As recorded in the book of Acts, Holy Scripture.

Read the most viewed E4Unity post: The Coming of the Missionary Spirit by Roland Allen (1910)

A classic reading: The Christian’s Strength

On the heels of the last post about the SBC, I want to quickly add my own conviction why that denomination has been blessed as it has despite the internal-battles of the last 50 years. Frankly, it is what keeps me identified with this wing of the Church.

It is simply that it has been able to keep the world mission as the unifying task of what the Convention is about year after year. By the way, SBC stands for Southern Baptist Convention, a fellowship of autonomous local churches.

To give you a taste of how important this is to me and I believe to the cause of Jesus Christ on earth, I want to quote from an outstanding missionary to Islam in another denomination-the oldest continous protestant  denomination in the USA-the Reformed Church in America:

Over the entrance of one of the university buildings in Upsala (Switzerland) is the inscription- ‘Free thought is great but true thought is better’. There is great freedom of thought on missions today. The globe-trotter, the newspaper reporter, and the man on the street do not hesitate to express their opinions on missions and missionaries. The youth of today, untrammeled by the older traditions or conventions, is free to express its conclusions. A leader among the present generation of students, when cautioned regarding the humanistic trend and syncretistic philosophy in missions wrote: “I am personally not the least interested in modernist propaganda. The battle has passed wholly beyond that front for me. Modern life and my own life crack the universe clear open to its very core and make me face issues a thousand fathoms beneath those of the modernist and fundamentalist controversy. . .as a teacher I am not at all concerned with what any man thinks but only that he thinks.”

This is a familiar attitude and there is considerable truth in the contention. But if “the universe is cracked clear open to its very core” and we are to think at all correctly, conclusively, and creatively regarding it and the Kingdom of God, we need first of all to gird the loins of our mind with truth. In the battle against error there is no weapon so powerful as the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. – Samuel Zwemer, Thinking Missions with Christ (1934)

My personal message to fellow members of the SBC would be along the above lines-in the 21st century, the only safe way forward is to think missions exactly as Zwemer is advocating here, as the unifying purpose of our continuing partnership.

Read an excerpt from an earlier book (1911), The Glory of the Impossible

Zwemer biography at HISTORY of MISSIOLOGY, Boston University

Are these the true heirs of the Apostle Paul?

Most of you are not familiar with the term “faith missions”, but they make up a sizeable part of the total missionary force of the Church of Jesus Christ in the world today. They follow in the steps of Saint Paul.

Just this week I received the 2007 Yearbook of one of the organizations working in the United States, called the American Missionary Fellowship. Loraine and I have very good friends who left a good position with Ashland Oil in Lexington to answer a CALL to become full time missionaries. Their story of leaving a comfortable life and stepping out on faith, trusting the One who called them to supply their every need has been repeated countless times throughout the history of the Church. These are the original “faith based” organizations and they are more like The Salvation Army (which started as one of them) than the more widely known main-line denominations. Both serve the same Master and are part of the same global purpose.

The American Missionary Fellowship is actually a recent name for a much older mission, THE AMERICAN SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION which has had an amazing influence in the country through primarily establishing sunday schools and publishing christian literature. Officially founded in Philadelphia in 1817, looking over their 2007 Yearbook, I would say they are still in very good form continuing to do faithfully what the Lord of the Harvest brought them into exisitence to do: support and complement the work of the organized churches. I am firmly convinced that both are valid manifestations of Christ at work in the world through his followers. My hearty congratulations to John and Julie and the Union with thanksgiving to the Father of all good gifts for another year of progress.

ANOTHER STORY of GREAT FAITH– James Anderson Burns, Founder of Oneida Institute