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Thursday, December 08, 2005

A quote from Leighton Ford ...

I am rereading Sterling Huston's book Crusade Evangelism and the Local Church (Published originally in 1984, revised & expanded in 1996 by World Wide Publications. Minneapolis, MN). On pages 182-183 there is an extended quote by Leighton Ford. Leighton was a long time Evangelism Associate for the Billy Graham Association and founder of the Arrow Leadership Program where I met his acquaintance.

"Before evangelism is a program, it is a passion — a passion of the heart which issues a saving action. Evangelism is the passion of Moses, 'Oh, this people have sinned ... yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin — if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which thou hast written.' It is the passion of Paul, 'Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.' It is the anguished cry of Jesus as He weeps over a doomed city, 'Oh, Jerusalem, how oft would I have gathered thee.'

"Evangelism is the cry of John Knox, 'Give me Scotland or I die,' and John Wesley, 'The world is my parish.' Evangelism is Henry Martyn landing on the shores of India and crying, 'Here let me burn out for God!' It is David Brainerd coughing up blood from his tubercular lungs as he prays in the snow for the North American Indians. It is George Whitefield crossing the Atlantic thirteen times in a small ship to preach in the American colonies.

"Evangelism is the passion that leads the aristocratic Lady Donnithorne of our own generation to enter the forbidding slums of Hong Kong's 'Walled City' to bring the healing of the Gospel to the pimps and prostitutes, the dope addicts and gamblers. It is Jim Eliot and his young friends staining the sands of a little river in Ecuador with their blood to reach an obscure band of Auca Indians for Christ. It is Paul Carlson leaving his comfortable practice in California for the Congo, there to die with a rebel's bullet through his head."

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