REPORT OF CENTRAL OHIO REFORMATION INSTITUTE, October 28-30, 2008
The Central Ohio Reformation Institute was conducted at Spruce Hill Inn and Cottages, 3230 O’Possum Run Road, two miles southeast of the intersection of I-71 and State Route 13 at Mansfield. Offered by ADVOCATE Enterprise, the Institute culminated months of preparation involving a myriad of e-mail, postal, and telephone communications, and personal visitation of area pastors and church leaders. The Lord graciously opened the way for us to meet at Spruce Hill Inn, as Spruce Hill Inn and Cottages owner Beth Clark warmly received us and provided well-prepared meals along with excellent accommodations. Then when Dr. Richard Daniel’s plane flight into Columbus was cancelled after he had arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning, Tim Prince, Pastor of Wildwood Chapel in East Canton, graciously stepped forward to help. He met Dr. Daniels at the Akron-Canton Airport at 5:45 P.M. following his substitute flight arrival and then escorted him to the Spruce Hill Inn on time for the Tuesday evening meeting. (Once Dr. Daniels understood that a man resembling Dwight L. Moody would be meeting him at the airport, it was smooth sailing.)
A total of thirteen over-nighters and five commuters participated in the Institute, as well as twelve men from the Danville New Order Church who shared German Anabaptist hymns on Wednesday evening with English script for attendees to follow. Dr. Daniels, who earned his Ph.D. in Reformation Studies from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, lectured on the following topics: “Sola Scriptura: From Renaissance Humanism to Covenant Theology”; “Foundation for a New Piety: Reformation Rediscovery of the Savior of Sovereign Grace”; “Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Reformation Navigation of the Sanctified Life”; “From Witness to Warrior: French Protestantism and the Defense of Liberty”; and “The Church that Christ Builds: The Ecclesiology of John Owen.”
Dave Brand led a Round Table discussion on “Seven Blunders of the Reformation World” and gave the final presentation entitled “Jonathan Edwards and the Reformation in America.” Round Table participants included Dr. John Hood, Moderator of the Ohio Association of the CCCC; Rev Joe Puglia, Pastor of the Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Mansfield; and Rev. Phil Ross, Pastor, Author and Christian businessman. Dr. Hood presented devotions on Wednesday morning focusing on Christ’s reproof of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road in Luke 24:25-26 while accenting the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura. Dr. Hood also led the closing time of sharing and group prayer. Rev. Peter Parry, Pastor of Jones Road Congregational Church in Cleveland, led in devotions on Thursday morning focusing on the life of Simon Peter to illustrate God’s sovereignty. Singing great hymns of the church under the leadership of L. David Dake, Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Lodi, was a spiritual highlight of our time together. A well stocked Reformation Book Table, the recording of all presentations and special music by Tim Prince, the provision of hymn books and laptop sound by Phil Ross for group singing, and a digital projector by Chuck Michaelis to enable the use of Power Point on Wednesday evening, all contributed to a wonderful time of study and fellowship. Tim will prepare CDs for interested persons to review or to get a first-hand taste of the blessings God provided through the first Central Ohio Reformation Institute.
David C. Brand, Director, ADVOCATE Enterprise