Thursday, March 6, 2014

Special Events Highlight Conference Week

Greenville Seminary's Spring Theology Conference is just around the corner, and this year a number of related events will enhance the popular annual event:

  • On the eve of the conference, Monday night, March 10, the seminary is hosting a banquet gala honoring retired Professor Dr. Morton H. Smith.
  • On Tuesday morning, two special pre-conference lectures are being offered by Dr. O. Palmer Robertson, who is also the keynote speaker at the Monday evening banquet.
  • A one-hour lunch for prospective GPTS students will be hosted by the Student Body Association and the seminary's recruiting office at 11:15 a.m. in the Student Commons.
  • From Tuesday afternoon through Thursday mid-day, the conference itself will be held, with a distinguished slate of speakers exploring "God's Works of Providence."
  • Youth Fellowship activities, Tuesday, Mar. 11.
  • Wednesday, 4:45 p.m. — Catered dinner for registered conference attendees at the Student Commons.
The Monday night banquet, beginning at 7 p.m., will be held at the Westin Poinsett Hotel's Poinsett Ballroom. Reservations are now closed. Dress is formal or semi-formal. The evening will also feature a silent auction supporting the new Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology. Special music will be provided by concert harpist Sarah Northrop. The Westin Hotel is located at 120 S. Main St. in downtown Greenville, S.C. Guests may use the valet parking option ($15) or self-park at the Poinsett Garage (access at Court and McBee streets) directly behind the hotel ($3).

The Tuesday morning lectures (9:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) by Dr. Robertson will address "The Flow of the Psalms." The lectures will be held in the Logos Theater auditorium at the Academy of Arts directly behind the seminary (200 E. Main St.). Parking is available in the lot behind the seminary. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The prospective student lunch provides an opportunity for interested students to meet President Joseph Pipa, other faculty members and current students. Prospective students may also attend available classes on Monday and Tuesday. These include:

  • Monday, 1-4 p.m.  —  Hebrew Exegesis (Dr. Shaw)
  • Monday, 1-4 p.m.  —  Ecclesiology and Polity  (Dr. McGraw)
  • Monday, 1-4 p.m.  —  Modern Church History  (Dr. Willborn)
  • No classes Monday evening.
  • Tuesday, 8:30-10:10 a.m. — Eschatology  (Dr. Pipa)

The Youth Fellowship activities will be held after the Tuesday evening conference lecture (approx. 9 p.m.) at the Student Commons at the seminary, 200 E. Main St., Taylors, S.C. The evening will include fellowship, games and refreshments and is hosted by Pastor Fred Hofland (contact at 910-833-3557).

The conference will be held this year at Grace Baptist Church, 5020 Old Spartanburg Rd., Taylors, S.C. This is a change of venue from previous years, due to building renovations at our usual location. Grace Baptist Church has two parking lots. Conference-goers are encouraged to use the lot west (right) of the church to avoid traffic congestion at the busy intersection in front of the church. (See photo below.)

A bookstore will again be provided for conference-goers in the lower level Fellowship Hall of the Education Wing of the church. (See photo below). A small exhibit area for vendors and a snack bar will also be located in that area. Visit the GPTS informational booth and lounge there.

The roster of conference speakers and their topics includes:
  • Dr. Derek Thomas, distinguished visiting professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Topic: "Providence and the 'Middle Knowledge': A Question of 'Now You See It, Now You Don't."
  • Dr. Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich. Topic: "The Heidelberg Catechism: Its Gripping History and Teaching on Providence." Dr. Beeke will also preach during Tuesday's free public evening service on the subject, "The Definition and Beauty of Providence."
  • Pastor Benjamin Miller, 2005 GPTS graduate and pastor of Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Huntington, N.Y. Topic: "Beautiful in Its Time: A Preacher's Journey through the Mists of Providence."
  • Dr. James N. Anderson, associate professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary–Charlotte. Topic: "Calvinism & the Origin of Sin"
  • Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr., president of Greenville Seminary. Topic: "The Devil Made Me Do It." Dr. Pipa will also speak during the Wednesday evening free public service. Topic: "Providence or Fatalism." 
  • Dr. James McGoldrick, professor of church history at GPTS. Topic: "Calling All Christians: Calvin's Doctrine of Vocation."
  • Dr. Benjamin Shaw, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at GPTS. Topic: "Just a Lot of Noise: Providence and the Problem of Evil."
The Tuesday and Wednesday evening lectures are free and open to the public. They will also be streamed live on

The Wednesday evening barbecue dinner will be held at the Student Commons, catered by Bucky's BBQ. This is the only official conference meal this year. Guests are responsible for other meals during the conference period. A number of restaurants are located conveniently near Grace Baptist Church.

GPTS Student to Speak at Prison Ministry Event

Mae and Lowell Ivey
GPTS student Lowell Ivey will speak in Indiana March 20 about his experiences and conversion in while he was in solitary confinement at a Texas prision. Mr. Ivey will speak at a fund-raising dinner for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, a prison educational ministry. The dinner will be held at Community United Reformed Church in Schererville, Ind.

Mr. Ivey is a third-year student at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina and a licentiate in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He was converted in a solitary confinement cell at the Estelle High-Security Unit in Huntsville, Texas.

As a member of a white supremacist prison gang, he was not looking for Christ. But one night, while scanning the radio dial, he heard a program called "Here Comes the Light." That night the light of the Gospel pierced his sin-stained heart. Through faith in Christ and repentance, he was made a new creation.

Though he had never heard of the Reformed faith, he knew that it was only by the grace of God that his heart had been changed. Over a period of nine years, he studied the Scriptures and spent his time reading sound literature and sharing his faith with other prisoners.

During this time, Mr. Ivey also began corresponding with Rev. Nathan Brummel, who became a mentor and a close friend. After Mr. Ivey's release in 2009, Rev. Brummel encouraged him to begin a course of seminary study. He hopes to graduate from seminary in May 2015. Mr. Ivey and his wife Mae, a talented artist and native of Brazil, have an infant daughter, Geneva.

(Source: Bound Yet Free, Feb. 2014 newsletter of Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary)

Library Adds Five New Special Collections

By Andy Wortman
GPTS Librarian

In an effort to provide better support for our seminary’s Ladies Fellowship and some of our distinctive classes, the GPTS Smith-Singer Library has created some special collections (including books, as well as audio/visual materials) for the following:

Ladies Fellowship: Items on female piety, the calling of a godly wife and mother, hospitality, the challenges of being a pastor’s wife, issues that often arise in counseling, etc.

Christian Education: Items for use in family worship, Sunday School, catechesis, and family reading (e.g., curriculum material, studies of the Westminster Shorter Catechism or Heidelberg Catechism, Bible story books, works on church history, etc.). These are mainly for review so that our students can see what materials are available and evaluate them for future use in their own homes or in the church.

Creation: Items critiquing evolution, theistic evolution, and progressive creationism; works on the history of the interaction between Christianity and science; and the most representative materials that advocate various non-literal views of creation. 

Islam: Items discussing outreach to Muslims as well as items from an Islamic perspective or critical of Islam. Items tracing the history of the interaction between Islam and Christianity will also be considered (e.g., materials about the “Insider Movement”).

New Special Collections Section
Cults: Primary works advocating various cultic doctrines (Mormonism, etc.) and works critiquing them. This collection was started by a generous donation of Mormon primary source material from one of our donors. It primarily supports the course that we offer on the Cults (or “Christianity and Its Competitors”), taught by Dr. McGoldrick.

The items in these collections are not ones that we would normally purchase using the library’s general book fund. They do, however, provide support for our curriculum and overall mission in important ways. If you would like to contribute financially toward the purchase of books for one of these collections, please note which collection you would like to support and send your donation to the attention of the Development Office. If you have specific questions about the collections or would like to donate materials that can potentially be used in one of these collections, please contact the Librarian (Andy Wortman).

Financial Report for February 2014

The tables below show our overall financial condition as of the end of February 2014. Unrestricted general fund donations in February of $46,302 from churches and individuals were $15,171 below the $61,473 February budget for these types of unrestricted contributions. Expenses of $77,586 were $10,416 below the $88,002 budgeted for expenses. 

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.

Donation Income (unrestricted)$46,302
Other Income$47,253
Total Income$93,555
Net Income$9,505

Donation Income$511,019
Other Income$214,945
Total Income$725,964
Net Income$36,891

Capital Campaign Goal*$3,500,000
Long-term Pledges Outstanding$569,975
Total Received and Pledged$3,844,783
Outstanding Obligations$35,000
Monthly Interest Payment$3,500
Remaining Mortgage$691,442

*Although the formal fund-raising campaign goal has been more than realized when combining receipts to date with pledges outstanding, additional funds are needed to amortize the balance of our mortgage.

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate Online" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687. 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 or our website. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Dr. Pipa Discusses God's Works of Providence

Greenville Seminary President Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr. addressed a nationwide radio audience on February 25th on the monumental and mysterious subject of the Providence of God.

Appearing on the syndicated Janet Mefferd Show, Dr. Pipa discussed the subject on the eve of the 2014 Spring Theology Conference whose theme is "God's Works of Providence." The conference will be held March 11-13 at Grace Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. Pre-registration closed March 7, but registrations at the door are still possible.

Listen to Dr. Pipa's segment of the Janet Mefferd Show by clicking the "Play in Popup" or "Download" links below:

Hour 3 - Dr. Joseph Pipa talks about the providence of God.

Confessing Our Hope Podcast

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. New programs are now available for listening or download at Among them:
  • #55 – Calvinism and Original Sin In this broadcast we speak with Dr. James Anderson on a topic he was schedule to address during the GPTS Spring Theology Conference.

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

Pray with Us

"The power of prayer is not resident in the prayer itself or in those praying, but in the eternal purpose of God that incorporates our prayer for His ends. Prayer does work, not as an outside influence but in purposed congruence in God's eternal plan." — Stanley D. Gale, in byFaith.

  • Pray for blessings on the 2014 Spring Theology Conference scheduled for March 11-13. Pray that many would come to learn anew of the mighty providences of God.
  • Ask God to prepare the way for senior students who are seeking internships, pastoral calls, and other avenues of ministry following their 2014 graduation.
  • Pray for Dr. Anees Zaka, adjunct faculty member who teaches our courses in Islam. Dr. Zaka has experienced a heart attack and is not able to travel. Pray for the seminary administration as it seeks to identify a replacement teacher.
  • Pray that God will abundantly supply the seminary's financial needs and bless and prosper all those who may be led to give in support of this work in God's Kingdom.
  • Continue to implore God to open the final steps of the way for the wife and children of one of our foreign students who have managed to make their way out of danger in their native land, travel through three neighboring counties and are soon to embark on their journey to the United States. 
  • On-going health concerns: Remember GPTS custodian John Jolly in prayer as he continues to struggle with knee pain. Please continue in prayer for Betty McGoldrick, wife of Professor James McGoldrick, as she continues to deal with her pain and disabilities.