Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Carver: 500 lean years

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
    [Jesus:] “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
    —Matthew 24:14 (NIV)
    The belief in baptismal regeneration of infants, which had... become almost universal [in the middle ages], and the reliance on mysterious sacramental efficacy for sanctification and heavenly admission, strongly militated against regeneration and spiritual reality within the Church. The complete professionalization of a priestly ministry largely eliminated laymen from direct evangelism and robbed them of the missionary spirit, since they were not to be trusted to teach and could not validly administer the saving symbols. The reliance on organization and ceremonial grace, along with the growing concept of the representative relation of the Pope on earth to the Christ in heaven, involved a practical ignoring of the Holy Spirit as the divinely ordained Counterpart of the Christ and the informing soul of the Church... The vast territorial extent of Christianity and the very general ignorance of world geography made it possible for Christians to lose sight of the non-Christian world and to feel, even if somewhat vaguely, that the Christian task was complete, so far as its world occupation was concerned. The Mohammedan growth had encircled the Christian territories. The relations between Christendom and the Mohammedan world fostered anything else than a spirit of helpfulness and a disposition to give the blessings of the one to the other. Christian information about the heathen world was largely cut off by... Mohammedanism; and in order to reach the heathen, missionaries would have to make their way through Mohammedan territory.
    ... William Owen Carver (1868-1954), The Course of Christian Missions, New York, Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1932, p. 77-78 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 24:14; Luke 24:46-47; Rom. 15:18-21; 16:25-27; Col. 1:5-6; Rev. 14:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, bless those who take the good news to the world.
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