Monday 8 November 2010

Paying Tribute to a Living Preacher: Professor Ted Donnelly

It is a delight for me to write this article, in the hope that our own generation would rediscover the enormous significance of preachers and preaching for the true welfare of God's church. Calvin wrote many years ago that 'nothing is more ruinous to the Church than for God to take away faithful pastors' (Jer. I: 181). It is also true that a godly pastor must also be a preacher, one who can feed the flock of God and evangelise the lost. Sometimes people say that a man is a good pastor but he cannot preach. This kind of thinking is not the biblical pattern for the office of pastor. A pastor must be able to preach and teach!

One such living example of outstanding pastoral preaching is Professor Edward (Ted) Donnelly. While he has written two fine books, both published by the Banner of Truth Trust (Peter: Eyewitness of His Majesty and Biblical Teaching on the Doctrines of Heaven and Hell), he is best known as a preacher. I have had the joy of hearing him on a number of different occasions and in my opinion he is a 'modern day Spurgeon'. Naturally he has his own distinctive style but there is a great sense of being brought in to the presence of God when one sit's under his preaching. Many of his sermons are available on Sermon Audio:

If you are in Northern Ireland then make every effort to visit Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church to hear him in person and to worship with their delightful congregation. The church website is:

Above all, let us pray for a recovery of fine pastoral preaching in our own generation!

Monday 1 November 2010

Paying Tribute to a Living Theologian: Robert Letham

The Reformed world is often known for it's appreciation of it's rich historical heritage but perhaps it is not so well known for it's commendation of living theologians. We thank God for the lives and works of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Owen, Archibald Alexander and many others like them. But who is firmly holding the reformed torch today? I would like to draw your attention to a contemporary living theologian, one whom I know personally.

Rev Dr Robert Letham is currently the Senior Tutor in Systematic and Historical Theology at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST) and his profile can be found at this link:

A Presbyterian minister, Bob has served congregations in New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware, the latter for over 17 years. He has taught theology at London School of Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) and Reformed Theological Seminary (Washington DC/Baltimore). Married to Joan, an American, for 35 years, he has three grown children: two daughters (both married), a son and a grandson. Bob Letham has supervised me through a MTh and PhD since 2007 and therefore I have first-hand knowledge of the man I am commending. Putting this aside, in what way can his writings help the church in 2010/11?

I would like to briefly commend two of Bob's books:

The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship, Phillipsburg: P & R, 2007.

This is perhaps the finest book on the doctrine of the Trinity currently available from the reformed constitution of churches. It is an outstanding piece of scholarship, one that is historically rooted, yet connected to the doctrine of the church. In other words, this theology seeks to enrich real churches in the real world of the twenty-first century.

The Westminster Assembly: Reading It's Theology in Historical Context: Phillipsburg: P & R, 2009.

This work seeks to recover the historical context of the vital work of The Westminster Assembly. It is highly readable, informative, helpful and theological necessary.

Bob is a theologian, preacher and churchman. He has written a number of other books, which you can quickly source with a search on google or ABE books.