The Pivotal Issue
of Divine Creation
parent or grandparent of Presbyterian
heritage has not been thrilled to hear a
tiny tot answer the three initial questions
of "The First Catechism" in sweet childlike
Q. Who made you? A. God
Q. What else did God make? A. God made
Q. Why did God make you and all things?
A. For His own glory.
This simple outline of the reality
of divine creation and the attendant purpose of divine creation is
fundamental to both the Christian doctrine
of God and the doctrine of man. It leads
directly to one of the best known and basic
confessions of the mature Christian faith,
the initial question of "The Larger
Q. What is the chief and highest end of
A. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify
God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
Child or adult, each of us is compelled by
these confessions to affirm what a third
historic catechism, "The Heidelberg,"
declares: "I am not my own but belong to my
faithful Savior, Jesus Christ," by Whom and
through Whom all things were made.
It is the compulsion of these facts that
leads unregenerate and autonomous man to so
violently despise the Doctrine of Divine
Creation, for if God made me, He has a claim
on me; and my highest duty is to worship and
glorify Him. This is precisely what
creatures in rebellion against God refuse to
do. And this rebellion leads the rebel to
suppress the "very light of nature in man"
and to defy the scientific truths and
testimony of the "works of God" (to use the
Larger Catechism's formulations). The result
is a theoretical "science" that will go to
any subjective length to deny the simple
objective realities that even a redeemed
child can confidently confess.
Thus Creation has become a seminal issue
in virtually every discipline, from
apologetics and theology to biology and
geology. It threatens to rip the fabric of
secular education apart, and it drives some
of the world's most learned men to rage.
Even among those who purport to accept
divine design and origination of the created
order, vast differences exist as to the
This year's Summer Institute at
Greenville Seminary will tackle this great
issue, which also lies at the heart of the
question of the Authority of Scripture. GPTS uniquely
has adopted an official faculty statement on
creation, affirming a literal, historical
six-day creation as described in Genesis.
The Institute will include a free
evening presentation for the public
on Monday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m., featuring the
internationally renowned Creationist
Dr. Jonathan D. Sarfati,
a physical chemist,
spectroscopist, and chess master,
of Brisbane, Australia, now living in
Georgia. Dr. Sarfati, editor of publications for
Creation Ministries International, is
noted for taking an uncompromising stance on
the origins of the universe, the earth, and
life, and for defending Scripture in a
straightforward manner against any attempt
to "reconcile" it with "scientific data"
that contradict it.
Also teaching during the Institute along
with Dr. Sarfati will be Dr. Joseph A. Pipa,
Jr., president of Greenville Seminary and
professor of historical and systematic
theology. Dr. Pipa has been an outspoken
defender of a literal six-day creation view
and is co-author of the book Did God
Create in Six Days?
information and online registration,
here or on the banner below.
The great Southern Presbyterian thinker R.L.
Dabney saw the clash of science with
theology in 1892, when he wrote: "We hear
the physicists, again, very condescendingly,
lamenting the imprudence of the theologians
in thrusting the Scriptures into collision
with their sciences. They regret, they tell
us, the damage which is thus inevitably done
to the credit of religion. They are, indeed,
quite willing to patronize the Christian
religion as a useful affair, provided it is
sufficiently submissive in its behaviour.
But their conception about the collision
between it and physical science is just that
of the engine-driver upon the collision
between a child and his mighty locomotive:
it was a catastrophe much to be lamented,
but only on the child's account!"
History Lesson for Today's Church: Our Summer
Theology Course on Southern Presbyterianism
are now open for the 2011
Summer Course on
"Studies in Southern Presbyterian
Theology," July 25-29.
always popular course will again feature Dr. Morton Smith's
"Studies in Southern Presbyterian Theology."
Dr. Smith has lectured for nearly 50 years
on the topic of Southern Presbyterianism and
its theology, and these lectures continue to
be a favorite among students, elders, and
Christians of all ages. The course is
popular because it covers a wide range of
topics through the instrumentality of those
most interesting and sometimes controversial
More information here.
Praying for Greenville Seminary
By George W. Knight III, chairman of the
Board of Trustees
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in its
answer ninety-eight aptly describes prayer by
saying it “is an offering up of our desires unto
God, for things agreeable to his will, in the
name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and
thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.”
We boldly ask of you, our beloved friends and
fellow believers, that you pray for us as one of
your desires just as the apostle Paul asked the
Ephesian Christians that they would pray for him
(Eph. 6:18-19). We know that in all our
activities, whether teaching, preaching, or in
the day to day running of our school, we are
completely dependent upon the enabling grace of
God’s presence and Spirit (just as our Lord said
in John 15:5, “apart from me you can do
And so we not only ask him directly for his
enabling grace but also ask you to join with us
in asking for that same provision. Our Lord
Jesus Christ, in teaching that prayer which we
call “the Lord’s,” taught his disciples, and
also us, to pray for the hallowing of God’s
name, the coming of his kingdom and the doing of
his will, just as he reminded us to be thankful
for our daily bread and to be kept by Him from
the evil. He taught us in that prayer to rely
upon God and seek his will in all things. Paul
had learned well from his Lord that we must pray
together (“our” Father, give “us”) and so he
asks the churches to pray “at all times in the
Spirit, making supplication for all the saints,
and also for me, that words may be given to me
in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the
mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:18-19).
So since in training men for the gospel
ministry we do so with a clear conscience, we
may ask you again with the words of Hebrews
13:18, “Pray for us, for we are sure that we
have a clear conscience, desiring to act
honorably in all things.” We are seeking to
prepare men for the ministry, whether at home or
abroad, and we have seen men go out from this
school ready to be under-shepherds to God’s
people or to reach the lost. Pray with us that
this service of Greenville Presbyterian
Theological Seminary to the gospel may continue
and flourish – to the glory of God! And we will
continue to pray for you and your marriages,
families, and churches as well.
Course Open to the Public
everyone is aware that one of the key
influences shaping today's world is the rise
of Islam. It impacts virtually every aspect
of society, culture and world affairs. It
also demands a response by the Christian
Greenville Seminary's new course on Islam
is designed to prepare Christians for an
appropriate biblical response as part of an
effective apologetic (defense) of our faith
and an evangelistic outreach.
The course will be taught again this fall
at GPTS on an intensive schedule by Dr.
Anees Zaka of Church Without Walls,
Philadelphia. Classes will be held as
Monday, Sept. 12 - 6-10 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept. 13 & 14 - 8:30
- 11 a.m.
Thursday, Sept. 15 - 6-10 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16 - 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17 - 9 a.m. - 12 noon
The course is available for enrollment by
the public on an audit basis. Contact
Registrar Kathleen Curto (email@example.com)
Financial Report and
The tables below show our
financial condition as of the end of May 2011.
Most heartening are the monthly and fiscal-year
figures on general-fund giving to the seminary.
The $753,286 donated this
fiscal year through the end of May is more than
above contributions during the comparable period
last fiscal year. How we praise and thank God
for our increasingly faithful supporters!
June is the final month of our current fiscal
year, the time during which we annually seek to
lay a firm financial foundation for the summer
and our new school year. Please read the
following year-end message and request from Dr.
Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., president:
"We are very thankful to the many people God
has raised up to support this ministry in prayer
and giving. Would you prayerfully consider
making a donation to the on-going work of
Greenville Seminary? Because we really have
unparalleled opportunities before us, we
would like to raise $100,000.00 by June 30.
Whether or not you are able to send a gift at
this time, please pray that the Lord will
provide for our needs. Please also pray for our
students and alumni that they will continue to
grow in faithfulness to the Word of God. We
appreciate your care and concern for this
General Fund for May 2011
Actual v. Budget
to Date Budget
to Date Actual
to Date Actual v. Budget
Capital Fund Update
New Income Needed
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
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would be interested in learning more about
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fill out the form here and an e-mail
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Thank you for your continued support for
Greenville Presbyterian Theological
NOTICE TO OUR SUPPORTERS:
The Internal Revenue Service has published
Automatic Revocation of Exemption List.
It lists approximately 275,000 nonprofits
whose tax-exempt status has been revoked
because they failed to file a Form 990,
990-N, 990-EZ, or 990-PF for three
consecutive years. GPTS is NOT on that list
and remains in good standing. Your gifts to
Greenville Seminary continue to be
Visit our new Amazon.com Seminary Bookstore
DR. PIPA ARGUES
FOR FIRST-DAY CHRISTIAN SABBATH IN NEW BOOK
Perspectives on the Sabbath
presents in point-counterpoint form the
four most common views of the Sabbath
commandment that have arisen throughout
church history, representing the major
positions held among Christians today.
Greenville Seminary President Dr. Joseph
A. Pipa Jr. backs the Christian Sabbath
view which reasons that ever since the
resurrection of Christ, the one day in
seven to be kept holy is the first day
of the week.
Skip MacCarty (Andrews University)
defends the Seventh-day view which
argues the fourth commandment is a moral
law of God requiring us to keep the
seventh day (Saturday) holy.
Craig L. Blomberg (Denver Seminary)
supports the Fulfillment view which says
that since Christ has brought the true
Sabbath rest into the present, the Sabbath
commands of the Old Testament are no longer
binding on believers.
Charles P. Arand (Concordia Seminary)
upholds the Lutheran view that the Sabbath
commandment was given to Jews alone and does
not concern Christians. Rest and worship are
still required but not tied to a particular
Order this book from
our Amazon store here: