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Fundraising Thermometer

Thank You ...

...for Helping to Reform the Church and Change the World!

 

 

By Garry J. Moes

Director of Development & Recruiting

 

Thanks to our faithful supporters — all willing instruments in the hands of our Provident God, Greenville Seminary is beginning this new year with assurance of sufficient material resources to continue our vital educational ministry.

 

You responded wonderfully to our 2011 year-end appeal, helping us exceed our goal of $125,000 by $8,470, for a total of $133,470. What is so marvelous about this is that all of these contributions were made by individual Christians and mostly small churches who understand the critical and unique role this seminary is playing in our spiritually crippled world.

 

What is so unique about this seminary?

 

 J. Gresham Machen, the great conservative Presbyterian theologian of the early 2oth century, who died on New Year's Day 75 years ago, touched on it in discussing what he called the "distinctive achievement" of the Apostle Paul. "The really distinctive achievement of Paul ... does not consist in the mere geographical extension of the frontiers of the Church, important as that work was; it lies in a totally different sphere — in the hidden realm of thought," Machen said. Specifically, Paul emphasized that the heart of true religion was the truth of the Gospel of Christ, not submission to the law or the efficacy of religious practice. The latter, said Machen, is the way of modern liberalism, as it was the way of Jewish religious tradition in Paul's day.

 

"This method would have been the method of 'liberalism.' And it would have been utterly futile. It would have meant an irreparable injury to the religious conscience; it would have sacrificed the good conscience of the missionary and the authoritativeness of his proclamation. Liberalism would never have conquered the world," Machen said.

 

"Fortunately, liberalism was not the method of Paul. Paul was not a practical Christian who regarded life as superior to doctrine, and practice as superior to principle."

 

While the theological instruction at GPTS does not neglect the practical,  experiential and sanctifying facets of the Gospel, it is ever dedicated to the primacy of doctrinal principle founded in the authoritativeness of the Bible — and its faithful proclamation.

 

Why is this so important?

 

On its face, it should go without saying that the world of today, like the ancient world, including the lives and souls of those in both worlds, can be transformed only by divine workmanship through the Gospel message. It is particularly vital in our time in light of the tragic weakness of the modern church's message and practice — in both liberal and sentimentally oriented evangelical churches. Unbiblical forms of worship and governance, weak or non-existent discipline, neglect of the means of grace, insipid meditations, empty moralism, resurging Old Testament particularism, charismatic outrages like "glory clouds," hysterical laughing and spiritual "slayings" which mark vast portions of the church will never "conquer the world" for Christ. One recent visitor to my office graphically but aptly referred to the present condition of much of the doctrinally vigorless church as being "in menopause."

 

"Weary with the conflicts of the world, one goes to Church to seek refreshment for the soul. And what does one find? Alas, too often, one finds only the turmoil of the world," says Dr. Darryl G. Hart. "The preacher comes forward, not out of a secret place of mediation and power, not with the authority of God’s Word permeating his message, not with human wisdom pushed far into the background by the glory of the Cross, but with human opinions about the social problems of the hour or easy solutions of the vast problems of sin. Such is the sermon."

 

But through the pure doctrines of the transforming Word of God, faithfully proclaimed by preachers, teachers and missionaries who have been immersed in the intricacies of that Word, the people of God will be gathered into His Kingdom and equipped to carry out the Great Commission. The solution to the crisis, as Machen argued, is for churches to “face the facts, and regain their integrity while yet there is time.” That is the "distinctive achievement" Greenville Seminary is seeking for itself and the church. It is what GPTS is all about...and why its supporters continue to sacrifice so deeply to assure its future. In answering that call,  GPTS is filling a unique niche in theological education. May God honor that commitment through you and in us as we finish our 25th academic year in 2012.

 

P.S. If you were unable to give by year's end in 2011, would you help, as you are able, in this new year? Send your contribution to  P.O. Box 690, Taylors SC 29687, or...

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  The Legacy of Old Princeton Seminary Sets Theme for 2012 GPTS Spring Theology Conference  
 
Assessing a theological landmark, with practical lessons for the church today
 
 

"Only with the establishment of Princeton Seminary in 1812 did signs of zeal for Reformed Protestantism surface in a substantial way," writes Dr. Darryl G. Hart (Ordained Servant Online).

 

Dr. Hart, visiting professor of History at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, will be among a slate of scholars discussing the impact of Old Princeton Seminary at the 2012 Greenville Seminary Spring Theology Conference.

 

The founders of Greenville Seminary consciously adopted Old Princeton's approach as the foundation of instruction at GPTS. For this reason, the 2012 GPTS Spring Theology Conference (coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Princeton's founding and the 25th anniversary of Greenville Seminary's founding) will be devoted to an assessment of Princeton and the practical lessons for the church today. "The aim is to shape the discussion in a functional way that will benefit all who attend," conference organizers say.

 

The conference will be held on March 13-15, 2012 at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, S.C. Early Bird registration is available through February 3, for discounted prices. For complete information and registration, visit the conference pages of the GPTS web site.

 

"Not very long ago, evangelical Protestants in the United States regarded the theology of Old Princeton Seminary as a source of wisdom and inspiration because of its scholarly rigor and theological depth," Hart has said. "Today's evangelicals often view Old Princeton in a very different and antagonistic light, as wooden, rationalistic theologians who have little to teach those living in post-modern times."

 

The upcoming conference will show otherwise. Dr. Hart will be presenting two lectures during the conference: "Princeton and 19th Century Crosscurrents: Hodge, Finney, and Nevin" on Wednesday, March 14, and "Machen and the End of Old Princeton" on Thursday, March 15.

 

Dr. Paul Helseth and Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. will be the featured speakers at the Tuesday and Wednesday evening services that are open to the public without conference registration.

 

Topics and speakers for the conference include:

  • Princeton: A Brief History of Origin and Contributions of Archibald Alexander – Dr. James Garretson

  • Samuel Miller’s Pastoral Theology – Pastor Andrew Webb

  • Scripture, Inerrancy, and the Role of Reason at Princeton – Dr. Paul K. Helseth (Tuesday evening)

  • Princeton and the Old Testament – Dr. Benjamin Shaw

  • Princeton and Missions – Dr. Tony Curto

  • Ecclesiology: The Hodge/Thornwell Exchange – Dr. Nick Willborn

  • Princeton and 19th Century Crosscurrents: Hodge, Finney, and Nevin – Dr. Darryl G. Hart

  • Biblical Rationale for a Reformed Seminary – Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. (Wednesday evening)

  • Princeton and Evolution/Creation – Dr. Fred Zaspel

  • Theological Assessment of Warfield (with brief biographical sketch) – Dr. Carl Trueman

  • Machen and the End of Old Princeton – Dr. Darryl G. Hart

 

Visit our online Presbyterian Bookshop for books related to the Princeton Commemoration.

 
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25th Anniversary Feature  
 

When GPTS was formed in 1987, our first home was in a building on the campus of Augusta Street Presbyterian Church (now Paramount Baptist Church) in downtown Greenville, S.C. By 1998, the seminary had outgrown that facility; and property was acquired from a Baptist church in the Greenville suburb of Taylors. When that home also became inadequate for our needs, our journey continued a few blocks westward to an abandoned public high school building, which was purchased and renovated into our excellent present campus. Below is a pictorial depiction of that journey.

 

 
  Below: The original home of Greenville Seminary (building on left), downtown Greenville, S.C.  
  Left: Our second home, on Main Street in Taylors, S.C. (now Covenant Community Orthodox Presbyterian Church)  
  Below: Our present home at 200 E. Main Street, Taylors.
 
  Below: Construction of our present home (formerly Taylors High School).  
   
 
 
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Make your Dinner Reservation: The GPTS Silver Anniversary Gala

 
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For a quarter of a century, God has blessed the vision of the founding fathers of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. During this special 25th school year, the seminary community plans to memorialize those blessings with a feast of gladness.

 

On Monday, March 12, 2012, a Silver Anniversary Dinner will be held in the refined surroundings of the Poinsett Club (left) in downtown Greenville. We invite our 2012 Spring Theology Conference-goers and others to attend this dinner on the eve of the conference, which begins March 13.

 

The dinner, beginning at 6:30 p.m., is intended to be an elegant and God-glorifying affair with two key purposes:

  1. Commemoration of God's Providence in the ministry of GPTS past, present and future. Professor Morton Smith, one of the original visionaries who gave birth to Greenville Seminary, will recount the vision and history of GPTS. President Joseph A. Pipa Jr. will address the present and future opportunities which we believe God may be leading us to.

  2. Building upon the foundation of God's Providence through the offering of gifts in support of the ministry. The Board of Trustees has determined to keep ticket prices at $35, only slightly above cost, to encourage widespread attendance. We are therefore appealing to special individual and business patrons to contribute to Dinner Sponsorships and Table Sponsorships. Dinner sponsorships are one-time gifts to help defray costs of the celebration, thus giving regular ticket sales additional profitability. Table sponsors may purchase a table consisting of 10 place settings per table. Table sponsors may distribute their 10 tickets at will or donate them to the seminary to benefit persons who may not be able to attend otherwise. Sponsors will be acknowledged in the dinner program. In addition, the evening will include a Silent Auction of quality goods and services, proceeds of which will go toward support of the seminary. For information on how you can help prepare for this auction, go here. If you are willing to visit businesses to solicit donation of auction items, click here for an introduction letter you may print, sign and present.

Music will be provided by well known contemporary Christian music artist Judy Rogers and classical guitarist William Dale Smith.

 

 

 

Dress will be formal (black tie) or semi-formal (business/church).

 

For more information or reservations, call 864.322.2717 ext. 319 or go to the online form here for reservations or sponsoring a table. To pay for tickets online, go here.

 

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  Katekōmen
κατέχω - Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.... Hebrews 10:23

Student Bryan Prouty's term paper Luther on Education has been published this month in Katekōmen, the seminary's online journal. The paper was written for Dr. James McGoldrick's class on Reformation Church History during the Fall 2011 semester. Mr. Prouty's conclusion:

"In Martin Luther are found the best and worst influences on education. The priority Luther placed on education, especially the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers which opened education to all people, has resulted in great blessings. His ideas concerning curriculum continue to benefit schools even today. However, his plan for state control of schools was not scriptural and thus led to the destruction of true education seen today. At a time when protection from the Catholic Church was of primary concern and the German princes provided that protection, Luther could not foresee the consequences of his advocacy for state-directed education. As civil government became separated from the church, it had to find a non-theological foundation for its educational authority."

 Read the full paper here. (PDF version available for download.) Full title:

 
 

Bryan Prouty is a third-year student from Wellington, Colorado, enrolled in the GPTS distance-learning (mentored) program.

 

Also newly published is a book review by Ryan McGraw lauding Daniel M. Hyde's In Living Color: Images of Christ and the Means of Grace.

 

 

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  FINANCIAL REPORT

The tables below show our General Fund and Capital Fund financial condition as of the end of December 2011, marking the halfway point of our 2011-12 fiscal year.

 

During all of calendar year 2011, our faithful supporters donated $833,452 to our General Fund, an increase of $103,425 over the $730,027 given in 2010!

 

It has been widely reported that charity giving by atheists and to atheist causes has markedly increased in recent years. At the same time, giving to nonprofit organizations in general is well below highs set in 2008 (although the very rich increased their charitable giving in 2011). So it is heartening to see that giving to Greenville Seminary, a bastion of conservative Christian orthodoxy, has continued to be strong in these austere economic times. With God's help, GPTS is satisfying a theological hunger.

 

In addition to the general fund giving shown below, GPTS was blessed recently with proceeds from a large estate bequest and a major gift earmarked for our building fund, giving us a needed contingency reserve to ease seasonal cash flow concerns. The estate bequest also includes a townhouse/condo in a Pacific Coast area golf-course gated community in Oceanside, California, which the seminary is attempting to sell. If you are interested in this property or know someone who might be interested, contact President Joseph A. Pipa Jr.  •   MORE INFORMATION HERE

 
 
General Fund for December 2011
  December Budget December Actual December Actual v. Budget
Expenses $80,252
$84,256
+$4,004
Donation
Income
$62,123
$123,179
+$61,056
Other Income
$18,191
$18,123 -$68
Total Income
$80,314
$141,302
+$60,998
Net Income
+$62
+$57,046 +$56,984
  Fiscal Year to Date Budget Fiscal Year to Date Actual Fiscal Year to Date Actual v. Budget
Expenses $481,523 $480,942 -$581
Donation
Income
$372,800 $404,712 +$31,912
Other Income $109,134 $99,852 -$9,282
Total Income $481,934 $504,564 +$22,630
Net Income +$411 +$23,622 +$23,211
 
 
Capital Fund Update
Goal $3,500,000
Received $2,726,271
Outstanding Pledges $613,347
New Income Needed $160,382
Outstanding Bills $55,000
Monthly Note $6,559
Remaining Mortgage $1,081,794
 
 

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate" button below. Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, fill out the form here and an e-mail message with a link to our website will be sent to them. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

 

 
 

Sharing in the Advancement of GPTS

Visit the GPTS Development Office web site for information on ways to support and spread the word about Greenville Seminary:



 
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For books related to the Princeton Seminary Commemoration, go here.

 

 
 

Visit our online Gift Shop to purchase GPTS golf shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and travel mugs. All net proceeds help support the seminary.

 

The family film More than Diamonds is now being offered on DVD to friends of the seminary. By special arrangement with the producers, each purchase made online through a special web page will generate a donation to GPTS. More info here.

 

Earn money for GPTS while you shop or search the web. Make "GoodSearch" your Internet search engine and shop through "GoodShop" at thousands of online stores that give a portion of purchase proceeds to GPTS: More Here. There are currently 40 people registered as GPTS supporters with GoodSearch. We need hundreds more! Begin shopping or searching now by using the device in the right column above. For special deals that help us, go here.

 
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