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

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
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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.

fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teams
Graph shows donation income vs. budget for October 2014

 Donation Income (unrestricted)
 Other Income
 Total Income
 Net Income
Donation Income
Other Income
Total Income
Net Income

 Capital Campaign Goal
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
 Total Received and Pledged
 Outstanding Obligations
 Monthly Interest Payment
 Remaining Mortgage


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.


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 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!

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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.”

Survey Shows America is Overwhelmingly Pluralistic in Religious Views

For a full graphic showing more survey results, click here.
A recent survey of Americans on the State of Theology shows a widespread departure from Christian orthodoxy and that the religion of humanism is strong in this nation.

The Theological Awareness Benchmark Survey of 3,000 adults was conducted earlier this year by LifeWay Research on behalf of Ligonier Ministries. Questions focused on seven key doctrinal areas and included a number of specific areas where Americans differ from historic and orthodox views.

The survey results show why a theological school like Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, with its unswerving commitment to historic, confessional orthodoxy and Biblical authority, is vital to revival in the church and the nation.

"While the majority of Americans believe God is perfect, the answers reveal that Americans want God on their own terms," the survey summary says. "Some results reflect healthy thinking, but many of the results show the lack of orthodox thinking about God. This is especially true of questions related to the Trinity. 1-in-5 Americans deny that Jesus is the God-man. One third of Americans think the Father is more divine than the Son. The member of the Trinity that is the least understood in the United States is the Holy Spirit. Nearly two thirds (63%) think the Holy Spirit is a force and not a person."

The majority of Americans believe humans are essentially good, even though most sin from time to time.

"One of the most troubling findings in the survey is the lack of understanding Americans have regarding sin and the total depravity of human beings," the summary says. "Only 16% agree with the doctrine that says 'People do not have the ability to turn to God on their own initiative.' Instead of acknowledging depravity, the majority of Americans believe the good in people can outweigh the bad:
  • 67% agree (even 44% of evangelicals): “Everyone sins at least a little, but most people are by nature good.”
  • 4-in-10 agree: “God loves me because of the good I do or have done.”

Less than half of Americans agree with orthodox doctrines related to the Bible, the survey shows.

"While more than 4-in-10 agree the Bible is accurate and the written word of God, a similar number believe the Bible is not true literally and is open to each person’s own interpretation. What the Bible has to say on ethical issues is blatantly rejected by 42% of those surveyed. As with the views of God, Americans, whether evangelical or not, want salvation and the Bible on their own terms."

Many Americans appear to place confidence in their own efforts for salvation rather than God’s grace.

"This is seen among 71% of Americans who agree 'an individual must contribute his/her own effort for personal salvation.' Similarly, 64% of Americans agree 'a person obtains peace with God by first taking the initiative to seek God and then God responds with grace,'” the summary says. A majority (54%) of self-identified evangelical Protestants agree with the first statement. Sixty-eight per cent of evangelicals agree with the second statement.

Ligonier founder Dr. R.C. Sproul says the survey shows "our culture is anti-theological — we are in a new dark age. These results show that we have a true mission for the church, to help the church think through and proclaim these doctrines."

Go here for a downloadable 26-page summary with full statistical details.

Addressing the Antithetical Battle of Our Time

EDITOR'S NOTE: Egyptian-born Dr. Anees Zaka is an adjunct professor at GPTS, teaching courses within our Master of Arts in Apologetics and Islam program, which has its first student enrolled this semester, Melwin Issac of India. For several years, GPTS offered a single introductory course on Islam. The new M.A. includes a variety of courses from our regular apologetics curriculum plus four courses related to Islam: Introduction to Islam, Life of Muhammad, Introduction to the Qur'an, and Exegesis of the Qur'an. (See the Academic Catalog for details and course descriptions.) These courses are taught on an "intensive" schedule full-time for a week each, as Dr. Zaka comes to campus from Philadelphia, where he pastors Church Without Walls, a ministry among Muslims. He has requested GPTS Online to publish the following open letter:

To all who love Jesus and His gospel among Muslims,

Greetings in His Name. Please be informed of the Islamic Studies program at GPTS. I have been teaching courses on Islam for some years at GPTS. My philosophy of teaching these courses is biblical and presuppositional, where the students learn to understand Islam in the light of the biblical antithesis, following Dr. Cornelius Van Til's biblical, trinitarian and covenantal apologetic.* Dr. Van Til taught us this: "It is never about winning. It is about exposing their inconsistency. God does everything else. Never forget the antithesis." This kind of teaching on "Islamics" is only found at GPTS. And I would like to do so as long as I will be able by His grace. Therefore, I appeal to all of you to take care of the cost of my courses, which is between $3,000 and $4,000, including everything such as airfare, board, room, and little salary. Teaching Islamics this way is an urgent need for the church of Christ worldwide. And GPTS is the only "reformed" seminary which allows me to teach it this way. So, please send a one-time gift to GPTS toward this cost. May the LORD guide you to do so soon.

Dr. Anees Zaka
Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies


* Van Til summarized his concept of antithesis in apologetics and epistemology as follows: 
My own proposal, therefore, for a consistently Christian methodology of apologetics is this... That we no longer make an appeal to "common notions" which the Christian and non-Christian agree on, but to the "common ground" which they actually have because man and his world are what Scripture says they are. That we ... set the non-Christian principle of the rational autonomy of man against the Christian principle of the dependence of man's knowledge on God's knowledge as revealed in the person and by the Spirit of Christ. That we claim, therefore, that Christianity alone is reasonable for men to hold...That we argue, therefore, by "presupposition."

Latest Audio: Confessing Our Hope & More

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 Newest among them:
  • #70 – Faith and Practice, segment #9. In this ninth edition of the “Faith and Practice” segment, Dr. Joseph Pipa interacts with questions from our listeners. Questions in this edition deal with the training and discipline of elders, Jacob's wrestling with God, invoking God's presence during worship services, the meaning of the Matt. 24 discourse, and much more.
  • #69 – The Faith-Shaped Life. Dr. Ian Hamilton was our guest as we discussed his book The Faith Shaped Life. Ian Hamilton has been the minister of Cambridge Presbyterian Church since 1999. Prior to that he served as minister of Loudoun Church of Scotland, Newmilns. He serves on the Board of The Banner of Truth Trust as well as on the Board of Trustees of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
  • #68 – Faith and Practice, segment #8. In this eighth edition of the “Faith and Practice” segment, Dr. Joseph Pipa interacts with questions from our listeners. Questions in this edition deal with the value of short-term missions, "Two Kingdom" theology, whether the unmarried should be ordained to church offices, does baptism save, and much more.
  • #67 – From Mission Work to Particularization. Pastor Matt Figura was our guest as we discussed the process and work involved when a mission work moves to becoming a particularized church. This was an excellent discussion.
  • #66 – Cultivating Biblical Godliness. During this program, our guest was Dr. Ryan McGraw, pastor of First Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, Calif., and adjunct professor of systematic theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The topic of discussion is a new series released by Reformation Heritage Books on the subject of godliness. Dr. McGraw is one of the contributing editors of this new series.

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 (include your name, address and email address).

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.

Dr. Ryan McGraw was recently interviewed on the nationwide Janet Mefford radio program on his signature subject, John Owen. Listen to the program here.

Much spiritual edification is also available on our SermonAudio channel. Check out our chapel service messages there, along with many other resources. In this recent powerful chapel message, alumnus Pastor Cliff Blair of Charlotte, N.C. examined the competing world operational principles of moral order and moral chaos.

Book Notes

Greenville Seminary student and supporter Dr. James Halla has recently published a book examining a Biblical approach for addressing depression. Depression through a Biblical Lens shows how turning to Christ is the first step in helping victims of depression gain victory over their problem.

James and Genell Halla
Dr. Halla and his wife Genell live in Spartanburg, S.C. where Jim practices rheumatology. Jim has authored a number of scientific  articles addressing various clinical issues encountered in the daily practice of rheumatology. He is certified by the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors as a Christian counselor and has become a fellow at NANC, training others to counsel from the Scriptures. Jim’s books were written in response to the need seen to bring God’s truth to every area of life.

"People with bad feelings and feeling-directed behavior — anger, fear, worry, depression — usually are given a psychiatric label," says Dr. Halla. "Initially, I was comfortable with that approach, but I have come to realize that people must be evaluated based on a proper understanding of the Bible. When that happens the whole person (thinking, wanting, and doing) will be considered — not just outward behavior and feelings.

"Feelings, their generation and the person’s response to them, will not be the major criteria for some label or the target for treatment, medical and otherwise," he says. "Rather, thinking and wanting that leads to bad feelings will be the target of the Christian helper-friend, pastor, counselor, and physician. Thinking, wanting, and doing – thereby feelings, will be evaluated using the filter of biblical truth." (Read more.)

An Amazon Kindle digital edition of this book is available here.

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Chad Van Dixhoorn
Long-time friend and supporter of GPTS Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn's newest book is Confessing the Faith: A Reader's Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith. 

This accessible, biblical, and thoughtful work digests years of study and teaching into bite-sized sections. Dr. Van Dixhoorn's work is historical and practical in its focus. It deliberately presents readers with more than another survey of Reformed theology; it offers a guide to a particular text, considers its original proof-texts, and seeks to deepen our understanding of each paragraph of the Confession.

The author serves as associate professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C., and as associate pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia. He has lectured during the GPTS Spring Theology Conference and heads The Westminster Assembly Project, which the seminary has endorsed.

GPTS Trustee Dr. Ian Hamilton says this about Dr. Van Dixhoorn and the book: "The author is an acknowledged expert on the history and development of the Westminster Confession. The main strength of the commentary, however, lies in the sure way Dr Van Dixhoorn unpacks the teaching of the Confession in the light of God s word and applies it with pastoral wisdom to the life of believers today. 'Tolle lege', pick up, read and sink the roots of your life into the rich soil of biblical truth.,"

Our Bucket List

GPTS is looking for a volunteer with a pressure washer and bucket crane (boom lift) to take on a cleaning job on the exterior of our seminary building. In our humid South Carolina climate, mildew growth is a common problem for property owners.

The beautiful white gable above our north-entrance columns is turning green. If you have equipment and the willingness to donate it and your time, we'd be most grateful.

Contact Property Manager Doug Watson at or 864-322-2717 ext. 301. Or fill out the volunteer form on our web site here.