Dear Friends of Westminster,
I write to you from my office at Westminster Theological Seminary, where faculty are eagerly reading and writing in preparation for the forthcoming fall semester. As I reflect on these last few years, I am filled with profound gratitude that our merciful and gracious Lord Jesus Christ has made provision for yet another academic year. May the Lord continue to bless this work.
“Pride Month” has officially concluded, and yet its iconography and creeds remain displayed in many shops and private residences. These symbols and sayings designate spaces which are safe and affirming of ideas and beliefs that were unthinkable one hundred years ago. It is truly remarkable that an ideology loosely held by a small minority years ago has evolved into a religion whose force and influence has swept much of the world.
News report by news report, thought by thought, there is a concerted effort to dismantle the plain teaching of God in His two books, namely the book of nature and the book of Scripture. this new ideology is ultimately detached from the sure and safe anchor of truth. And if the local church is responsible for preaching the gospel and teaching the congregation in this post-Christian world, the local pastor must be rigorously prepared so as to contend for the faith against this new chaos, to be a light in the darkness. Indeed, Machen says that “In such times of crisis, God has always saved the Church. But He has always saved it not by theological pacifists, but by sturdy contenders for the truth.”
Contending for the truth requires fidelity to the truth. We must now renew and proclaim our strong resolve to remain devoted to the word of God. A ship cannot survive uncertain seas without an anchor, so how can we contend for the truth of God without Jesus Christ and His Gospel? As our students return to campus, they are, in a very real way, studying so as to prepare for battle against strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:5) and principalities of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Hear a recent graduate, Myers McKinney, recount his training at Westminster.
“Westminster has been uniquely helpful in equipping me for the task of faithfully and winsomely proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the apologetics of Cornelius Van Til, I learned that the so-called “culture wars” of today are ultimately spiritual wars. Today’s problems are not fundamentally economic, political, or cultural, but spiritual. I have also become intimately acquainted with the solution, namely, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This gospel is a magnificent and sovereign work of God throughout all of redemptive history to redeem sinners into saints. Westminster has equipped me to not only diagnose the problem in a persuasive way, but also proffer the solution, the only solution.”
Our curriculum has been carefully crafted for this “spiritual war.” Westminster students learn that “Every fact in this world has God’s stamp indelibly engraved upon it”(Cornelius Van Til). They learn that our mighty God has revealed Himself in the Bible in such a way that “when the Bible speaks, God speaks” (B. B. Warfield). That the only certain method of “ascertaining the will of God is to study the Word diligently,” and that a Christian life well-lived requires that “our confession of Christ be adorned with a life that honors God” (Ned B. Stonehouse). That it is the case that “we have not scaled the heights to find God, but He has pierced the depths to find us” (Edmund Clowney), and that this historical truth of Jesus Christ is the center of history, which unfolded according to God’s “power, wisdom, justice, and grace” (John Murray). And that it is this Gospel that is to go to the ends of the earth, for “today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Friends, we have a great task before us, and with great tasks come great needs. To learn more about how you, or someone you know, can join us in preparing new Gospel ministers, teachers, and counselors for battle, whether in prayer or financial support, click here, or call our Stewardship Office at (215) 572-3830.
In Christ our Lord,
Peter A. Lillback
Westminster Theological Seminary