Book Review: Assist Me to Proclaim

Tyson, John R. Assist Me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley. Library of Religious Biography. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008. Paperback, 328 pages. $22.00

(Review copy courtesy of Eerdmans.)
Assist Me to ProclaimPurchase: Eerdmans | Amazon | CBD

ISBNs: 0802829392 / 9780802829399

Series: Library of Religious Biography

Series Editors: Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch, & Allen C. Guelzo

Special Features: A Note on the Sources, Index

A Limited Preview is available via Amazon’s Online Reader: here.
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My Ordo Salutis on the "N" Train

SubwayI was on the “N” train again today. I looked into the eyes of another Chinese man, asking myself this time, How does a sinner believe? How does one dead in trespasses and sin come to life? Does regeneration precede faith? Is it possible, as I look into the eyes of the Chinese man, that he has already been or will be made alive by the Spirit because he is one sovereignly chosen by God?

Or is it possible that his deadness means that no spiritual life is present and never can be possible because he may be one who is not part of God’s plan? Perhaps he is not one of God’s elect. Perhaps all of the prayer and preaching on his behalf can never have any influence in his coming to life.

Or does his deadness simply describe the absence of spiritual life and his alienation from God without erasing the possibility that he may live again? Is there a mystery, irresolvable to the human mind, regarding God’s knowledge and plan in relationship to human response?

Perhaps the answer to whether this Chinese man can believe or why I believed and my neighbor didn’t is not as clear-cut as “one was predestined to believe (Calvinism) or one chose on his own accord not to believe (Arminianism).”
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To the Old Guys: It's Time to Listen

In The Nick of TimeThe fundamentalist movement was built by young men. Many of the leaders during the modernist-fundamentalist controversy were in their thirties and even their twenties. The most prominent leaders, men like T. T. Shields and J. Frank Norris, were only middle-aged. Younger men are typified by Robert T. Ketcham, who gained a national reputation as a leader in the controversy during his early thirties. To a very large extent, Fundamentalism was a movement of young men.

My own experience as a young man was similar. Before I turned thirty, I had already been given a college professorship and had spoken from a national platform. During a significant controversy, I had published opinions that attracted both praise and ire from prominent leaders of the fellowship. While some men disagreed (vigorously!) with what I said, I was never simply dismissed, and I certainly never felt that I was excluded from the process.

Probably because of my own experience, I suppose that I have assumed that young leaders should and do have a significant voice within Fundamentalism. A recent conversation, however, took me completely by surprise. Speaking with a staff pastor in a large, fundamentalist church, I heard the young man say, “Nobody in Fundamentalism wants to listen to you until you’re forty.”
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Getting to Know You, Part 2

Susan Raber, Accounts Manager & Ladies’ Forum Director

I have been thinking about how to include my story of how I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in this blog since I began writing it back in October 2007. I wasn’t sure if I could do a good job of it without writing a novel, but I am going to attempt to cover the important elements that I believe brought me to the place I needed to be for God to shine the light of truth on my heart and reveal to me how much I needed Him.

My parents became Christians when I was about four years old. They have a backstory that makes most soap operas look boring, so their conversion to a life dedicated to holiness was truly miraculous. Their conversion means that I was raised in a Christian home and in church with most of my close friends being church kids and from missionary families. I loved the life—listening to preaching, memorizing Scripture, and having a loving and stable home life. I went forward during a service when I was six years old, probably because my older brother went forward. Anything he could do I could do better.

Looking back on our lives, we see all of these pivotal moments, and my first was when my father died of a heart attack on Thanksgiving Day, one month before my thirteenth birthday. I was standing beside him while he was looking at my report card—and I swear it was all A’s, really. He slumped over, and he was gone. Of course, his death broke my heart.
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Creation, Part 7

Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from Warren Vanhetloo’s newsletter “Cogitation.”

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

Pink AsterThe intent when beginning this series of cogitations on the Genesis account of creation was to set forth a few simple sentences concerning each verse. That which took place in creation is beyond human comprehension, but the account God gave of what He did each day is actually clear and simple. Like the wonder in so much of the universe, we don’t have to understand it, just accept it. Read more about Creation, Part 7

Our Own Ninevah

Jonah's WhaleAsk anyone, churched or unchurched, to list a remarkable story in the Bible, and many people would say “Jonah and the Whale.” One part of that story, though, that is often overlooked is the end of the book when Jonah pouts because God poured His grace on the wicked Ninevites. How many preachers do you know would be upset because God used them for a city-wide revival? We condemn Jonah for his defiance toward God at the beginning of the book and his anger at God at the end, but we are really no different in our attitudes.

I recently heard a series of messages from Paul Tripp on the book of Jonah. One of the many thoughts that convicted me in that series was Tripp’s question “Who is it that you don’t want God to give mercy to and why?” The question can be easily answered by thinking of what group of people you are glad to see punished. My challenge is for us to seek to be ministers of grace to challenging people.
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A Woman's Place

In The Nick of Time

The nomination of Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate for the vice presidency has placed some conservatives in a double bind. On the one hand, they have been disappointed with the less-than-thorough conservatism of John McCain, so the more “Reaganesque” position of Governor Palin comes as a welcome balance. On the other hand, their understanding of the biblical role of women leaves scant opportunity for a female to occupy the second-highest (and, potentially, the highest) office in the land.

At the moment, I am not particularly interested in the political issues involved in the presidential campaign. Theologians have a right to political opinions, but as theologians their views about politics should carry no more weight than anyone else’s. What does interest me is the moral and ethical question of whether a woman can rightly and biblically occupy high office. In fact, my interest is even broader than that. I would like to ask which roles women may occupy (rightly and biblically) in every sphere of life. Read more about A Woman's Place