"AS I SEE IT"

Volume 12, Number 9, September 2009

 

“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.

For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;

Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.

I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.

I will show partiality to no one.  Nor will I flatter any man.”

Job 32:17-21

 

“That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.”

Earl of Kent

Shakespeare’s King Lear

Act I, scene iv, ll. 32-34

 

[“As I See It” is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek.  Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God.  The editor’s perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.

 

AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com.  You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address.  Back issues sent on request.  All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org]

 

All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only.  Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand.  Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given upon request.]

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The Practical Christian Faith of Robert E. Lee

 

“I recall a story, that a few years after the [American Civil] war (which is the great chronological epoch in a large part of our country), at the White Sulphur Springs in Virginia, was a venerable man at whom all the people looked with profound admiration, whose name was Robert E. Lee.  He was a devout Episcopalian.  One day a Presbyterian minister came to preach in the ball-room, according to custom, and he told me this story.  He noticed that General Lee, who was a very particular man about all the proprieties of life, came in late, and he thought it was rather strange.  He learned afterwards that the General had waited until all the people who were likely to attend the service had entered the room, and then he walked very quietly around in the corridors and parlors, and out under the trees, and wherever he saw a man or two standing he would go up and say gently: ‘We are going to have divine service this morning in the ball-room; won’t you come?’  And they all went.  To me it was very touching that that grand old man, whose name is known all over the world and before whom all the people wanted to bow, should so quietly go around, and for a minister of another denomination also, and persuade them to go.”

John A. Broadus

Sermons and Addresses, p. 38

(Baltimore: M. H. Wharton & Co., 1886)

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“Why These Four and No More?”

In Reply to Questions Regarding the Gospels

 

“Sir--

 

I have one or two questions troubling me for long time.  From what I have read from your articles, I think you may help me.


1. Why we have only 4 gospels?


2. I know that one of the main figures in deciding which, was Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria.  Putting into consideration his anti-Arian stand, do you think that such a person would have agreed to let a gospel which contains Arian teaching be included in the list?


3. Why the apostle’s gospels were not included in the Bible?  Were they very gnostic?


Such questions and others tend to retard my determination to become a true believer, and since people around me can not give satisfying answers, your reply may be of great help.

 

R------ B-----“

---

 

Mr. B-----:

 

The reason we have four Gospels in the NT is simply because four and only four were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  In his prologue, Luke (1:1-4) informs us that he was just one among many writers of the accounts of the life of Jesus (no doubt Mark's account was one of those known to Luke), and the way he refers to them, they are uniform in the Jesus they present--all were attempts to relate the events in the life of Jesus, and all were in harmony with the Jesus of history, that is, they were in agreement about who Jesus was--God and man in one person--and what He did: miracles, teaching, His suffering and death and resurrection, etc.  Of these accounts, only the present four Gospels were admitted into the collection of authoritative books because they alone had the authority of the Holy Spirit behind them in their composition. 

 

There was none of the Gnostic nonsense in any of the first century Gospels, whether canonical or not, such as is found in the bogus "Gospel of Thomas" or "Gospel of Judas."  All the canonical Gospels were written during the lifetime of eyewitnesses, indeed, three of the four--Matthew, Mark, and John--were written by men who personally witnessed some or most of what they reported, and the remaining Gospel--Luke--informs us that he did careful research among eyewitnesses.  Your question as to why the Apostles' Gospels were not included in the canon is misdirected, since two of the canonical Gospels were in fact written by apostles--Matthew and John,--and the other two Gospel writers, Mark and Luke, almost certainly depended on the Apostles, among others, for the contents of their books.  So-called "gospels" which were not included in the NT were "gospels" falsely ascribed to Apostles, books actually written in the 2nd or even 3rd century, long after all the apostles were dead.

 

The so-called Gospels of "Thomas," "Peter," "Judas," etc. were all written more than a century (often much more) after the death of Jesus and two or more generations after the death of all eyewitnesses to the life and ministry of Jesus.  It is for this reason that most serious historians conclude that these later so-called "gospels" contain NO reliable, independent historical information about any of the persons they mention, especially Jesus, but are entirely fiction.

 

The fact that there are precisely four and neither more nor fewer Gospels in the NT is NOT due to the influence of Athanasius in the fourth century.  That there were four authoritative Gospels--and precisely THESE FOUR--was plainly stated and all but universally recognized in the 2nd century A.D.  For example, the Muratorian Canon, the earliest listing of the books of the NT, and dating to around 180 A. D., clearly notes that there were four and only four Gospels.  (On the Muratorian list, see "Muratorian Canon" by Theodore Zahn in The New Schaff Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, edited by Samuel Macauley Jackson, vol. VIII, pp. 53-56 [including the whole text, in English translation]; and Patrology, by Johannes Quasten, vol II, pp. 207-210).  Similarly, Tatian's running "harmony of the Gospels," made before 180 A. D. was made from the four canonical Gospels and no others.  Numerous church fathers, many of whom lived well before Athanasius, specifically note that there are only four Gospels and draw comparisons to the four directions and other things found in fours.

 

Athanasius believed in the Trinity and the Deity of Christ because that is what the four canonical, long-accepted Gospels taught.  He did not impose a preconceived theological view of what he deemed "acceptable" in the canon.  The issue of what Gospels were authoritative was settled many generations earlier.  His orthodoxy arose from adherence to the already canonical Gospels; the canon was not the product or result of a presuppositional Trinitarianism.

 

I would recommend to you, in addition to the close and careful reading of the Gospels themselves as well as the rest of the NT, that you get and read a couple of books by Lee Strobel: The Case for Christ , and The Case for Faith.  I paste a copy of my review of these books (from As I See It 7:8) below.  These books deal specifically with the historic credibility of the canonical Gospels.

 

Doug Kutilek 

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From the Archives

 

Back in May, 1993, I had the so far unique experience in my life of appearing on public access television in Austin, Texas.  Bob Ross of Pilgrim Publications interviewed me for two hours on different aspects of the modern King James Bible controversy.  Recently, the producer of those programs, Larry Wessels, posted them to the internet, ‘for your viewing pleasure.’  Actually, after 16 years, I’m not overly embarrassed by my performance, though there is some chagrin about the transformation of my then entirely brown hair to mostly gray (but at least it is largely still present and accounted for) and the addition of some 20 or so pounds and about six inches to the waist due to “overactive appetite.”

 

Those videos can be viewed at:

 

The Bible Translation Issue (Part 1)

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5544319/14572762

 

The Bible Translation Issue (Part 2)

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5544638/14573429

--- Doug Kutilek

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Information on English and Foreign Language Versions:

A Rare Source Now Available

 

Several times in past issues (see 1:10; 3:5; 8:1), we have drawn attention to books and articles that provided information about Bible translations in languages other than English.  We did so because often times, those who might wish to know something about Bible translations in Portuguese or Italian or Russian or some other non-English language simply have no idea where to go to find information.  This same frustration used to be ours, until we located now one and now another helpful source.  We passed on what we had discovered to spare others our experience.

 

One volume that promised to be of assistance in this regard was one we knew only by reports from others, and had never seen.  That volume was The Bible of Every Land: A History of Sacred Scriptures in Every Language and Dialect into which Translations have been Made, published in London in 1848 by Samuel Bagster and Co, and has 550 pages, quarto (apparently).   No author or editor is named in the volume.  It is difficult to find used (Amazon recently listed one used copy, for a mere $370.00, plus postage), and I have never seen it in a Bible college or seminary (or personal) library.  But it has now been photographed (or whatever it is they do) and is available on line for reading or downloading free at www.archive.org.  It takes up about 83mb. 

 

The information is remarkable.  The book begins with dozens of pages of samples of Biblical texts in many languages and a huge number of scripts.  It must have taken dozens of participants to put this book together, simply from the broad spectrum of languages represented (even the best of linguists could handle only a few dozen of those found here).  For each language, there is a history of the translation into that language, along with sample passages in that language.  For example, excerpts are given from NT translations into Hebrew (a topic on which we published our own three part study in As I See It 9:3, 9:4 & 9:5), and also of Spanish versions (our series ran in As I See It 11:11; 11:12; 12:1; 12:3; 12:4; 12:5).  In this volume, we saw, for the first time, some of the text of the Spanish versions by Scio (1793) and Amat (1825), and we learned some details that we did not discover in our own study (though, we are happy to report, only minor details--we missed nothing major).  And looking at the accounting of Latin Bible versions from the Reformation era (a topic we hope to write on in the future), we found information on and excerpts from about a dozen different Latin versions.  It was remarkable--and I don’t know where else I could have found such samples, without going to do research once again in the British and Foreign Bible Society archives housed at Cambridge University (not that I am not willing to do so!).

 

Naturally, the volume is limited by its date of publication (1848), but up to that time, its coverage is full and valuable.  We shall be consulting it in the future.

---Doug Kutilek

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John W. Peterson on the Essentials of Good Music

 

[Note: John W; Peterson (1921-2006), a Kansas native, was one of the most prolific and influential American Christian composers and lyricists in the second half of the 20th century.  His more notable hymns and Gospel songs include “Heaven Came Down,” “It Took a Miracle,” “Jesus in Coming Again,” “A Student’s Prayer, and “So Send I You.”  I think the hymn-book he compiled and edited, Great Hymns of the Faith (1968) is among the very best available.  In his autobiography, The Miracle Goes On (Zondervan, 1976) he expressed his opinion on the relative importance of the lyrics to the melody in Gospel music, an opinion worth weighing--editor]

 

“. . . the text is paramount: the music is meant to serve it.  Music touches the emotions, but there’s only one way to get a message across--if you do get it across--to the mind and will of man: through words.  Sometimes a wordless melody will take form in my mind, but if it becomes a song I shape the tune to enhance the text, not vice versa.  I’ve got something to say, and songs are my medium of communication.  Nevertheless, no matter how appealing a melody I create, if the words don’t come through, I’ve failed.”

 

“I learned that long ago as a teen-ager back in Wichita, Kansas when Haldor Lillenas, a fine old gospel song-writer, came to town to lead the music in an evangelistic crusade.  For once my desire to learn about songwriting overcame my diffidence.  I screwed up my courage, telephoned, and asked him for an interview.” 

 

“Fearful and hopeful, I approached that venerable Norwegian gentleman, a sheaf of manuscript paper under my arm.  I can still see him adjusting his glasses, hear him humming through my tunes.  Finally he said, ‘I want to give you some advice, young man.  The most important part of a song is the lyric.  Be very careful with your lyric.  Go through it again and again until it’s the best you can make it.  Until it says something and is poetic.’ “

 

Says Something.”

 

“Yes, and something that squares with Scripture.  God took the trouble to communicate with us in concrete ideas.  Whatever we need to know about Him and about ourselves is set forth clearly in His Word.  A gospel song may or may not break new ground or introduce new concepts.  It may be a paraphrase.  But it can’t distort biblical truth.  I am under obligation to communicate the gospel as much as the man in the pulpit.  It’s not a question of simply writing pretty verses.”

 

“Some people will find this definition too rigid, but it’s a concept I have held throughout my life as a songwriter.  Many songs today deal with spiritual matters--attractive songs, effective songs--perhaps even speaking of Jesus, but in such a vague, sentimental, or wishy-washy way that there’s no tie-in to sound doctrine, to His great work of salvation, redemption, and sanctification.  Such compositions, however compelling they may be on an emotional level, do not qualify in my mind as gospel songs.”

 

“Dogmatic?  Maybe.  But this attitude is born out of a feeling of responsibility to make the gospel message clear and plain, to set forth biblical truth precisely.  Even in a song which deals primarily with personal experience, I feel obligated to relate that experience to sound doctrine.”

pp. 11-13

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BOOK REVIEWS

 

A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings by Edwin R. Thiele.  Zondervan, 1977.  93 pp, paperback.

 

If the reader of the Bible will compile and study the chronological information for the kings of Judah and Israel as given in the books of I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles, his first impression will be: “These numbers just don’t seem to add up!”  Indeed, it seems that the numbers are frequently off by a year or two or more, that the length of reigns as given often seem too long, and some statements seem inherently to contradict one another.  And if comparison is made with known chronological information from contemporary Assyrian, Babylonian and Egyptian sources, the OT figures will seem to be almost continually out of “sync” with them.  Readers and scholars have struggled to make sense of what appeared to be “irreconcilable differences” for centuries, even millennia (the pre-Christian translators of the OT into Greek arbitrarily altered some of the numbers in these books to make them “fit”).  Liberal scholars appealed to these disharmonious numbers as proof that these books were not historically accurate, and that the Hebrew text as we now have it is not reliable.  Conservative scholars sometimes viewed the discrepancies as scribal errors in the copying process, errors which the original manuscripts did not contain.  But all were sure that there was something wrong with the numbers as given in the Masoretic text.

 

Both the liberals and the conservatives were proven wrong by Edwin R. Thiele, a Seventh-day Adventist scholar (Ph. D., University of Chicago) in a monumental proposal that was first published in 1944 as “The Chronology of the Kings of Judah and Israel,” in Journal of Near Eastern Studies (July), and has been revised, expanded and published in book form in three editions since then.  Therein, Thiele proposed a resolution to the apparent difficulties of the Masoretic text’s numbers that vindicates those numbers as they stand.  His solution has come to be almost universally accepted as correct in all but one minor detail.

 

What Thiele proposed--and proved--was that the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel had different ways of reckoning dates, one beginning the year in the spring, the other in the fall, one counting the year a king was enthroned as his first year, the other counting his first year as beginning with new year’s day after he became king (and both nations changing their manner of reckoning once or twice during the period).  Further he proposed that there were numerous cases of co-regency (where a sitting king enthroned his son as co-king during his own lifetime, to secure an orderly succession) and some cases of overlapping reigns where more than one man ruled at the same time over different parts of the northern kingdom of Israel.

 

The result: the numbers as given in Kings and Chronicles are vindicated as precisely accurate, with no alteration or correction necessary, with one exception (so thought Thiele).  Thiele’s one exception: the numbers coordinating the reign of Hezekiah of Judah with the reign of Hoshea of Israel in 2 Kings 17, 18 (p. 54).  Thiele assumed these were mistakes caused by a misunderstanding of court records by the authors and editors who compiled Kings in the mid-6th century.  In fact, it is Thiele who was mistaken--he failed to see that Hezekiah had been installed as co-regent with his father in 729 B.C.  Accept this understanding of the passages in question, and all problems vanish, and these numbers are vindicated, like all the others, as true and accurate in detail.

 

Consider Thiele’s summary:

 

The astounding coordinations between the dates set forth by the widely separated records of the Canon of Ptolemy, the Assyrian eponym list, and the Hebrew Bible make it clear that we are dealing with records that are sound and that set before us a combined pattern of years for the ancient Near East in which complete confidence can be placed.  The unimpeachable astronomical evidence that confirms these dates points to the fact that the original data were recorded by men who knew the facts concerning the times and the areas in which they lived.

p. 84

 

In short, the records of Kings and Chronicles are, first, fully vindicated as historically reliable documents in this important area of chronology where they have been thoroughly tested.  The obvious deduction from this is that they must be based on contemporary records from the times they describe, not fictional accounts from decades and centuries later.  And if they are so completely vindicated in the minutiae of chronology, are they not to be prima facie trusted in their records of people, places and events (many of which, incidentally, have also been independently confirmed by ancient Near Eastern documents)?

 

And, second, it is readily apparent that the Hebrew text as we have it--complete copies date only as recently as 1000 A.D.--has been faithfully and accurately transmitted since the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., when Kings and Chronicles were written, to the present day.  Beyond question, the many generations of Jewish scribes who copied these texts must have recognized that the numbers in the texts before them often just did not seem to harmonize, but rather than alter the numbers in the text to make them fit, they copied them as they found them, preserving the original numbers which were entirely accurate after all.

 

We have, then, an accurately transmitted text of historically accurate documents.

 

The present book is a simplified version of Thiele’s larger work, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (revised edition, Zondervan, 1983; 253 pp., hardback), which first appeared in 1951, with a revision in 1965.  This is one of those classic books that every preacher, and Bible college and seminary student should be familiar with, due to its important apologetic value in defending the OT from its detractors, and assisting us in unraveling a puzzling aspect of OT interpretation.

---Doug Kutilek

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C. T. Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer by Norman P. Grubb.  Christian Literature Crusade, 1948.  263 pp., hardback.

 

Charles Thomas Studd (1862-1931) was the third son of a wealthy retired planter, Edward Studd, who had made his fortune in India and had returned to England to enjoy the benefits of his sizeable fortune.  Through the testimony of a friend, he attended--and was converted--at an evangelistic meeting conducted by D. L. Moody in 1877.  The next year, his three sons were also converted, all on the same day.  All three sons were groomed for a place in English aristocracy at Eton and then Cambridge, where all three excelled at cricket (a distinctively British sport somewhat akin to baseball), C. T. being perhaps the best cricketer in England.

 

After six years as a largely uncommitted, self-seeking Christian, Studd was stirred to commit his life to mission work upon attending a Moody campaign and become part of the famous “Cambridge Seven” who sailed for China and mission service there in 1885.  Serving nearly a decade in China under the auspices of Hudson Taylor’s China Inland Mission, Studd met and married his wife there, she a missionary serving under the Salvation Army.  Four daughters were born to the couple in China (a fifth child died shortly after birth). 

 

As soon as he received his portion of the family estate in 1887 (age 25), he decided to give it all away to God’s work--5,000 British pounds to D. L. Moody (used in the founding of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago), 5,000 to George Muller, 5,000 to George Holland for the poor of London, 5,000 to the Salvation Army’s work in India, and lesser amounts to other ministries.  A residual of 3,400 pounds was presented to his bride at their wedding, and she insisted that it too be given to God’s work.

 

Because of his exertions in China, Studd’s health was so impaired that he was compelled to return to England.  At this time, he undertook an extended speaking tour in the U.S.

 

Next came six years as pastor of an English-language congregation in India (1900-1906), which also ended due to serious health concerns. 

 

Then, after several years in England, Studd set out in 1910--nearly 50 years old and in poor health--, against doctors’ advice and the wishes of his family and friends, on a 2-year survey tour of Central Africa.  He and his one associate--a young man aged 20 who would later become a son-in-law--traveled up the Nile and then overland to the Belgian Congo, in some places retracing the steps of Henry Stanley.  It was in this region that Studd would exhaust his energies, seeking to plant the Gospel among wholly unevangelized tribes. 

 

To carry out the work in Africa, Studd created “Heart of Africa Mission”(H. A. M.) which later became Worldwide Evangelization Crusade.  It, like Taylor’s C. I. M. was a faith mission--there were no promised salaries, and no appeals for funds, but a simple trusting of God to supply the need.  He returned to Africa in 1912 to begin the work.  For the mission in Africa, God would entrust to Studd’s care over the next 18 years some 147,000 pounds.

 

As he got older, Studd became more zealous--some would say fanatically so--and committed to the work of the ministry.  After beginning the work in Africa, he returned to England only once (1916).  He and his wife--who remained in England, partly due to her poor health, and partly to manage the “home office” of the ministry--spent only two weeks together during the final dozen years of his life.  Studd made very high demands on his own time and energy, and practiced a very strict ascetic lifestyle, and expected the same from co-workers and African converts.  His self-demands, projected on others, alienated him from several co-laborers, including a daughter and son-in-law, and even threatened the continuation of the work.

 

Studd’s ministry in Africa was effective in reaching and winning thousands of previously unevangelized Africans.  Congregations were established in widely-scattered places, and national workers were trained.  The native languages were reduced to writing and translations were made of parts of Scripture into these languages.

 

Studd frequently resorted to anointing with oil in times of great illness, basing the practice on James 5:14 (though I think that is a reference to an act associated with the miraculous gift of healing, now extinct--see Mark 6:13).  His understanding of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” (in accord with the views of Moody, Torrey and John R. Rice) was that it was synonymous with being filled with the Holy Spirit.  He practiced believer’s baptism by immersion.  In his Bible study and ministry, Studd chiefly used the English Revised Version.

 

After Studd’s death in Africa in 1931, much of the tension that had built up in the organization subsided, and W.E.C. experienced remarkable growth, going from 37 full-time workers in 1931 to 420 by 1948 in 17 different countries (in the 1970s, the number of workers was over 500).  In the four years after Studd’s death, first 10, then 15, then 25, and then 52 additional workers were prayed out to the harvest field--and this in the depths of the Great Depression.  Christian Literature Crusade, which often publishes excellent books, was begun as an arm of W.E.C. in 1940 (I was previously unaware of the connection).

 

The author was one of Studd’s sons-in-law, and succeeded him as director of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade.  The biography was in large measure compiled from Studd’s own voluminous correspondence, all of which was preserved by his mother or wife.

 

(For another account of Studd’s life, from a non “in-house” source, see Ruth A. Tucker, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya (2004), pp. 314-319)

---Doug Kutilek

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Sermons and Addresses by John A. Broadus.  Baltimore: H. M. Wharton & Co., 1886.  445 pp., hardback.

 

As noted in our review of John A. Broadus: A Living Legacy, edited by David S. Dockery and Roger D. Duke in the previous issue of AISI (12:8), John Albert Broadus (1827-1895) was the quintessential Baptist leader in America in the second half of the 19th century.  And though Broadus was both famous as a teacher of homiletics, and was very much in demand as a preacher and public speaker, yet he published only one book of his sermons and addresses; this is no doubt in large measure due to his practice of almost always speaking extemporaneously, without manuscript and with only brief notes, if any. There are twenty-one messages in all here, some from as early as the 1850s when Broadus pastored in Charlottesville, Virginia and was barely thirty years old; some are as late as 1886, the year of publication.

 

The sermons, the first eleven of the twenty-one messages, can be characterized as good to fair, though none was what I would call striking or outstanding.  The addresses are to me of greater interest, and include such subjects as “Ministerial education,” American Baptist Ministry in A. D. 1774” (which gives brief biographical accounts of numerous notable colonial era Baptist preachers), “College Education for Men of Business,” and “Education in Athens.”  Also included are several memorial addresses/ funeral sermons, including those for Dr. Gessner Harrison (Broadus’ professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Virgina, and his first father-in-law), G. W. Riggan (a promising young OT professor at Southern Baptist Seminary who died barely into his 30s), and A. M. Poindexter (a prominent Virginia Baptist preacher of the 19th century).

 

There are apparently numerous editions of this book by several publishers, but all seem to be identical in contents and pagination (it is a fairly easy volume to find through internet book dealers).  The similarly named volume, Favorite Sermons of John A. Broadus, edited by Vernon L. Stanfield (New York: Harper and Bros.; 147 pp.) contains reprints of just four sermons from the 1886 volume, eight additional sermons which Broadus left in manuscript at his death, and his sermon notes on twelve more sermons (according to Stanfield, Broadus left in manuscript notes to more than 300 sermons).

---Doug Kutilek

---

 

Some quotations from Sermons and Addresses by John A. Broadus--

 

“It is easy to talk nonsense on the subject of church music.  It is very difficult to talk wisely.  But I think we sometimes forget in our time that there is a distinction between secular and sacred music.  I have seen places where they did not seem to know there was such a distinction.” p. 18

 

“Mr. Spurgeon tells us that he requests his teachers, and his wife, and various other friends to hunt up illustrations for him.  He asks them, whenever they have come across anything good in reading or in conversation that strike them as good, to write it down and let him have it, and whenever he sees a fit opportunity he makes a point of it.” p. 41

 

“Our advocate [Jesus] does not argue that we are innocent, but confessing our guilt, pleads for mercy to us; and he does not present our merits as a reason why mercy should be shown us, but his merits. . . . And God is made propitious, favorable to us, not when he is willing to save, but when it is made right that he should save us, . . . ” pp. 77, 78

 

“Bearing in mind the difference between the pleading of our great Advocate and any parallel which human affairs present, we may look at a story of Grecian history, which has been often used to illustrate the Savior’s intercession.  The poet Aeschylus had incurred the displeasure of the Athenians.  He was on trial before the great popular tribunal, consisting of many hundreds of citizens, and was about to be condemned.  But Aeschylus had a brother, who had lost an arm in battle--in the great battle of Salamis, where the Greeks fought for their existence against the Persian aggressors.  This brother came into court, and did not speak words of entreaty, but letting fall his mantle, he showed the stump of his arm, lost in his country’s defense, and there stood until the Athenians relented, and Aeschylus was suffered to go free.  So, my brethren, imperfect and unworthy as is the illustration, so we may conceive that when we are about to be condemned, and justly condemned for our sins, our glorious Brother stands up in our behalf, and does not need to speak a word, but only to show where he was wounded on the cross--

Five bleeding wounds he bears,

Received on Calvary;

They pour effectual prayers,

They strongly speak for me;

‘Forgive him, O forgive,’ they cry,

‘Nor let the ransomed sinner die!’

pp. 78, 79

 

“We must be, ought to be, intensely dissatisfied with ourselves; but let us be satisfied with our Savior, and have peace with God through him; not content with the idea of remaining such as we are, but, seeing that the same Gospel which offers us forgiveness and acceptance offers us also a genuine renewal through our Lord Jesus Christ, and promises that finally we shall be made holy, as God is holy, shall indeed be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect.” pp. 94-5

 

“Oh, ye people that have to do with the world’s young men, you never know what some little word you speak is going to do I shaping the whole character and controlling the whole life of the man who walks by your side!” p. 172

 

“But, in one sense, every man is self-educated who is ever really educated at all.” p. 251

 

“We remember, gentlemen, those of us particularly who were deficient in early advantages, the delusive hope of boyhood, that there would come a time when we should have read all books, and become masters of all knowledge.  We learned long ago that this can never be; yet often one re-awakes to fresh disappointment, and finds that he has been dreaming that sweet dream of childhood still.  It is painful to think that we must live on and die, and leave many a wide field of human knowledge untraversed and unknown.  This longing to learn everything is in itself a noble element of our nature, and leads to noble results; but it requires to be checked by the stern voice of duty.” pp. 294-5

 

“In every grade of teaching it is perhaps even more important to consider what your teacher is than what he knows.” p. 346

 

“[God] can determine better than we, in what ways we shall be most useful.  He knows whether it is best for us to labor in one part of his vineyard or another, in one or another sphere and method of Christian exertion.” p. 353

 

“Whatever is worth teaching at all is worth teaching well; and there is no really good teaching without an enthusiastic interest in the subject, and a passionate desire to give the pupil all possible assistance.”  p. 360

 

Regarding A. M. Poindexter’s mention of purchasing, as a young minister, a commentary set with money sent him by two individuals: “It is greatly to be feared that he bought Dr. Gill’s commentary, for what else could a young Baptist minister of that day be expected to procure?” p. 386

 

“In later life [A. M. Poindexter] declared Luther Rice to have been ‘in virtues among the first, and in talents the first of those whom he had intimately known.’ “ p. 391

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