Our warmest greetings to you and yours this Christmas! The Lord bless us all as we set our eyes on Jesus.
Our family news from 2016 is available here: christmas-letter-2016 .
Seventh Reformed Church has announced the offer of three annual scholarships of $3000 each to theological students meeting the criteria. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2016. For further information and an application form, go to Seventh Reformed Church.
A New Liturgy Book for Seventh Reformed Church
Originally a congregation of the Reformed Church in America, Seventh Reformed Church has been independent since 1995. Sometimes the leadership is asked, “What sort of Reformed church is Seventh Reformed?” The answer is all here in her liturgy, standards, and practical documents. These are both ecumenical and Reformed and ancient and modern, and connect Seventh Reformed Church to the history and catholicity of the Christian church as well as to the Reformed tradition in particular.
While specific to the worship and life of Seventh Reformed Church, “Worship in Spirit and in Truth” provides an example of ongoing reformation according to God’s Word, emphasizing not only order but ardor. As far as is known, this is the first liturgy book to include the World Reformed Fellowship’s recent Statement of Faith. Also useful for general study is the inclusion of a Glossary to aid understanding of the historical and theological terms used throughout. “Worship in Spirit and Truth” is, then, a useful resource for personal study as well as an example of worship in the Reformed tradition.
For more information, go to CreateSpace.
Seventh Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (www.7thref.org), is pleased to announce a contract with Pan American Broadcasting to air weekly on Voice of Europe (1368 kHz, 846 kHz, and 567 kHz) as from December 6, 2015. The thirty-minute radio programme, titled “Truth for Today”, will air in English, and will feature the expository ministry of senior minister Dr Tim J. R. Trumper. The broadcast can be heard on Sunday evenings on all AM frequencies and on Internet streaming at the local time of 7:30–8:00 p.m., repeated at 11:30 p.m.–Midnight (CET [GMT +1]). Broadcast from Padua, Northern Italy, “Truth for Today” will reach Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, parts of Southern Germany and Southern France, and Vatican City. The streaming is available on IRRS/EGR channel (at http://www.egradio.org), and through multiple random plays over the week on All Gospel Radio 24/7 (also streaming at http://www.egradio.org).
Seventh Reformed Church has a long history in radio broadcasting, having aired two Sunday services on radio over much of West Michigan since 1960, and, for a period of time, nationwide across America. Now, sensing the need of the hour in Europe, Seventh Reformed Church welcomes prayer for the broadcasts and solicits help in making them known in the region. Seventh Reformed Church encourages listeners regardless of background, and will be looking to connect those interested in the broadcasts to local Bible-believing churches. Thank you for your interest.
An Endorsement for Professor Frame’s latest tome:
(Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2015)
John M. Frame
Drawing on both his background in philosophy and theology, and his 45 years of reading, thinking, and teaching, Professor Frame has provided a history of Western philosophy and theology as stimulating as it is informative. His summary of the thought of substantial thinkers in both disciplines over the course of the past millennia (with the exception of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox thinkers) is a wonderful gift to the church. His tome will be a particular blessing to would-be historians, philosophers, theologians, and apologists of the Christian faith. They are the ones searching for a point of entrance into the connected fields of philosophy and theology, and needing a biblically reliable and insightful analysis of the related disciplines. Their wait is over. Here they have the indispensable mapping to aid them as they start or make sense of the journey.
Defining philosophy as “the disciplined attempt to articulate and defend a worldview [aka metanarrative],” and arguing on the basis of the one we find in Scripture, the philosophical credentials of theology (“the application of the Word of God, by persons, to every aspect of human life”), Professor Frame posits the view that the two disciplines are distinctive yet “profoundly interdependent.” Instead, however, of following the notion, originating with Philo the Jew, that philosophy is the handmaid of theology, he offers rather a biblical view of philosophy—one in which inscripturated revelation is foundational as both the substance and assessment of true philosophy. On this understanding, Scripture needs no helping hand from philosophy, for the former governs the latter when rightly pursued.
Supporting this view are the known distinctives of Professor Frame’s theological method: The supremacy of God’s Lordship, the consistent application of his “Something Close to Biblicism,” presuppositionalism, and triperspectivalism (as seen in three subdivisions of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory). The application of these distinctives to the history of Western philosophy and theology renders Professor Frame both an attractive narrator and a clear-headed challenger of man’s claim to his “autonomous conceptualization of the world.”
Add to all this the user-friendly study questions, glossaries, and bibliographies, and the more novel list of on-line sources and famous quotes, and we have at hand a tome which many of us will undoubtedly wish had been available when we set out in earnest on our own studies. May God bless it not only to the individual inquirer after truth, but to fulfill Professor Frame’s expressed aspiration—a new level of respect for evangelical Christianity, for the Bible, and for Christ!
—Tim J. R. Trumper, Senior Minister, Seventh Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
To purchase, go, among other places, to Amazon (US).
It is with a a mixture of great sadness and rejoicing that we announce the home call of Dr. Peter R.G. Trumper. He died at his home on the Lord’s Day, July 5. Always observant of what he perceived the Lord may be doing, his departure for glory on a day so special for him would not have been lost on him. For more information, click on “Peter R G Trumper” and “In Memoriam”.
Seventh Reformed Church Celebrates 125 Years!
Begun in 1890 by some members of Fourth Reformed Church to the East of the Grand River, Seventh Reformed Church developed out of the desire for a Reformed Church in America congregation on the northwest side of the city of Grand Rapids. The Congregation assembled at Jeanette and Leonard Street until 1951, and since then at her current location on Tamarack and Leonard. Tim J. R. Trumper is her eighteenth senior minister (2007-), the longest-serving to date being Rev. Gordon H. Girod (1958-1979). The Church continues to broadcast her services on radio twice weekly each Lord’s Day over a radius of 95 miles (19 counties). Do join us for worship as you are able: 9:45 A.M. and 5:50 P.M. For more details, go to www.7thref.org .
A New Publication in defense of the preaching of series of sermons
When Rev. Iain H. Murray ~ erstwhile assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, cofounder of The Banner of Truth Trust, and admired church historian ~ speaks to an issue, conservative Reformed Christians sit up and take notice. Unsurprisingly,, then, his 2010 caution pertaining to the prevalence of the consecutive exposition of Scripture has been republished more recently on popular websites.
Now Dr. Trumper, committed expositor and pastor-theologian, weighs Mr. Murray’s caution, offering an analysis of its welcome emphases and areas of weakness. In the process, he defends consecutive exposition and suggests ways the method of preaching can be enhanced today.
Preachers and congregants sharing Rev. Murray’s and Dr. Trumper’s united belief in the significance of preaching for the health of the church, and wanting to join the discussion of today’s pulpit ministry, will find in Tim J. R. Trumper’s study much to further the conversation in constructive ways.
The Passing of Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
It was genuinely moving to hear of the passing of Dr. Paisley. In his death he conveyed the truth he aired in the face of the assassin’s threat, that he was immortal until God said otherwise.
Looking back on his massively eventful life, it was always easy for us on mainland Britain to question the volume, the rhetoric, and the wisdom of his earlier years, as also the u-turn, the chuckles, and the associations of those which came later. We ponder in both phases the appropriateness of a Christian minister simultaneously holding political office, but cannot doubt that God gave him extraordinary energies and abilities to pull off the workload he undertook in both arms of God’s government: civil authority and the church. Here was a man who won the hearts of his admirers by fearing God more than man; by loving the gospel of Jesus Christ privately and publicly; by facing up to his enemies earlier and perhaps also his friends later; by his dedication to cause; and by dint of his talent, charisma, and leadership.
My father, dubbed in the 1980s Welsh media “The Ian Paisley of Wales,” had some personal contact with “the big man” across the Irish Sea. He preached at Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church in 1983 during the General Election, staying at his home and enjoying fellowship with him at his table. Dr. Paisley told him how he preached like his own dad, and sent him back to Wales with a note to us children telling us how the election was in full swing, but that God would give the victory. It is signed off with his name and the Bible reference Ephesians 6:19-20 (Praying ” . . . for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” [KJV]).
On another occasion he called our home from the European Parliament in Strasbourg. My mother didn’t recognize his voice (!), so she asked him to call back as Dad was in an Elders’ meeting. When he did so, the meeting was still in session. Accordingly, he met the second apology with the retort, “Can you tell your husband that this is Ian Paisley phoning from Strasbourg. I’d like to talk to him!” Needless to say, he did!
Later Dad forwarded to him the plight of a french couple whose children were taken from them on a charge of brainwashing. Dad had done all he could to alleviate their persecution for the faith, but felt political leverage may help their case. Ian Paisley took it up and went to bat for them. The case demonstrated once more that behind the bluster of the public persona was the large heart of a man who cared deeply for individuals as well as for ideas. In his passing it is pleasing to see this side of his life receive an airing in ways rarely heard of during the heady days of the troubles.
The pundits of history will render their judgment, but there is only one Judge. Doubtless, as a big man Ian Paisley had big faults; but it doesn’t make us any bigger to chip at his heels. Many of us never faced the pressures of the Northern Ireland troubles, nor have we necessarily the convictions to leave a noticeable imprint on history.
However the debates about Ian Paisley unfold now that he has entered the ages, this much is undoubtedly true.: He was trusting in the shed blood of Jesus for the remission of his sins, and for his entrance into heaven. He loved above all to preach Jesus to others, so that they, Protestants and Catholics alike, could enter into the heaven he now experiences. A fascinating life, ministry, and public service has ended. We may be thankful to God that it did so naturally.
Festschrift for Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr., Third Millennium Ministries
Tim J. R. Trumper joined numerous others in endorsing For the World: Essays in Honor of Richard Pratt Jr., edited by Justin Holcomb and Glenn Lucke (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2014), published this month.
This month saw the publication of Rev. Brian Najapfour’s booklet Child Dedication: Considered Historically, Theologically, and Pastorally (Biblical Spirituality Press) with a foreword by Tim J.R. Trumper
You can now follow Tim Trumper on Twitter (@ TimJRTrumper).
Upcoming on Good Friday, April 18, Seventh Reformed Church’s annual Community Good Friday Service. Seven local pastors speaking on the seven words of our Lord from the cross. The service runs from Noon until 3 P,M, All are welcome. Come when you can, go when you must. For further details, go to www.7thref.org.
Easter Sunday at 9:45 A.M. is a guest service at Seventh Reformed Church to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Free literature and refreshments are available.
Then, beginning Thursday evening at 7 P.M. on April 24, a new Christianity Explored course begins, co-lead by Dr. Tim and Rahi Soltani. The course will be held at Seventh Reformed Church, 950 Leonard St., NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616-459-4451). The course is aimed at any wishing to investigate a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, makes use of DVD presentations, and runs for 7 weeks. You won’t be asked to read the Bible aloud, to pray, or to sing.
It was with sadness but with hope in the resurrection of the Day of Jesus Christ that we bid farewell to Brenda’s father, Richard Peckover, on the evening of March 28, 2014. Richard (“Dick”) was aged 75 and died of complications related to liver cancer. He will be sorely missed.
The Consistory of Seventh Reformed Church voted on Monday, May 6, to appoint Brenda secretary to the ministerial staff and Consistory. Brenda will work her way into her new post over the coming weeks. This is very good for Brenda who will bring to the work her passion for Christ’s church and her technical and administrative know-how. Needless to say, this will be very good for the church. She will continue to head up the women’s ministry committee.
Pastor Conrad Mbewe of Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia, will preach at Seventh’s Fall Conference on October 19-20. The theme of the conference is “The Three Rs: Reformation, Revival, and Recovery.” Further details will be forthcoming at www.7thref.org . We’re delighted this has come off, since Tim treasures very positive memories of his preaching trips to Zambia in 1993, 1995, and 2005. He first met Pastor Conrad on his arrival at Lusaka Airport in Zambia in 1993.