two more eligible pastor-teachers for the churches.

student approval thurs 1
Rev. G. Eriks, president of Synod 2019, informs the students and their wives and the audience of synod's decision.

synod congrats 1
synod congrats 2
Following the singing of the doxology and prayer, the students received the congratulations of the professors, delegates, family, and friends.

This afternoon synod will return to its regular work, considering the advice of its various committees.

First church

Seminary graduation will take place this evening in First PRC, at 7:30 P.M.  Prof. R. Dykstra will give the address from 1 Timothy 4:16, "Take Heed to Thyself and to the Doctrine." The choir of First PRC, Holland, MI will provide the special music. All are welcome to join us in celebrating the goodness of God in providing two graduates this year.

PRC Synod 2019: Day 2 - Wednesday, June 12 - *Updated with Report

CGriess devotions
Rev. C. Griess (pastor of First PRC, the host church) with opening devotions, Wednesday, June 12

Following synod's approval of the sermons of Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman yesterday, synod is proceeding with their oral examination today. First is Prof. R. Cammenga, who is examining them in all branches of theology. The exam is being live-streamed through First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

Exam Dogm 2
Prof. R. Cammenga examining Sems. Matt K. and Jacob M. in dogmatics

Students exam 2
The two men completed their exam in dogmatics this afternoon, then synod reconvened to treat material from its committees that was ready. *The report of the actions taken is attached in pdf form.

One of the more significant decisions was this: "Synod called Rev. Brian Huizinga to replace Prof. Cammenga as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament. Rev. Cory Griess was chosen to be the alternate. May the Lord guide Rev. Huizinga that he may know God’s will regarding this call. Let us remember him in our prayers."

On Thursday the seniors will be examined in O.T. History, N.T. History, Church History, Church Polity, and Practica (a practical exam). This portion of the exam will also be live-streamed.

synod sessions 1

Missionary-pastor D. Kleyn addressed synod on the ongoing work of the PRC's three missionaries in the Philippines (photo below).

DKleyn address Wed 2

The following are pictures taken today of the committees of synod - and one at work yesterday (more to come!).

Comm 1 1
Committee 1 - Prof. B. Gritters, Elders G. Lanning, H. Goosen, Rev. S. Key, Rev. G. Eriks

Comm 2 1
Committee 2 - Revs. C. Haak, J. Laning, Elders A. Meuer, K. Van Overloop, Prof. R. Cammenga

Comm 3 1
Committee 3 - Rev. R. Kleyn, Elder M. Bosveld, Rev. R. Van Overloop, Elder D. Terpstra, Prof. R. Dykstra

Comm 4 1
Committee 4 - Elder P. VanDer Schaaf, Prof. D. Kuiper, Rev. B. Huizinga, Elder B. Wories, Rev. C. Griess

Comm 5 1
Committee 5 - Revs. C. Spronk, A. Brummerl, Elders R. Gritters, B. Gritters

Foreign delegates
The special foreign delegates - Rev. J. Flores (PRC, the Philippines), Rev. M. McGeown (Covenant PRC, N. Ireland), Deacon Lee Meng Hsien (Covensnt ERC, Singapore)

Comm1 work 2
Committee 1 at work

Comm 2 work 2
Committee 2 at work

Comm3 Tues 2
Committee 3 at work

Comm 5 work 2
Committee 5 at work

And the group pictures taken today, one in front of First PRC, the other down below.

group front 1

group below 1

PRC Synod 2019: Pre-synodical Service (Monday) and Day 1 (Tuesday) *Updated with Report

RevRVO Pre synod sermon 2

On Monday evening, June 10, 2019, having been called by her Council, the congregation of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI - the calling church of the PRC Synod 2019 - gathered in worship, together with the synodical delegates and fellow saints and friends of the PRC. The service was led by Rev. R. Van Overloop, the president of last year's synod. He preached from Revelation 3:14-21, speaking on the theme "The Church of Christ at Laodicea" (you may find and listen to the sermon at this link).

pre synod service 1stprc 2019

Synod will begin its sessions in the lower level of First PRC on Tuesday morning at 8:00 am. After being constituted, synod will elect officers and appoint committees for her work (cf. update below).

MKortus sermon 1
Sem. Matt Kortus delivering his sermon on Ps.139:23,24

JMaatman sermon 2
Sem. Jacob Maatman delivering his sermon on Luke 19:10

The rest of the morning, beginning at 10 am, will involve the delivery of specimen sermons by the two senior seminarians to be examined by synod - Matthew Kortus and Jacob Maatman. The rest of their oral exam (in theology, etc.) will begin Wednesday morning. Visitors are welcome. *Synod approved the live-streaming of the exam. That may be viewed on First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

Tuesday afternoon the committees will begin their work of preparing advice for synod.

First church

Delegates to Synod 2019 are as follows:

Classis East: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Griess, C. Haak, C. Spronk, and R. Van Overloop. Elders M. Bosveld, R. Gritters, G. Lanning, P. VanDer Schaaf, K. Van Overloop

Classis West: Revs. A. Brummel, B. Huizinga, S. Key, R. Kleyn, J. Laning. Elders H. Goosen, B. Gritters, A. Meuer, D. Terpstra, B. Wories

Officers 1
From l-r: Rev. J. Laning, Rev. C. Spronk, Rev. G. Eriks, Rev. S. Key

Update: Synod voted the following men as its officers:

President: Rev. G. Eriks
Vice President: Rev. S. Key
First Clerk: Rev. C. Spronk
Second Clerk: Rev. J. Laning

And these minutes relating to the foreign delegates from the PRC's sister churches may be noted:

Synod receives letters from the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland,
informing synod that they have authorized Rev. Martyn McGeown to represent the CPRCNI and speak on
her behalf; from the Classis of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines,
informing synod that they have authorized Rev. John Flores to represent the PRCP and speak on her
behalf; from the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, informing
synod that they have authorized deacon Lee Meng Hsien to represent the CERCS and speak on her behalf.
It is moved to seat Rev. Martyn McGeown, Rev. John Flores, and deacon Lee Meng Hsien, giving
them advisory vote in all matters. Carried.

On behalf of synod the chairman welcomes the representatives from our sister churches.

The report of the Committee on Committees (dividing up the work of synod) was approved. *See attachment for that document.

The report on the day from the second clerk of synod also included these notes (that report is also attached):

Synod has the privilege of examining two seminarians this year. Today synod approved the specimen sermons of Seminarian Matt Kortus and Seminarian Jacob Maatman. After the approval of the students’ sermons synod adjourned for the day, so that the pre-advice committees could begin their work.
Synod is scheduled to reconvene tomorrow morning at 8:00. After morning devotions, synod will begin with the oral examination of the two students. Live-streaming of the examinations will be available.

And, of course, we want to acknowledge the all-important role of the tech-crew!

Tech crew 1

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Contact Details

Denomination

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Reading Sermon Library
  • Taped Sermon Library

Synodical Officers

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Synodical Committees

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Emeritus Committee
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact/Missions

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classical Officers

Classis East
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classis West
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.