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David Torlach, M.D., is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, a denomination with which the PRCA have established, officially at Synod 2009, a Corresponding Relationship. Several men from the EPCA have, in the recent past, been trained in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Dr. Torlach is the fourth. He graduated, along with Mr. Cory Griess, at the Commencement Program on June 11. One of the items of interest at this year’s synod was the reading of a letter from Dr. Torlach, expressing his appreciation for his training and for the reception of him and his family in the PRC while in residence here. His letter follows:

I want to take this opportunity briefly to express appreciation and thanks to the PRCA, on behalf of myself and my family, and therefore somewhat also on behalf of the EPC of Australia.

We want to thank the PRC for:

My training in the seminary. I have received seminary training which I have no doubt is one of the best in the world. I have been taught by professors who not only have a solid and deep knowledge of the truth of the Scriptures, but also demonstrate a practical love for that truth, both in their teaching and in their personal lives. I have grown in my personal faith and knowledge; and my love of my Savior and His truth has grown immeasurably whilst under their teaching.

My training has been provided free of charge either to myself or to the EPC in general. At the present time, I do not believe that the EPC, with its limited resources, could provide the kind of training I have received here. We are indebted to you for this. This is a very generous undertaking. There is no direct benefit to the PRC. They are doing this simply in their love and support of the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ in other places. I have been trained in all the Reformed doctrines, with a sensitivity to the differences between us. There has been a respect of our positions, and even allowing the putting forward and consideration of differences, without their making any difference to my training or assessment. I pray that this may likewise be reflected in our broader relationships in the years to come.

The care of our family. We were included in the Byron Center congregation and were made to feel as if we were members there, and cared for as such, even if not quite so in reality. We have been cared for by the council of Byron Center Church in many ways, but also by all the members of the congregation. They have shown a love for us, not only in word but in deed. We have all grown spiritually here. We have been blessed by the preaching of the Word, the fellowship, the catechism classes, and the schools. We have made so many firm friends in the Lord. It has not only been Byron Center: everywhere we have gone in the PRC the people have shown an interest in and a care for us, putting themselves out for us. At times this has been overwhelming for us. We have been privileged to live amongst God’s people here. I believe it is not until you travel and even live outside of your usual circle of church family, that you start to truly appreciate the universality of the church of Jesus Christ—that He really has His people in every place upon the face of this earth.

May our Lord and King, Jesus Christ the Savior, strengthen all the Protestant Reformed Churches, as they seek to serve Him, preach the gospel, and glorify God. May He also bless both of our denominations with stronger ties in the truth of the Scriptures and the Reformed faith, that we might be a blessing and encouragement to one another, and strengthen one another’s hand in the great task of proclaiming the gospel, preserving the truth, and shepherding His sheep, until He comes again.

David Torlach