January 2017

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Founding Was In His Blood.

broomall_wickWick Broomall, Jr. was born on this day, January 31, 1902 to parents Wick Broomall, Sr. and his wife, Annie Nixon Broomall. Their son was educated at Maryville College, graduating in 1925 and then preparing for the ministry by attending Princeton Theological Seminary, from 1925-1929. Loraine Boettner was attending Princeton at that same time. Wick earned the Th.B. degree in 1928 while concurrently earning an M.A. from Princeton University, and he then earned the Th.M. degree in 1929. That was the year that was marked by the reorganization of Princeton Seminary, a change in the governance of the school which allowed modernists to take control and a change which drove conservatives like Robert Dick Wilson, J. Gresham Machen, O.T. Allis, and several other professors to resign in order to start Westminster Theological Seminary.

By August of 1929, Wick was ordained by Birmingham Presbytery and he briefly served as stated supply for the PCUS church in Montevallo, Alabama, 1929-30, before taking a post teaching at the Evangelical Theological College, 1930-32 (this school was renamed Dallas Theological Seminary in 1936). Returning to Birmingham, he pastored the Handley Memorial church, 1933-37 while also serving as the founding President Birmingham School of the Bible (now Southeastern Bible College).

Broomall_Wick_02Rev. Broomall also served churches in Georgia and South Carolina and taught at Columbia Bible College, 1938-51, before transferring his credentials into the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and taught at Erskine Theological Seminary, 1952-58, then was received back into the PCUS and pastored the Westminster Presbyterian church in Augusta, Georgia, 1958-69. While serving as one of the founding faculty at the Atlanta School of Biblical Studies, 1971-75, he was also pastor of the PCUS church in Sparta, Georgia, 1972-75, and as one of the founding fathers of the PCA, led the Sparta church in becoming one of the founding churches of the new denomination.

The author of a number of books and articles, Rev. Broomall was also a founding member of the Evangelical Theological Society, well-known among their number. On February 5, 1976, he was called home to his Lord, at the age of 74.

Words to Live By:
In 1938, an article by Rev. Broomall, on the subject of regeneration, appeared in The Evangelical Student. This would have been published just as he began his tenure at the Columbia Bible College, and may be among his first published works.

“Much is being said and written in our modern age about the fruits of Christianity. The so-called social gospel of bankrupt Modernism is nothing less than a vain attempt to get the fruits of Christianity without the one essential root that alone can produce the desired fruits. The root that we are referring to is what the Bible calls the new birth or regeneration. The sterility and barrenness of present-day Modernism is to be found in the fact that Modernists have largely denied that man as he is needs a radical change in his nature. They have said so many nice things about our sinful Adamic nature, and have dressed it up with so many refinements and cultural embellishments, that they have completely covered up the facct that man’s nature is essentially evil and is absolutely incapable of producing the desired fruits. One does not need to hear or read many sermons in order to be convinced that the doctrine of regeneration as taught in the Word of God is both denied and ignored today.”

[excerpted from “The Christian Doctrine of Regeneration,” The Evangelical Student, 13.1 (Jan. 1938) 15-19.]

Please keep Dr. Jay Adams in your prayers. He is 88 today, and it was reported recently that his health has been poor.

Competent to Counsel
by Rev. David T. Myers

You wouldn’t think that it was so, but many theological seminaries in the past which had at their calling that of training Christian workers in the church, placed little or no emphasis on pastoral counseling.  As a result, so often ministers of the gospel went out into the church world with this gaping hole in their preparation.  This was the case with Jay E. Adams.   He had the experience of having a man approach him one Sunday in obvious distress.  Adams, by his own admission, was unable to help him.  When the individual died a month later, the young minister resolved in prayer to become a better counselor.  A lot of pastors can empathize with Jay Adams in this case.

Jay Adams was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 30, 1929.  About fifteen years later, he was born again when a friend gave him a copy of the New Testament.  After an undergraduate degree from John Hopkins University, he earned degrees from Reformed Episcopal Seminary and Temple University.  A doctorate degree from the University of Missouri in Speech, not counseling,  as many mistakenly think, was earned later.  Adding to these educational degrees was practical experience in two congregations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  It was at his first congregation that the illustration of the distressed man, who  had been told that he had a short time to live, occurred on that Sunday.

All attempts from books and course studies to find some help in  counseling, failed for the young minister.  The reason was simply in that they  all originated in non-biblical approaches to the topic.  In fact, Adams began to effectively apply the Word of God to specific situations in the congregation.  That procedure began to bear fruits in people’s lives.

A turning point came in 1965 when Adams partnered with O. Hobard Mower.  Though not a believer, this person differed from all modern day psychologists by emphasizing the need to confess deviant behavior and assume responsibility for one’s actions.  In other words, the need to acknowledge their own failures to meet the problems of life was the issue.  Now Jay Adams, as a Christian, recognized that God wasn’t in the picture in this approach of Mower.  But even with that caveat, Adams watched as the majority of patients in two mental institutions were emptied by the team of counselors.

What Jay Adams did was to take the the secular methodology and put it through the sieve of biblical revelation, elevating the whole approach toward Christian counseling.  All of this was encapsulated in the best selling book, “Competent to Counsel” in 1970.  Readers were reminded of the Bible verse “And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another.” (Romans 15:14 NASV)  And the modern Biblical counseling movement, of which Jay Adams is the “father,” was on its way.

Words to Live By:
“Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3 NASV)

For further reading:
The earliest published work by Rev. Jay E. Adams that we could locate was titled “Does God Disown His Children?,” a brief exploration of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, which appeared in the May 1955 issue of The National Missions Reporter (vol. 8, no. 4, p. 13-14). His first major publication was Realized Millennialism, a self-published work issued from St. Louis, 87 pages in length. This was essentially a defense of the amillennial position, though it caused some controversy, as some saw it as an attack upon the premillennial position. But Dr. Adams real mark upon the world came with the 1970 publication Competent to Counsel, and it is safe to say that most know him today for his work in the field of Christian counseling, specifically for the approach which he has termed nouthetic counseling. His ministerial credentials have been with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church since December 5, 1989.

Also on this date:
January 30, 1912 marks the birthdate of Francis A. Schaeffer. [thus making this year the 104th anniversary of his birth.]

“To God’s Glory” : A Practical Study of a Doctrine of the Westminster Standards.
by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn

THE SUBJECT : Preparation for the Lord’s Day.

THE BIBLE VERSES TO READ : Lev. 21:3; Ps. 92:1-2; Luke 4:16; Matt. 12:11-12; Jer. 17:21-22.

REFERENCE TO THE STANDARDS : Confession – Ch. XXI; Larger Catechism – Q. 116 & 117; Shorter Catechism – Q. 59 & 60.

Let us use an illustration that might help us. The family is gathered together in church on the Lord’s Day. The service is about to start. The Pastor asks a question, asks it even before the Invocation. He asks, “How many of you have taken time to prepare your souls for this, the Lord’s Day?”

Is this question a pertinent question? Is it a Biblical question? The answer to both questions has much to do with our lives before our Lord. Our God made the Sabbath holy and it is to be sanctified by man by man’s keeping it holy.

There has been much said and written regarding the keeping of the Lord’s Day and it is good and proper to do so. There is a real need of such today for too many professing believers in our country are guilty of breaking it time and time again. The ways of professing believers have changed radically in the past forty to fifty years in this regard.

Today there are too many works done on the Lord’s Day that are not the works of mercy as taught by our Lord. Many believers feel they have accomplished much for the Lord if they go to God’s House on Sunday morning. After fulfilling this they feel free to use the rest of the day in any way they see fit, usually in all sorts of recreation.

What has happened to God’s children in this generation to change their attitudes towards the Lord’s Day? Possibly the difficulty is that they do not think in terms of preparing themselves for the Lord’s Day. Today we hear very little teaching regarding this aspect of the Lord’s Day. There is much taught regarding Sunday being the Lord’s Day, but very little taught about preparing for the Lord’s Day. It might well be there would be less breaking of the Lord’s Day if there was a Biblical preparation for it.

How can we best prepare for the Lord’s Day? What things would be important for us to do in order that we might be in the condition the Lord would have us, as we come to His church on His Day? The following list might be helpful as we seek to live to His glory in this area of our lives:

1. We should dedicate the day to the Lord beforehand and rejoice at the prospect of it. It is a day He has prepared for us, it is truly His day, it is not our day. We should seek, by His grace, to make of it a special day of blessing to our souls.

2. We should use a good portion of the time on Saturday evening for a spiritual retreat. This should be a time of going into our “prayer closet” and there study God’s Word. Possibly this could be on the Sunday School lesson or on some other passage that has caught our attention and needs special study. Or, we could call the Pastor and ask him what the Scripture reading is for his sermon and study this. We could use the time in our “closet” for prayer, for filling our hearts with the things that be of God. The time could be used for confession and repenting of sin. These things that would choke the Word the next day should be faced before our Lord in all honesty.

3. We should use some time for meditation. Spending time thinking on God and the things of God is always helpful to our spiritual lives. “Be still, and know that I am God” is an important admonition in God’s Word. We can think on His works, His holiness, on the glorious fact of redemption, on the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Time spent in such pursuits will be honored by Him for they are all to His glory.

4. We should take some time to pray for the Pastor so he will be prepared to teach and preach God’s Word. The Pastor is preparing for a hard day, a day of awesome responsibility. We should hold him up before the Throne of Grace, praying that he will be a fit vessel for the Master’s use.

It is time that God’s people, those whom He has saved, prepare themselves for the Lord’s Day and its activities. As the people of Israel had to wash their bodies before the law was presented to them, so should the believers in Christ prepare their souls for the Lord’s Day (Ex. 19:10).

Our Lord has commanded us to spend one day of seven in rest from all unnecessary work. Certainly, we recognize that what He commands He expects us to obey. Further, if we do not obey in this regard He has promised we shall reap what we sow. If we do not submit to Him in this area He will cause us to submit and many times His methods are not to our liking. And if we prepare for it correctly, we will be more prone to observe it correctly.

Many years ago, as children, we learned a little poem that is filled with Biblical principles:

“A Sabbath well spent,
Brings a week of content,
And strength for the toils of the morrow.
But a Sabbath profaned,
What’er may be gained,
Is a certain forerunner of sorrow.”

EDWARD PORTER HUMPHREY, D.D., L.L.D., was the eldest son of Rev. Dr. Herman and Sophia Port Humphrey, and was born in Fairfield, Conn., January 28, 1809, and died in Louisville December 9, 1886.

He was from one of the oldest English-American families.  The first of his ancestors in England were those who followed William the Conqueror from Normandy in 1066.  Dr. Herman Humphrey, the father of Dr. E. P. Humphrey, was for twenty-two years president of Amherst College.  One can trace in the father’s character and career a marked similarity to the character and career of his eldest son, the Rev. Dr. E. P. Humphrey.  Both were eminently successful in the pulpit and in their services among the people.  Both were distinguished teachers, excelling in clearness of mind and in lucidity of statement.  Both were wide in their sympathies, counting nothing beyond them when their fellow-men were concerned.  Each after retiring from active service lived to enjoy the honors and esteem of those whom they had served so faithfully, and yet each was, to the quiet close of an eventful life, untiring in all the labors of which his constitution was capable. One might write of Dr. E. P. Humphrey as was written of his father, “As the years went on the position accorded him in the town was phenomenal.

In connection with many families his relationship was truly patriarchal.  Their homes, their tables, their gardens with all they contained of bounty or fruitage were as open to him as if each had been his own.  The sick and the dying watched eagerly for his coming, and for the comfort of his ministrations, and when some heavy sorrow fell with crushing weight upon a household the most natural cry seemed to be: `Send for Doctor Humphrey.’”

Dr. Edward Porter Humphrey’s youth was spent in Connecticut. He was prepared for college at the academy in Amherst, Massachusetts, and in 1828 he graduated with honor from Amherst College.  In 1831-32 he was principal of the academy at Plainfield, Connecticut.  During this time he pursued his theological studies, and in 1833 graduated at the Andover Theological Seminary.  His inclination led him to begin his ministry in the Southwest, and during the year 1834 he labored in connection with the Presbyterian church in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1835 he became pastor of the Second Presbyterian church in this city.  He gave himself completely up to work in the interest of his church for eighteen years, and his influence was felt, not only in its rapid and permanent growth, but also in a marked degree throughout the city, and in the entire denomination to which he belonged.

Dr. Humphrey, as early as 1852, was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the then Old School Presbyterian Church, and his sermon, called “Our Theology,” preached at Charleston, S. C., as retiring Moderator, was circulated by the Presbyterian Board of Publication for many years after.  Dr. Humphrey preceded Dr. Stuart Robinson as pastor of the old Presbyterian church on Third street, between Green and Walnut, which was afterward converted into a theater, and is now known as the Metropolitan building.  His eloquence, when pastor of this church from 1835 to 1853, won him great fame.  His discourse at the dedication of the Cave Hill cemetery, in 1848, was rich in eloquence and classical learning, and strong in that faith in immortality which he taught at all time.

In 1852 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Hanover College, Indiana.  In 1853 he was appointed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, professor in Princeton Theological Seminary.  This he declined, but soon after he accepted the professorship of Church History in the Theological College in Danville, Ky.  It was during the latter years of his residence in Danville, 1851-66, that the exigencies occasioned by the bitter and disastrous civil strife called into prominence many of his distinguishing characteristics.  Among these were his unwavering loyalty to the National Government, together with a magnanimity and conciliation of spirit which were potent influences in hastening the return of concord and amity, both in society and in the church. In 1866, in response to an urgent appeal, he returned to Louisville to take temporary charge of a new church made up of many members of the old Second Church, of which he had been pastor for eighteen years.  The new organization was called the College Street church.  His health, which had begun to fail, rapidly improved on his return to Louisville, and he became permanent pastor of the new church.  Under his ministry it became one of the largest and most influential congregations in the city.  In 1871 his Alma Mater, Amherst College, conferred the degree of L.L. D., on him.  He continued his labors as pastor and preacher until 1880, when he retired from the active duties of his pulpit and was succeeded in the new and handsome church, which his congregation had built, by Rev. Dr. Christie.

After his retirement he engaged in literary and theological work, and spent the remainder of his life among the people to whom he had devoted himself in his early manhood.  The positions which Dr. Humphrey occupied demanded rare qualities and gifts, and with these he was peculiarly endowed.  His preaching, so distinctive as a simple and earnest presentation of the Gospel, enhanced in attractiveness by convincing argument and impassioned eloquence, made him distinguished as an ambassador of Christ.  As a theological teacher his knowledge of history, sacred and profane, and his unique methods of imparting truth not only stimulated the imagination of his pupils, but gave them the philosophy of the subject and stores of definite information.  His life covered a period in the Presbyterian church in which great questions of policy and theology were considered, and his power in the discussion of vital subjects, together with the clear and calm judgment he brought to bear upon them, impressed itself with controlling influence upon the great assemblies of the church.

His power was always the greater because of his kindly nature.  In advocating measures which seemed to him of great importance one felt that his fervor was inspired by the strength and courage of his convictions rather than by any personal considerations.  He was a man greatly beloved by his ministerial brethren and all who knew him, and while zealously devoted to the Presbyterian organization known as the “Old School” so long as it remained separate, he was no less earnest in his work for the unity of the Presbyterian church throughout the land, and foremost in promoting it in special crisis in later life.  His theology was always conservative and fully deserved the eminence be attained by a long life devoted to a cause he loved.  Dr. Humphrey was of slender figure and of about medium height.  His face was expressive of high intelligence.

His general appearance, in spite of his stature, was striking.  His voice, until near the end, was strong and clear, but even as he advanced in years he still retained his powers as an orator.  His last few years were spent with the family of his youngest son, but he was ready on all occasions to assist with his knowledge and experience all who applied to him.  He took the liveliest interest in the College Street Presbyterian church, of which he had been pastor, and the members of that congregation are among those who will most keenly feel his loss.  His last public appearance was at the funeral of the late James F. Hubner, when he assisted in conducting the service.

Excerpted from Kentucky: A History of the State, by Perrin, Battle, and Kniffin, 8th ed. (1888). — http://www.rootsweb.com/~kygenweb/kybiog/jefferson/humphrey.ep.txt 

Birth of William Henry Green

William Henry Green was born on the twenty-seventh day of January, 1825; born into a family which possessed traditions and ideals, born an heir to definite high opportunities of life, and born a child of the covenant. Though his family had ancestral ties to Princeton, William was sent to the classical school in Easton, and from there he entered Lafayette College at the age of sixteen. “He was a sunny-faced, bright-eyed, pure-minded boy in college, and led a blameless and winsome life.” By the time he was twenty, he had settled on serious study of theology. Upon graduation from seminary, he was invited to assist in teaching and spent the next two years teaching Hebrew grammar, before answering a call to pastor the Central Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 1849-1851.

That pastorate was terminated in 1851 when the General Assembly elected him to the chair of Biblical and Oriental Literature in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, when he was but twenty-six years old. He began those labors on August 28th of that year and continued there until his death in 1900. Once during his Princeton career he prayerfully considered leaving for missions work in India. Some fourteen years later he also declined to serve as president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). He remained where he was needed.

When he began his work as Professor of Biblical and Oriental Literature, his faculty colleagues were Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge and Joseph Addison Alexander. Dr. Samuel Miller had died the year before, in 1850, and Dr. Archibald Alexander was soon called home to glory on October 22, 1851, three weeks after Professor Green’s inauguration. “In outward appearance he was tall, straight, strongly knit, energetic; with brown hair, firm mouth, piercing blue eyes that looked out from under heavy brows; dignified in manner, reserved, modest, at times almost to diffidence, earnest, reverent, and without self-seeking; thorough in his own work and rigorous in the recitation room, meeting his classes with unfailing regularity, going straight from the lecture-room to the study, evidently swayed by the sense of duty. These characteristics, apart from the external change seen in growing grayness of the hair, whitening of the beard and stoop of the shoulders due to advancing age and years of study, marked him to the end.”

Professor Green brought to the study of Biblical literature a sincere faith in the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God. He came to the work of criticism “convinced by the most abundant evidence that these Scriptures are the infallible Word of God.” We are not left in the dark as to the nature of that “abundant evidence.”  It was the common evidence which has convinced the Church: the claim of the Scriptures themselves to have divine authority, the heavenliness of their matter, the efficacy of their doctrine, their adaptation exactly to meet the needs of sinful men, the fulfillment of their prophecies, the constant appeal of prophets and apostles to historic objective revelations of Almighty God as the basis of their work, the attributes of Christ, and the persuasion which the Holy Spirit produces in the heart that the Scriptures are divinely true. These considerations and others of like character constituted the abundant evidence.

Shortly after Professor Green had entered upon his work, the first low mutterings of a coming debate regarding the origin of the Old Testament were heard. The storm burst in its full fury toward the end of the 1870’s. The new theory let loose at that time could not maintain itself without first ridding itself of much of this “abundant evidence;” and when Dr. Green saw that it required, to quote his own pregnant statement, “a new doctrine of the province of reason, a new doctrine of inspiration, a new doctrine of the evidential value of miracles, a new doctrine of the fulfillment of prophecy, a new doctrine of the infallibility of the Bible,” he saw that the new theory bears on its face the marks of desperation. He suspected that its principles are wrong or its methods perverted. And he said in his own modest way : “There can be no impropriety in subjecting novelties to careful scrutiny, before we adopt conclusions at war with our most cherished convictions and with what we hold to be well-established truths.”

To a large body of earnest scholars, Dr. Green has done yet more than vindicate the scholarliness of conservative criticism.  In their opinion, after they have weighed all the evidence adduced by both parties to the controversy, he has demonstrated in general and along certain lines in particular, that the Bible’s own account of itself satisfies the actual phenomena involved better, to say the least, than does any other theory, with less constraint upon text and exegesis and the acknowledged course of Hebrew history; that it is further supported by unbroken and unanimous testimony reaching back from Christ and His apostles into the earliest literature, and that it and it alone requires no rejection and no minimizing of well-ascertained truths.

Not long after Dr. Green’s death, a pastor of wide experience, a close friend of Dr. Green’s for more than fifty years, said of him, “A more humble and holy-hearted man I never knew.” Side by side with this tribute to his humility and holiness of heart there comes to mind another characteristic of Dr. Green : his sense of sin and his apprehension of the grace and amazing love of God in Christ…It was this that made him frequently rise very early in the morning that he might enjoy a season of undisturbed communion with God. It was this that sent him daily to the Scriptures for devotional reading, outside of his professional work. (He once alluded to his practice of reading the Book of Psalms through devotionally, generally once a month.) It was this that sank personal ambition and made him labor for the glory of God alone. It was this that made him feel his own need for that system of theology, known as Calvinistic, Augustinian, Pauline, which he found in the Bible. It was this that added such strength to his intellectual faith in the fact of a supernatural revelation.

Words to Live By: It was also said of Dr. Green that “He rose to the dignity of the great issues at stake, and conducted his debate with truth and honor. He was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, when He was reviled, reviled not again.” Speaking of Dr. Green, “The pure-minded boy had become a man advanced in years, and he was still the simple-hearted child of God. He was an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.”

We live in an age when truth is under assault from all sides, and must be defended. Yet we can and must stand for truth in a way that observes and honors the Lord of all truth. The Lord’s work must be done in the Lord’s way. At best we are only sinful witnesses to His truth, and so we speak with humility and in love, remembering all the while that God alone is Judge. He will uphold His truth. His Word will not fail.

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