Thursday, May 5, 2011

News and Notes of Interest

May 1, 1873: Missionary-explorer David Livingstone dies. Responsible for "opening up" central Africa and for popularizing missions to that continent, Livingstone himself only made one convert—who later backslid. Still, he is widely considered one of Christianity's missionary heroes.

Faithfulness, steadfastness, and obedience are the qualities our Lord looks for and will one day reward. One or one hundred-thousand matters not to our God! Where would Burma be if Judson gave up during that first six years of toil without any converts?

May 2nd, 2011 makes the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. The King James Bible, known as the Authorized Version or by its initials, KJV, is an English translation of the Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek and Aramaic texts. The Church of England began this translation in 1604 and it was finished in 1611. The KJV was the third “official” translation of the bible into English. The first was The Great Bible and the second translation was The Bishop’s Bible. King James authorization of this translation included instructions that the translation would stay true to the doctrine and structure of the Church of England. Forty seven translators were selected to undertake this monumental task.

The KJV is a masterpiece, not inspired by God, but certainly superintended by God! 

Although much language has changed and has become outdated and new discoveries have developed into newer translations, the KJV is still an accurate and reliable translation for God’s people.

May 3, 1675: A Massachusetts law goes into effect requiring church doors to be locked during services. Officials enacted the law because too many people were leaving before sermons were over.

I never thought of this! However, I found the secret to keeping people in the service is to provide bible-based expositions of God’s Word, energized by the Holy Spirit. What were the Massachusetts pastors preaching that would necessitate locking people in the building?

May 3, 1738: English preacher George Whitefield, the most famous religious figure of the 1700s, arrives in America for his first of seven visits. In his lifetime, Whitefield preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers

I will never achieve his Spirit-soaked success and accomplishments, but may I be used in a similar fashion to preach and teach God’s Holy Word to His dear people. 

“…Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my lambs…Simon, son of John, do you love me? Tend my sheep…Simon, son of John, do you love me...Feed my sheep…”

Gregg, do you love me? Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. Feed my lambs. Gregg, do you love me…

May 6, 1638: Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen, who inspired a reform movement in the Roman Catholic Church, dies. Jansen opposed the teachings of the Jesuits and of Thomas Aquinas, urging the church to rediscover Augustine's doctrine of irresistible grace. For his views on grace and predestination, the church prohibited Jansen's teachings.

What a tremendous shame that Jansen’s reforms did not catch on. Catholicism today could be so different. It could have possibly been a Christian movement leading souls to Christ, rather than a mixture of Judaism, Christianity, and mysticism leading people into darkness and deception.

May 7, 1839: Hymn writer and pastor Elisha A. Hoffman is born in Pennsylvania. His songs include "I Must Tell Jesus," "Down at the Cross," "Are You Washed in the Blood?" and "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

Thank God He chose to create, elect, redeem, and gift Pastor Hoffman! I love singing these hymns to our Lord!  Don't you?


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Interesting dates to remember Gregg.
My own personal May dates are numerous.

Have a lovely day.

Eddie Eddings said...

Yes, Gregg, those hymns are a part of my life! I could sing them forever!

Trisha said...

Neat post, Gregg. I especially remember singing Are You Washed in the Blood and Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. I want my children to know those hymns, too, and it's wonderful to teach them.

And, we use the KJV as well.

I didn't know about Jansen. I'll have to find more info. and read about him.

Michael Wright said...

Yes, I am very glad we sing these hymns on a regular basis.

Thanks for posting.

li said...

Hey, fascinating post! As for locking people about a captive audience! We always wrap up with a hymn, often one of the oldies but goodies, which I think encourages people to stay. (Oh, and there's a coffee and cookie station right after, but you have to wait until the end of the service. :)

Anonymous said...

There is some misinformation circulating about the KJV. A recent "Crosstalk" radio show had some "facts" that were inaccurate, mixing KJV history with that of the "Great Bible" and other translations.

What is ironic to me is that the Authorized Version was a product of the Anglican church, so it could compete with the influential and popular Geneva Bible (450th anniversary last year). Yet, the KJV drew heavily from the Geneva Bible, and to some extent, from previous translations (including the "Great Bible").

By no means is this a detraction from the KJV's influence and importance! I wanted to add some information is all.

Persis said...

Even though I use the ESV now, I still love the King James.