Monday, December 8, 2014

Registration Opens for 2015 Theology Conference




Online registration is now available for Greenville Seminary's 2015 Spring Theology Conference. Plans have been finalized for the three-day annual program on the timely and much-debated theme "The Law of God in a Lawless Age."

The conference will be held from Tuesday, March 10th, through Thursday, March 12th, at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, S.C. Register by Jan. 30th to take advantage of the early-bird rate of $85 ($115 after Jan. 30). You may also make reservations for a Tuesday evening dinner ($12) and Wednesday lunch ($9), both opportunities to fellowship and renew acquaintances with other conference-goers.

The issue of the law of God is critical in the church today. The conference will seek to answer such questions as: What is the relationship between the Law and the Gospel? What is the place of the Ten Commandments in church and society today? More particularly, what is the role of the law in your life as a Christian? 
The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it. Neither doth Christ, in the gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation ... So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.
Westminster Confession of Faith 19:5,6

Speakers and their lecture subjects will include:
  • Dr. Richard Barcellos —  New Covenant Theology and The Law of God
  • Dr. Mark Jones — Antinomianism: The Golden White Devil
  • Dr. Ian Hamilton — What the Law Could Not Do (Rom. 8:3) (Tues. evening sermon)
  • Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. — Third Use of the Law (Wed. evening sermon)
  • Dr. Pipa — Critique of Klinian Republication
  • Dr. Tony Curto — No Gospel Without the Law
  • Mr. Breno Macedo — Robert Rollock and the Covenant of Works
  • Dr. Sidney Dyer — Paul and Law in Galatians 3
  • Dr. George Scipione — The Principle of Equity and Counseling

Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, Calif. He is the author of four books, co-author of another book and managing editor of the Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies. Dr. Jones is pastor of Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church of Vancouver, B.C. His latest book is Antinomianism: Reformed Theology's Unwelcome Guest?

The other speakers are faculty members or adjunct faculty at GPTS. Dr. Pipa is the seminary president. Dr. Curto is associate professor of practical theology in missions and apologetics at GPTS. Dr. Hamilton is a member of the GPTS Board of Trustees and pastor of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in England. Mr. Macedo is a 2011 graduate of GPTS and minister in the Presbyterian Church of Brazil. He is coordinator of historical theology at the Theological Seminary of Nordeste, Brazil. Dr. Dyer is professor of Greek and New Testament at GPTS. Dr. Scipione is adjunct professor of applied theology at GPTS, director of the Biblical Counseling Institute and adjunct professor of pastoral theology at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Penn.

* * * * *

A special pre-conference Open House for prospective students will be held on Monday and Tuesday before the main conference opens. For details on this opportunity, see the separate story in this e-newsletter. To register for the Open House, go here. If you are a prospective student attending the Open House, you may register for the main conference free of charge using this special dedicated link. (Do not use the regular conference registration form or you will be charged.)

Pre-conference Open House for Prospective Students Planned



Each year in advance of Greenville Seminary’s annual spring theology conference, we set aside some time to welcome and orient prospective students who may be considering GPTS for their theological education. In 2015, we are expanding this gathering to include a number of new activities and opportunities to learn what Greenville Seminary is all about. This special campus preview and orientation will be held Monday, March 9 and Tuesday morning, March 10.

In addition to the usual campus tour and welcome luncheon in the Student Commons, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend a variety of classes.
  • Participate in a panel discussion.
  • Attend a special Chapel service.
  • Attend the full theology conference as a special guest.

This is a unique opportunity to enhance your understanding about a seminary education and guide your decision-making. Keep a record of your travel costs; if you later enroll in the seminary, your travel costs will be applied as a tuition credit. 

Go here to sign up for this Special Open House. Your confirmation notice will include a link to register for the main conference free of charge. Check our web site for Spring Conference information. 



Welcome Prospective Students to a Special Campus Preview Open House, March 9-10, 2015




Year-end Message from President Pipa

Dr. Pipa
These are difficult times for the church, as the culture plunges into God-hating perversions. I do not need to highlight for you the declensions that have taken place in this past year. 


Hazael of Aram
However, in light of this fact, I am greatly encouraged by the comment of the inspired historian in 2 Kings 13:22, 25, "Now Hazael king of Aram had oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now." For the sake of His covenant, God was willing to spare the apostate Northern Kingdom for a period of time. How much more willing might He be to revive and reform His church in the United States, Canada, and Britain in these days? Although there are apostate churches in our lands, there are many Bible-believing denominations.

Join with me in praying for God's covenant mercy to His church. Pray as well that we at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary might have some role in the reformation of the church. Although we are small, we believe we continue to play a role in the reformation of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are greatly encouraged by the caliber of men applying to study here over the last few years.

We rely on the benevolent giving of our supporters to fulfill our mission. Your support for our ministry enables us to continue to serve the church and labor for reformation. Our dependence on the partnership of individuals like you is intentional: with your gifts to Greenville Seminary you help to underwrite about 70% of our annual costs. In a day of rising educational costs, the Seminary remains committed to affordable, accessible theological education. Our students are burdened to preach the Gospel; we do not want them to graduate with a burden of financial debt.

As you may have heard already we are very encouraged to be adding two new faculty members (Dr. Michael Morales, January, 2015 in Biblical Studies; and Dr. Ryan McGraw, July 2015 in Systematic Theology). Both these men have excellent reputations as scholars and will complement the expertise of our current faculty. We are seeking to raise $170,000 by the end of the year to continue meeting our budget, covering our expenses, and preparing for the needs of the coming year. Your gift at this time also will help us replenish our contingency fund to ease cash flow fluctuations. Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us and become a regular supporter? The investment you make now can be used of God to reach future generations with men trained in the richness of the historic Christian faith.

Whether or not you are able to send a gift before the end of the year, please pray that God will bless our ministry and that He will continue to provide funds for the work. We are keenly aware of our dependence on God’s blessing, not only for financial provision but for wisdom, strength and integrity in every aspect of this ministry. As a token of my appreciation for a year-end gift of $200 or more, I will send you a copy of Dr. Ryan McGraw’s new book described in our monthly financial report. Thank you and God bless.

For the glory of God, I am

Joseph A. Pipa Jr.

Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. 
President


IMPACT 2014: GPTS YEAR-END SUPPORT CAMPAIGN


Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas

Financial Report for November 2014

The tables below indicate our financial situation as of the end of November 2014. Unrestricted general fund donations during November of $60,196 from churches and individuals were $3,663 below the $63,859 November budget for these types of contributions. Expenses of $47,471 were $42,444 below the $89,915 budgeted for expenses. We are grateful for a second consecutive month with a positive net balance. Our thanks to all who gave generously in November. In addition, we received $913 toward our Capital Fund in November.

Our annual year-end financial campaign has begun. See here for a ministry progress report from President Pipa, and prayerfully consider what you might do to help sustain GPTS through the end of 2014.

 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  NOVEMBER 2014
fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teams
Graph shows donation income (lower figure) vs. budget for November 2014

 Donation Income (unrestricted)
$60,196 
 Other Income
$9,910 
 Total Income
$70,106 
 Expenses
$47,471 
 Net Income
$22,635 
 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  FISCAL 2014-15
Donation Income
$226,188 
Other Income
$125,124 
Total Income
$351,312 
Expenses
$382,375 
Net Income
–$31,063 

 CAPITAL FUND
 Capital Campaign Goal
$3,500,000 
 Received
$3,394,138 
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
$286,694 
 Total Received and Pledged
$3,680,832 
 Outstanding Obligations
$35,000 
 Monthly Interest Payment
$3,000 
 Remaining Mortgage
$580,817 


 

Special offer: 

For your special donation of $200 or more before the end of this year, GPTS would be pleased to send you a complimentary copy of Dr. Ryan M. McGraw’s new book, The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen. (Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.)

Dr. McGraw, an adjunct professor at GPTS who will be joining the faculty full-time in 2015 teaching systematic theology, is a recognized expert on the Puritan theologian John Owen.





If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the "Donate" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687.

THE GPTS ADVANCEMENT INITIATIVE

From now until the end of 2015, Greenville Seminary urges you to join in our critical-needs Advancement Initiative by donating and enlisting a team of fellow supporters. Here's how it works:

Click on this link and then either select the orange DONATE TO YOUR CHARITY box to make a donation or, better yet, click on the black FUNDRAISE FOR YOUR CHARITY box to start your own peer-to-peer fund-raising campaign on behalf of GPTS. Once you have created your campaign, click on the "Manage Team" tab on your fund-raiser campaign page, then on the "Invite Team Members" box to create an e-mail message notifying your contacts about your fund-raising efforts on behalf of Greenville Seminary. In turn, they will have the opportunity to give or start a campaign of their own.


As you reach out, or even if you do not participate in this Crowdrise.com effort, we would appreciate knowing about your contacts. We are asking you to provide the names of five prospective donors from among your friends and acquaintances. To make your pledge and referrals, please fill out and submit the form here.
  
Most of all, be fervent in prayer that God would provide all that is needed for us to do what He has called us to do in this ministry which the church so badly needs in these uncommon times.

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. (The tax deduction is reduced by the fair market value of any premium received in return for a donation.) See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.



Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Spread the Word! Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, share a link to this newsletter. (Click the tiny "M" e-mail icon at the bottom of this post.) Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Fall Finals and Winter Term at GPTS

Fall Semester final examinations get underway at Greenville Seminary during the week of Dec. 15-19. Pray that our students would have excellent recall of all they have learned and would present themselves as successful scholars to the glory of God.

Intensive classes for the 2015 Winter Term at Greenville Seminary begin January 5. Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. returns from his teaching sabbatical for the Winter Term. Five courses are being offered by five instructors, including:

  • HT10 - Presbyterian Church History
    Jan 12-16 - Dr. C.N. Willborn
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    (Includes 2-day [Tues. & Wed.] tour of historic sites in Columbia & Charleston)
    Hours: 2


  • AT20 - Introduction to Homiletics
    Jan 5-9 & 12-16 - Breno Macedo
    Jan. 5: 1:30-4:30 pm; Jan. 6: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm & 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm; Jan. 12-16: TBA
    Hours: 3


  • AT30 - Reformed Worship
    Jan. 5-9 - Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr.
    Jan. 5: 1:30-9:00 pm; Jan. 6-9: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm & 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    Hours: 2


  • NT41 - New Testament Biblical Theology
    Jan 19-23 - Dr. Michael Morales
    Jan. 19: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm; Jan. 20-13: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Hours: 3


  • AT40 - Reformed Pastor
    Jan 7-9 & 12-14 - Dr. William Shishko
    9:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Hours: 4


The 2015 Spring Semester begins January 27. The class schedule may be viewed and downloaded here



GPTS Welcomes New Media Director

Martin and Lisa Dendekker
Greenville Seminary is blessed with state-of-the-art electronic classrooms where students around the nation and the world can participate in lectures in real time or download audio recordings of their classes. Directing this system along with other media services, such as our SermonAudio channel, is new international student Martin Dendekker, who assumed his position as media director earlier this semester, replacing Vernon Shoaf.

Mr. Dendekker hails from Woodstock, Ontario, where he and his wife Lisa are members of Grace Presbyterian Church (ARP), pastored by GPTS Board Chairman Jeff Kingswood. He credits Pastor Kingswood's guidance in helping clarify in his mind that he was being called to study theology at the seminary level. "Where or how I serve the church post-seminary is not clear at this point," he said when applying to GPTS. "I trust that God will make His way for us clear at His appointed time." The Dendekkers were married in May 2013.

Martin is a 2010 graduate (magna cum laude) from the University of Ottawa, where he was awarded an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences degree. He majored in political science and history. From 2011 until he came to GPTS, Martin served as a special assistant to Ontario Provincial Parliament Member Randy Pettapiece in the Legislative Assembly. Prior to that he held a similar post in the office of Assembly Member Ernie Hardeman. While in college, he worked for Aecon Group, Inc. within the University of Ottawa's student co-op.

"I grew up in a Reformed environment with a strong Biblical foundation," he says. "I didn't come to faith, however, until 2008 when I was half-way through my studies at the University of Ottawa. The Lord worked in me during one of the most difficult periods of my life when everything I held close was falling apart. Since then, God through His Spirit has sanctified my head knowledge to my heart, reteaching me many things as well as teaching me many new things. I have been maturing in faith over the past six years."

Little Things, Big Help

Many online enterprises have begun offering ways for supporters of non-profit organizations to raise funds easily for their favorite charities. We've introduced you to some of these over the past few years, such as Amazon Smile and GoodSearch/GoodShop (see the bottom of this page).

One long-time supporter of the seminary, Sylvia Fincham, has taken these opportunities a step further by encouraging her friends to join her in using these opportunities. Recently, she sent an e-mail message to her friends which said:
Dear Friends:
 I wanted to let you know about a program Amazon has introduced, if you are not already using it.
 This is the season when a lot more purchases are made online at Amazon. I am asking, if you would consider signing up for “AMAZON SMILE,” a program that allows you to chose a donation site to support.
 

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Greenville S.C is one of the organizations that could use our support. It costs you nothing. 
Amazon Smile has agreed to send a percentage of your order to the charity of your choice because you are using their link.
 It only takes a second, before you place your “already-planned-on-making-purchase”.

Please consider making this an organization to support. 
In doing so, you will be helping a great seminary build and train men for the ministry of Jesus Christ.
 Fondly in Christ,
Sylvia A.Fincham
Pastor Dan and Sylvia Fincham
In a message to us as we continue to promote these opportunities, Mrs. Fincham, wife of OPC Pastor Daniel Fincham in New Bern, N.C., added: "So many people may not even be aware of this program, or about the “Good Search” engine. I don’t make any search on the web without it. One penny is 1 more penny….times thousands of searches."
Laboring along side of you,
Sylvia Fincham 
* * * * *

AmazonSmile is easy to use. Instead of shopping at the regular Amazon web site, go to smile.amazon.com instead, Everything's the same, except, after you pick Greenville Presbyterian Seminary as your favorite charity, Amazon sends a portion of your purchase price as a gift to GPTS.

GoodShop also sends support to GPTS when customers chose us as their charity and shop at hundreds of affiliated online sites. So far $475 has been raised for GPTS by users of GoodShop and GoodSearch. Make GoodSearch your web search engine, and every search will result in a contribution to GPTS.

You can also double your experience by getting promo codes and coupons at GoodShop and using them at Amazon. Go here to make your really big deals!

Join the fun and ask your friends to help also, as Mrs. Fincham has done. Thanks, Sylvia, for "laboring alongside" us. (That's a precious phrase!) Little things like this, when multiplied, are a big help!

Book Notes

How Do Preaching and Corporate Prayer Work Together? - Dr. Ryan McGraw, adjunct professor of systematic theology at Greenville Seminary

This 32-page booklet is part of Reformation Heritage Books' Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series. It is available in paperback, 10-pack, and e-book versions. For other booklets in this series, go here.

“Can there be any more profound expression of unbelief than prayerlessness in our churches? This booklet by Dr. McGraw, How Do Preaching and Corporate Prayer Work Together?, is a biblically grounded exhortation on the need for corporate prayer meetings in the church and why you should be involved if your church has one. It is my prayer that God will use this booklet to call many churches back to the practice of the corporate prayer meeting. If you share this desire, read this booklet and distribute it widely in your congregation.” 
— Joseph A. Pipa Jr., president, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary 

Confessing Our Hope Podcast & SermonAudio Resources


Listen to the GPTS Web-based radio broadcasts, with new interviews by host William Hill periodically! Read more about this broadcast ministry at the Confessing Our Home web site. Recent programs are now available for listening or download at ConfessingOurHope.com. Newest among them:
  • #71 – Church Membership. Dr. Ryan McGraw and Rev. Ryan Speck were our guests as we discussed the important topic of church membership. What is church membership? Is it biblical?  Why is it so important in the life of the believer and the church?  Perhaps you have had these questions or have heard them from others.  If so, this broadcast will be very helpful to you. 

* * * * *

The popular and informative "Faith and Practice" segments feature answers by GPTS President Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. to questions submitted by listeners. You may submit your questions by using the form on the podcast web site here or by emailing your question to confessingourhope@gpts.edu (include your name, address and email address).


You can access all of these newly released broadcast on the website at confessingourhope.com or through RSS (iTunes, an RSS reader, etc.) or through the GPTS Mobile App.

* * * * * * * * * *



You'll be blessed by sermons available on our SermonAudio channel. Check out our chapel service messages there, along with many other resources. Among the outstanding chapel sermons in November was "The Pulsebeat of God-honoring Religion," by GPTS Trustee Ian Hamilton, a pastor in Cambridge, England.

Athanasius: On the Incarnation

Editor's Note: Athanasius stood contra mundum ("against the world") in defense of the biblical doctrine of Christ. He opposed Arius when it seemed all the world would follow Arius's heresy. Athanasius's work remains even today one of the definitive statements of orthodox Trinitarianism. These excerpts are from his work De Incarnatione Verbi Dei (The Incarnation of the Word of God).

_________


[God] made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them ... He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked — namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things—namely, a law and a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their original innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption.


* * *
You may be wondering why we are discussing the origin of men when we set out to talk about the Word's becoming Man. The former subject is relevant to the latter for this reason: it was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body. For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion.

* * *
Adam and Eve After the Expulsion from ParadisePaulo Veronese
[B]ecause death and corruption were gaining ever firmer hold on them, the human race was in process of destruction. Man, who was created in God's image and in his possession of reason reflected the very Word Himself, was disappearing, and the work of God was being undone. The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption. 

* * *
What—or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

Adoration of the Shepherds, Jacopo Bassano (detail)
For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world. In one sense, indeed, He was not far from it before, for no part of creation had ever been without Him Who, while ever abiding in union with the Father, yet fills all things that are. But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us. He saw the reasonable race, the race of men that, like Himself, expressed the Father's Mind, wasting out of existence, and death reigning over all in corruption. He saw that corruption held us all the closer, because it was the penalty for the Transgression; He saw, too, how unthinkable it would be for the law to be repealed before it was fulfilled. He saw how unseemly it was that the very things of which He Himself was the Artificer should be disappearing. He saw how the surpassing wickedness of men was mounting up against them; He saw also their universal liability to death. All this He saw and, pitying our race, moved with compassion for our limitation, unable to endure that death should have the mastery, rather than that His creatures should perish and the work of His Father for us men come to nought, He took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own. Nor did He will merely to become embodied or merely to appear; had that been so, He could have revealed His divine majesty in some other and better way. No, He took our body, and not only so, but He took it directly from a spotless, stainless virgin, without the agency of human father—a pure body, untainted by intercourse with man. He, the Mighty One, the Artificer of all, Himself prepared this body in the virgin as a temple for Himself, and took it for His very own, as the instrument through which He was known and in which He dwelt. Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death instead of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire.

The Word perceived that corruption could not be got rid of otherwise than through death; yet He Himself, as the Word, being immortal and the Father's Son, was such as could not die. For this reason, therefore, He assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, through belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become in dying a sufficient exchange for all, and, itself remaining incorruptible through His indwelling, might thereafter put an end to corruption for all others as well, by the grace of the resurrection. It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren by the offering of the equivalent. For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required..., and in consequence the designs of the enemy against mankind have been foiled and the corruption of death, which formerly held them in its power, has simply ceased to be. For the human race would have perished utterly had not the Lord and Savior of all, the Son of God, come among us to put an end to death.

Excerpts from St. Athanasius: On the Incarntation, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary Press, 1993, translation by "A Religious of C.S.M.V." (Sister Penelope Lawson of the Anglican Community of St. Mary the Virgin, Wantage, England) 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Morales and McGraw to Join GPTS Faculty in 2015

Dr. Morales
The Board of Trustees of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. L. Michael Morales to the full-time resident faculty in 2015. Dr. Morales will be teaching New Testament Biblical Theology during the Winter Term and Old Testament Biblical Theology during the Spring term. He has been teaching the latter as an adjunct professor at GPTS. In addition, he will be teaching Greek and Hebrew exegesis courses, as well as a New Testament Introduction course, in future semesters. 

"I am thrilled that Dr. Morales is joining the faculty of Greenville Seminary," said Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., president of GPTS. "I have known Dr. Morales for a number of years. He brings a number of pluses to our ministry. He is a godly man with a very good family. He is committed to experimental Calvinism. He is a very able scholar, and he shines in the classroom.  He has a number of years of pastoral experience and is a very edifying preacher.  He is committed to mentoring students. These are the criteria for new professors at Greenville Seminary, and we thank God for bringing Dr. Morales to us."

Dr. Morales is currently serving as the Chair of Biblical Studies and professor of Old Testament and Great Works at Florida's Reformation Bible College, a position he has held since 2011. He has been associate pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA), Stuart, Fla., since 2010. Having grown up in Miami, Fla., he earned his B.A. in Business Administration at Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1996. He received an M.A. in Religion at Emmanuel School of Religion in 2000. Dr. Morales went to seminary for a Master of Arts in Northeast Tennessee and served as pastor there for four years before returning to South Florida to earn a Master of Divinity degree. His M.Div. with awards in Old Testament, New Testament, systematic theology, church history, Christianity & culture, and pastoral promise, was received from Knox Theological Seminary in 2007. After completing Ph.D. studies in the Pentateuch (Trinity College/University of Bristol, U.K., 2011), he and his family moved to Sanford, Fla., for his work at Reformation Bible College.

He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Dante Society of America. He has also been an adjunct instructor at Reformed Theological Seminary. His books include: Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of Yahweh?: A Biblical-Theology of the Book of Leviticus; Cult and Cosmos: Tilting Toward a Temple-Centered Theology; and The Tabernacle Pre-figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus. He has written articles including "Crouching Demon, Hidden Lamb: Resurrecting an Exegetical Fossil in Gen. 4:7," "The Great Commission in the Old Testament," "Law, Grace and Redemption in Les Miserables," "Jesus and the Psalms," and "Teach Your Children." For a complete curriculum vitae, go here.
Morales family

Dr. Morales and his wife Elise have been blessed with four boys: Armando, Diego, Alejandro, and Andres. The family plans to relocate to the Greenville area in the coming months.


Dr. Ryan M. McGraw


The appointment of Dr. Morales is the second faculty addition to be announced for 2015. Previously announced was the appointment of Dr. Ryan McGraw as associate professor to teach Systematic Theology, Prolegomena, Ecclesiology/Polity, Eschatology, Reformed Spirituality, and Preaching Practicum I.

Dr. McGraw
Dr. McGraw is an alumnus (M.Div. & Th.M.) of GPTS, has been serving as adjunct professor of systematic theology, and will be joining the resident faculty full-time in July 2015. He is also a research associate of the Jonathan Edwards Centre in South Africa. He is currently pastor of First Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, Calif. Previously, he served as pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Conway, S.C. He received his Ph.D. from University of the Free State (Jonathan Edwards Centre).

"I am very happy that Dr. McGraw is joining the faculty," Dr. Pipa said. "We have a very close relationship.  He lived with my wife and me while he was in seminary and is like a son. Like Dr. Morales, he is committed to personal godliness, has a great home, is one of the most disciplined and productive men I know. He is a very good teacher, mentor, and writer. Both men are great additions, and I think they will contribute to the continued improvement of Greenville Seminary."

Dr. McGraw's books include A Heavenly Directory: Trinitarian Piety, Public Worship, and a Reassessment of John Owen's Theology (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014); The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen (Reformation Heritage Books, 2014), What is a Christian? (RHB 2014)Christ's Glory, Your Good: Salvation Planned, Promised, Accomplished, and Applied (RHB 2013)By Good and Necessary Consequence (RHB 2012)The Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath (RHB 2012).

Dr. McGraw writes numerous articles, review articles, and book reviews for a variety of journals and magazines. These include topics related to systematic theology, the Trinity, historical theology, preaching, and practical theology. He has also done some translation work from 17th century Latin Reformed literature. A representative list of these is available from the author's Linkedin profile. Many of the author's reviews are republished at katekomen.gpts.edu.

McGraw family (pictured but not yet
visible here: newborn Megan)
He is a contributing writer to "Developing a Trinitarian Piety," in The Beauty and Glory of the Father (RHB 2013); "John Owen on the Holy Spirit, in Relation to the Trinity, the Humanity of Christ, and our Redemption" in The Beauty and Glory of the Holy Spirit (RHB 2012).

He and his wife Krista have four children, the youngest of which was born Oct. 3, 2014.





2015 Spring Theology Conference: Save the Date



Plans are beginning to form for the 2015 Greenville Seminary Spring Theology Conference examining "The Law of God in a Lawless Age."

The conference will be held from Tuesday, March 10th, through Thursday, March 12th, at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, S.C.

Watch the GPTS web site for upcoming details and registration opportunities.

Speakers and their lecture subject areas will include:

  • Dr. Richard Barcellos —  New Covenant Theology and The Law of God
  • Dr. Mark Jones — Antinomianism: The Golden White Devil
  • Dr. Ian Hamilton — "What the Law Could Not Do (Rom. 8:3)" (Tues. evening sermon)
  • Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. — Third Use of the Law (Wed. evening sermon)
  • Dr. Pipa — Critique of Klinian Republication
  • Dr. Tony Curto — No Gospel Without the Law
  • Mr. Breno Macedo — Robert Rollock and the Covenant of Works
  • Dr. Sidney Dyer — Paul and Law in Galatians 3
  • Dr. George Scipione — The Principle of Equity and Counseling

Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, Calif. He is the author of four books, co-author of another book and managing editor of the Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.

Dr. Jones is pastor of Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church of Vancouver, B.C. His latest book is Antinomianism: Reformed Theology's Unwelcome Guest?

Dr. Pipa is president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Dr. Curto is associate professor of practical theology in missions and apologetics at GPTS.

Dr. Hamilton is a member of the GPTS Board of Trustees and pastor of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in England.

Mr. Macedo is a 2011 graduate of GPTS and minister in the Presbyterian Church of Brazil. He is coordinator of historical theology at the Theological Seminary of Nordeste, Brazil.

Dr. Dyer is professor of Greek and New Testament at GPTS.

Dr. Scipione is adjunct professor of applied theology at GPTS, director of the Biblical Counseling Institute and adjunct professor of pastoral theology at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Dr. Stuart Patterson Taken Home to Glory

The Greenville Seminary community commemorates with both earthly sorrow and heavenly joy the passing into Glory of Dr. C.Stuart Patterson, after a long illness. He was 84.

Dr. Patterson was a member of the seminary's founding group, served early as president and professor, and was a member of the Board of Trustees at the time of his death on Oct. 27th. He was a major contributor to the seminary, including donations for both general operations and our capital campaign.

He was academic dean, dean of faculty, chairman of the Department of Chemistry and professor of chemistry at nearby Furman University, where he retired in 1988 after 34 years. Dr. Patterson was a NASA project scientist and the author of Principles of Chemistry. He was a key leader of the Greenville-Anderson Creation Study Group. He served on boards for Bethany Christian Services and Bailey Manor Retirement Home.

Dr. Patterson was one of the organizers of the Presbyterian Church in America. He was a ruling elder for 42 years at Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, teaching every book in the Bible during his Sunday school classes. His family spans five generations with that congregation.

Born in Greenville County, Dr. Patterson was a graduate of Easley High School and continued his studies at Furman University where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in chemistry. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and another Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dr. Patterson presenting honorary doctorate hood to
his Pastor Richard Phllips during the
2012 GPTS Commencement
His long-time defense of a six-day creation view was expressed ably in a chapter of the GPTS book Did God Create in Six Days? In a chapter entitled "Evidences for a Young Earth," he provided a concise summary of evidences pertinent to the age of the Earth. The chapter was transcribed from his lecture at the 1999 GPTS Spring Theology Conference. His lecture on "Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth" can be heard here.

Committal service was held Friday, October 31 at Graceland West Cemetery, with Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., GPTS president, and Dr. Gordon K. Reed officiating. A worship service followed at Second Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Second Presbyterian Church, 105 River St., Greenville, SC 29601.

Surviving are his daughters: Sue P. Godwin of Bluefield, W.V. and Jane P. Stillman of Travelers Rest, S.C.; son: Charles F. (Chuck) Patterson of River Falls, S.C.; sister: Erma Atkison of Fountain Inn, S.C.; brother: Truett Patterson of Johnson City, Tenn.; grandchildren: Matthew Godwin, Stuart Godwin, Farrell Stillman and Rachel Stillman Berens; great-granddaughter: Leanna Berens. He was preceded in death by his wife, Anne Earle Patterson.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at thehowzemortuary@yahoo.com.
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Dr. Charles Stuart Patterson (1930-2014)



Financial Report for October 2014

The tables below indicate our financial situation as of the end of October 2014. Unrestricted general fund donations during October of $45,175 from churches and individuals were $18,684 below the $63,859 October budget for these types of contributions. Expenses of $86,448 were $3,467 below the $89,915 budgeted for expenses. We are grateful that the seminary was able to finish a month with a positive balance for the first time this fiscal year (though still below budgeted needs). In addition, we received $30,000 toward our Capital Fund in October.

As can be seen from the General Fund table below, we still need to make up a nearly $53,000 deficit accumulated during the first four months of the 2014-15 fiscal year. If 100 concerned supporters provided a gift of $530 each, that deficit could be eliminated. In the next few weeks, we will begin our annual year-end outreach. Watch your mail for a progress letter from President Pipa, and prayerfully consider what you might do to help sustain GPTS through the end of 2014.

 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  OCTOBER 2014
fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teams
Graph shows donation income vs. budget for October 2014

 Donation Income (unrestricted)
$45,175 
 Other Income
$46,647 
 Total Income
$91,822 
 Expenses
$86,448 
 Net Income
$5,374 
 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  FISCAL 2014-15
Donation Income
$167,165 
Other Income
$114,081 
Total Income
$281,246 
Expenses
$334,191 
Net Income
–$52,945 

 CAPITAL FUND
 Capital Campaign Goal
$3,500,000 
 Received
$3,393,165 
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
$286,959 
 Total Received and Pledged
$3,680,124 
 Outstanding Obligations
$35,000 
 Monthly Interest Payment
$3,025 
 Remaining Mortgage
$580,817 


 

Special offer: 

For your special donation of $200 or more before the end of this year, GPTS would be pleased to send you a complimentary copy of Dr. Ryan M. McGraw’s new book, The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen. (Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.)

Dr. McGraw, an adjunct professor at GPTS who will be joining the faculty full-time in 2015 teaching systematic theology, is a recognized expert on the Puritan theologian John Owen.





If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the "Donate" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687.

THE GPTS ADVANCEMENT INITIATIVE

From now until the end of 2015, Greenville Seminary urges you to join in our critical-needs Advancement Initiative by donating and enlisting a team of fellow supporters. Here's how it works:

Click on this link and then either select the orange DONATE TO YOUR CHARITY box to make a donation or, better yet, click on the black FUNDRAISE FOR YOUR CHARITY box to start your own peer-to-peer fund-raising campaign on behalf of GPTS. Once you have created your campaign, click on the "Manage Team" tab on your fund-raiser campaign page, then on the "Invite Team Members" box to create an e-mail message notifying your contacts about your fund-raising efforts on behalf of Greenville Seminary. In turn, they will have the opportunity to give or start a campaign of their own.


As you reach out, or even if you do not participate in this Crowdrise.com effort, we would appreciate knowing about your contacts. We are asking you to provide the names of five prospective donors from among your friends and acquaintances. To make your pledge and referrals, please fill out and submit the form here.
  
Most of all, be fervent in prayer that God would provide all that is needed for us to do what He has called us to do in this ministry which the church so badly needs in these uncommon times.

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. (The tax deduction is reduced by the fair market value of any premium received in return for a donation.) See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.

Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Spread the Word! Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, share a link to this newsletter. (Click the tiny "M" e-mail icon at the bottom of this post.) Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Ministering in Raleigh: "Full of Life, Yet Spiritually Dark"

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles featuring GPTS alumni and their current ministries. In this one, Rev. Gabriel Fluhrer, describes his work as pastor of Shiloh Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Raleigh, N.C., one of the seminary's supporting churches.

By Rev. Gabriel Fluhrer

Raleigh, N.C. is an area known for the intersection of technology and education. The Research Triangle Park, the largest conglomeration of its kind in the U.S., supports thousands of high-level tech jobs, while Duke University, The University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University are all about 30 miles from each other. Raleigh is therefore an affluent and intellectual place, at once full of life and yet spiritually dark.

Gabe Fluhrer
In May of 2012, I became the organizing pastor of Shiloh Presbyterian Church (OPC), which was then meeting at a school in Cary, N.C. Cary is about ten miles west of Raleigh, the state capital. Prior to coming to Raleigh, I finished the coursework phase of my Ph.D. at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, concentrating on apologetics. I was ordained to the gospel ministry at Second Presbyterian Church (PCA), Greenville, S.C. in 2008, where I had the privilege of serving with Dr. Richard Phillips. My wife, Callie, and I have two little girls and, by God’s amazing grace, are expecting our third in February 2015.

Irfon Hughes
Beginning as a mission work, Shiloh was officially organized as a church (particularized) in February of 2013, after extensive officer training. In April of 2014, we held our first worship service in our newly purchased and renovated building, about a mile from downtown Raleigh in the historic Five Points district. The Lord has provided many new families from diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds for Shiloh and, by God’s grace, we have experienced fairly rapid growth. Our members love to reach out to neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students. To keep pace with this growth, we hired an additional pastor to assist me in my labors. In May of 2014, we welcomed the Rev. Irfon Hughes, a long-time PCA minister who many of you will know through the Banner of Truth, to our pastoral staff. Rev. Hughes’s extensive knowledge of the Puritans, his deep piety, and his outstanding preaching have been a true benefit not only to my own soul (and those of my dear family), but to the entire congregation as well. Rev. Hughes is also a prodigious visitor, regularly checking on members at their homes, in the hospital, and at nursing homes.

Particularization Service
From the outset, we have been committed to the principles of ministry so clearly articulated by GPTS. I preach expository sermons on the Lord’s Day, both morning and evening, expounding the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament in the evening. We hold a weekly prayer meeting as well as mid-week fellowship groups, where members discuss the sermons and pray together. Our elders take the responsibility of shepherding very seriously, with the result that every family at Shiloh receives a pastoral visit in their homes at least once a year by me, and regular pastoral consultation from their shepherding elder.

GPTS equipped me not only to study at the highest level academically, but more importantly, in the greatest calling on earth, gospel ministry. Regularly I have benefited from my church history, systematic theology, and apologetics training at GPTS in the ministry here in Raleigh. Moreover, as the years go by, I am more appreciative than ever for the warm and exemplary piety of the faculty at GPTS. I bless the Lord for my training at Greenville and pray God’s richest blessings on her!


* * * * *

Shiloh's Invitation to Fellowship:


“Shiloh is a place you can come and find welcome in the name of Christ. If you’ve got questions, you’ll find a safe place to ask them. If you’re brand new to Christianity, we hope you learn and grow with us. If you’re convinced, we hope you’ll join us in serving Jesus together. Simply put, we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most amazing thing in the world. We’re excited about it and we want others to know the same joy, peace, and love we have found in Christ.”