The Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary recently received the private library of Dr. Theodore Letis. In the personal library was a very rare copy of Theodore Beza’s New Testament in Greek and Latin. Apparently Dr. Letis (I have never heard of him, have you?) was a New Testament scholar who wrote to defend the Textus Receptus (the Greek text behind the Authorized Version and the New King James Version).

This is a very special addition to any library. The Prots should be happy with this rare volume. The article is here and begins on PDF page number 95. It is worth reading because it gives a short personal narrative of David Englesma’s time in seminary in the basement of 1st Prot Church. The article also shows that they are not interested in too much reading beyond their tradition (Englesma says that there were a number of books about evangelical feminism and they are going in the dumpster! Those would be useful for reference in a paper, at least… you would think!)

Congratulations to the Protestant Reformed Seminary on their recent addition to their library.

Is Jesus absent, and is your soul troubled because your Beloved has departed? Does your soul melt as you think of former times when you were able to pray, weep, wait, yearn, and long; when you were able to lean upon Him in such a delightful manner, when you lost yourself in mutual love and requested everyone neither to disturb nor awake your love until it would please Him; when He kissed you with the kisses of His mouth, His left hand was under your head, He embraced you with His right hand, you were sick with love, and found delight under the shadow of His favor? Do you miss all this? Have numerous sinful and grievous afflictions come in their place? Is your life consumed by sorrow and your years with sighing? Come, and attentively give ear to the promises. “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul” (Jer. 31:25); “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me…to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa. 61:1-3); “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Mat. 5:4) [II: 627].

“I am sorry- (talking about the emergent church’s over-realized eschatology), but I am getting real sick of hearing about the kingdom, and never hearing anything about the King.”
-Mark Driscoll

Yep, I watched it. Yep, I agreed with it principally. I do not think that it would be that convincing to someone that is a feminist; but there are some really good points that would be worth discussing with them.

One point that I did think was compelling was the idea that 1960s Feminism was telling women that they needed to choose whether to stay at home or go out into the work force; but through legislation and taxation, the Feminist agenda was that women were forced to work out of the home, thus needing to place their children in the government schools to be indoctrinated by the Marxists that run them.

Check it out, even if you think that it is too ‘patriarchal’ for you. It is worth viewing (there are good Psalter selections in the background as well).

Coming from one of the oldest denominations in the United States, the question “what was your church’s position on slavery?” has come up on a small number of occasions (let’s be honest though… not too often.).

I am currently reading a lengthy article called “Vermont Reformed Presbyterian Abolitionists” which shows that the RPCNA, the ARP Church, and the old Associate Church, were the only Calvinistic denominations that would not allow their members to own slaves and remain in good standing (until 1819, when others came on board).

“The political singularity of both groups also manifested itself in their early and outspoken opposition to slavery. Whereas almost every other denomination in America sidestepped the issue and tolerated slave-holding by members, the Covenanters and Seceders denounced slavery as a breach of Christ’s law of love and directed their members to free their slaves immediately (the Covenanters in 1800, the Seceders in 1811).

The article, which is from a secular publication, argues that without these three churches, and especially the RPCNA in Vermont, the abolitionist movement would not have gained the ground that it needed in those early years.

My good friend, Jason Kuiper, gave me a book on the Lord’s Day. It is one that I have been intending to read, but have not found the time due to life’s demands and other readings that are required and/or exegetical in nature.

I have been meaning to read it because I like to interact with the Emergent Church movement. I have many friends, even godly friends, who are a part of the ‘conversation’ and I do what I can to be a part of it as well (even though I am an uncool confessional-dogmatic-Calvinistic-systematic theology loving-modernist). But let’s face it- emergent I am not, even though there are some aspects of the movement that are very biblical and useful.

Today at work I took the book along in case I had some down time to read. I did; and I began reading it with much interest. I also read a lot of it this evening (some reading is like watching TV… it is just too fun to stop even though there are other things that could be accomplished.)

The book is Why We’re Not Emergent (by two guys who should be). It co-written by the Pastor of Lansing, Michigan’s University Reformed Church and some ESPN sports writer. So far it is quite good.

In their discussion of God’s knowability, here is their critique of the Emergent Church:

We may all be, by nature, like blind men touching the elephant without knowing what we are feeling is a trunk, tail, or ear. But what if the elephant spoke and said, “Quit calling me a crocodile, or a peacock, or a paradox. I’m an elephant for crying out loud! That long thing is my trunk. That little frayed thing is my tail. That big floppy thing is my ear.” And what if the elephant gave us ears to hear his voice and a mind to understand his message (cf. I Cor. 2.14-15)? Would our professed ignorance about the elephant and our unwillingness to make any confident assertions about his nature mean we were especially humble, or just deaf?

Because of the emerging church’s implied doctrine of God’s unknowability, the word mystery, a perfectly good word in its own right, has become downright annoying. Let me be very clear: I don’t understand everything about God or the Bible. I don’t fully understand how God can be three in one. I don’t completely grasp how divine sovereignty works alongside human responsibility. The Christian faith is mysterious. But when we talk about Christianity, we don’t start with mystery. It’s some combination of pious confusion and intellectual laziness to claim that living in mystery is at the heart of Christianity.

If you are emergent, pick it up and read it. If you are not emergent: it gives a balanced approach to why you shouldn’t be- all with humor, grace, and respect for the brethren in this movement.