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Calvin Conference at the Machen Retreat Center

John Jamison

Many are celebrating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth on July 10th this year. Some are celebrating it in Geneva. Many cannot go to Geneva, and thus many conferences will be held in the United States. Machen Retreat and Conference Center is providing a special opportunity for OPC ministers to gather together and look at John Calvin with the capable help of Dr. Cornelis Venema, president of Mid-America Reformed Seminary and Calvin scholar, and Professor Alan Strange, associate professor of church history at MARS. This celebration conference will be from July 6th through July 9th.

Dr Venema will be giving four lectures on two primary topics: "Calvin's Life and Legacy" and "Calvin's Doctrine of the 'Twofold Grace of God.' " His book Accepted and Renewed in Christ: "The Twofold Grace of God" and the Interpretation of Calvin’s Theology explores in depth the relationship of justification and sanctification in Calvin’s theology. Those planning on attending the conference would greatly benefit from reading this volume in preparation for the lectures.

Professor Strange will be giving four lectures covering the history of "Calvinism and the Westminster Assembly," "Calvinism and Jonathan Edwards," "Calvinism and Charles Hodge" and "Calvinism and J. Gresham Machen."

During the afternoons, Dr. Venema and Prof. Strange will be leading discussion sessions to allow for a time of deeper investigation into the topics presented. This should be an enjoyable and profitable time. Along with the discussion times, there will be hiking, spelunking, river swimming, basketball, volleyball and horseshoes.

In the evenings, there will be worship led by the following OPC men: Monday evening, Mr. Brent Ferry, pastor of Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church, Mt. Airy, NC, Tuesday evening, Mr. Dan Knox, pastor of Grace OPC, Sewickley, PA, Wednesday evening, Dr. Richard Gaffin, Professor Emeritus of Systematics at Westminster Theological Seminary.

The conference is designed for ministers, though anyone may attend. If a minister wants to bring his wife, then they will need to plan on tent or popup camping for the conference. The same limitation is placed on any woman wanting to attend bring your tent.

The conference will cost $100/person. That includes a bunk, food, and conference activities. The conference is limited to the first 60 to register. Visit machen.org/2009/Ministers_Retreat/Ministers_Retreat.html. For additional information please contact John Jamison, 195 Sweet Hills Dr., Amherst Virginia, 434-946-2913.

Alan Strange Cornelis Venema

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