Monday, 30 March 2015

Return to the Reformation: Part One

        It is my great pleasure to let readers of this blog know that, as in 2013, I will be again traveling overseas to Europe this June.  Following author Douglas Bond, my family and I will be tracing the history of the Italian Reformation from Rome, Italy, to Geneva, Switzerland.  Recalling my previous trip, I thought it might be of interest for some to see a few photographs from France, Germany, and Switzerland.  So below is pictured an extremely fast trip across Europe and back!

The 'Place de Maubert' in Paris, where in the late 1400's the first Huguenots were martyred for their faith.

Notre Dame, Paris - we learned why a Reformation was so desperately needed: not to make a new church, but to bring people back to the truth of the Scriptures.

Noyon, France - the birthplace of John Calvin.  You can still see shell damage to this church from the First World War.

Strasbourg, France - the city wherein Martin Bucer ministered for many years, and where the invention of the printing press allowed the Gospel to advance rapidly.

 Eisleben, Germany - the birth and death place of Martin Luther, where he is commemorated with a statue picturing his life in the town square.
Heidelburg, Germany - We visited the Palatinate (Heidelburg Castle) on the 450th anniversary of the writing of the Heidelburg Catechism

The Wartburg Castle, Germany, where Luther hid from his enemies, and translated the entire New Testament from Greek into German.

Zurich, Switzerland - though it was a dreary day, we remembered the life-giving Gospel preaching of Heinrich Bullinger and Ulrich Zwingli. 

The Reformation Wall, Geneva, Switzerland.  A great many Heroes of the Reformation are remembered here on this wall.  The main inscription reads, "Post Tenebras Lux" - "After Darkness, Light."

BONUS: Juno Beach, Normandy, France.  I traveled for one day to the place where, despite the peaceful setting, the greatest invasion during World War Two happened.

So goes a quick overview of Reformation places in Europe; Part Two will outline where I go, but more importantly, why.  

For Christ's Glory,
William A Moore

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Opportunity With Responsibility

I am not a perfect example of honour and integrity, but in looking at my own life
and how I can become more Christ-like, these are some thoughts which came to mind.  ~ William Moore

        Honour and Integrity: these are hard things to find in many a young man these days.  I don't believe the only reason is because our culture has strayed away from God's Moral Law, though that has contributed to the problem in a large degree.  I think one of the main reasons is because having integrity and honour and maintaining it in a worldly culture is hard to accomplish.  In fact, things that are worth having and keeping are normally hard.
        Which is why, as Christian young men, we have an awesome opportunity and also a great responsibility in this regard. The opportunity is to show the world how God's Word affects our life, and be a witness to that truth. The responsibility is that if we don't glorify God in these areas, then we are not being a true representative of what we say we are - Christians.  Great opportunity comes with great responsibility.
        My sister made the comment just a day or two ago, while we were talking about World War II, that "Men acted like men in those days." What that means is that, while not perfect, the example that the men of two generations ago set should not be taken lightly.  Looking back now, we can see that by going off to war, not being sure if they would ever come back, they were obeying the principle set in Scripture of loving your neighbour, and protecting their families.  These men held integrity and honour in high esteem - even to the cost of laying down their life.
        Today, for most of us, we live a very easy life.  We are not going to war tomorrow - or are we?  What about taking the opportunity and the responsibility of honour and integrity more seriously, and applying it in every way possible to our lives.  This will be hard - the devil does not appreciate the world seeing the powerful effect of God in our lives.  For, after all, our life is not our own, but is hidden with Christ above. Is there anything more that we can do than Glorify our Creator and Saviour by being men of Integrity and Honour?

Written and Posted by William A. Moore

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Scottish Evangelist: Henry Drummond

Henry Drummond, 1851 - 1897
        As I was on my email account yesterday, along the top of the page where ads sometimes appear was this Quote of the Day: "Strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home."  It was said by Henry Drummond, a Scottish Evangelist who lived from August 17 1851 to March 11 1897: today is his 164th birthday.
        Henry Drummond was born in Scotland, quite close to Stirling Castle, and attended Edinburgh's New College where he studied Science, Mathematics, and Divinity. He believed he was gifted by God to preach the Gospel, however he did not feel called to pastor a church. But there soon came a change. At this point in the scientific world, Charles Darwin's book, "On the Origin of the Species" was being widely read and discussed in scientific and Christian circles. Drummond believed that his call was to point out to Christians and others that "every step of Science discloses the attributes of the Almighty with a growing magnificence. Certain it is that the Christian view and the scientific view together frame a conception of the object of worship, such as the world in its highest inspiration has never reached before."
        But it is not clear whether or not he took the Creation account in Genesis literally, only pointing out: "Look for a moment at the magnificence and sublimity of Christianity from the standpoint of evolution. Look at the size - illimitable. Look at the beauty. Could anything be more perfect than the greatest thing in the world; any force so irresistible as the greatest evolutionary power Love? All this fits in perfectly with science. A Christian is a man who furthers the evolution of the world according to the purpose of Jesus Christ."  However, whatever his thoughts were on Genesis, he still was a man who sought to bring Science into harmony with the Bible.
        Drummond was also a man who been given great wisdom and compassion by God.  He once said in a lecture to students at New College that, "Once in my own life I came to a cross-roads. I did not know in which direction God wanted me to help His Kingdom, and I started to read the New Testament to find out what the ideal life was. I knew I had only one life and I didn't want to miss it. I found out that the only thing worth doing in the world was to do the Will of God. Whether that was done in the pulpit or in the slums, whether done in the college class-room or in the street didn't matter at all."  He was convinced that the only answer to the brokenness of this fallen world was the powerful love and salvation of Christ alone, and to that end he sought to bring reform to the poverty stricken areas of Scotland first, and worked with men such as D.L. Moody throughout the United States.  He even traveled to Africa, following in the steps of David Livingston, to preach the gospel to those who had never heard of Christ.
        Drummond had bone cancer in the later part of his life, and died assured of his salvation in Christ.  Words that he had spoken at the funeral of a friend earlier are a fitting memorial to the life of service to Christ from this Scottish Evangelist:
        "The end of life is simply to do God's will, whether that be working or waiting, winning or losing, or suffering or recovering, or living or dying. Death can only be gain when to have lived was Christ. There are two ways in which a workman regards his work as his own, or as his Master's. If it is his own, then to leave it in his prime is a catastrophe, if not a cruel and unfathomable wrong. But if it is his Master's one looks not backwards but before, putting by the well-worn tools without a sigh and expecting elsewhere better work to do."

"To become Christ-like is the only thing in the whole world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man is folly and all lower achievement vain."
                                                                       ~ Henry Drummond

Written and Posted by William A Moore