Jedediah Morse, D. Edward D. Griffin, D. Professor Leonard Woods, D. Worcester, pastor of the church in whose venerable edifice the council assembled. Before this council Mr. Judson and his associates, Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott, Gordon Hall, and Luther Rice, severally gave an account of their views of doctrine, their personal hopes of the Divine favor, and their motives and prospects in offering themselves to the important service of a mission to the heathen world.
The council resolved to separate the young men to the work to which they believed they were called by the Holy Ghost, and proceeded to ordain them the same day. The services of the occasion attracted a vast concourse of people. The snow-covered streets of the old town of Salem were well beaten by foot travel, and especially might this be marked in the vicinity of the Tabernacle.
In the crowded assemblage present within were men whose praises were in all the churches, and young students. The attendance showed that there were many who felt the sentiment uttered by Dr. Spring in his charge:'CNo enterprise comparable to this has been embraced by the American Church. All others retire before it, like the stars before the rising sun. Griffin offered the introductory prayer. Woods preached the sermon. The prayer of ordination was offered by Dr. Morse, and the charge given, as intimated above, by Dr.
The account of these services is familiar in. Asa Smith has felicitously expressed: "Never, perhaps, were ordination services in more perfect keeping fith the occasion. Nothing was commonplacenothing merely perfunctory. Every thing had an air of conscientiousness, directness, and earnestness, indicating most clearly a deep sense of the seriousness and magnitude of the work in hand.
Judson was now recognized by the churches as an embassador of Christ to the heathen. If we regard a desire for a work as any proof of a Divine call to and fitness for its prosecution, none can doubt the propriety of his being set apart for missionary labor. He had other qualifications of a high order. His intellectual powers and attainments, as the reader will already have marked, had attracted great attention, and caused most favorable auguries to be uttered concerning him in the event of his remaining in America.
It has, we know, sometimes been argued that God chooses "ignorant and unlearned men" for important undertakings. It is not difficult, certainly, to show that, oftentimes, His instruments have been selected from among those whose early days have been passed amid the hardships and privations incident to poverty f but it is also easy to show, from an examination of instances, that tho most cultivated minds have been called in to.
It is easy for superficial minds to plead that Carey was a shoemaker; but they would not present such a case if they remembered that his philological and theological attainments were very considerable when he went to India. Though these acquirements were not made in a seminary, few who passed through English institutions were his equals. So, in the case of our pioneer missionary: The Lord anointed one who had not only spiritual affections, and whose intellect was capable of large acquirements, but who had also possessed and improved opportunities by which the head was qualified for its part of the consecration.
Judson to realize the fulfillment of his desires in connection with his departure. In less than two weeks after the ordination, on the eighteenth of February, his wife and himself, and with them Mr. Newell, were on board the Caravan, bound for India. The last adieus of Christian friends had been taken, and the next morning they were all looking on the old town and the coasts of their native land as they believed for the last time.
Their departure was not like that of missionaries in this day.
Their enterprise was regarded as excessively fanatical; and many Christians who, amid the solemn influences of the ordination services, felt a deep sympathy for them, in what they deemed less excited moments, doubted the propriety of their undertaking. When Mr. Judson returned to this country, he himself gave an account of the circumstances of the departure in "When your missionaries left your shores, very few were willing to be known. Two young men, about to go from their homes to the heathen, on the morning of their departure from their native land, were addressed by the secretary of a missionary society, as they sat at his breakfast table, as follows:' Brethren, I have business that demands my attention to-day in a neighboring town; you will therefore have to excuse me from going with you to your vessel!
The sundering of the ties which bound them to their homes was no small grief, and the thought of leaving their native land, apparently thus " despised and forsaken of men" was peculiarly trying, both to Mr. Judson and Mr. The first act of these young men on board ship was that which piety, as well as loneliness, would prompt.
striving by God's grace to clean the inside of the cup…
There was a voice speaking to them, "Enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee," and obeying its spirit, they withdrew from the deck, and " when they threw themselves on their knees in their lonely cabin, they seemed to hear a voice saying,' You are not alone, for I am with you. The truths which Bernard Barton has so beautifully wrought into verse concerning the first Baptist missionaries from Old England will apply to the first missionaries from New England: "These went not forth, as man too oft hath done. Braving the ocean billows' wild uproar, In hopes to gather ere life's sands were run, Yet added heaps of lIammon's sordid ore.
They went not forth earth's treasures to explore, Where sleeps in sunless depths the diamond's ray, Nor were they urged by love of classic lore, Their homage of idolatry to pay Where heroes fought and fell, or poets poured their lay. Judson devoted much time to study. The result of this on one subject will more properly be embraced in the following chapter. Both himself and wife were earnestly seeking the piety they believed essential for their great work.
Adoniram Judson to His Prospective Father in Law
In this we may believe they were mutual helpers. In a letter dated " At sea, April 11th, ," Mrs. Judson says: " I find Mr. Judson one of the kindest, most faithful, and affectionate of husbands. Iis conversation frequently. I hope God will make us instrumental of preparing each other for usefulness in this world, and greater happiness in a future world. That night they came to anchor in the Bay of Bengal, and, having procured a pilot, on the 15th they commenced ascending the Hoogley.
Two days after, the Caravan was in the harbor of Calcutta. Proceeding on shore, Mr. Judson sought permission to live in the country, but at night returned to the vessel to announce his ill-success. The following morning the two brethren made a fresh attempt, but without any satisfactory result. The party, however, determined to land, and were met and welcomed by the venerable leader of English missions, Dr. In the evening it was the privilege of the new missionary company once more to gather with a worshiping assembly. Only those who have spent long days deprived of the privileges of the sanctuary, can fully enter into their feelings, as, entering into an edifice belonging to the Church of England, they " heard the organ play our old favorite tune,'Bangor.
Adapted to the climate in its construction, and having " a number of punkcahs, something like a fan several yards in length, hung around, with ropes fastened to the outside, which were pulled by some of the natives to keep the church cool," it seemed to show that they were far from home.
Very different, likewise, were the usages of worship. In the reading of the ninety-third and ninety-fourth Psalms-which were a part of the appointed Scriptures-there were verses which had peculiar and new signifiCance. They could testify that "The waves of the sea are mighty, and rage horribly; but yet the Lord, who dwelleth on high, is mightier. Judson, with Mr. Newell, repaired to Serampore, in accordance with an invitation they had received from the missionaries there, to make their home with them till the arrival of Messrs.
Hall, Nott, and Rice, who had appointed to sail from Philadelphia the same week that the Caravan left Salem. In the congenial associations which were presented them by acquaintance with Messrs. Marshman and Ward, both Mr. Newell found great delight, after the long incarceration of a voyage from Salem to Calcutta. They had enjoyed this privilege but ten days when the interference of the government caused them great distress. A brief account of the circumstances under which the vast territory, generally known as the British East Indies, is held, may be useful to our younger readers.
Though regarded as a possession of the English crown, its government is vested in the East India Company. The origin of this, body was as follows: In the year a number of London merchants formed themselves into an association for trading purposes, with a capital of about , To this association Queen Elizabeth granted a charter, incorporating them as "The Gov. In its search for pearls, spices, and silks, it discovered a territory over which it was easy to assert and maintain absolute dominion. This it was not slow in doing; and in order to legalize its conquests in the country of which its members were subjects, from successive monarchs and by laws of Parliament the company obtained increased immunities and powers.
By great sagacity, and, it is to be feared, little regard to moral considerations, it has continued to make additiohs to its possessions till it has obtained a large empire, which has been ruled with despotic power. It is customary for the charter to be renewed every few years; and, till about the period of the formation of the English Baptist Missionary Society, the Christian world gave so little attention to the diffusion of the Gospel, that the obstacles which the company were disposed to place in the way of evangelizing its territories scarcely received any attention.
At that time, as Messrs. Carey and Thomas were about to depart for India, general attention was given to that immense country as a field of Christian labor, and the opposition of the company to evangelization became more fully known and realized. The subject of the renewal of the charter coining before the House of Commons in , strenuous efforts were made to graft into it provisions favorable to missions.
The effort was, however, unsuccessful. Indeed, so little light was there in high places, that a bishop rose in his place in the House of Lords to deprecate "any attempt to. J to obtain a footing in- the company's possessions;:: and::ad, therefore, to resort to rmpore. Judson's arrival, that, though in- England the-members of this corporation most valiantly shouted "Church and ing"'. The light of the nineteenth century-had done something for- -India in England,:and it was evident that it cold not be renew'ed ithout:some regard being paidto the demands of Christian-phflanthropy.
It was this which caused Mr. Judson and his brother missionary to be summoned to Calcutta. Arriving there, they found their worst fears realized; a government order being read to them requiring them immediately to leave the Presidency and return to America. To the view of the two missionaries and their English brethren the prospect was now exceedingly dark.
They, however, set themselves to an earnest consideration as to the practicability of finding a field of labor where they could be free from the dictation of the powers who held sway in British India. When accepted as missionaries, the brethren had been appointed " to labor, under the direction of the board, in Asia, either in the Burman empire, or in Surat, or in Prince of Wales Island, or elsewhere," as Providence might open a " favorable door. The project of a mission to Burmah, which was a primary instruction of the board, was considered out of the question.
The English brethren who had labored there had done so amid many discouragements, and in circumstances of great danger, and an entire cessation of effort was contemplated. Unwilling to go back to America, and thus relinquish all hope of missionary labor in the East, the brethren solicited leave to go to the Isle of France, and as the vessel which ofered the opportunity of going thither could accommodate buttwo passengers, it was yielded to Mr.
Newell, who accordingly sailed August 4th. Newell, Messrs. Hall, Nott, and Rice arrived. Perceiving no other course open, the two former resolved likewise to seek the Isle of France; but afterward learning that more toleration might be hoped for in Bombay, they sailed for that presidency in the latter part of November. Here, with great difficulty, they obtained permission to remain. Hall, it is well known, for some thirteen years nobly toiled in the service of his Master, when he resigned his spirit to his Creator and God.
Nott was in a short time induced by the state of his health to return to the United States. Rice yet remained in Calcutta. There was a tie binding them closely to each other. Though they had sought the Eastern world in different vessels, yet while on the voyage each had been engaged in study on a controversial subject, which had brought them on their arrival in India to be greatly in doubt concerning doctrines to which all their days they had given an unhesitating assent.
As Mr. Judson expected on arriving in Calcutta to meet the Baptist missionaries, he felt it important for the honor of his denomination to be able to defend its sentiments, if, as he thought probable, occasion should arise which would render it necessary. When, however, he brought successive arguments in review, and considered how they would be met by Baptist advocates, he found them more liable to refutation than he had supposed, while it appeared to him that the simple principles which they held, though very capable of ridicule in popular discourse, could not be satisfactorily disposed of in the closeness of argument which became a personal interview, especially with those who were some years older than himself, and who had, therefore, a claim for.
On arriving in India, Mr. Judson, like many others, found Baptists not so belligerent as his early educational prejudices had led him to suppose. In the weeks he spent in Serampore, to his surprise, his rather uncharitable expectations of the ill-breeding of the missionaries were not realized. They scrupulously fulfilled the duties of hospitality, and did not obtrude their peculiarities on the attention of their guests.
Nevertheless, he pursued his studies on the subject, though earnestly dissuaded by Mrs. After the arrival of the rest of the missionary company, they took up their abode in Calcutta, and having found in the library of their chamber many books on both sides, he was soon joined in his inquiries on the subject by his wife. She has left a record that she commenced reading with all her prejudices on the Psedobaptist side. The spirit in which these inquiries were subsequently prosecuted can be best shown by an extract from the pen of Mrs.
Judson, as found in her memoir by Professor Knowles. Judson resolved to examine it candidly and prayerfully, let the result be what it would. No one in the mission family knew the state of his mind, as they never conversed with any of us on this subject. I was very fearful he would become a Baptist, and frequently suggested the unhappy consequences if he should.
He always answered, that his duty compelled him to examine the subject, and he hoped he should have a disposition to embrace the truth, though he paid dear for it. I always took the Paedobaptists' side in reasoning with him, although I was as doubtful of. After we came to Calcutta, he devoted his whole time to reading on this subject, having obtained the best authors on both sides.
After having examined and re-examined the subject, in every way possible, and comparing the sentiments of both Baptists and Ptedobaptists with the Scriptures, he was compelled, from a conviction of the truth, to embrace those of the former. I confined my attention almost entirely to the Scriptures, comparing the Old with the New Testament, and tried to find something to favor infant baptism, but was convinced it had no foundation there.
I examined the covenant of circumcision, and could see no reason for concluding that baptism was to be administered to children because circumcision was. Thus, my dear parents and sisters, we are both confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be. A renunciation of our former sentiments has caused us more pain than any thing which ever happened to us through our lives.
It was no trifling sacrifice which it was necessary for Mr. Judson to make if he became a Baptist. His brethren were exposed to many trials by the opposition of the Government, but they were assured of the countenance and support of the board at home. Not only was he exposed to trouble from the same source, but if he followed out his convictions, his connection with the organization in America must necessarily be sundered. Judson's sermon on Baptism. All this was mortifying; it was hard to flesh and blood. But I thought again, it is better to be guided by the opinion of Christ, who is the Truth, than by the opinion of men, however good, whom I know to be in an error.
The praise of Christ is better than the praise of men. Let me cleave to Christ at all events, and prefer his favor above my chief joy. UgUst 27, As you have been ignorant of the late exercises of my mind on the subject of Baptism, the communication which I am about to make may occasion you some surprise. It is now about four months since I took the subject into serious and prayerful consideration. My inquiries commenced during my passage from America, and, after much laborious research and painful trial, which I shall not now detail, have issued in entire conviction, that the immersion of a professing believer is the only Christian baptism.
In these exercises I have not been alone. Judson has been engaged in a similar examination, and has come to the same conclusion. Feeling, therefore, that we are in an unbaptized state, we wish to profess our faith in Christ by being baptized in obedience to his sacred commands. In compliance with this request Mr. Judson were baptized September 6th, by the Rev. Rice was baptized in the same place in November following. A short time after his baptism Mr. Judson preached the sermon on the subject of Baptism which has been extensively circulated in the United States.
This discourse Dr. Carey pronounced the "best" he had ever heard on the subj ect. Having now made a change in his sentiment and position, Mr. Judson felt it imperative to inform the secretary of the American Board. How deeply painful he felt his lot, his communication will show. AND DEAR SIR-My change of sentiments on the subject of baptism is considered by my missionary brethren as incompatible with my continuing their fellow-laborer in the mission which they contemplate on the Island of Madagascar; and it will, I presume, be considered by the Board of Commissioners as equally incompatible with my continuing their missionary.
The board will, undoubtedly, feel as unwilling to support a Baptist missionary, as I feel to comply with their instructions, which particularly direct us to baptize " credible believers, with their households. I have now the prospect before me of going alone to some distant island, unconnected with any society at present existing, from which I might be furnished with assistant laborers or pecuniary support. Whether the Baptist churches in America will compassionate my situation, I know not.
I hope, therefore, that while my friends condemn what they deem a departure from the truth, they will at least pity me and pray for me.
To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson | LibraryThing
Immediate measures appearing necessary, Mr. Judson wrote by the same mail to the Rev. Baldwin, of. Boston, and the Rev. Bolles, of Salem, presenting an earnest plea to the Baptists of America to embark in the missionary enterprise. The first paragraph of his letter to the latter tells his story. Little did I then expect to be personally concerned in such an attempt. I am contemplating a mission on one of the Eastern islands.
- The Highlanders Desire (The Highland Brothers).
- Divinely Un-Favored a Two First Kisses Short.
- Balinese Masks: Spirits of an Ancient Drama.
- Post navigation.
- PUPULE WITH DESIRE;
- Adoniram Judson?
They have lately sent their brother Chater to Ceylon, and their brother Robinson to Java. At present, Amboyna seems to present the most favorable opening. Fifty thousand souls are there perishing without the means of life; and the situation of the island is such that a mission there established might, with the blessing of God, be extended to the neighboring islands in those seas. But I will trust in God. He has frequently enabled me to praise his divine goodness, and will never forsake those who put their trust in him. Judson's change of denominational sentiments is one of the marked events in the history of American missions.
Babcock well. The friends of the organization which had sent Mr. Judson forth, did not allow his secession from their cherished principles to abate their growing interest in the great cause, and it was the kind of event needed to bring out the energies of a denonination of Christians, the forces of which had not as yet come together in earnest co-operation for any undertaking worthy their strength and resources, though its churches included in their membership near two hundred thousand.
The high regard which cotemporaneous history shows us was entertained for Mr. Judson in his former ecclesiastical connections was not without great influence on the Baptist denomination As its adherents recognized the Divine hand in leading the chief spirit in the missionary company to adopt their principles, many were prepared to give the cause of missions a more favorable examination, and in the end to yield themselves to its furtherance with a zeal and perseverance never surpassed. MORE than five months were passed by Mr. Judson at Serampore and Calcutta, during all which time uncertainty and fear chiefly occupied his mind.
It seemed impossible for him to decide where he would seek a field of labor, and there was little hope of any long reprieve from government molestation. The probabilities of openings in various directions were canvassed, and in some cases favorable appearances were discerned, but not of such a character that our missionary could believe it the Divine will for him to follow any of the paths they seemed to present.
Burmah, as already shown, had long occupied his attention, and, though greatly discouraged, he had almost resolved to go there, when the difficulties between the government of that empire and the English assumed so warlike an aspect, that he was led to believe that he could not hope for safety. Unable to arrive at a decision, he spent the greater part of his time with Mrs.
Judson, endeavoring to realize the vastness of the work in which he had engaged, his dependence on God. While he yet remained thus undecided, the government authorities came to a conclusion for him. He had been a considerable time in Bengal, and as, though frequently warned to depart, he had still remained, it was believed that he intended to settle in the company's territories. This was contrary to its councils, and a peremptory order was issued, by which Mr. Rice, himself and wife were to be taken on board one of its ships and sent to England.
Their names, according to the usual custom, were published in a newspaper as passengers for London. Judson saw that if this design was executed it would frustrate their purpose of missionary toil for a lengthened period, and with his colleague he sought to find a vessel for some other destination, hoping that in the event of their discovering an opportunity of immediately leaving the country, the order of banishment would, so far as England was concerned, be recalled.
The Creole was then loading for the Isle of France, whither Mr. Newell was already gone, and as leave had originally been obtained for Mr. Judson to go there, the party applied for a pass that they might proceed in the vessel which now offered. The pass was refused. Nevertheless, they sought the captain and besought him to take them without one. This he consented to do, and they embarked at midnight. They had proceeded down the Hoogley for two days, and were felicitating themselves on their escape, when a government dispatch reached the pilot forbidding him to proceed farther.
Judson and Rice felt that this detention boded no good to them, and, conceiving that if they remained on board they might hasten an. The next evening a letter was received from the owner of the vessel, stating that, on inquiry, he had learned that the Creole was detained because of a suspicion that she had passengers whom the captain had been forbidden to take. On the receipt of this intelligence Mrs. Judson went on shore, and a council was held as to the course the party should adopt. It was judged best to see if the authorities would grant them even yet a pass.
On this forlorn hope Mr. Rice proceeded to Calcutta, while Mr. Judson remained at a small tavern on the bank of the river, about a mile from the ship, fearing that every European whom they saw pass was in search of them. Rice returned the following day to. All hope of proceeding in the Creole was now extinguished, and the party resolved to make their temporary abode at a tavern sixteen miles lower down the Hoogley,which, on account of its increased distance from Calcutta, promised greater safety.
As the embargo on the Creole was removed and she was about to resume her course, it was necessary that the baggage be brought on- shore. It being inexpedient for either of the gentlemen to go on board, Mrs. Judson went off to request that their property might be allowed to remain till the vessel reached the point where they proposed to stay.
To this the captain assented, and tendered her the accommodation of his vessel for herself; but, having to return on shore to give Mr. Judson cognizance of her plans, the Creole was on her way before she was ready to embark, and it was only after great inconvenience and exposure she succeeded in overtaking her and getting on board. Here Mr. Judson and his colleague rejoined her. After taking possession of their new quarters, on a calm consideration of their case, our subject deemed the execution of the purpose of the authorities so inevitable, that he almost concluded to return to Calcutta.
The bare thought of this course was, however, intolerable; and as a vessel could take them with less risk of discovery from the tavern, they determined still to seek an escape. The tavern-keeper being made aware of the urgent reasons which caused them to desire a passage, promised to use his influence with the captain of a vessel bound for Madras, who was expected down the river the following day. Although this would not take them beyond the jurisdiction of the company, yet it was hoped that going to Madras would facilitate their deliverance from its oppressions.
This prospect sustained their sinking hopes for the. The vessel then arrived, but they were again disappointed. The captain declared himself unable to take them! The day was closing, and the most gloomy forebodings occupied their minds; and as imagination contrasted their own bitter experiences with the happy employments of old companions and friends in their native land-for it was the Lord's day-they had only an increase of grief.
But though God had thus far permitted them to. A letter was -brought to Mr. Judson, as they sat at the supper table, which showed them that He had stretched forth His hand against the wrath of their enemies. It contained a. The vessel indicated in the document was the Creole. Scarcely venturing to hope that she was yet within reach, yet thinking it barely possible that she had anchored at Saugor, some seventy miles below, they started at once.
All night and the following day they pressed on without allowing themselves any thought of rest till they should know the issue of their pursuit. At length the masts of the vessels lying at anchor at Saugor were discovered. Now came moments fraught with immeasurable importance.
Each one was afraid to look, but the suspense was too trying for any of them to refrain, and with steady and prolonged gaze they sought to discover the Creole. As they looked they saw a vessel which seemed like her, but no one dared announce it was her till assured beyond doubt.
This assurance they soon had, and "There she is! They were soon safe aboard. To whom they were indebted for the pass they never knew, and they could " only view the hand of God, and wonder. The Creole sailed from Saugor the last day of November; The time occupied on the voyage was diligently improved by Mr. Judson; for it was not in his nature to be inactive if any thing could be done in the way of preparation for any field of labor to which he might be called. While in Calcutta it had seemed that he was not to be suffered to labor in Asia, and having thought it might be expedient to attempt a mission in South America he commenced the study of the Portuguese language.
Now, bound for the Isle of France, which it -was possible might afford a field of. The Creole arrived at Port Louis, after a lengthened and trying passage, January 17th, On the voyage Mr. Judson had been comforted in the prospect of a reunion with ]Mr. Between the ladies there had been an intimacy of years. Harriet Atwood's aspirations for missionary work arose from Ann Hiasseltine's divulging to her the purpose she had formed of joining Mr.
Judson in going to the heathen world. Newell had also been induced to consider the subject of missions from Mr. Judson's interest and intentions concerning the great enterprise. These things conjoined with the fact that they had been fellow-voyagers together, caused them to entertain a mutual and deeply affectionate regard. The first intelligence which reached the newly arrived couple brought to them the knowledge, that to one of their friends they were not nearer on the Isle of France than in India or on the ocean. The day which was memorable to them on account of their deliverance from the malice of their enemies in Bengal, had witnessed MZrs.
Newell's escape from all toil and sorrow; and instead of interchanging thoughts and experiences witkh her, they had only the privilege of hearing from. It was soon evident to Mllr. Judson that there was little prospect for missionary labor on the Isle of France. A project concerning Madagascar, he found,.
He also found himself still exposed to the hostility of the East India Company, and though the Governor did not sympathize with its counsels, yet he had little reason to believe that its malignancy could be long avoided. On their arrival in the Isle of France, Mr. Judson had some relief in their trials in the presence of other members of the missionary company. But of this privilege they were soon deprived; Mr. Newell left them, February 24th, for Bombay, and three weeks after Mr. I came to Christ less than a year after reading this book and proceeded to read it again a few years later.
I was dumbfounded by how pervasive the Gospel is on these pages. Dostoevsky had to know Jesus to write what he writes. Alexei, Dmitry, Ivan, and Smerdyakov are living characters because they are us. To even name the depraved, foolish, disengaged father after himself is quite troubling. This book is about all of our wrestling with God and who He is and who we are.
Writing this makes me want to pick this book up yet again! I love Dostoevsky. His fiction is second only to CS Lewis in its impact on me. Brothers Karamazov stands out to me as a testament to the change that God has worked in my life. I can pick it up and think back to the blindness that I had. God had to intervene to remove it in order for me to see Him and for the Gospel to be more than just foolishness to me. I read this and I know, without a doubt, that I was blind and now I see.
This is a long book but well worth the time it will take you to engage with it. This book is the gold standard in how to read and study and engage with the Bible. This book will encourage you as well as overwhelm you because of all the training and tools he gives you. The workbook that you can get with this book is fantastic and worth purchasing as well. Hendricks essentially teaches you how to read in this masterpiece.
Not to make you a smarter sinner but to make you like the Savior. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts but to transform your life. Perelandra by CS Lewis Published in His depth of thinking about our walk with God and genius in communicating it through story stirs my heart. Perelandra takes place on a Venus where creation has not yet fallen and where the first Adam and Eve have just been given life. Two individuals are sent from Earth: Ransom, the main character, representing God and Weston, a representative of Satan.
It moves from there. Perelandra is better but the audio dramatization of The Screwtape Letters from Focus on the Family is very well done and extremely enjoyable. Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed. This is probably my favorite fiction book ever. Lewis uses a main plot about a journey from hell to heaven to dig into what matters to us. What is our one thing? How does that one thing hold us back from pursuing joy in God?
Can we let go of it? This first apologetics book that I was exposed to and given to me by a very good friend his short note in the cover still encourages me today. McDowell actually wrote this book in his own journey to believe in Christ. There are a million books demonstrating evidence and arguments to believe in God but not too many like this one which details references and notes, building his argument for the resurrection of Jesus so simply and conclusively. Mortification of Sin by John Owen Published in This is a book I wish I had read 15 years ago instead of just 2 years ago.
This book is a must read for any believer. Owen effectively nukes every method you ever had for fighting sin and directs you Biblical to how to kill sin and push to victory. Sounds fun but reading this book the first or second time through is like having Owen do open heart surgery on you without any anesthesia.
Also, be forewarned, this book is not about some simple step by step method to fighting sin. Owen does not yield to recipe theology here and you will be forced to wrestle with your own sin and how to see it rightly. The basic characteristic of an unmortified course is the digestion of sin without bitterness in the heart.
He who is able to swallow and digest daily sins in his life without conviction in the heart is at the very brink of turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Desiring God by John Piper Published in Honestly, the book did not impact so much as this one sermon that explains the main message of the book! If you read one book on this list, read this one.
Once you get the vision that Piper is attempting to help you connect with, your perception of the way things are will change. Listening to that sermon, and understanding the main points of Desiring God, rerouted almost my entire theology. That is no understatement; ask anyone who is close to me. Howard Taylor Published in Never shall I forget the feeling that came over me then.
Words could not describe it. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into a covenant with the Almighty. I felt as though I wished to withdraw my promise but could not. This is the first missionary biography that I read not long after I came to know Jesus and right in the midst of spending a summer in China back in It impacted me deeply.
I wanted to be a missionary and still do and this book got me fired up to go. I ended up taking a year off of school in to go back and I think this book was a piece of what stirred me up in zeal for pioneer missions. I love his life and the unbelievable sacrifices he made and the faith that he demonstrated over and over again. My Top 3? Teach Them Diligently by Lou Priolo.
This might be the best parenting book I have ever read. Priolo is helpful and practical and yet not overwhelming. Here are his key points:. I was convicted through Priolo that I have not been using the Word to make things clear to my older 3. Parenting and life in general, can feel so incredibly complex most of the time. In parenting, Scripture is the primary source and guide. Scripture is not simply a tool but a bit more than that.
Compare Ephesians and Colossians I highly recommend this book and wish that I would have read it 5 years ago! Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. Is there any hope? Yes, if we begin to realize that idols cannot simply be removed. They must be replaced… What we need is a living encounter with God. This book surprised me. I read Prodigal God at the end of and was just destroyed by it and the fresh complete exegesis of Luke Counterfeit Gods might be better. Keller walks you through different idols we tend to wrestle with in modern America and parallels these struggles with men and women of the Old Testament.
Keller gives you a new perspective on Abraham, Jacob, Leah, Jonah, and others. His final chapter with his closing thoughts on Jacob is alone worth the cost of the book. Keller is thorough when it comes to the idols we battle and then he keeps coming with the gospel in response. Just as idols are good things turned into ultimate things, so the desires they generate become paralyzing and overwhelming.
Here I Stand by Roland Bainton. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Bainton gives us an informative, seemingly complete, and very entertaining biography of Martin Luther. In the Philippines I met an ordinary middle-class couple who invited a few street orphans into their houses and ended up running both an orphanage and school.
By instinct I do not want to hear about yet another tragedy, but down deep I know I have no option. I must care about that holocaust of human suffering because God cares. Why, then? Why would anyone choose to follow a God who promises more hardship, not less?
I will let the apostle Paul answer that question. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal 2 Cor. Paul had two pictures of himself. One image he could view in a mirror, and the insomnia, beatings, imprisonments, and deprivations must have left their mark in the gaunt and weary face that stared back at him from the crude Roman glass.
The other image he could not see. Nevertheless he could sense his inward self being renewed and made more fit, tempered by hardship. Belief in another world cast hardship in such a different light that he could compile a list of his many personal calamities and call them "light and momentary troubles. I get the overwhelming sense, reading Paul and the book of Acts, that the unseen world became for the apostles more real than the visible world around them. Jesus too had faced tribulation in this world but had returned from death with a promise of triumph and hope.
They trusted Him with their future. Let God worry No one gets an exemption from hardship on planet Earth. How we receive it hinges on whether we believe in an alternate reality that transcends the one we know so well. The Bible never minimizes hardship or unfairness—witness books like Job, Psalms, and Lamentations. It simply asks us to withhold final judgment until all the evidence is in. We have a thousand fears: mammograms and prostate tests, our children's future as well as their present, retirement funds, job security, crime.
We fear not getting the job we want or the lover we desire, and if we have them we fear their loss. In the face of such everyday fear, Jesus points to a lily, or a sparrow, and calmly says, Trust. Seek first the kingdom of heaven. Trust does not eliminate the bad things that may happen, whatever sparked our fear in the first place. Trust simply finds a new outlet for anxiety and a new grounding for confidence: God. Let God worry about the worrisome details of life, most of which are out of my control anyway.
Related Adoniram Judson (Eternal Light Biographies Book 1)
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