Revelation: The Sovereign Reign of the Exalted Christ

COVID-19 and the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals operates submissive to the authority of both civil government as well as the sessions of our host churches. Out of a preponderance of care, they have asked us to cancel the physical gathering of our Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology; first Grand Rapids and now Philadelphia. We do not take this action lightly and we do so with a heavy heart. Read more...

Grand Rapids • March 13-15, 2020

Joel Beeke • Richard Phillips • Philip Ryken • Cornelis Venema

First Christian Reformed Church of Byron Center
8541 Byron Center Avenue SW
Byron Center, MI 49315

Audio available soon.


Philadelphia • April 24-26, 2020

G. K. Beale • Joel Beeke • Richard Phillips
Philip Ryken • Derek Thomas

Details about PCRT Philadelphia online coming soon.


Schedule l Speaker Biographies l Hotel Information


About the Conference

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” — Revelation 21:2

For the first time in history, the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology will focus on a single book of the Bible: the apocalypse of John the apostle, also known as Revelation. Several reasons account for this theme. First, perhaps no book in all of Scripture so exalts the sovereign reign of the Lord Jesus Christ as does Revelation. John’s visions begin with the glorified Christ holding the stars of the churches in His hand, standing amidst the lampstands of His people. Here we find the central message of the Bible’s final book: Jesus reigns until He returns in victory! Second, the need for a clear Reformed witness to the book of Revelation is urgent. Given the confusion of recent decades of interpreting this book, the church needs a sound understanding of this vital message. Third, a key theme of Reformed theology is the perseverance of the saints, and the call to overcome in the power of God’s sovereign grace is magnified throughout Revelation. Our hope through this conference is nothing less than that in these troubled times we will see a return to the Church of the power intended by the Holy Spirit through the book of Revelation.

The 20th century witnessed such mass confusion over Revelation that many seasoned Christians know little about its contents. During this same century, Reformed scholarship brought significant advances to our understanding of the structure and contents of this important book of Scripture. Starting with G.K. Beale’s landmark 1999 commentary, our times have witnessed a number of clear and compelling expositions of Revelation that have shown not only its proper interpretation but have also brought to bear its powerful message. A number of these authors will participate in the conference, and we greatly look forward to working through the great scenes of Revelation in this year’s conference.

The outstanding roster of speakers for the 2020 PCRT involves a reunion of old friends. We are delighted to be joined by Philip Ryken, Derek Thomas, and Joel Beeke for the plenary sessions, all of whom are beloved friends and long-time PCRT contributors. For the pre-conference and workshop sessions, we are honored to host two of the most significant Revelation scholars of our day: G. K. Beale (Philadelphia) and Cornelis P. Venema (Grand Rapids). The pre-conference will consider broad themes in Revelation, and each scholar providing clear guides for interpreting this Christ-exalting book. Join us for what will be a memorable celebration of The Sovereign Reign of the Exalted Christ.



Pre-conference: The Divine Christ in the Book of Revelation
8:00 a.m. Registration and coffee
9:15 a.m. Opening Bible Study: Our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13-14)
9:45 a.m. The Divine Christ (Philadelphia)
10:45 a.m. Coffee break
11:00 a.m. Desiring the Glory of the Divine Christ (Philadelphia)
12:00 p.m. Lunch (at local restaurants)
2:00 p.m. Witnessing to the Divine Christ (Philadelphia)
3:00 p.m. Question & Answer Session
3:45 p.m. End of Pre-Conference

Conference: Revelation: The Sovereign Reign of the Exalted Christ
6:00 p.m. Conference Registration
7:00 p.m. Opening of the 2020 PCRT
Plenary 1 -- "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1)


7:30 a.m. Late Registration
8:30 a.m. Plenary 2 -- "Worthy is the Lamb" (Revelation 5)
10:00 a.m. Plenary 3 -- "The Marriage Feast of the Lamb" (Revelation 19)
11:00 a.m. Question & Answer Session (All Speakers)
12:00 p.m. Lunch (at local restaurants)
2:00 p.m. Plenary 4 -- "The Mark of the Beast" (Revelation 13)
3:15–4:30 p.m. Workshops

Decoding the Millennium
Lessons from the Seven Letters to the Churches
Keys to Interpreting the Book of Revelation

4:30 p.m. Dinner (at local restaurants)
7:00 p.m. Plenary 5 -- "The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon" (Revelation 12)

Sunday PCRT joins host church worship for final address.

Plenary 6 -- "The City without a Temple" (Revelation 21:22-22:5)
11:00 a.m. PCRT worships with Proclamation Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr

Speaker Biographies

Gregory Beale holds the J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament and is research professor of New Testament and biblical interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary. His expertise is in the use of the Old Testament in the New and its contribution to biblical theology, the unity of the two Testaments, and the hermeneutical significance thereof. Dr. Beale’s academic degrees include a B.A. and M.A. from Southern Methodist University, Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He is the coeditor of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament and the author of numerous books, including A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. Greg and his wife currently reside in Philadelphia. They have three grown children.
Joel Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editorial director of Puritan Reformed Journal and Reformation Heritage Books, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written and co-authored over one hundred books including, Reformed Systematic Theology, Vol. 1: Revelation and God; Reformed Preaching; and A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.
Richard Phillips is chair of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology and the senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. An officer in the United States Army for thirteen years, Phillips commanded tank units and later served as assistant professor of leadership at West Point before resigning with the rank of major to enter the ministry. He is the author of numerous books, including, The God of Creation: Truth and Gospel in Genesis 1, The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men and I Samuel Reformed Expository Commentary.
Philip Ryken is the president of Wheaton College and the Bible teacher of Every Last Word radio and internet broadcasts. Dr. Ryken earned a master of divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and a doctorate in historical theology from the University of Oxford. He preached at Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church from 1995 until his appointment at Wheaton in 2010. Dr. Ryken has published more than 50 books, including The Message of Salvation, Art for God’s Sake, When Trouble Comes, and expository commentaries on Exodus, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Jeremiah, Luke, Galatians, and other books of the Bible. He and his wife Lisa have five children.
Derek Thomas is Senior Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC. He is from Wales. He is a graduate of the University of Wales (Bc.S), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div), and University of Wales/Lampeter (Ph.D.). Derek was ordained in the Evangelical Church of Ireland, where he served Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Belfast for 17 years before going to Mississippi. He is the Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at RTS Atlanta and a well published author. Derek and his wife Rosemary have two grown children. 
Cornelis Venema is president and professor of Doctrinal Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary and associate pastor at Redeemer United Reformed Church in Dyer, IN. He is also co-editor of the Mid-America Journal of Theology and contributing editor of The Outlook. Educated at Dordt College, Iowa, and Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Venema received his Ph.D. in 1985 from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is author of many books, including The Promise of the Future, Christ and the Future, and The Gospel of Free Acceptance in Christ. Dr. Venema is married to Nancy, and they have four children.

Hotel Information

Please call the hotel directly and mention, "The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals" to receive the special conference rate.


The Radnor Hotel
591 E. Lancaster Avenue
St. Davids, PA 19087
Call 610-688-5800 by April 2nd
4 miles from the church

Courtyard Philadelphia Valley Forge/King of Prussia
1100 Drummers Lane
Wayne, PA 19087
Call 610-687-6700 by April 2nd
8.2 miles from the church


History of the PCRT

Click here to find out more about the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology