Certainty in the New Year
Many of us are facing the New Year with a good deal of uncertainty. For increasing numbers an unstable economy is creating anxiety about personal income and employment. Many in our society also face our new global realities with a deep philosophical uncertainty. The intellectual spirit of the age has eroded confidence about what we can know and, therefore, about how we should live in the coming year. Our current circumstances leave many individuals, ministries, and businesses without certainty about what 2012 holds.
In light of this I found some Bible reading during advent really helpful. I was reading Luke’s account about the arrival of the Savior and was struck by the pastoral purpose of his opening paragraph (Luke 1:1-4). He wrote a closely researched orderly account of what had, in fact, happened so that Theophilus might have certainty concerning the things he was taught (vv.3-4). The things he had been taught was what had been accomplished, according to the Apostles’ witness (v.1). Luke wrote his gospel to provide certainty about what has been accomplished in Jesus! As I continued to read through the gospel I was amazed (I know as a Westminster alumnus I shouldn’t be but I still am) and deeply satisfied at how full Jesus accomplishment of the OT promise and hope was. The promises through Isaiah, Daniel, and Malachi, promises made to Abraham, and David, realization of types in the ministries of Elijah and Elisha, to name a few were all accomplished by Jesus. And that’s before reading the other end of the Luke’s account and all that our Savior once and for all accomplished for our forgiveness in his death and resurrection. These accomplishments are things of which we can be certain according to the Scriptures!
Your redemption accomplished by Christ might not be all you can be sure of in the fluid circumstances of 2012 but if it is, it’s enough! Jesus’ accomplishment on behalf of the believer is, in fact, life. The forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace with God which Christ has accomplished, in God’s faithfulness to his promises and plan, has been the sure and certain hope of the Church through every season of poverty, hunger, weeping, and suffering, God has seen fit to allow in this age. The uncertainty of future circumstances can push our hearts and minds back to what life really is, it can turn the theology we confess into the biography we live. If we’ll embrace them by faith, the things we’ve been taught will provide a sure foundation and fountain of life. In whatever has been appointed for us is in the coming year remember and believe Jesus is certain!
 Cp. Luke 6:20-26 for Jesus’ expectation of the Church’s experience in this age.
Partnering with you for kingdom purposes,
Rev. John Currie, MAR, director of student development and alumni relations
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The Shepherd Leader, Asia
Congratulations Dr. Witmer!
The best-selling book by Rev. Dr. Timothy Witmer, The Shepherd Leader, is now available in many Asian countries with the help of Authentic Books! Dr. Witmer announced on his blog recently that, "This edition is in English but will be marketed in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait. How humbling it is to see the Lord using this work. Of course, every flock of Christ everywhere needs shepherds who will care for them. Please pray with me that the Lord will use The Shepherd Leader in these nations for his glory."
Westminster Sharpened Amarillo
Regional Alumni Representative and Westminster alumnus, Rev. Kyle Oliphint (MDiv, '99) shares his story.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17, ESV
In 1979, when I was 17 years old, God used my parents’ divorce to bring me to faith. Through the experience of the divorce, and a sudden move, God surrounded me with Christian men: my brother Scott (Rev. Dr. K. Scott Oliphint), David Brack, Steve Cairns and John Hilbelink. In His providence, this confluence of events broke my hard, rebellious heart and softened it toward Him
God Without Parts
Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God's Absoluteness
Alumnus and research fellow at the Craig Center for the Study of the Westminster Standards, Dr. James Dolezal (PhD '11), has recently published his doctoral dissertation, God Without Parts.
"The doctrine of divine simplicity has long played a crucial role in Western Christianity’s understanding of God. It is claimed that by denying God is composed of parts Christians are able to account for his absolute self-sufficiency and his ultimate sufficiency as the absolute Creator of the world."
Order your copy at the Westminster bookstore!
Congratulations Mr. Chun!
MDiv Student, Daeil Chun, recently won the Bavinck Institute Essay Contest!
Mr. Chun's essay was entitled "Social Darwinism, Coalitions of Abrahamic Religions, and Reformed Social Vision." The contest was in conjunction with the Bavinck Institute's conference on After 9/11/11 . . . What? Reformed Theology and the Church’s Global Mission Today.
"Finding J. Bavinck as another role model, I thought I should enter this contest for both the academic exercise and for ministry preparation as well."
Give the Gift of a Sure Foundation
There is no stronger foundation than God's Word as revealed through the Person of Jesus Christ.
For over eight decades, Westminster Theological Seminary has stood on the inerrant Word of God as the only surety for interpreting all of life. Now, Westminster presents the Sure Foundation Gift Set, featuring two DVDs celebrating God's unchanging Word: KJB: The King James Bible—The Book that Changed the World and Science and Faith: God and Materialism Conference DVD.
Click here for more information.
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J. Cuzzolina, MDiv, 2005
Director of Communications