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Christmas & New Year Music Concert: Thursday, December 29, 2022

Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary is pleased to announce a “Christmas & New Year Music Concert” featuring the Lakeside Artists Guild, a quartet made up of Christian musicians with ties to the URC community.  The concert will be on Thursday, December 29, at 7pm, at Redeemer United Reformed Church, located at 10681 Park Place, St. John, IN. This concert and sing-a-long will be a family event featuring traditional Christmas music, hymns, and congregational singing.  Make your plans now for a joyful evening celebrating the season of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus and the arrival of a new year.  A free will offering will be taken. Refreshments will be served.

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2022 Annual Clay Shoot Sport Fundraiser

 

Thank you to everyone who attended our annual clay shoot fundraiser!

 

About the Seminary

Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary is a unique seminary. In our Eleventh year, Divine Hope provides a seminary program to inmates in four prisons—Indiana State Prison (ISP) in Michigan City, Westville, and Rockville, Indiana, and Danville in Illinois. Plus, we are exploring a wonderful new opportunity at Miami Correction Center in Indiana and hope to have our program on board there this autumn.

The inmate/students at these prisons come with a wide variety of educational and spiritual backgrounds. Divine Hope’s goal is to equip all our students to more effectively minister to their peers and serve Jesus Christ in their prison communities. Divine Hope brings the message of salvation to our students and helps them to grow in their love and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A number of our students have assumed positions of spiritual leadership inside the prisons and have been better equipped to make the difficult transition back into civilian life.

2020 and 2021 brought many challenges as a result of the pandemic and because of it, the professors were unable to go into the prisons to provide live instruction. Thanks to several prison chaplains, they were able to teach some classes through correspondence courses. In 2022, we have been able to restart our programs within the prisons. We have been able to bring Danville, ISP, Westville and now Rockville back on line with mostly excellent results thus far this year.

Our Seminary has 4 full-time faculty members supported by a 2022 annual budget of over $470,000. Our financial support comes entirely from individuals, churches, and organization donations. The majority of our budget goes directly to the support of our faculty. In a cooperative effort, our fourth faculty member, Rev. Brett Mahlen, is presently being mostly supported by Covenant OP Church in Orland Park, Illinois.

We are having our 8th annual Shooting Sports Fundraiser on Oct. 8 at Deer Creek Hunt Club in Three Oaks, Michigan. It is a great event and we are expecting to have between 75 and 100 sportsmen to participate this year. Sponsorships for this event are vital to making this a successful fundraiser. Would you consider helping us out with a sponsorship? Any amount is welcome.

If you’d like to be a sponsor, you may donate by check or through our website by credit card or paypal:

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If by check, please make your check payable to:

Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary (write “sponsor” in memo) and mail to:

Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary

PO Box 638

De Motte, IN.  46310

If by credit card or paypal, please go to our website via this link:

Giving – Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary

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God’s Providential Preservation of Scripture (Brett Mahlen)

 

Christian believers in prison have their faith under fire much like people on the outside of prison. One of the common challenges to our faith is when Bible critics say something like this: “Well, we don’t really know what the Bible originally said because the Bible comes to us from an oral culture that passed these stories down for many generations, then it was finally written down in Hebrew, then translated into Aramaic, then translated into Greek, then Latin, then German, and finally into English with fresh errors creeping in with each translation and we are somehow supposed to believe our English Bible is the infallible word of God.”

Although the details may be different each time we hear it, many of us have heard something like this. These kinds of arguments are thrown around prisons just like they are thrown around outside of prison.

If the history of the Bible’s transmission and preservation is anything like that described above, then perhaps we should abandon faith altogether and embrace atheism. However, the case is not as the critic would make it out to be, so we should continue in faith. We can have great confidence in God’s word, that has been preserved for us.

As Christians, we believe the word of God was inspired, but we also affirm its preservation through history. In a very important paragraph, Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) 1:8 says the word of God in the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek were “immediately inspired” at the time they were written. The Hebrew and Greek were then “kept pure in all ages” by God’s “care and providence.”

WCF 1:8 goes on to say that since not everyone knows Greek and Hebrew the Bible should be “translated into the vulgar (common) language of every nation unto which they come.” In other words, the Bible is to be translated from the original languages into the target language (in our case, English) and the proverbial train of translation does not need to make multiple stops in other language stations along the way. Therefore, according to the Reformation and Confessional understanding, today we can hold in our hands the very words of God, whether in Greek, in Hebrew, or in faithful translations.

The Belgic Confession also rightly assumes God’s providential preservation of His inspired word at the end of Article 2, and also in Articles 3, 4, and 5, though it does not mention preservation explicitly.

In my time in the prisons, I have sought to teach the Reformation view of the preservation of God’s holy Word in the midst of attacks from false religions and the mainstream academy. The inmates have been comforted by the truth of God’s preservation of His word and so should you. The Christian should be confident, not only in God’s inspiration of His word, but also in His preservation of it. We have the word of God!