Historia ecclesiastica
The Weblog of Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin & friends

Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta: a weekly roundup of blogs, articles, books, and more

April 4th, 2014 Posted in Books

By Dustin Bruce

Blogs

  1. On the Bible Mesh blog, David Roach suggests “6 Ways to Start Learning Church History.”
  2. David Filson follows up on a previous post with “Five More Reasons Why You Should Read Jonathan Edwards,” on The Christward Collective.
  3. Consider getting involved with A Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia, a project of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.
  4. Check out “History, Providence, and Good News” by Tom Nettles at the Founders blog.
  5. If you missed it, check out this interesting article from Fox News, “1,300-year-old Egyptian mummy had tattoo of Archangel Michael.”
  6. Thomas Kidd, writing at The Anxious Bench, offers sound advice in “The Art of the Book Review.”
  7. Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor offer a convincing proposal in “April 3, AD 33: Why We Believe We Can Know the Exact Date Jesus Died.”
  8. The Fuller Center’s own Steve Weaver offers helpful tips in “Research Tips for Unfamiliar Topics.”
  9. Check out “David Brainerd Went to the Indians” by Fred Sanders on The Scriptorium Daily.
  10. Listen to Albert Mohler interview Myron Magnet on a fascinating new work, At Home With the Founders.

Recent Book Releases

  1. J.I. Packer, Evangelical Influences: Profiles of Figures and Movements Rooted in the Reformation. Hendrickson.
  2. Christopher Barina Kaiser, Seeing the Lord’s Glory: Kyriocentric Visions and the Dilemma of Early Christology. Fortress.
  3. Richard A. Bailey, Race and Redemption in Puritan New England (paperback). Oxford.
  4. Clemens Leonhard and Hermut Lohr, eds, Literature or Liturgy?: Early Christian Hymns and Prayers in Their Literary and Liturgical Context in Antiquity. Mohr Sieback.
  5. Carol Harrison and Caroline Humfress, eds., Being Christian in Late Antiquity. Oxford.

From the Fuller Center

  1. AFC contributor Evan Burns posts on “Uneducated Ministers?”
  2. The audio from Jason Duesing’s lecture series on Adoniram Judson is now available.
  3. Ian Clary introduces blog readers to “Books At A Glance.”

What did I miss this week?  Share in the comments or on Twitter: @AFCBS or @dustinbruce.

Note: Inclusion of an article, book, or any other form of media on the Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta does not constitute a theological endorsement by the compiler, Michael Haykin, the Andrew Fuller Center or Southern Seminary.

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Dustin Bruce lives in Louisville, KY where he is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Dustin and his wife, Whitney, originally hail from Alabama.

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Uneducated Ministers?

April 3rd, 2014 Posted in Baptist Life & Thought, Biblical Spirituality, Books, Missions

By Evan D. Burns

Sometimes theological education can be downplayed as though it were an unnecessary hobby for left-brained seminarians.  Unfortunately, rigorous biblical/theological training can be disparaged and treated as peripheral for “real” ministry to “real” people with “real” problems.  Doctrine divides, Jesus unites; deeds, not creeds; practical application, not propositional truth… so goes the post-modern, anti-authoritarian mantra.  One of the most oft-cited examples supposedly in support of this anti-intellectualism is that Jesus chose uneducated simpletons to be his disciples, not the highfalutin scribes and Pharisees, as though pure spirituality corresponds to untrained simple faith.  However, this is not the case.  Eckhard Schnabel explains in Early Christian Mission vol.1, 277-278:

The calling of the twelve disciples in Galilee must not be burdened with the view that Jesus called uneducated Galileans to the task of preaching and teaching.  It is rather probable that Jesus’ disciples, including the fishermen Simon and Andrew, were educated.

According to John 1:44, Peter, Andrew and Philip came from Bethsaida, an up-and-coming town that was granted the status of a polis in A.D. 30 and was located in the vicinity of the Greek city Caesarea Philippi.  Rainer Riesner argues that people “who grew up in such close proximity to a Hellenistic city must have spoken more than a few scraps of Greek.  Thus John 12:21 presupposes that Philip could speak Greek.”  Andrew, Philip and Simon had Greek names, which may not be coincidental.  Riesner observes, “The Galilean fishermen in Jesus’ group of disciples belonged not to the rural lower class but to the vocational middle class.  As the latter had religious interests, we may assume a certain degree of education in the case of the disciples such as Peter and John….  We may assume that several disciples came from that segment of the Jewish people who displayed religious interests and that they received, like Jesus, a good elementary education in the parental home, in the synagogue and in elementary school.”  A Jew who came from a pious background “had a solid, albeit one-sided, education.  He could read and write and he could retain large quantities of material in his memory by applying simple mnemonic devices….  Whether a boy of the lower classes received an elementary education depended on two preconditions:  the piety of the father and the existence of a synagogue in the village.”

The view that Jesus had untutored disciples is a romantic and entirely unwarranted one.  Note, for example, the calling of Matthew-Levi, a tax collector….  A tax collector belonged to the higher levels of society.  His position presupposed not only that he was wealthy but also that he had…education.

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Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons.  They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.

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Audio of Conference on Adoniram Judson Now Online

March 31st, 2014 Posted in 19th Century, Baptist Life & Thought, Church History, Conferences, Eminent Christians, Missions

By Steve Weaver

We have posted the audio of our recent mini-conference with Dr. Jason Duesing (Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) on the conference page (see left hand column). There are two lectures on the life and ministry of Judson and a Q&A session with Dr. Duesing.

The audio of the lectures are below:

Lecture 1: The Life and Ministry of Adoniram Judson, Part 1:  Conversion, Consecration, & Commission, 1788-1812 (MP3)

Lecture 2: The Life and Ministry of Adoniram Judson, Part 2:  Baptism, Burma, & the Bible, 1812-1850 (MP3)

Q&A: Q&A on the Life and Ministry of Adoniram Judson(MP3)

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Steve Weaver serves as a research assistant to the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and a fellow of the Center. He also serves as senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY. Steve and his wife Gretta have six children.

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Announcing “Books At A Glance”

March 28th, 2014 Posted in Books

By Ian Hugh Clary

logoThe Andrew Fuller Center is happy to announce the launch of a new website called Books At A Glance. The purpose of the site is to relieve the frustration that all of us bibliophiles feel: there’s not enough time to read all of the books we want! Books At A Glance is designed to help streamline some of our reading habits by providing summaries, reviews, and author interviews of the latest books in the various theological disciplines.

If you are in the business world you are likely familiar with the concept of “executive reviews.” These are more than a book review, but a proper summary—roughly 7-10 pages—of a book to help readers get a sense of its content, flow, and argument. Books At A Glance capitalizes on this kind of summary. As the promo material says, these summaries enable you to “keep informed and up to date and widen your learning in minutes, without infringing on your schedule.” It also helps you figure out what books you want to purchase in order to dig deeper.

Books At A Glance is run by pastor-theologian Fred Zaspel, author of a number of important works on B. B. Warfield. Its Board of Reference includes Thabiti Anyabwile, Matthew Barrett, D. A. Carson, James Hamilton, Steve Nichols, Tom Schreiner, Carl Trueman, and others.

This is not a totally free website but requires membership for access to some key aspects of what is offered. We really do think that this is a worthwhile resource that will continue to grow and develop as the months go by. It is ideal for busy pastors who don’t have time to read all of the latest from good publishers, it is also useful for scholars who want to keep abreast of the most recent work.

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Ian Hugh Clary is finishing doctoral studies at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein) where he is writing on Arnold Dallimore and the search for a usable past. He is a co-editor (with Steve Weaver) of “The Pure Flame of Devotion: A History of Christian Spirituality (Joshua Press, 2013), a Festschrift in honour of Michael Haykin. He is also a contributor to Gordon L. Heath’s Canadian Churches and the First World War (Pickwick, 2014). Ian has written articles in journals like Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical TheologyMid-America Journal of Theology, and Puritan Reformed Journal. Ian and his wife Vicky have three children, Jack, Molly, and Kate, and live in Toronto where they are members of West Toronto Baptist Church.

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Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta: a weekly roundup of blogs, articles, books, and more

March 28th, 2014 Posted in Books

By Dustin Bruce

Blogs

  1. On the Religion in American History blog, Steven P. Miller is interviewed about his upcoming book,The Age of Evangelicalism: America’s Born-Again Years.
  2. In “The Absolute Best Way to Introduce Your Kids (and Yourself) to Church History”, Justin Taylor highlights a current WTS book special. The title says it all!
  3. On The Scriptorium Daily, Fred Sanders posts on “Our Whole Salvation & All Its Parts: Calvin on Union with Christ.”
  4. On his personal blog, Lee Gattiss reviews Crawford Gribben’s Evangelical Millenialism in the Trans-Atlantic World, 1500–2000.
  5. Miles Mullins discusses “Unintended Consequences in American Religious History” on The Anxious Bench blog.
  6. Also at The Anxious Bench, Philip Jenkins puts forth an interesting treatment of an early Christian term in “Counting the Ways.”
  7. A free article from the Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry, Matt Haste treats “So many voices”: The Piety of Monica, Mother of Augustine.
  8. Tim Challies continues a helpful series with “The False Teachers: Harry Emerson Fosdick.”
  9. On the Ligonier blog, Steve Lawson is interviewed on his new book The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield.
  10. Also, while not restricted to Church History, check out the many helpful resources at Historians Teaching.
  11. While not necessarily a blog, it is worth noting that Southern Seminary’s James P. Boyce Centennial Library recently released a LibGuide on Andrew Fuller. This is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about Fuller.

Recent Book Releases

  1. Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown, Religion and Politics in the United States, seventh edition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  2. Sean Martin, The Cathars: The Most Successful Heresy in the Middle Ages. Oldcastle Books.
  3. John Drury, Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert. The University of Chicago Press.

From the Fuller Center

  1. AFC Fellow,Nathan Finn, posted on the controversial question, “Are Baptists Reformers, Radicals, or Restorationists?
  2. Evan Burns highlighted John Owen in “Preaching from the ‘Spiritual Sense’.”
  3. Joe Harrod continued a series of posts on Samuel Davies with “Samuel Davies on Meditation.”

What did I miss this week?  Share in the comments or on Twitter: @AFCBS or @dustinbruce.

Note: Inclusion of an article, book, or any other form of media on the Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta does not constitute a theological endorsement by the compiler, Michael Haykin, the Andrew Fuller Center or Southern Seminary.

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Dustin Bruce lives in Louisville, KY where he is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Dustin and his wife, Whitney, originally hail from Alabama.

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Preaching from the “Spiritual Sense”

March 27th, 2014 Posted in 17th Century, Biblical Spirituality, Eminent Christians, Great Quotes, Pastoral Ministry, Puritans

By Evan D. Burns

The Puritan John Owen argued that preachers must have “experience of the power of the truth which they preach in and upon their own souls….  A man preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul.”[1]  So his resolution was: “I hold myself bound in conscience and in honour, not even to imagine that I have attained a proper knowledge of any one article of truth, much less to publish it, unless through the Holy Spirit I have had such a taste of it, in its spiritual sense, that I may be able, from the heart, to say with the psalmist, ‘I have believed, and therefore I have spoken.’”[2]

Would that the Holy Spirit raise up more preachers who would resolve never to preach a text unless they have already tasted its spiritual sense.


[1] Owen, Works, XVI: 76.

[2] Works, X: 488.

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Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons.  They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.

 

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Are Baptists Reformers, Radicals, or Restorationists?

March 25th, 2014 Posted in 16th Century, 17th Century, Baptist Life & Thought, Church History, Historians, Puritans, Reformation

By Nathan A. Finn

If you spend much time studying Baptist history and thought, you know that a perennial debate concerns Baptist origins, early theological influences, and any bearing those topics might have on the nature of Baptist identity. Some scholars argue that Baptists are second or third generation reformers who are rooted in a mostly puritan identity. Barrie White and Tom Nettles come to mind as exemplars of this view, which is the majority position among historians. Other scholars argue that Baptists, though clearly emerging from English Separatists, are at least influenced by the evangelical wing of the Radical Reformation. William Estep and Ian Randall are two representatives of this school of thought. Still other historians argue that Baptists are evangelical restorationists: Doug Weaver makes this case. Some Baptist scholars opt for an eclectic or polygenetic approach to this question, notably Curtis Freeman.

I wonder to what degree one’s own theological and/or spiritual presuppositions play into how a scholar views this issue. Granted, none of the aforementioned categories are Landmark, so presumably their historiographies aren’t totally theologically driven. Still, does one’s understanding of issues like predestination, ecumenism, church and state, and church and culture affect where one “lands” on this question? I think this is at least possible in some cases.

For my part, I can see why different scholars champion each of these approaches. The historical genesis of the earliest English Baptists was most definitely in English Separatism and by the time of the Civil War the English Baptists were thinking in broadly puritan categories. However, at least some of the earliest General Baptists and perhaps a few of the earliest Particular Baptists had some affinity with some Anabaptists. And, of course, both Anabaptists and Baptists held to baptistic ecclesiologies, which would at least lend itself to the understandable (if not always charitable) assumption that the groups were connected in some ways. Baptists on the whole might not be restorationists, but there is no doubt there is a restorationist streak among some Baptists—how else does one explain the spiritual pilgrimages of John Smyth and Rogers Williams or the existence of the Independent Baptist movement? These factors are why I resonate with a more polygenetic approach to early Baptist theological identity, while still holding to English Separatist historical origins.

How do you think we should think about Baptist origins and/or identity? Are we puritans who got straightened out on the sacraments? Are we the more respectable wing of the Radical Reformation? Are we sane restorationists? Or, especially since the early eighteenth century, are we really just dunking evangelicals? I’m thinking out loud more than I am making any particular arguments, so I would love to hear your thoughts about this question.

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Nathan A. Finn is associate professor of historical theology and Baptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also an elder at First Baptist Church of Durham, NC and a fellow of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.

 

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Samuel Davies on Meditation

March 24th, 2014 Posted in 18th Century, Biblical Spirituality, Church History, Eminent Christians

By Joe Harrod

Samuel Davies (1723­–1761) expected Christians to meditate. He included meditation among various “duties of religion” and encouraged his hearers to make meditation a habitual practice.[1] By meditating, believers were following Christ’s own practice of devotion.[2] Davies never defined “meditation” or offered specific details on its mechanics, nor did he describe his own practice of this discipline; rather he expected that his hearers were acquainted with this practice. For him, meditation was an act of the mind that involved sustained, attentive reflection on God, his attributes, works, creation, and word, for the purpose of stirring one’s affections toward God.

Davies proposed several subjects upon which his hearers could affix their thoughts: God’s infinite and saving love[3]; heaven and hell[4]; “the glories of God displayed in a crucified Jesus . . . the scheme of salvation through his blood”[5]; as well as God’s glory and kindness.[6] He also encouraged meditation upon Scripture: “Read, and hear, and meditate upon his word, till you know your danger and remedy.”[7] Davies mentioned his own deliberate, meditative study of Romans.[8] By citing these objects, Davies placed himself within the Puritan tradition of meditation. Yet Davies believed that even unbelievers who were spiritually dead could “meditate upon divine things,” warning his hearers against adherence to spiritual disciplines as a sure indication of genuine faith.[9] Believers ought to meditate before taking the Lord’s Supper.[10] Davies believed that meditation afforded the believer delight and helped one to grow in holiness, which fueled happiness.[11]


[1]Samuel Davies, “Sinners Entreated,” in Sermons by the Rev. Samuel Davies, A.M. President of the College of New Jersey, vol. 1 (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1854, repr. 1993), 148. Cited henceforth as Sermons. See also idem., “Present Holiness and Future Felicity,” in Sermons, 1:281, and idem., “A Sermon on the New Year,” in Sermons, 2:207.

[2]Samuel Davies, “The Sacred Import of the Christian Name,” in Sermons, 1:348.

[3]Samuel Davies, “The Method of Salvation through Jesus Christ,” in Sermons, 1:130–31.

[4]Samuel Davies, “The Nature and Process of Spiritual Life,” in Sermons, 1:194. Here Davies suggested subjects upon which believers ought to meditate by mentioning subjects upon which unbelievers may ponder without affect.

[5]Samuel Davies, “The Divine Perfections Illustrated in the Method of Salvation, through the Sufferings of Christ,” in Sermons, 2:273.

[6] Davies, “Nature of Love to God,” in Sermons, 2:480.

[7]Samuel Davies, “The Christian Feast,” in Sermons, 2:167–68.

[8]Samuel Davies, “The Nature of Justification, and the Nature and Concern of Faith in it,” in Sermons, 2:663.

[9]Samuel Davies, “The Nature and Universality of Spiritual Death,” in Sermons, 1:166.

[10]Davies, “The Christian Feast,” in Sermons, 2:167.

[11]Samuel Davies, “Present Holiness and Future Felicity,” in Sermons, 1:278. See also Samuel Davies, “The One Thing Needful,” in Sermons, 1:556.

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jch_cropJoe Harrod serves as Director for Institutional Assessment at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is a doctoral candidate in the areas of Biblical Spirituality and Church History. He and his wife, Tracy, have three sons.

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Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta: a weekly roundup of blogs, articles, books, and more

March 21st, 2014 Posted in Books, Church History, Historians

By Dustin Bruce

Blogs

  1. Thomas Kidd expounds on “George Marsden and the Gift of Clear Writing” over at the Anxious Bench. Speaking of Kidd, don’t miss the Gheens Lectures at Southern Seminary where he will be lecturing on “Faith and Politics: From the Great Awakening to the American Revolution.”
  2. The American Historical Association has recently expanded their Online Directory of History Dissertations, a collection that now includes over 49,000 works.
  3. At The Confessing Baptist, Graham Benyon writes on “The Rise and Development of the English Baptists.”
  4. Also at The Confessing Baptist, check out the first volume in the Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.
  5. Justin Taylor highlighted “God’s Lion in London: Charles Spurgeon and the Challenge of the Modern Age,” Albert Mohler’s recent lecture given at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at RTS.
  6. Over at Comment, the Cardus blog, Joan Lockwood O’Donovan reviews Alan Jacobs new work, The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography.
  7. Ryan Nelson discusses “Simple Language for Simple Truth: The Legacy of J.A. Broadus” on logostalk, where you can find a special on Broadus’ writings for Logos.
  8. On Christianity Today’s Hermeneutics blog, Karen Swallow Prior posts on Hannah More in “The Most Influential Reformer You’ve Never Heard Of.”

Recent Book Releases

  1. Basil of Caesarea (Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality) by Stephen M. Hildebrand. Baker. $26.99.
  2. The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution by John W. Compton. Harvard University Press. $45.00.
  3. A Companion to Global Historical Thought by Prasenjit Duara, Viren Mirthy, and Andrew Satori. Wiley Blackwell. $195.00.
  4. God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West by Joseph Loconte. Lexington Books. $95.00.
  5. Christian Theology: The Classics edited by Stephen R. Holmes and Shawn Bawulski. Routledge. $26.95

From the Fuller Center

  1. Joe Harrod pointed to Samuel Davies’ thoughts on reading Scripture.
  2. Steve Weaver posted on “Reclaiming St. Patrick’s Day.”
  3. Steve Weaver introduces readers to the ministry of Evan Burns.
  4. Speaking of Evan, he draws from Martin Lloyd-Jones in “Reading from the Long 18th Century.”

What did I miss this week?  Share in the comments or on Twitter: @AFCBS or @dustinbruce.

Note: Inclusion of an article, book, or any other form of media on the Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta does not constitute a theological endorsement by the compiler, Michael Haykin, the Andrew Fuller Center or Southern Seminary.

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Dustin Bruce lives in Louisville, KY where he is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Dustin and his wife, Whitney, originally hail from Alabama.

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Reading from the Long 18th Century

March 20th, 2014 Posted in 18th Century, Biblical Spirituality

By Evan D. Burns
I echo the sentiments of Martyn Lloyd-Jones when he said he was an 18th century man.  The “long century” (1680-1837) is a deep mine of precious evangelical jewels worth searching out.  Here are some reasons (in no particular order) why reading evangelical writers from the 18th century is so profitable:
  1. They took the Great Commission seriously and sought to obey it no matter the sacrifice; they viewed the church on mission for the extension of Christ’s kingdom.
  2. Like the choice of Moses, they fled the fleeting pleasures of this world and considered the reproach of Christ as greater reward.
  3. They were men of the Book; they desired the Book of God at all costs; they meditated and studied it assiduously.
  4. They loved the gospel system, and the cross of Christ was all their theme.
  5. They courageously engaged in theological controversy for the sake of gospel purity and missions advance.
  6. They spoke with holy love and religious affections for their Sovereign God.
  7. They prayed with earnest desperation for the Spirit’s empowerment and sanctifying work.
  8. They preached with evangelical fervor for the conversion of souls and for the revival of the church.
  9. They promoted the Lord’s Table and Baptism as a significant part of the life and piety of the church.

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Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons.  They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.

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