Pentecost

VIDEO by Shift Worship

Reclame

Happy Reformation Day – October 31, 1517: The Bible and Martin Luther

 

English Bible History

Martin Luther

Martin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German. Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a Christian theologian and Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Protestant Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of Protestant and other Christian traditions.

Martin Luther was born to Hans and Margaretha Luder on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, Germany and was baptised the next day on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, after whom he was named. Luther’s call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible resulted in the formation of new traditions within Christianity and the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church, culminating at the Council of Trent.His translation of the Bible also helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation. Luther’s hymns sparked the development of congregational singing in Christianity. His marriage, on June 13, 1525, to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian traditions.

Portraits of Hans and Margarethe Luther by Lucas Cranach  1527

Luther’s early life

Martin Luther’s father owned a copper mine in nearby Mansfeld. Having risen from the peasantry, his father was determined to see his son ascend to civil service and bring further honor to the family. To that end, Hans sent young Martin to schools in Mansfeld, Magdeburg and Eisenach. At the age of seventeen in 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt. The young student received his Bachelor’s degree after just one year in 1502! Three years later, in 1505, he received a Master’s degree. According to his father’s wishes, Martin enrolled in the law school of that university. All that changed during a thunderstorm in the summer of 1505. A lightening bolt struck near to him as he was returning to school. Terrified, he cried out, „Help, St. Anne! I’ll become a monk!” Spared of his life, but regretting his words, Luther kept his bargain, dropped out of law school and entered the monastery there.

Luther’s struggle to find peace with God

Young Brother Martin fully dedicated himself to monastic life, the effort to do good works to please God and to serve others through prayer for their souls. Yet peace with God escaped him. He devoted himself to fasts, flagellations, long hours in prayer and pilgrimages, and constant confession. The more he tried to do for God, it seemed, the more aware he became of his sinfulness.

Johann von Staupitz, Luther’s superior, concluded the young man needed more work to distract him from pondering himself. He ordered the monk to pursue an academic career. In 1507 Luther was ordained to the priesthood. In 1508 he began teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg. Luther earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies on 9 March 1508 and a Bachelor’s degree in the Sentences by Peter Lombard, (the main textbook of theology in the Middle Ages) in 1509. On 19 October 1512, the University of Wittenberg conferred upon Martin Luther the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Martin Luther’s Evangelical Discovery

The demands of study for academic degrees and preparation for delivering lectures drove Martin Luther to study the Scriptures in depth. Luther immersed himself in the teachings of the Scripture and the early church. Slowly, terms like penance and righteousness took on new meaning. The controversy that broke loose with the publication of his 95 Theses placed even more pressure on the reformer to study the Bible. This study convinced him that the Church had lost sight of several central truths. To Luther, the most important of these was the doctrine that brought him peace with God.

With joy, Luther now believed and taught that salvation is a gift of God’s grace, received by faith and trust in God’s promise to forgive sins for the sake of Christ’s death on the cross. This, he believed was God’s work from beginning to end.

Luther’s 95 Theses

On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of heresy upon heresy. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation… though to be sure, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Thomas Linacre, John Colet, and others had already put the life’s work and even their lives on the line for same cause of truth, constructing the foundation of Reform upon which Luther now built. Luther’s action was in great part a response to the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican priest. Luther’s charges also directly challenged the position of the clergy in regard to individual salvation. Before long, Luther’s 95 Theses of Contention had been copied and published all over Europe.

Here I Stand

Luther’s Protestant views were condemned as heretical by Pope Leo X in the bull Exsurge Domine in 1520. Consequently Luther was summoned to either renounce or reaffirm them at the Diet of Worms on 17 April 1521. When he appeared before the assembly, Johann von Eck, by then assistant to the Archbishop of Trier, acted as spokesman for Emperor Charles the Fifth. He presented Luther with a table filled with copies of his writings. Eck asked Luther if he still believed what these works taught. He requested time to think about his answer. Granted an extension, Luther prayed, consulted with friends and mediators and presented himself before the Diet the next day.

Meeting of the Diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire at Worms, Germany, in 1521, where Martin Luther defended his Protestant principles and was excommunicated

When the counselor put the same question to Luther the next day, the reformer apologized for the harsh tone of many of his writings, but said that he could not reject the majority of them or the teachings in them. Luther respectfully but boldly stated, „Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.„On May 25, the Emperor issued his Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

Luther in Exile at the Wartburg Castle

The room in Wartburg where     Luther translated the New Testament into German. An original first edition of the translation is kept under the case on the desk.

Luther had powerful friends among the princes of Germany, one of whom was his own prince, Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. The prince arranged for Luther to be seized on his way from the Diet by a company of masked horsemen, who carried him to the castle of the Wartburg, where he was kept about a year. He grew a wide flaring beard; took on the garb of a knight and assumed the pseudonym Jörg. During this period of forced sojourn in the world, Luther was still hard at work upon his celebrated translation of the Bible, though he couldn’t rely on the isolation of a monastery. During his translation, Luther would make forays into the nearby towns and markets to listen to people speak, so that he could put his translation of the Bible into the language of the people.

Although his stay at the Wartburg kept Luther hidden from public view, Luther often received letters from his friends and allies, asking for his views and advice. For example, Luther’s closest friend, Philipp Melanchthon, wrote to him and asked how to answer the charge that the reformers neglected pilgrimages, fasts and other traditional forms of piety. Luther’s replied: „If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.” [Letter 99.13, To Philipp Melanchthon, 1 August 1521.]

Martin Luther’s German Bible

1529 Luther New Testament: The Oldest Printed German N.T. Scripture

Martin Luther was the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people. He used the recent 1516 critical Greek edition of Erasmus, a text which was later called textus receptus. The Luther German New Testament translation was first published in September of 1522. The translation of the Old Testament followed, yielding an entire German language Bible in 1534.

Luther is also know to have befriended William Tyndale, and given him safe haven and assistance in using the same 1516 Erasmus Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament that had been the source text for his German New Testament of 1522, as the trustworthy source text for Tyndale’s English New Testament of 1525-26.

Luther’s Writings

The number of books attributed to Martin Luther is quite impressive. However, some Luther scholars contend that many of the works were at least drafted by some of his good friends like Philipp Melanchthon. Luther’s books explain the settings of the epistles and show the conformity of the books of

1523 Luther Pentateuch:  The Oldest Printed      German Scripture

the Bible to each other. Of special note would be his writings about the Epistle to the Galatians in which he compares himself to the Apostle Paul in his defense of the Gospel. Luther also wrote about church administration and wrote much about the Christian home.

Luther’s work contains a number of statements that modern readers would consider rather crude. For example, Luther was know to advise people that they should literally “Tell the Devil he may kiss my ass.” It should be remembered that Luther received many communications from throughout Europe from people who could write anonymously, that is, without the specter of mass media making their communications known. No public figure today could write in the manner of the correspondences Luther received or in the way Luther responded to them. Luther was certainly a theologian of the middle-ages. He was an earthy man who enjoyed his beer, and was bold and often totally without tact in the blunt truth he vehemently preached. While this offended many, it endeared him all the more to others.

He was open with his frustrations and emotions, as well. Once, when asked if he truly loved God, Luther replied “Love God? Sometimes I hate Him!” Luther was also frustrated by the works-emphasis of the book of James, calling it “the Epistle of Straw, and questioning its canonicity. Also irritated with the complex symbolism of the Book of Revelation, he once said that it too, was not canon, and that it should be thrown into the river! He later retracted these statements, of course. Luther was a man who was easily misquoted or taken out of context. While a brilliant theologian, and a bold reformer, he would not have made a good politician. But then, he never aspired to any career in politics.

Luther’s 1534 Bible.

Martin Luther and Judaism

Luther initially preached tolerance towards the Jewish people, convinced that the reason they had never converted to Christianity was that they were discriminated against, or had never heard the Gospel of Christ. However, after his overtures to Jews failed to convince Jewish people to adopt Christianity, he began preaching that the Jews were set in evil, anti-Christian ways, and needed to be expelled from German politics. In his On the Jews and Their Lies, he repeatedly quotes the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34, where Jesus called them „a brood of vipers and children of the devil”

Katharina von Bora, Luther’s wife (1523), by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526

Luther was zealous toward the Gospel, and he wanted to protect the people of his homeland from the Jews who he believed would be harmful influences since they did not recognize Jesus as their Saviour. In Luther’s time, parents had a right and a duty to direct their children’s marriage choices in respect to matters of faith. Likewise, Luther felt a duty to direct his German people to cling to the Jesus the Jews did not accept. It should be noted that church law was superior to civil law in Luther’s day and that law said the penalty of blasphemy was death. When Luther called for the deaths of certain Jews, he was merely asking that the laws that were applied to all other Germans also be applied to the Jews. The Jews were exempt from the church laws that Christians were bound by, most notably the law against charging interest.

Martin Luther’s Death

Martin Luther escaped martyrdom, and died of natural causes. His last written words were, „Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles… We are beggars: this is true.

photos and story (via) Wikipedia and www.greatsite.com

The Preaching of George Whitefield – E. A. Johnston (Biography)

Forbidden History: Dinosaurs and the Bible

Photo credit http://www.examiner.com

This is a very good video production/ documentary that traces the evolutionary presuppositions about dinosaurs vs. the scientific facts, and how they relate to the Bible throughout world history. For example, did you know that the first discoveries of ‘giant lizard’ bones, what would later be called dinosaurs, occurred in the 1800’s? Or, did you know that it was in 1841 that the word dinosauria was first used, meaning ‘terrible lizard’?

And here’s what Examiner.com had to say about the documentary in a 2010 review:

The documentary film Forbidden History: Dinosaurs and the Bible touches on some important points, some of which bear repeating:

  • More than 24,000 manuscripts exist for the Bible. The agreement of these manuscripts is remarkable, in light not only of the sheer number of manuscripts but also of a fidelity of agreement that rivals that seen in other historical manuscripts of which only single-digit numbers of copies remain.
  • No archaeological discovery has ever refuted anything in the Bible–and in fact many discoveries have vindicated the Bible when men had long begun to doubt that the discovered cultures ever existed.
  • The Bible mentions multiple „gentile” historical figures–but other historical records also mention multiple ancient Jewish and Hebrew figures. In fact, Assyrian history mentions two Hebrew kings–Ahab and Jehoram (misidentified as Jehu)–in events that the Bible does not mention. This does not mean that these events did not occur, or that these kings did not participate. The Bible clearly states that it does not recount the entire histories of these kings, and mentions an alternative reference–which, sadly, has been lost. Read more here- http://www.examiner.com/article/mention-of-dinosaurs-the-bible

VIDEO by TheTruthAlwaysAddsUp

The Life of C S Lewis

lewis holy trinity church

See also John Piper’s

Lessons from an Inconsolable Soul

Learning from the Mind and Heart of C. S. Lewis

here – http://wp.me/p1eavz-4AY

Alister McGrath lectures:

FREE Audio Book Download – A W Tozer’s life story

Each month ChristianAduio.com gives away a free audio book through download. This month (May 2013) the giveaway is Lyle Dorsett’s

A Passion for God

The Spiritual Journey of A. W. Tozer

Photo via http://christianaudio.com
Pastor A. W. Tozer, author of the Christian classics The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy, was a complex, intensely private, deeply spiritual man, and a gifted preacher whose impact for the kingdom of God is immeasurable. In this thoughtful biography, bestselling author Lyle Dorsett traces Tozer’s life from his humble beginnings as a Pennsylvania farm boy to his heyday as a Chicago pastor–when hundreds of college students would travel to his South Side church to hear him preach and thousands more heard his Sunday broadcasts on WMBI. Eventually, he came to his final pastorate in Toronto.

From his conversion as a teen to his death in 1963, Tozer remained true to one passion: to know the Father and make Him known, no matter what the cost. The price he paid was loneliness, censure from other, more secular-minded ministers of the times, and even a degree of estrangement from his family. Read the life story of a flawed but gifted saint, whose works are still impacting the world today.

„I fear we shall never see another Tozer. Men like him are not college-bred but Spirit-taught.” Leonard Ravenhill, 20th century British evangelist.

They way this works: Instructions: Add the download to your cart, login to your christianaudio.com account, and complete the order. If you don’t have a free christianaudio.com account, you’ll be prompted to open one. A coupon code is not required to receive the free download, however you must have an account and go through the checkout process.

Take a look at all their FREE-mium audio downloads here

and share this page with all of your friends.

Mary Slessor – Missionary to 1800’s Nigeria

SEE FILM BELOW + see links to other biographical films at bottom of post.

Mary-slessor-and-adopted-children

Mary Slessor, inspired by the life of Dr. David Livingstone set out for West Africa at the age of 28. Undaunted  by two illnesses, one of them being malaria, which forced her to return to Scotland for a short period, by the witchcraft, and the one case of ritual slaughter practiced by the natives, she learned the native language, lived with and like the natives and moved further and further into unbroken territory- Efik and Okoyong of Calabar, in present day Nigeria. Along the way she established missions and adopted every baby she found due to the ritual killing of twins that is still practiced in some Nigerian villages today. (See here- 40 Abuja Towns Kill Twins! (stharry.wordpress.com) ) Besides being an evangelist, Mary Slessor also concentrated on settling disputes, encouraging trade, establishing social changes and introducing Western education. In 1892 she was made vice-consul in Okoyong, presiding over the native court and in 1905 was named vice-president of Ikot Obong native court. Slessor suffered failing health in her later years but remained in Africa where she died in 1915.

If you think all Victorian women were ladies in lavender crinolines swooning at the sight of a mouse, think again. There were a surprising number who went off into the unknown alone, and the bravest was a Scottish missionary called Mary Slessor. She became a legend in Scotland and in Nigeria, where she is still celebrated today. When she first went to Africa in 1876 the Scottish church had bee established on the Nigerian coast for many years but the interior was largely unexplored. This fascinating two-part documentary explores her life and works, from her early childhood in Aberdeen to the work she carried out improving trading and the living standards of women in Nigeria.

Part 1

Part 2

Mary Slessor was born on December 2, 1848 in Gilcomston, close to Aberdeen, Scotland. She was the second of seven children of Robert and Mary Slessor. Her father, originally from Buchan, was a shoemaker by trade. In 1859 the family moved to Dundee in search of work. Robert Slessor was an alcoholic, and unable to keep up shoemaking, took a job as a labourer in a mill. Her mother, a skilled weaver, also went to work in the mills. At the age of eleven, Mary began work as a „half timer” in the Baxter Brothers’ Mill. She spent half of her day at a school provided by the mill owners, and the other half working for the company. The Slessors lived in the slums of Dundee. Before long, Mary’s father died of pneumonia, and both her brothers died, leaving behind only Mary, her mother, and two sisters. By age fourteen, Mary had become a skilled jute worker, working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with just an hour for breakfast and lunch.

Mary’s mother was a devout Presbyterians who read each issue of the Missionary Record, a monthly magazine published by The United Presbyterian Church (later United Free Church of Scotland) to inform members of missionary activities and needs. Mary developed an interest in religion and, when a mission was instituted in Quarry Pend (close by the Wishart Church), Mary volunteered to become a teacher. Mary was 27 when she heard news that David Livingstone, the famous missionary and explorer, had died. She wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Missionary

Eventually, Mary applied to the Foreign Mission Board of the United Presbyterian Church. After a of training in Edinburgh, Mary set sail in the S.S. Ethiopia on 5 August 1876, and arrived at her destination in West Africa just over a month later. She was 28 years of age, red haired with bright blue eyes. Mary was sent to the Calabar region, warned that witchcraft and superstition were prevalent. The ritual sacrifice of children, and twins in particular, was customary among the people she would be ministering to, but Mary was undaunted. She worked first in the missions in Old Town and Creek Town. She lived in the missionary compound for 3 years. She wanted to go deeper into Calabar, malaria forced her to go home to Scotland and recover. Mary left Calabar for Dundee in 1879. She was in Scotland for 16 months before heading back to Africa.

On her return, she did not go back to the compound, but 3 miles further into Calabar, to Old Town. As she had to leave a large portion of her salary at home for the support of her mother and sisters, she had to economise and took to subsisting on the native food.

Issues that Mary confronted as a young missionary included widespread human sacrifice at the death of a village elder, who, it was believed, required servants and retainers to accompany him in the next world, and the lack of education or any status for women. The birth of twins was considered an evil curse. The belief was that the father of one of the infants was an evil spirit, and that the mother had been guilty of a great sin; and as they were allowed to live. Twin babies were often abandoned in the bush. In such circumstances as soon as twins missioners sought to obtain possession of them, and gave them the security and care of the Mission House. Some of the Mission compounds were alive with babies.Mary adopted every child that she found abandoned. She once saved a pair of twins, a boy and a girl, but the boy did not survive. Mary was devastated, but took the girl as her daughter and called her Janie.

After only three more years, she went back to Scotland on yet another furlough because she was extremely sick. But she wasn’t alone this time, she had Janie with her. She was home for over 3 years looking after her mother and sister, who had also fallen ill. While she was home, Mary spoke at churches all over and shared stories from Africa.

According to Livingstone, when two deputies went out to inspect the Mission in 1881-82, they were much impressed. They stated, “…[S]he enjoys the unreserved friendship and confidence of the people, and has much influence over them.” This they attributed partly to the singular ease with which she spoke the language.

Mary again returned to Africa, with more determination then ever. She saved hundreds of twins out of the fierce jungle, where they had been left either to starve to death or get eaten by wild animals. She prevented dozens, possibly even hundreds of wars, helped heal the sick and stopped the practice of determining guilt by making the suspects drink poison. She went to other tribes, spreading the word of Jesus Christ wherever and whenever she could. While in Africa, she received news that her mother and sister had died. She was overcome with loneliness. She wrote,”There is no one to write and tell my stories and nonsense to.” She had also found a sense of writing, ”Heaven is now nearer to me than Britain,and no one will worry about me if I go up country.”

In August 1888, she went traveled north to Okoyong, an area where missionaries were previously killed, but Mary was sure that her teachings, and the fact that she was a woman, would be less threatening to unreached tribes than male missionaries had been. For 15 years, she stayed with the Okoyong. She was a peacemaker and a nurse. She died when she was 66.

Among the Efik

Unlike other missionaries, Mary lived as part of the tribe, learned to speak Efik, the native language, and made close personal friendships wherever she went. She adopted abandoned twins and worked tirelessly to protect children and raise the status of women. Mary was known for her pragmatism and humour; this earned her the respect and trust of the people she wanted to serve.

Mary Slessor went to live among the Efik and the Okoyong which lived near the Efiks who live in Calabar, in present day Nigeria. There she successfully fought against the killing of twins at infancy. Mary Slessor was a driving force behind the establishment of the Hope Waddell Training Institute in Calabar, which provided practical vocational training to Africans.

Death

In 1888 she went alone to work among the Okoyong. For the rest of her life Slessor lived a simple life in a traditional house with Africans, concentrating on pioneering. Her insistence on lone stations often led her into conflict with the authorities and gained her a reputation as somewhat eccentric, but she was heralded in Britain as the ‘white queen of Okoyong’. She was not primarily an evangelist but concentrated on settling disputes, encouraging trade, establishing social changes and introducing Western education. Slessor frequently campaigned against injustices against women, took in outcasts and adopted unwanted children. In 1892 she was made vice-consul in Okoyong, presiding over the native court and in 1905 was named vice-president of Ikot Obong native court. In 1913 she was awarded the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Slessor suffered failing health in her later years but remained in Africa where she died in 1915.

Mary Slessor died in 1915 at her remote station near Use Ikot Oku. Her body was transported down the Cross River to Duke Town for the colonial equivalent of a state funeral. Attendees at her funeral included the Provincial Commissioner along with other senior British Officials in full uniform. Her Coffin was wrapped in the Union Jack. Flags at government buildings were flown at half mast and the Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Fredrick Lugard telegraphed his ‘deepest regret’ from Lagos and published a warm tribute in the Government Gazette. WIKIPEDIA link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Slessor

The life of Greg Laurie – Lost Boy – Full documentary

Greg Laurie has written a book on his life story and has recently posted part 1 of the film ‘Lost boy’ which is based on the book.

Published on Sep 21, 2012 by  Documenting the family history leading up to his birth, as well as his early childhood and teenage life, this week’s episode gives a glimpse into Pastor Greg’s troubled early years. Through it all, one message stands out above all others: God is in the business of finding those who are lost.

Greg Laurie webcasts page – http://www.harvest.org/media/

Part 1

Part 2

 

Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten…

Ed Stetzer Ed Stetzer  (from twitter)-

“Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten” (Count Zinzendorf).

Who was Count Zinzendorf?

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf

Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Who was Count Zinzerdorf? Here’s a bit of info from Wikipedia:

Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf was the Imperial Count of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf (May 26, 1700 – May 9, 1760), German religious and social reformer and bishop of the Moravian Church, was born at Dresden.

Zinzendorf had a naturally alert and active mind, and an enthusiastic temperament that made his life one of ceaseless planning and executing. Like Martin Luther, he was often influenced by strong and vehement feelings, and he was easily moved both by sorrow and joy. He was an eager seeker after truth, and could not understand men who at all costs kept to the opinions they had once formed; yet he had an exceptional talent for talking on religious subjects even with those who differed from him. Few men have been more solicitous for the happiness and comfort of others, even in little things. His activity and varied gifts sometimes landed him in oddities and contradictions that not infrequently looked like equivocation and dissimulation, and the courtly training of his youth made him susceptible about his authority even when no one disputed it. He was a natural orator, and though his dress was simple his personal appearance gave an impression of distinction and force. His projects were often misunderstood, and in 1736 he was even banished from Saxony, but in 1749 the government rescinded its decree and begged him to establish within its jurisdiction more settlements like that at Herrnhut. He is commemorated as a hymnwriter and a renewer of the church by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He did not mean to found a new church or religious organization distinct from the Lutheranism of the land, but to create a Christian association the members of which by preaching, by tract and book distribution and by practical benevolence might awaken the somewhat torpid religion of the Lutheran Church. The „band of four brothers” (Rothe, pastor at Berthelsdorf; Melchior Schäffer, pastor at Görlitz; Friedrich von Watteville, a friend from boyhood; and himself) set themselves by sermons, books, journeys and correspondence to create a revival of religion, and by frequent meetings for prayer to preserve in their own hearts the warmth of personal trust in Christ. From the printing-house at Ebersdorf, now in Thuringia, large quantities of books and tracts, catechisms, collections of hymns and cheap Bibles were issued; and a translation of Johann Arndt’s True Christianity was published for circulation in France.

He wrote a large number of hymns, of which the best-known are „Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness” and „Jesus, still lead on”. A selection of his Sermons was published by Gottfried Clemens in 10 vols., his Diary (1716–1719) by Gerhard Reichel and Josef Theodor Müller (Herrnhut, 1907), and his Hymns, etc., by H. Bauer and G. Burkhardt (Leipzig, 1900).

Here is a documentary on the life of Count Zinzendorf (see a movie based on Count Zinzendorf also at the bottom of this page)

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First fruits – Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf

In 1732, two young Moravians left their comfortable community of Hernhut, Germany, convinced that they were called of God to bring the Gospel to the slaves in the West Indies. They went, willing to become slaves if necessary, to minister to these oppressed people. The Moravians pioneered a mission movement characterized by extraordinary commitment. Under the dynamic leadership of Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, the Moravians sent out more missionaries in 20 years than all the other Protestant groups had in 200 years. They were driven by two strong convictions: world evangelization is a prime obligation of the church, and every member of the Christian community has this responsibility. First Fruits unfolds the suffering which these young men endured for their missionary zeal and the agony of their community in deciding to send them forth at a time when missions to the heathen masses were unthinkable among Protestants. You will especially marvel over the “First Fruits” of their ministry and the impact of their vision on the course of Christian history.

Movie courtesy of TBN http://www.itbn.org

Free online book – David Brainerd Biography by John Piper

via www.desiringGod.org

Click here or click on book at right for pdf download.

In 1742 Yale College expelled David Brainerd.

He had made some prohibited comments about some of the faculty and, though at the top of his class academically, Yale booted him. Add to this that in order to be an established minister in Connecticut you had to be a graduate of Yale, Harvard, or a European university. Brainerd’s dreams (and obedience!) to become a pastor came crashing down. It was very difficult, as John Piper explains, „Brained felt cut off from his life calling.”

This is a hard fact to swallow. Tragic, it might seem, considering that David Brainerd died at the young age of 29. But here we are looking at his life, admitting there’s a good story to be told, and retold. One that’s not about the expulsion, but about what God did through him in that handful of years between the expulsion and his death.

Originally delivered as a message at the 1990 Conference for Pastors, John Piper tells Brainerd’s story in this short ebook, „David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter on My Heavenly Journey!” (available for free as PDF, EPUB, and MOBI)

Coming Fall 2012 – a movie on the life of St. Augustine (trailer)

This looks like a good movie to see, based on Augustine’s own writings. (via http://www.reformation21.com) See more at http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/restless-heart-film/ or follow on Facebook here.

Published on Jun 13, 2012 by 

430 AD. The Roman Empire is beginning to crumble. The Vandals and other marauding tribes spill through the gaps in Roman defenses. And one of the greatest saints of the Christian church stands between his flock and the barbarian invaders. As he attempts to negotiate between the proud Roman authorities and the implacable Vandal king, Bishop Augustine recalls his own life before Christianity…

In this stirring and epic new film on the life of St. Augustine of Hippo, follow the great saint as he rises from his reckless days as a youth to his accomplishments as a renowned but dissolute orator. Though worldly success and riches come his way, including a position in the imperial court of Milan, satisfaction and peace elude him. It takes a confrontation with the Christian bishop Ambrose and the countless prayers offered by his patient mother, Monica, to break through his intellectual pride.

Starring Alessandro Preziosi, Monica Guerritore, Johannes Bandrup, and Franco Nero.

Coming Fall 2012. Find out more at http://www.RestlessHeartFilm.com or click on the Like button on Facebook to follow the news on the release of the film.

Diary of John Wesley – Chapter 2 (Return to England; George Bohler)

Read Introduction and Chapter 1 here- Wesley travels to Georgia,U.S.A. on mission to Evangelize the American Indians and Pastor a church.

View this document on Scribd

Film – WILLIAM TYNDALE, Bible Translator

The First (1385) English Bible Translator – John Wycliffe’s Life – (Video)

„John Wycliffe” is a dramatic biography of the life of the 14th century scholar and cleric who translated the Bible into English for the first time. Wycliffe found himself in the middle of religious, political and social conflicts. An Oxford scholar, one of Europe’s most renowned philosophers, he was a defender of English nationalism against the power of the pope and a champion of the poor against the injustices of the rich. John Wycliffe taught that God’s forgiveness couldn’t be bought with indulgences. He preached that the only true authority is the Word of God, and the Word could only be understood by all if the people could read it in their native tongue. „John Wycliffe” captures the trials and heroic struggles of this significant man of faith – the „Morning Star” of the Reformation.

(DVD available at Amazon)

Other video of interest – Martin Luther (English with Romanian subtitles)

You can read an in depth  biography on John Wycliffe here.

 

VIDEO by BabylonLingo

Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Biography (Online Book)

Photo courtesy of Life Magazine

If you would like to read more about Charles Haddon Spurgeon here are some useful links. First, you can add C.H.Spurgeon’s 4 Volume Autobiography through Google reader here (for free):

and at Spurgeon.org you can read C.H.Spurgeon – A Biography by Y.W.Fullerton:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon: A Biography


C.H. Spurgeon

 

    C. H. Spurgeon was to nineteenth-century England what D. L Moody was to America. Although Spurgeon never attended theological school, by the age of twenty-one he was the most popular preacher in London.
    He preached to crowds of ten thousand at Exeter Hall and the Surrey Music Hall. Then when the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built, thousands gathered every Sunday for over forty years to hear his lively sermons.
    In addition to his regular pastoral duties, he founded Sunday schools, churches, an orphanage, and the Pastor’s College. He edited a monthly church magazine and promoted literature distribution.
    Sincerely and straightforwardly he denounced error both in the Church of England and among his own Baptists. An ardent evangelical, he deplored the trend of the day toward biblical criticism.
    This warm, fascinating story enduringly records Spurgeon’s character and focuses light on different aspects of the man. The result is a lifelike picture of Spurgeon as he lived and labored for the Lord he loved.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

By W. Y. Fullerton

PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION

HE CONTEMPORARY SKETCHES of the life of Spurgeon are an interesting conglomerate of significant facts, but they scarcely give an adequate picture of the man as he lived and laboured with such prodigious energy. It seemed desirable, therefore, that before those who knew him and shared in his ministry had passed away, someone who had the privilege of his friendship should say the things about him that still needed to be said, and place the familiar things in truer perspective than was possible at the time.
  That pleasant burden has been placed upon me, and in fulfilment of the charge I have allowed to drop out of sight a multitude of particulars which were only interesting at the moment, not chronicling events as in an epoch but presenting the personality as in an epic, although I can only summon common prose in the doing of it.
    Sir Sidney Lee, in his Leslie Stephen lecture on the „Principles of Biography,” says excellently that „the aim of biography is, in general terms, to hand down to a future age the history of individual men and women, to transmit enduringly their character and exploits. Character and exploits are for biographical purposes inseparable. Character which does not translate itself into exploit is for the biographer a mere phantasm. But character and exploit jointly contribute biographic personality. Biography aims at satisfying the commemorative instinct by exercise of its power to transmit personality.”
    This biography is only historic in its earlier chapters; beyond these it seeks to focus the light on different aspects of the man, rather than to diffuse it in a narrative of the years and their happenings. This plan has its drawbacks, but I hope that the advantages may be appreciated, and if any seek the details of the time they will find them available elsewhere.
    Very heartily I express my indebtedness to Mr. William Higgs for placing at my disposal his remarkable collection of contemporary records, and to the Rev. Charles Spurgeon and Mrs. Thomas Spurgeon for their generous co-operation.
    To introduce Spurgeon to a generation that never knew him, and to keep alive his memory in a century he never knew, is honour enough for any man: a supreme privilege to a man who knew and honoured and loved him, and owes to him more than he can ever express or repay.

    W. Y. FULLERTON


Charles Haddon Spurgeon: A Biography


CONTENTS

     

  1. The Spurgeon Country: 1465-1769
  2. The Search for God
  3. The Apprentice Preacher
  4. The Voice in the City
  5. The Prophet of the People
  6. The Romantic Years
  7. The Great Tabernacle
  8. An Intimate Interlude
  9. A Word Portrait
  10. Spurgeon’s Sermons
  11. Spurgeon’s College
  12. Spurgeon’s Orphanage
  13. A Chapter Of Incidents
  14. A Bundle of Opinions
  15. Book Talk
  16. Some Minor Discussions
  17. Two Great Controversies
  18. Two Importunate Questions
  19. The Triumphant End
  20. Spurgeon In History
  21.  


This book was transcribed for by Dan Carlson.

Martyn Lloyd Jones – Preacher (Biography and Online book by John Peters)

A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY (source)

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981)

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years,  he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to the liberal theology that had become a part of many Christian denominations, regarding it as aberrant. He disagreed with the broad church approach and encouraged evangelical Christians (particularly Anglicans) to leave their existing denominations, taking the view that true Christian fellowship was only possible amongst those who shared common convictions regarding the nature of the faith.

Lloyd-Jones was born in Cardiff and raised in Llangeitho, Ceredigion. Llangeitho is associated with the Welsh Methodist revival, as it was the location of Daniel Rowland’s ministry. Attending a London grammar school between 1914 and 1917 and then St Bartholomew’s Hospital as a medical student, in 1921 he started work as assistant to the Royal Physician, Sir Thomas Horder. After struggling for two years over what he sensed was a calling to preach, in 1927 Lloyd-Jones returned to Wales, having married Bethan Phillips (with whom he later had two children, Elizabeth and Ann), accepting an invitation to minister at a church in Aberavon (Port Talbot).

After a decade ministering in Aberavon, in 1939 he went back to London, where he had been appointed as associate pastor of Westminster Chapel, London, working alongside G. Campbell Morgan. In 1943 Morgan retired, leaving Jones as the sole Pastor of Westminster Chapel.

Lloyd-Jones was well-known for his style of expository preaching, and the Sunday morning and evening meetings at which he officiated drew crowds of several thousand, as did the Friday evening Bible studies – which were, in effect, sermons in the same style. He would take many months – even years – to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. His sermons would often be around fifty minutes to an hour in length, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London. His sermons were also transcribed and printed (virtually verbatim) in the weekly Westminster Record, which was read avidly by those who enjoyed his preaching.

Lloyd-Jones provoked a major dispute in 1966 when, at the National Assembly of Evangelicals organised by the Evangelical Alliance, he called on all clergy of evangelical conviction to leave denominations which contained both liberal and evangelical congregations. This was interpreted as referring primarily to evangelicals within the Church of England, although there is disagreement over whether this was his intention. As a significant figure to many in the free churches, Lloyd-Jones had hoped to encourage those Christians who held evangelical beliefs to withdraw from any churches where alternative views were present.

However, Lloyd-Jones was criticised by the leading Anglican evangelical John Stott. Although Stott was not scheduled to speak, he used his position as chairman of the meeting to publicly rebuke Lloyd-Jones, stating that his opinion was against history and the Bible (though John Stott greatly admired Lloyd-Jones’s work, and would often quote him in Stott’s own books). This open clash between the two elder statesmen of British evangelicalism was widely reported in the Christian press and caused considerable controversy. Although there is an ongoing debate as to the exact nature of Lloyd-Jones’s views, they undoubtedly caused the two groupings to adopt diametrically opposed positions. These positions, and the resulting split, continue largely unchanged to this day.

Lloyd-Jones retired from his ministry at Westminster Chapel in 1968, following a major operation. He spoke of a belief that God had stopped him from continuing to preach through the New Testament book of the Letter to the Romans in his Friday evening Bible study exposition because he did not personally know enough about „joy in the Holy Spirit” which was to be his next sermon (based on Romans 14:17). For the rest of his life he concentrated on editing his sermons to be published, counselling other ministers, answering letters and attending conferences. Perhaps his most famous publication is a 14 volume series of commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans, the first volume of which was published in 1970.

Despite spending most of his life living and ministering in England, Lloyd-Jones was proud of his roots in Wales. He best expressed his concern for his home country through his support of the Evangelical Movement of Wales: he was a regular speaker at their conferences, preaching in both English and Welsh. Since his death, the movement has published various books, in English and Welsh, bringing together selections of his sermons and articles.

Lloyd-Jones preached for the last time on 8 June 1980 at Barcombe Baptist Chapel. After a lifetime of work, he died peacefully in his sleep at Ealing on 1 March 1981, St David’s Day. He was buried at Newcastle Emlyn, near Cardigan, west Wales. A well-attended thanksgiving service was held at Westminster Chapel on 6 April.

Since his death there have been various publications regarding Lloyd-Jones and his work, most popularly a biography in two volumes by Iain Murray.

Legacy

Charismatic Movement

Martyn Lloyd-Jones has admirers from many different denominations in the Christian Church today. One much-discussed aspect of his legacy is his relationship to the Charismatic Movement. Respected by leaders of many churches associated with this movement, although not directly associated with them, he did teach the Baptism with the Holy Spirit as a distinct experience rather than conversion and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.[5] Indeed, towards the end of his life he urged his listeners to actively seek an experience of the Holy Spirit. For instance, in his exposition of Ephesians 6:10-13, published in 1976, he says, „Do you know anything of this fire? If you do not, confess it to God and acknowledge it. Repent, and ask Him to send the Spirit and His love into you until you are melted and moved, until you are filled with his love divine, and know His love to you, and rejoice in it as his child, and look forward to the hope of the coming glory. ‘Quench not the Spirit’, but rather ‘be filled with the Spirit’ and ‘rejoice in Christ Jesus'”.[6]

Part of Lloyd-Jones’ stress of the Christian’s need of the baptism with the Holy Spirit was due to his belief that this provides an overwhelming assurance of God’s love to the Christian, and thereby enables him to boldly witness for Christ to an unbelieving world.[5]

Aside from his insistence that the baptism with the Spirit is a work of Jesus Christ distinct from regeneration, rather than the filling of the Holy Spirit, Lloyd-Jones also opposed cessationism, claiming that the doctrine is not founded upon Scripture. In fact, he requested that Banner of Truth Trust, the publishing company which he co-founded, only publish his works on the subject after his death.[5] He claimed that those who took a position such as B.B. Warfield’s on cessationism were ‘quenching the Spirit.’[5] He continued to proclaim the necessity of the active working of God in the world and the need for him to miraculously demonstrate his power so that Christian preachers (and all those who witness for Christ) might gain a hearing in a contemporary world that is hostile to the true God and to Christianity in general.[4]

Preaching

Lloyd-Jones seldom agreed to preach live on television, (the exact number of occasions is not known, but it was most likely only once or twice).[7] His reasoning behind this decision was that this type of „controlled” preaching, that is, preaching that is constrained by time-limits, „militates against the freedom of the Spirit.”In other words, he believed that the preacher should be free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit concerning the length of time in which he is allowed to preach. He recorded that he once asked a television executive who wanted him to preach on television, „What would happen to your programmes if the Holy Spirit suddenly descended upon the preacher and possessed him; what would happen to your programmes?”

Perhaps the greatest aspect of Lloyd-Jones’ legacy has to do with his preaching. Lloyd-Jones was one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century. Many volumes of his sermons have been published by Banner of Truth, as well as other publishing companies. In his book, Preaching and Preachers (Zondervan, 1971), Lloyd-Jones describes his views on preaching, or what might be called his doctrine of homiletics. In this book, he defines preaching as „Logic on fire.” The meaning of this definition is demonstrated throughout the book, in which he describes his own preaching style which had developed over his many years of ministry.

His preaching style may be summarized as ‘logic on fire’ for several reasons. First, he believed that the use of logic was vital for the preacher. But his view of logic was not the same as that of the Enlightenment. This is why he called it logic „on fire.” The fire has to do with the activity and power of the Holy Spirit. He therefore believed that preaching was the logical demonstration of the truth of a given passage of Scripture with the aid, or unction, of the Holy Spirit.[9] This view manifested itself in the form of Lloyd-Jones’ sermons. Lloyd-Jones believed that true preaching was always expository. This means he believed that the primary purpose of the sermon was to reveal and expand the primary teaching of the passage under consideration. Once the primary teaching was revealed, he would then logically expand this theme, demonstrating that it was a biblical doctrine by showing that it was taught in other passages in the Bible, and using logic in order to demonstrate its practical use and necessity for the hearer. With this being the case, he labored in his book Preaching and Preachers to caution young preachers against what he deemed as „commentary-style” preaching as well as „topical” preaching.

Lloyd-Jones’ preaching style was therefore set apart by his sound exposition of biblical doctrine and his fire and passion in its delivery. He is thereby known as a preacher who continued on in the Puritan tradition of experimental preaching. A famous quote on the effects of Lloyd-Jones preaching is given by theologian and preacher J.I. Packer, who wrote that he had „never heard such preaching.” It came to him „with the force of electric shock, bringing to at least one of his listeners more of a sense of God than any other man”.

Lloyd-Jones was also an avid supporter of the Evangelical Library in London.

Martyn Lloyd Jones – Preacher by John Peters (via)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was possibly the greatest British preacher of the twentieth century. His ministry at Westminster Chapel and his writings earned him respect and affection throughout the world. He had a decisive influence on many individuals and on evangelicalism as a whole.

Now John Peters who (like the Doctor) is a Welsh- speaking Welshman, has written the first complete account of The Doctor’s life and achievement. It includes personal reminiscences by men and women whose lives were changed by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


John Peters is a native of Aberdare, South Wales. He teaches English language and literature at Charterhouse School and lives in Godalming with his wife and three children.

This excellent little book is now out of print, but the text is exclusively presented here for you to freely download by kind permission of the author, John Peters. Copyright © 1986 John Peters

Links to access download of 75 page book:

Rich Text Format (which will load into most wordprocessors)

Microsoft Word Format.

Meet Francis Chan – the Pastor who stepped down to serve like Christ

An update from this extraordinary Pastor who stepped down (even the secular media followed this story) from his the Church he founded- Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley to serve the poor and the lost in the Inner Cities of California. He lives a simple life, gave away all $2 million from the last book he wrote and his actions have been an inspiration to thousands of Pastors  and millions of Christians around the world. You can follow his ministry at

his site here FrancisChan.org

Beyond Expectations (Update #5)

It has been an amazing couple of months as you probably saw from Lisa’s updates.  I don’t even know where to start.  Once again, God far exceeded my expectations.  He has a way of doing that…

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…   Ephesians 3:20

There is far too much to say.  I won’t even attempt to write down all of my thoughts, as that would take too long to read.  I prefer you spend that time in scripture.  So let me just throw out a few thoughts.

GOD is the love of my life.  While I enjoyed experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, I most enjoyed my time communing with God.  It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing.  Nothing beats conversing with the living God and watching Him answer prayer.

My family was able to experience exactly what I had hoped and more.  One of my goals as a parent is to show my kids how to live for eternity (Matt. 6:18-20).  I don’t want them to live for the things of this earth.  This was the first time they were able to enjoy not having a home and finding security in Christ.  While I tried to teach that our house was not our home, it is much easier to grasp that concept while homeless.

We have always been a pretty happy family, but we have never been this happy.  Our time at a children’s home in Thailand was probably our family favorite.  The typical day was wake up, have breakfast, serve and play with the kids during the day, and then worship with them in the evening.  Most nights Lisa and I would then stay up late with our oldest two talking, laughing, and praying.  I doubt they will ever forget this trip.

The church overseas was pretty much what I expected:  devoted and passionate.  Leaders in India explained that it makes no sense for a person to make a casual commitment to Jesus in a place where there is persecution.  Only a person who genuinely believes would endure the suffering that goes into being a Christian.  I was blessed for the chance to talk to people who were beaten for their faith.  Especially memorable were a couple women I met who were kicked out of their villages for following Christ.  Pregnant at the time, they gave birth in the jungle with only their husbands by their sides.  As they shared about the struggle to find food for their children, I realized I had nothing to ever complain about.

Speaking to underground church leaders in China was equally enlightening.  Most surprising to me was their response when I told them about “church” in America.  I did not expect the response I got when I explained how common it is for people to switch churches if they find another with better child-care, better music, or a more gifted speaker.  They laughed really hard.  It was weird.  It was like they thought I was joking.  It opened my eyes to the uniqueness of our situation.  Remember that India and China combined represent almost 40% of the world’s population.  The U.S. represents about 4%.  Too often I have looked at other cultures as being strange.  I forget that we are the minority.

Don’t get me wrong, not every “Christian” I met overseas was committed.  There were pockets of people who casually called themselves “Christian” in places where Jesus had become more socially acceptable.  For the most part, however, I loved the fellowship with believers who had experienced and endured far more than I have.

The future is still unclear at this point, but I am at total peace.  I am looking into a couple possible places to plant my family for the next few months.  While I am unsure of where I will be located, I am fairly certain of what God has called me to work on over the next few months.  It is both overwhelming and excitihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBhqrtMqrv8&feature=player_embeddedng.  I will wait for the next update to explain all of that.

Thank you to those who prayed for my family.  I believe we are all closer to Jesus and more like Him as a result of the past few months.  I hope the same is true for you.

Here are 2 sermons given by Francis Chan:

Lukewarm and loving it

When sin looks more enjoyable than God

Richard Wurmbrand – O biografie prescurtată

S-a discutat mult pe bloguri despre colaborarea crestinilor cu regimul comunist din Romania, dar prea putin despre persecutia adusa crestinilor in timpul regimului comunist. Richard Wurmbrand a fost unul dintre credinciosii care a suferit inchisoare si tortura pentru credinta lui timp de 14 ani, dar care nicidecum nu a cedat si a ramas neclintit in credinta lui in Dumnezeu.

El a fost eliberat din inchisoare in anul 1964 si in 1966 a sosit in Statele Unite. In anul 1967 a infiintat organizatia Voice of the Martyrs, o misiune dedicata asistentei Bisericii Persecutate de pretutindeni. Misiunea este bazata pe versetul urmator:

Evrei 13:3

Aduceţi-vă aminte de cei ce sînt în lanţuri, ca şi cum a-ţi fi şi voi legaţi cu ei; de cei chinuiţi, ca unii cari şi voi sînteţi în trup.

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

La site-ul   http://www.Richard-Wurmbrand.ro   puteti gasi

O biografie prescurtată.

Pe linga filmul (desen animat) despre Viata lui Richard Wurmbrand, s-a facut un film documentar de catre  Christian History Institute impreuna cu International Films si Voice of the Martyrs. In filmul documentar primim mai multe detalii despre viata lui Richard Wurmbrand, din partea dinsului, a sotiei sale Sabina si a fiului sau Mihai.

Puteti sa vedeti acest documentar pe site-ul CristiaNet, la pagina link-ului click pe: Pastorul – FILM DOCUMENTAR (real video). si filmul documentar se va descarca pe Realplayer.

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