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Showing posts from February, 2020

Insight: Praying for Revival

This article of mine was originally published in Insight magazine for the leaders of the Officers' Christian Fellowship.

George T.B. Davis, in his book When the Fire Fell, tells a beautiful story of the movings of the Spirit on board the USS North Carolina, a battleship of the United States Navy, anchored in the harbor of New York.

“Among her complement of a thousand men were four Christians who discovered their spiritual kinship and agreed to meet for prayer. They were permitted to use a very retired part of the ship, on a deck far below the water line. Here, then, they gathered one evening. They were only four men, but they were a united band. They represented three denominations: one being an Episcopalian, another a Presbyterian, while two were Baptists.

“As they knelt in the dim light of a tiny lamp, the Spirit of God suddenly filled their hearts with such joy of salvation that they burst into song. The strange sweet strain rose to the decks above and there created great asto…

A Korean War Memory

This is another excerpt from my autobiography, Grace upon Grace, which will be in print in April.

On 6 September 1950, we left Task Force 77 to join Task Group 95.2 for gunfire support in the front line in Pohang Dong at the east end of the Pusan Perimeter. After twenty days on the front line, the Brush and the Maddox were sent north to the Chinese-Russian border to enforce the UN blockade.

I was in the first division, the deck division, for regular duty. When I was not on watch or at general quarters, one of my regular assignments as a junior officer was correcting charts. Corrections came down from the Bureau of Navigation; we would take our charts out and make the corrections. One sailor was assigned to work with me; he was also one of the men at the same battle station as me. While we were correcting charts together, I talked to him about the Lord, and he received Christ. The next day while correcting charts, he told me that he had a problem. I encouraged him to tell me about it. …

Autobiography: Agnostics and a "Jesus People"

Here is another short story from my autobiography, Grace Upon Grace, which will be in print this spring.

In the winter of 1971-1972, I was invited to take part in a panel responding to Gordon Lathrop, who was speaking in the CUB ballroom at Washington State University. Gordon was a Lutheran theologian and the chaplain of Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma. I think I was selected because of my effectiveness in reaching high school kids in God’s Garage. The other panel members were Mr. Bowman, the United Church of Christ pastor, King Rockhill, the Methodist pastor, and professor Paul Brians, founder of the WSU Society for the Propagation of Militant Atheism. The panel members were not allowed to debate with each other, and were only to speak about Gordon Lathrup’s comments.

The ballroom was packed. Gordon started by making fun of Jesus people. After doing that for a while, he said, “Let’s talk about Jesus.” He said that there was not much known about Jesus. Only two things were certain:…

Required to Refute…Gently

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Titus 1:9

This sentence is a part of the qualifications of an elder in a church in a town in Crete. The elder is to encourage and refute: In order to do this properly the elders must hold firmly to the message.

We find other qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:2 like “gentle” and “not quarrelsome. “The reason I bring this up is the requirement to refute the opposition and yet not be quarrelsome. We see a statement in 2 Timothy 2:4 which confirms this teaching, “and the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him, he must gently instruct...”

There is increasing opposition today to sound doctrine and to Christians. Christians must refute those in opposition but they must do it gently, kindly, and without quarreling.



Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge …

Alibi Jim

A childhood memory from my autobiography:

There was one day on the farm that I did not want to hoe. I hoed one of the tomato patches for a while, then laid down in the dirt in the sunshine and pretended to be asleep.

After a few minutes, someone came to check on me and found me "sleeping." Everyone thought it was funny. I couldn’t tell them I was faking it. They would not believe me! Dad already had a nickname for me—“Alibi Jim.”

From the Autobiography: Hypocrites & Conquistadors

One day, a hippie named Hardy Cook came into the bookstore in College Park, Maryland. When he realized that he was in a Christian store, he felt obligated to tell me why he was not a Christian. I had heard the same story many times before. His reasons for rejecting Christianity were the Conquistadors, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and hypocrites.

When he finished, I asked him these questions.

“Are hypocrites Christians?”

“No!”

“Were the Crusaders Christians?”

“No!”

“Were the Conquistadors Christians?”

“No!”

“Were the Inquisitors Christians?”

“No!”

“Hardy, you just told me that you are not a Christian because of all these non-Christians. That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

I told him that I had been asked to speak at the InterVarsity Fellowship that evening in the Student Union Building and gave him the time and the room number.

It was a long room with a long table down the middle. There were about seventy-five students there. The room was so crowded that when I stood up to speak, I …