Seeing Christ in the Psalms

For Dr. Ian Vaillancourt, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Heritage College & Seminary, publishing his first monograph has been an exciting, learning experience.

As he anticipates the release of The Multifaceted Saviour of Psalms 110 and 118: A Canonical Exegesis, Dr. Vaillancourt looks back at all the support he received from an experienced faculty at Heritage, who gave him the feedback and encouragement needed to help produce his first book-length publication. He sees it as a blessing to be able to work alongside of this group and learn from their experience, knowledge and wisdom.

“I am humbled to be on a faculty team that is filled with people who have much more publishing experience than I have,” explains Vaillancourt. “It’s an honour to learn from these scholars as I seek to grow as a writer and use this ministry to bring God glory.”

It was this heart to see God glorified that led him to research Psalms 110 and 118. Vaillancourt explains that when he approached this study, he wanted to go deep in the Old Testament with the hopes that it would help Christians see Christ in its pages. In the case of this monograph, he hopes that the depth-work from an Old Testament perspective will also aid future work by New Testament specialists, as they explain the various appearances of the two most cited psalms in the New Testament.

In The Multifaceted Saviour of Psalms 110 and 118, Dr. Vaillancourt takes a canonical approach to these Psalms, arguing that within the final portion of the book of Psalms there emerges an eschatological messianic figure who will bring ultimate deliverance for God’s people.

“I pray that Christians would see that God planned to send his son before He laid the foundation of the world,” explains Dr. Vaillancourt; “that Jesus is the ultimate prophet who speaks God’s authoritative word to us, the priest who mediates between us and God, and the king who rules over his people and the cosmos.”

With the recent release of his first monograph, Dr. Vaillancourt will also be involved in a number of presentations this November focused on his research. In addition to a presentation in the Psalms and Hebrew Poetry section of the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), Dr. Vaillancourt was one of five people selected to present in the Emerging Old Testament Scholar section at the Annual Meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research (IBR).

Dr. Vaillancourt’s monograph is currently available through Sheffield Phoenix Press and will be made available at both the ETS and IBR meetings.

Please pray for our Heritage Theological Seminary professors as they travel to San Diego to attend and present at ETS, IBR and SBL.

Forming the Heart of the Preacher

Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College & Seminary, has spent many years mentoring pastors and teaching homiletics here at Heritage. During this time, he says that he came to the realization that helping preachers preach better is more than just teaching them how to prepare and present sermons. He came to see that there is a need to prepare preacher’s souls to proclaim God’s Word.

“I realized the need to help preachers face the heart-level tests that come to us as preachers,” says Dr. Reed. “These tests, though commonly experienced by preachers, are not commonly addressed.”

This is the heart behind Dr. Reed’s recently released book, The Heart of the Preacher. Throughout the book, Reed sets out to describe and pinpoint a number of tests of the preacher’s heart. He draws attention to a number of common struggles that face preachers today:  ambition, insecurity, criticism, comparison, laziness and a number of others.  The remaining chapters of the book are devoted to providing a number of pastoral and practical tips, aimed at helping preachers develop regular habits to protect their hearts to serve effectively.

Though there are many books and resources that help preachers work out the mechanics and structure their sermons clearly and from the text, The Heart of the Preacher takes a different approach by focusing on personal heart preparation and transformation.

Dr. Reed explains that the challenges faced by many preachers are awkward to acknowledge. Though this may be the case, he feels these struggles of the heart are important to address for the health of someone’s preaching ministry.

“The condition and character of a preacher’s heart plays a big part in the spiritual impact of the preacher’s sermon,” says Dr. Reed. “Since God tests the heart, as we read in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, we must be concerned with our heart preparation not just our sermon preparation.”

By highlighting struggles along with the proactive ways to fight these challenges, Dr. Reed hopes his book will be a resource that will help those in preaching ministries keep their hearts strong.

“My prayer is that preachers and teachers will read the book and have their hearts stretched and strengthened so they can better serve Christ’s Church as they proclaim God’s Word,” says Dr. Reed.

To order a copy for yourself or for a pastor you want to encourage, visit Amazon.ca or Heritage’s online bookstore at http://bit.ly/TheHeartofthePreacher-Bookstore.

Learning from the Life and Ministry of Hanserd Knollys

During the seventeenth century, an influential movement formed out of Great Britain known as the Particular Baptists. Today, the impact of this group and its leaders can still be felt today in the evangelical world. One of its prominent leaders was a pastor by the name of Hanserd Knollys.

Dr. Barry Howson, Academic Dean of the Seminary and Professor of Theology at Heritage College and Seminary, in his new book Christ Exalted seeks to provide readers the opportunity to take a deep look into the thought, works and ministry of Knollys that he believes are a valuable asset for Christians and church leaders today.

“His works are important because most of them were practical and pastoral, seeking to help his readers in their walk with Christ,” says Dr. Howson.

Beginning his ministry as a minister in the Church of England, Knollys then became a congregationalist before coming in contact with the growing Calvinistic Baptist movement in London at the age of 44. Through this group, Knollys became persuaded that only believers should be baptized, and shortly after became one of the leading pastors in this movement’s London churches.

One of Knollys’ theological focuses was his serious focus on eschatological thought. Though this was a common field of study for many educated and respected theologians and pastors during this time period, Howson says it was important to include an essay on Knollys’ eschatological thought in Christ Exalted. He explains that the work of Knollys on this aspect of theology is not only a valuable example of the work during that time period but also reflects an important theological perspective for Christians to hold in desperate moments of life.

“We need to remember that Knollys wrote all of his eschatological works during the Restoration Period in England (1660-1689), when Baptists were facing persecution,” explains Dr. Howson. “It reminds us that in dark times we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and our eternal hope in Him.”

Through his pastoral works, Dr. Howson also says there is much to gain for church leaders today by reading the thought and teachings of Knollys. He explains that, even in the face of opposition, Knollys reflected a great concern for those he led; that they would be instructed in the truth of Christ and its practical application to the life of the believer and the church.  For Howson, this is an example of a pastoral heart that is worth reflecting on for pastors today.

“He was deeply concerned that all under his ministry by truly saved, and therefore, the gospel was front and centre in his preaching and writing ministry,” says Howson. “For these reasons, he is a great example of a pastor even for the twenty-first century.”

For more information on Christ Exalted or to purchase the book, please visit: http://bit.ly/ChristExaltedKnollys