Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Really Don't Like This Guy

A portion of a letter written by a forty-three-year old black man from Tennessee, to John MacArthur. This gentleman had been influenced by the Black Power movement and had turned away from Christianity. In listening to MacArthur preaching on the Grace to You radio broadcast, he was converted and began to live for Christ.

I bought into the teaching against a "white" Jesus, and the pro-Black teachings became my religion… When I first heard you on radio about nine years ago, I thought to myself, "I really don't like this guy and what he is saying." I was pretty sure you were white. Then one day I heard you preach on forgiveness of sins and love, and the veil was lifted from my eyes. Up until then, I had never truly heard the gospel preached, never truly understood the holiness of God. The Word of God began to have an incredible impact on me as I listened to your preaching daily. By God's grace, I've been living for Him, studying His Word, and listening to your broadcast for the last nine years.

John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock, Iain H. Murray, The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011, p. 180.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Total Despair Unless

A portion of a letter by Francis Schaffer to a friend who had spent time with his family at L’Abri in Switzerland, a retreat center for Christian study and growth. Schaffer’s friend was struggling with depression. He himself experienced depression at times and knew by experience, not just in theory, the pain of ups and downs in mind and heart. His suggestion to her is to keep in mind the objective work of Christ on the cross. The letter was written January 4, 1971.

We all have our times of being strong and our times of being weak. The swings of the pendulum cover different ground for different ones of us, and the swings of the pendulum are of greater intensity for one of God’s children than another. But the swings are there for all of us—for weakness and unhappiness and also for sin. It is for this reason that any honest person must be totally in despair unless they understand the reality of the finished work of Christ upon the cross for us. If it was not for this, none of us could have any peace of mind either for this world or from the world to come.

Letter of Francis A. Schaeffer, edited with introductions by Lane T. Dennis, Crossway Books, 1985, pp. 118-19.