Hi, this is Stephen. To me, Geneva is a place in Switzerland, football is when you kick a ball with your foot, and trunks belong on elephants. In short, I’m not an American. But I am doing the CTI. One of the benefits of doing the CTI is being forced to read a lot of good books. Many of them are books you probably mean to read sometime, but if it wasn’t for the mornings of set-reading where you’re put in a room with the books and told to get on with it, you’d probably never get them read. I’ll mention a few of the books below as I don’t think anyone else has yet.

For ‘Biblical Theology’ one of the books we’re studying is G. I. Williamson’s commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith. The WCF was written at one of the purest times of church history, by some of the greatest dudes ever. It’s so key to Presbyterianism, and we can talk about it a lot, but how well do we actually know it? Well, after this semester of CTI we’ll certainly know it a lot better!

‘Ministry Practicum’: One of the books which we study together for this is Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines, which recently made frequent-US-visitor Prof Edward Donnelly’s ’10 books you absolutely must read’. And no matter how many times you have, it’s still challenging. Brenton and I are also studying Charles Bridges’ ‘The Christian Ministry’ and we have seminars on it each Thursday with Andrew. It’s brilliant – and you can’t often say that for a book that’s dedicated to ‘His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury!’

For Reformed Evangelism, we’re studying a book called ‘Every Thought Captive’, which is Van Til apologetics for High Schoolers (as it is described on the back..). So obviously a book that is going to be very helpful – but one I would probably never have read if it wasn’t for the CTI! Next semester we are moving on to study ‘Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God’ (Packer) and ‘Urban Harvest’ – both of which should be good.

The CTI is far more than books of course – but if you gained absolutely nothing else from it you would have been able to read some immense books and discuss them both with each other and with experienced pastors.

Though if that’s all you gained, you’d probably have bigger issues than not being able to pronounce ‘aluminium’ correctly.

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