At the meeting of the Presbytery of the Midwest on September 13 and 14, Dr. Michael Seufert was examined and accepted for ministry in the OPC, and our call to him was approved, clearing the way for him to serve as our next Minister of the Gospel.
Dr. Seufert and his wife, Samantha, have been married for over eight years and have a young daughter – and another child on the way, due in October. Michael and Samantha grew up outside Chicago. After college, Dr. Seufert joined the U.S. Peace Corps and spent three years living in central Ukraine. It was this time and his experiences in the Ukraine that ultimately encouraged him to enter into the ministry. After completing his time with the Peace Corps, he joined his brother at Westminster Seminary California, and through study and ministry in the local church, God continued to confirm the desire to devote himself fully to the shepherding of His people.
He later was encouraged to pursue his PhD at The Catholic University of America in a masters program that focused on Semitic Languages and Literatures, which would lead him to his recently completed program, a PhD in Biblical Studies (Old Testament). Upon relocating to Washington D.C., he and his wife joined Wallace Presbyterian Church, and he was providentially provided several opportunities to teach and serve the church that ultimately led to a call serving that congregation as pastoral intern and Assistant Pastor. Serving in this capacity also allowed him to complete his PhD studies.
Dr. Seufert describes his leadership style as striving “…to be a servant-leader, a faithful servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God, first in the home and then in the church. I desire to be easily approached, quick to listen and consider others, quick to repent, and quick to forgive… It also means being quick to recognize and encourage where God is at work in other individuals and the corporate body, desiring to build up and confirm the Spirit’s sanctifying work.” In Dr. Seufert, Mission has called a pastor who is faithful to God’s word, loves the body of Christ, and wants others to see the truth and beauty of Christ and His gospel.
An installation service will be held on December 6, 2019. This will also mark the end of Rev. David King’s service as our interim pastor.
Christianity shapes history
Histories and biographies related to WWII and Hitler are among the new acquisitions this month.
Review – Unimaginable by Jeremiah Johnson
Reviewed by Darka Kooeinga
I heard of this book via “Listening In” (World Radio), a half-hour interview show hosted by Warren Smith, where Jeremiah Johnson was a guest. The premise of this book is what our world would be like without Christianity. UNIMAGINABLE! The author takes you through cultural history and shows you what the world was like before Christianity, without Christianity and finally, with Christianity.
I found the middle section of the book explaining different idelologies very accessible and easy to read. This would be a great book for new believers and for those wanting to learn about Christianity’s impact on history and today’s cultural context.
New additions and books of note this month:
The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix – a graphic novel in the Youth Biography section tells the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
God & Churchill by Jonathan Sandys (Churchill’s grandson) – includes chapters contrasting Hitler’s view for Germany vs. Churchill’s worldview.
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok – classic novel telling the story of the conflict faced by a Hasidic Jewish boy’s struggle between his immense gift as an artist and the strictures of his faith.
A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible by Tim Challies
Human Nature from Calvin to Edwards by Paul Helm
Spurgeon in the Spotlight
This month’s Booknotes features works related to Charles Spurgeon.
I had recently heard of “Susie – The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon” by Ray Rhodes, Jr. on the podcast, “Mortification of Spin,” when I discovered it was already in our church library. I knew very little about Charles Spurgeon and even less about his wife. Susie endured a great deal of “seasons” throughout her life – adventurous traveler and hiker, happy wife, mother of twins, victim of ill health for much of her life, author, widow, supporter of poor pastors and their families, grandmother, and even church planter. In all her varied circumstance, she always found reason to praise and trust God. Therefore, I think her life can inspire people in many different stages of life. This biography is interesting and well written, including quotes and excerpts form letters. This book is worthwhile and an enjoyable read. It has piqued my interest to learn more about the Spurgeons and other heroes of the faith.
Note from the library: We have a large collection of Charles Spurgeon material on the Spurgeon shelf in the History, several books about him in Biography, and his commentary on Psalms in the Old Testament section in the Annex.
New additions and books of note this month:
Steal Away Home by Matt Carter. This historical fiction highlights stories of Spurgeon and the American slave Thomas Johnson.
Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality by Nancy Pearcy, recently reviewed in New Horizons by OPC Pastor Charles B. Williams.
Them: Why We Hate Each Other – and How to Heal by Senator Ben Sasse.
The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Tehology of the Dwelling Place of God by G.K. Beale (part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology series.)
The Virgin Birth of Christ by J. Gresham Machen