Missions

God Is Enough: An Interview with the Author of "Confessions of a Transformed Heart"

Mark and Nancy Sheppard began missionary service in the nation of Liberia, but God had an agenda of personal transformation neither of them expected. Nancy has written about that experience in her recent book, Confessions of a Transformed Heart. We asked Nancy to tell us a bit about her experience in Africa and her aims in writing the book.

What led you to Ivory Coast and work among the refugees?

After a wonderful first term of ministry in Liberia (1986-89), we were in the States for our one-year home assignment when the Liberian Civil War began. We hoped very much that it would end quickly and we would be able to resume the life and ministries we loved. Sadly, it dragged on and on. In 1991 we returned to Africa, this time to Liberia’s neighboring country, the Ivory Coast, where we began to minister among the Liberian war refugees.

After the missionaries evacuated from Liberia, Baptist Mid-Missions made a policy that no families with children still in the home could live inside Liberia. We had three young children at the time. It was our strong desire to continue work among the Liberians that caused us to make the decision to enter refugee work in the Ivory Coast rather than begin work among an entirely different people group.

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The Importance of Being Important

Republished with permission from Theologically Driven.

Christianity consists of beliefs and practices. There are certain ways one must view God, himself, and the world at large, and there are certain ways one must think, feel, and act as a result of those views. Throughout church history, Christians have debated what beliefs and practices are proper for the believer. That debate continues today.

Another debate has also occurred throughout church history—what should be done with those who disagree on the proper beliefs and practices for a believer? While it is not possible to answer either of those questions in this post, I would like to address three errors relevant to this debate that are common in conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism today and see two ways in which they manifest themselves.

Inversionism

Over time, it became clear to the church that some beliefs and practices were so central to Christianity that denying them meant denying Christianity itself. The items on this list have expanded as controversies have necessitated Christians to clarify their doctrine, but it includes things like the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the bodily resurrection, and the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture.

However, some act as if these essential truths are less important than other truths. Though one might be wrong on a fundamental doctrine, if he agrees with someone on other issues, then the fundamental error will be overlooked. Thus, lesser truths and matters are treated as more important than essential truths and matters.

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