From Editor Dave Littlewood
The working of miracles
Signs are significant but not supreme, says Donald Gee
The man who found meaning in the moral maze of the twentieth century
Jane Stuart Smith
Stunning operatic soprano who counted the cost of following Christ
Revisiting the Elim Evangel from August 1932
Test your knowledge of the Scriptures
Healing the scars of war
A nine-year-old girl became the icon of the Vietnam War, but what became of her?
The fervent believer who sacrificed his life in the battle against purgatory
The amazing AV Bible
How God answered the prayer of a dying martyr
One-eyed preacher who captured the heart of Wales
There is a green hill far away
Award-winning singer who was the voice of Billy Graham’s campaigns for over 50 years
According to the cambridge dictionary, a ‘communicator’ is ‘someone who is able to talk about their ideas and emotions in a way that other people understand.’ Winston churchill has gone down in history as a great communicator, for even in the darkest days of WWII he was able to inspire the people of great britain with his vision of victory.
From its very inception the church has been blessed with great communicators – people who could proclaim the truth of the Word of god in a way that ordinary people could understand. As the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of pentecost, peter stood up and proclaimed christ in such a way that his hearers were ‘cut to the heart’ and 3,000 were converted on the spot! Such is the power of inspired com- munication.
Of course, Peter had sat at the feet of the greatest communicator of all – the lord Jesus christ. As a Jewish rabbi, Jesus taught people about the new kingdom that was coming in a way that everyone – from priests to peasants – could under- stand. He used common things that people were familiar with – flowers, wheat, bread, coins, sunsets, sheep – to illustrate the stories he told. no wonder ‘the common people heard him gladly’.
In every age and culture the church needs great communicators. When I was at university in the 1960s, god raised up a man, Francis Schaeffer, with an uncanny ability to communicate biblical truth to the student culture of the day. Together with his wife, Edith, Schaeffer organised a multiple-thrust ministry that reshaped a whole raft of evangelicalism. Perhaps no intellectual save CS lewis affected the thinking of evangelicals more profoundly. In his lectures, writings and personal contacts, Schaeffer prodded evangelicals out of their cultural ghetto and showed that the christian faith can exist alongside serious scholarship.
One of the people influenced by Schaeffer was the opera singer, Jane Stuart Smith. An established star who had sung in opera houses all over the world, Jane gave up a glittering career to serve christ. Her remarkable story is told in this issue.
Perhaps the polar opposite of Francis Schaeffer was the Welsh evangelist, Christmas Evans. An uneducated man with a rough appearance, evans nonetheless became a skilled communicator of the gospel to the common people, and by the time of his death he was a household name in Wales.
During the 16th century reformation in england, one of the finest communicators was a young man called John Frith. When put on trial for his beliefs, frith put up such a defence that it impressed even his hostile judges. Even so, he was condemned to be burned at the stake as a heretic, but frith looked upon his martyrdom itself as a means of communicating the truth to his generation. Today his teaching is still enshrined in the protestant faith.
Thank you for reading this issue of Heroes of the faith. I pray that these stories of courage and faith may inspire us all to be great communicators of the christian faith in the challenging days in which we live.
David Littlewood, Editor[/td_text_with_title][/vc_column][/vc_row]