Archives for December 2011

the USCC–a revivalist Civil War ministry

In the New York Times today, there is an interesting article on the United States Christian Commission, an organization dedicated to ministering to the soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War.

Like the Y.M.C.A. movement in North America, the commission drew its force from the Second Great Awakening, a flowering of evangelicalism in the decades before the Civil War. As they offered religious services to soldiers, the commission’s staff also spread its version of Protestant Christianity, grounded in the doctrine of the Trinity, the authority of the Bible, the priesthood of all believers and justification by faith. The commission emphasized conversion, too, and excluded mainline Protestants from serving in its volunteer corps.

D. L. Moody served as a preacher in the work of the USCC.

The comments on revivalism in the article are much more positive than some bloggers offer lately!


is musical talent a spiritual gift?

I’ve been thinking about spiritual gifts and musical talent lately. Some people talk like musical ability is a spiritual gift that is especially given for service in the church. Some of these people will almost refuse to serve in any other way.

Is this a Biblical way to look at one’s gifts and/or talents?

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Precious in the sight of the Lord

John E. Ashbrook is with the Lord. Long-time pastor of Bible Community Church in Mentor, OH, he slipped beyond earth and into heaven early this morning.

I was acquainted with him through his son-in-law (one of my best and closest friends) and daughter. His son-in-law planted the church my brother now pastors just a few hours north of us. Through this connection I got to know Dr. Ashbrook a little bit. I got to know him better through his writings. What a blessing to have known him. What glory for him to now be in the presence of our Saviour!

The obituary is here.

An article by another young man he influenced is here.

His publication ministry is here. I am not sure what will happen to this ministry, but perhaps you can still obtain some of his books through them.


what is the gospel?

Donn Arms has an excellent article on the topic, “Gospel Indicatives/Gospel Imperatives”. In it he calls for us to use the term ‘gospel’ in exactly the same way the New Testament uses it. I say a hearty ‘Amen’, to that. Be sure to read this one. The New Calvinists won’t like it, but it is absolutely right on… and coming from an “Old” Calvinist, I guess… but not ‘olde’!


coach [blank] has my full support

When things aren’t going well with a team and the owner or general manager of the team issues a statement that includes the words, “Coach so-and-so has my full support”, what does that mean?

It means they haven’t found a replacement yet.

So when an institution offers a weakly worded statement of support for one of its adherents, what does that mean? It means that the adherent can see the handwriting on the wall. “No support here”, it says. And that’s the end of it.