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Preaching Workshop Reformed Theological College Fan the Flame

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                                                                                                                      Newsletter
Fan the Flame
The RTC’s third annual Fan the Flame
Conference is scheduled for 7-9
March, 2009.

The last two conferences proved to                                                                                                                                                                 Summer 2008/09
be inspiring events. Conferences

                                                                                             Preaching Workshop
are designed for those who are                                                                                                          works,” explored the theme, structure            the workshop he preached to a packed
thinking of future ministry. This is an                                                                                                 and purpose of the book. The writer lays         audience on the subject of “Divine
opportunity not to be missed by those                                                                                                   out the theme of Christ’s superiority            Empathy” from Hebrews 2. The next
                                                                                             The RTC’s seventh annual Preaching         in the opening paragraph. This theme
who are asking the hard questions                                                                                                                                                        morning, in what was probably the most
                                                                                             Workshop was held on 25-26                 is then developed consistently in the            challenging and provocative lecture of
about Christian service.                                                                     September. The theme, “Preaching           comparisons with major figures in the Old        the conference, he taught his hearers
                                                                                             Hebrews . . . a Better Way,” attracted a   Testament. A close look at the structure
How do you know the Lord is calling                                                                                                                                                      how to preach the warning passages in
                                                                                             record number of participants. Here        of Hebrews reveals that it reads more
you? What gifts do you need? What                                                                                                                                                        Hebrews. He began with a reminder that
                                                                                             are some of their reactions to the         like a sermon than a letter. It is in fact a
is it like to study at a theological                                                                                                                                                     preaching is the most important thing we
                                                                                             conference:                                written sermon. Like any good sermon             do. Expository preaching is the first mark
college? What are the challenges of
                                                                                              •   “Invaluable.”                         its purpose is to teach and to exhort.           of the church. In our preaching we need
the ministry? How do you best equip                                                                                                     In a second lecture Steve showed that            to warn people to work out their salvation
                                                                                              •   “Very helpful.”
yourself to be a missionary?                                                                                                            as a sermon Hebrews also consistently            with fear and trembling. Judgment
                                                                                              •   “Very good – exceptional.”
If these are the kind of questions you                                                        •   “It provided me with a framework      expounds Scripture.                              Day is coming, also for believers. In
                                                                                                  to study Hebrews.”                                                                     the Christian life we therefore need to
are asking, then this conference is for
                                                                                              •   “I have seen the superiority of                                                        develop a healthy sense of what Mike
you!                                                                                                                                                                                     called “Judgment Day integrity.” This is
                                                                                                  Christ in a fresh way.”
Please contact the RTC for further                                                                                                                                                       where the warning passages of Hebrews
                                                                                              •   “Hebrews has always been one of
details.                                                                                          my favourite books of the Bible. So                                                    come in. They are clear reminders that
                                                                                                  I was greatly encouraged to hear it                                                    Judgment Day is coming. They are real
Churches have been known to                                                                       preached and taught. It reinforced                                                     warnings and not just hypothetical.
sponsor their interested members to                                                               my reasons for loving it.”                                                             Hebrews is not alone in these warnings.
attend these conferences.                                                                     •   “I long to continually make                                                            We therefore need to recapture a sense of
                                                                                                  progress as a preacher. I believe                                                      godly fear.
So maybe now is a good time to speak                                                              these workshops help me
to your minister or elder.                                                                        progress.”
                                                                                                                                                                      Dr Murray Capill
                                                                                              •   “Keep up the good work. The
                                                                                                  standard is consistently high, and    In a further development of this
                                                                                                  is just what is needed for (a) in-    perspective RTC Principal, Murray Capill,
                                                                                                  service training and (b) a boost to   examined Hebrews’ homiletical features.
                                                                                                  further enthuse for the preaching     It is written in a very oral style and




                                  Newsletter
                                                                                                  ministry.”                            takes about 45 minutes to read aloud
                                                                                              •   “If I was aware that these            in English. What makes it such a good
                                                                                 POSTAGE          preaching conferences were for        sermon? Firstly the preacher knows his
                                                                                                  lay people as well I would have       people well and identifies with them.
                                                                                                                                        He ministers to their pastoral needs                                        Rev Michael Raiter
                                                                                   PAID           attended more than just this one!”
                                                                Summer 2008/09                                                          and concerns. Secondly, his message is           Recordings of the Preaching Workshop
                                                                                             The sessions began where they              grounded in substantial biblical truth.          addresses are available in MP3 format.
                                                                                 AUSTRALIA   should have – with the Old Testament       The doctrine that is taught and applied          Disks with all the addresses and handouts
                                                                                             background. In Hebrews Christ is           is textually based. Thirdly, varied and          are available from the RTC for $25.00.
                                                                                             compared to the angels, Moses,             pointed application is made throughout
                                          PRINTED MATTER ONLY
                                                                                             Aaron, the Mosaic covenant and the         the message. Hebrews is a skillful blend         The current issue of Vox Reformata carries
                                                                                             old covenant heroes of faith. Old          of warning, challenge and comfort.               the title “Handbook to Hebrews.” It has
                                                                                             Testament lecturer Alastair McEwen         Finally, the message is effective because        all the conference lectures by RTC faculty
                                                                                             reminded his audience just how             of its deliberate rhetorical power. At the       members. Vox is available from the
                                                                                             majestic Old Testament religion was. It    close of the conference Murray preached          College at $15.00.
   If undeliverable, return to:
                                                                                             was attended by glory and splendour.       from Hebrews 12:18-29. His message
                                                                                             Only when we realize this can we fully     was pastoral, biblical, practical and                  Reformed Theological College
    Reformed Theological College                                                             appreciate the superiority of Christ.      rhetorical. As such it was a sermon in the                125 Pigdons Road
    125 Pigdons Road                                                                                                                    finest Hebrews tradition!                                 Waurn Ponds Victoria 3216
    Waurn Ponds Victoria 3216                                                                This insight set the stage for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Australia
    Australia                                                                                first lecture by Steve Voorwinde,          Our guest speaker was the Principal of
                                                                                             who teaches New Testament at the           the Bible College of Victoria, the Rev.                   Tel: +61 (03) 5244 2955
                                                                                             RTC. His address, “Hebrews – How it        Mike Raiter. On the Thursday evening of                   Eml: admin@rtc.vic.edu.au
                                                                                                                                                Overseas Trip
                                                                                                                                                From 23 October to 15 November
                                                                                                                                                our Principal, Vice-Principal and the
                                                                                                                                                Chairman of the Board, the Rev. Bill
                                                                                                                                                Bosker, took a trip that circled the
                                                                                                                                                globe. They went to the United States,
                                                                                                                                                London and Israel in an effort to find a
                                                                                                                                                model for theological education that
                                                                                                                                                is best suited for the needs of the 21st
                                                                                                                                                century.

                                                                                                                                                Their three weeks of travel were
                                                                                                                                                jam-packed with interviews, lectures,
                                                                                                                                                seminars and church services. They
                                                                                                                                                spoke to seminary presidents, deans,
                                                                                                                                                lecturers, educators, preachers,
                                                                                                                                                pastors and church planters. The
                                                                                                                                                seminaries they visited in the USA                                                                     Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
                                                                                                                                                were Calvin, Gordon-Conwell, the                                                                                                          Pittsburg
                                                                                                                                                Reformed Presbyterian Theological                  RTC Board on 21 November – less than a          • Theological education is about both
                                                                                                                                                Seminary and MARS (Middle America                  week after the trip!                              spiritual formation and academic
                                                                                                                                                Reformed Seminary). Whether large                                                                    information.
                                                                                                                                                or small, each seminary contributed                The overall aim of the trip was to

Graduation Service
Friday 21 November was another
                                              Our valedictorians at the service were
                                              Timothy King, Alison McDonald, John
                                              Ryall, Brendan Short and Anthony van
                                                                                           Evening classes have again proved
                                                                                           popular at College this year. The
                                                                                           certificates offered were in Bible
                                                                                           Ministry and in Mission and
                                                                                                                                                insights and challenges. A particularly
                                                                                                                                                encouraging perspective came with the
                                                                                                                                                realization that the issues facing the
                                                                                                                                                RTC are also facing theological colleges
                                                                                                                                                                                                   determine a model for theological
                                                                                                                                                                                                   education that will serve our churches
                                                                                                                                                                                                   well in the next five to ten years. Here are
                                                                                                                                                                                                   some of the discoveries that have been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   • Theological colleges need to diversify
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the ways in which they deliver their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     training.
highlight in the College year. Fifteen        Bemmel.
                                                                                           Evangelism. The students who                         around the world.                                  made so far:
students were awarded degrees, diplomas                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Theological colleges ought to be on
                                              Tim plans to continue his profession as      successfully completed one of these
and certificates. Our keynote speaker                                                                                                                                                                                                                the front end of developments in
                                              a myotherapist on a part-time basis.         certificates were Reuben Capill, Adele                                                                   • The trend toward church-based
for the evening was the Rev. Andrew                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ministry.
                                              Having completed his BTh degree he           Ford, Antonio Ramos, Yvette Ramsey,                                                                        training is here to stay.
Reid, lecturer in Old Testament at Ridley     will also be given greater pastoral and      Lorna Tocknell and Naomi Trudgeon.
College in Melbourne. His stirring address                                                                                                                                                                                                         • Theological colleges should give their
                                              preaching responsibilities at Church by                                                                                                               • Theological colleges need to listen to
from Exodus 1 reminded the audience                                                        Please pray for our graduates in their                                                                                                                    students the tools to become life-
                                              the Bay in Portarlington near Geelong.                                                                                                                  what the churches are saying.
that few of us are likely to gain the                                                      very diverse avenues of service. Pray                                                                                                                     long learners.
                                              Alison will use her Graduate Diploma in
world’s attention or be long remembered       Divinity in her chaplaincy work at a local   too that many will come to replace
after our deaths. For those entering                                                       them at the RTC. There is a crying                                                                       • The demand for informal and non-            These are huge challenges. So again we
                                              primary school. John Ryall did all of his                                                                                                               formal training will increase.
Christian ministry the driving force should                                                need in our countries and in our world                                                                                                                 ask for your prayers.
                                              degree studies during retirement. He
not be human applause but the fear of         is seeking the Lord’s guidance for the       for preachers of the Gospel, pastors,
God. Our work will not escape divine                                                       missionaries, teachers and chaplains.                                                                    • Both theological colleges and church-
                                              best use of his gifts and qualifications.                                                                                                               based training have their strengths
attention if like the Egyptian midwives,      Brendan was our first student to             As Jesus said to his disciples, “The
Shiprah and Puah, we align ourselves with                                                  harvest is plentiful but the workers                                                                       and weaknesses. We should aim for
                                              complete the BTh honours degree. He                                                                                                                     the best mix.
God’s purposes in this world.                 and his family will soon be departing to     are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest,
                                              France for language study. From there        therefore, to send out workers into his
As in previous years, those graduating are                                                 harvest field” (Matthew 9:37-38).
                                              they plan to go to Africa to reach the                                                                     Rev Bill Bosker & Rev Alastair McEwen
looking forward to a variety of different                                                                                                                        at Calvin College, Grand Rapids                                                                                         Jerusalem
ministries.                                   desert tribes of Niger with the gospel.
                                              Anthony van Bemmel has acquired a taste        above - Rev Andrew Reid delivers his address at    Further insights were gleaned from
The Bachelor of Theology degree was           for study. Having finished his diploma                             the Graduation Ceremony
                                                                                                                                                the Cornhill Training Course in London
awarded to Ben Murphy and Alec Witham.        he plans to return to the RTC in 2009 to            below - RTC Faculty, Rev Bill Bosker (Board   and from the Jerusalem University
Ben is doing a summer vicariate in the        study at degree level.                            Chairman), Rev Andrew Reid and Graduates        College in Israel. Murray, Alastair and
Wollongong CRCA and then plans to
                                                                                                                                                Bill were also able to gain first-hand
return to the RTC to complete his honours
                                                                                                                                                experience with church-based training
degree. Alec is serving the Presbyterian
                                                                                                                                                in Grand Rapids, Indianapolis and
Church in Warrnambool, Victoria, where
                                                                                                                                                London. At Ames in Iowa they were
he assists with preaching and pastoral
                                                                                                                                                also able to attend the Antioch School
work.
                                                                                                                                                of BILD, which probably has one of the
Andrew de Vries and Warrick Oates                                                                                                               most sophisticated and well developed
both graduated in absentia. Andrew is                                                                                                           church-based theological education
currently serving his vicariate with the                                                                                                        programs in the world.
CRCA in Langwarrin near Melbourne.
He was awarded the Advanced Diploma                                                                                                             It will take much discernment and
of Theology. Warrick was awarded the                                                                                                            many hours of processing to glean
Diploma of Theology. He is currently                                                                                                            what is best and most helpful from the
working with an Aboriginal congregation                                                                                                         models that were encountered. This
in Derby, WA.                                                                                                                                   process began at the meeting of the

				
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