It's not every day a pastor of the Presbyterian Church in America is put to death. But now it has happened twice in successive Septembers.
September 3, 2003, Paul Hill, one-time PCA and OPC pastor and graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, was executed by the State of Florida for the killing of abortionist John Britton and bodyguard James Barrett in 1993.
His death passed without comment within the PCA and Reformed Seminary communities. No mention of his execution (or connection to the PCA) was made on the PCA web site. No emails asking prayer for his wife and young children made the rounds of PCA presbyteries. To the best of my knowledge, no PCA church volunteered to hold a memorial service for his grieving family.
A student at Reformed Theological Seminary's Jackson campus told me the day following Hill's execution that he was unaware of a single official (or unofficial) reference to Hill's death on the Reformed campus; the execution of the school's most famous graduate passed like a thief in the night. It was as though he had already ceased to exist for the Reformed community; having repudiated him in life we ignored him in death. He died unlamented, unnoticed, not even remarked upon as a negative example.
September 22, 2004, a PCA pastor disappears leaving behind suicide notes. His body is found September 29. His death--his murder--comes by his own hand. Yet how different our reaction to this death....
On its home page the church he pastored ("...the flagship Presbyterian Church in America congregation" within its region) "praises God for his life and that he is now in God's loving hands." Messages of condolence and words of love flow from throughout the PCA. A large memorial service is planned. A member of the church's staff is quoted in the local paper: "We trust in God and know that he's there with him."
Is it sin to kill man? Is it truly always murder to kill extra-judicially what is created in God's image? If so, then are some extra-judicial killings more sanctified than others? Should we refrain from speaking against extra-judicial killing whenever the murderer is also the murdered? Could it be that fear of man drives our voice in these matters--fear of the consequences of examining the underlying issues in either of these deaths? Why the disparity in our treatment of these two men, both of whom were at one time PCA pastors, both of whom put men to death, both of whom died as a consequence of their own extra-judicial acts of killing?
Praise God that His grace is sufficient to reclaim killers, for the apostle Paul and King David who give us evidence of God's abounding grace to killers. But where is the Church's "NO" to the sin of suicide? If we have said amen to the execution of Paul Hill, should we not be equally careful to note the sin of the second PCA pastor before speaking words of comfort and granting what appears to be absolution of his sin?
Tim forwarded an email from a good friend questioning my post on extra-judicial killing last Friday. I appreciate Skip Gillikin taking the time to question what I wrote (and the gentle spirit of his criticism), and I've asked his permission to place my response here.
Thank you for taking the time to express your concern with what I wrote on our blog.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 9, 2004 - 8:22am
A father of our presbytery has fallen. Pastor Petros Roukas, who served as senior pastor of Tates Creek Presbyterian Church, took his own life leaving behind hundreds of souls who looked to him as their shepherd, his fellow elders of Ohio Valley Presbytery (PCA); and most sadly, his wife and their two children.
Meeting just now in our fall stated meeting, Ohio Valley Presbytery adopted the following memorial. Please note, particularly, the words in the final paragraph concerning the sin of suicide and the hope, even in the face of this sin, that we have in the blood of Jesus Christ. (For those struggling for a biblical understanding of suicide, I commend these two sermons by the early nineteenth century Princeton Seminary professor and presbyterian pastor, Samuel Miller.)
Memorial for Pastor Petros Roukas
Ohio Valley Presbytery
The teaching elders, ruling elders, and churches of Ohio Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America are saddened by the death of our friend and brother Petros Roukas on September 22, 2004. We intercede before the throne of grace for God's comfort and strength for his wife Jan and children Nicholas and Elizabeth and for his parents Konstantine and Evangelia Roukas in Greece. We also pray for the congregation of Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky where he was serving at the time of his death as well as the previous congregations he served - Westminster PCA in Muncie, Indiana and Calvary PCA in Bricktown, New Jersey.
Petros was born in Greece in 1953 and received a Bachelors of Religious Education at Reformed Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained in 1978 by the Midwest Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. He served faithfully at Calvary PCA from 1978-1984; Westminster PCA from 1984-1999; and Tates Creek PCA from 1999-2004. His pastoral ministry was marked by effective preaching and teaching of the gospel, helpful application of the gospel in pastoral counseling settings, strengthening the shepherding ministry of ruling elders, building community in the congregation, and leading numerous cross--cultural mission teams--especially to Jamaica and Mexico.
Throughout his twenty years in Ohio Valley Presbytery of the PCA (previously part of Great Lakes Presbytery) he served on numerous committees. Especially noteworthy was his long term service on the Shepherding Committee where he helped numerous pastors and congregations look to Christ for both the purity and unity of the church.
While the tragic events surrounding his death at his own hand were certainly related to his long struggle with depression--they were also what Petros himself called "sinful and inexcusable." While Petros' grip on the truths of the gospel he preached and ministered so faithfully grew weak in his final actions, we are confident that God did not lose His grip on Petros. We hold that Paul's words in Romans 8 that "if Christ is for us, who can be against us" and "nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus" apply to God's adopted children--even when they are the very ones who are against themselves. As elders of Ohio Valley Presbytery--may God give us the grace to go to Jesus as we are weary and heavy burdened and may God also give us the grace to not only minister to others but to receive ministry from one another as well.
(Memorial gifts, including financial support for Mrs. Roukas, may be sent to Tates Creek Presbyterian Church at 3900 Rapid Run Drive, Lexington, KY 40515.)
by David and Tim Bayly on October 14, 2004 - 10:58am
Following last week's memorial service for PCA pastor Petros Roukas I received a copy of the text of Bryan Chapell's funeral sermon titled, "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit." The sermon, though well-intentioned, was a gloss on the first beatitude (Matthew 5:3).
Mr. Chapell did speak of Petros's suicide as sin. And though Mr. Chapell rightfully held out biblical hope for Petros's salvation, he spoke clearly of the act of suicide as sinful, an act of Biblical fidelity for which I am grateful.
Yet, poverty of spirit is fundamentally different from depression. Poverty of spirit, in fact, is depression's cure and the answer to the suicide's despair. And though it is understandable that Mr. Chapell would wish to give comfort and hope on such an occasion, his use of this text as the basis of his message was disingenuous.
I suspect Mr. Chapell knows that "poverty of spirit" is not the kind of hopelessness which drives us to despair of God's faithfulness and thus to make violent end of ourselves, and had Mr. Chapell not seen fit to permit the publication of his sermon I would have thought these things privately without commenting on them here.
Unfortunately, Mr. Chapell has chosen not only to permit public dissemination of the text of his sermon, but the editorial staff of By Faith Online, the Presbyterian Church in America's online news site, recently made his sermon the most prominent link on their home page.
It would be fitting to memorialize a martyr who died by faith this way. But this was suicide. This was sin. And in his sermon Mr. Chapell comes perilously close to describing such faithless despair as "blessed" of God. And now this sermon has been published. I wish it had not. I wish By Faith Online had not given it such prominent treatment.
But it must now be said that Mr. Chapell's sermon is misleading, and that despite his looking into the pit by proclaiming suicide a sin in his sermon, he did not look long enough or hard enough, and whatever wounds he healed by preaching thus are likely healed lightly rather than fully. I say this because Scripture is clear: "The just shall live by faith."
In the meantime, what is poverty of spirit? According to Thomas Watson:
by David and Tim Bayly on October 15, 2004 - 11:47am
As another example of ending well, submitting to God's dispensation of decrepitude with a willing and usually cheerful spirit, I would hold up my dear father and mother-in-law, Ken and Margaret Taylor. What joy and love we have received from them through the years! And how faithful they have been to demonstrate bearing up under the sorrows of life (and now the limitations of old age) with submission and faith.
Wheaton College is the alma mater both of my own father and mother and of Mary Lee's parents. Recently Wheaton's alumni magazine asked Dad Taylor to write a short piece for them--he could choose the subject. Here then is the piece he wrote, published this month. May God give all of us this same spirit during the years when the "almond tree blossoms" (Eccles. 12:1-7).
by Kenneth N. Taylor
(from the Autumn 2004 issue of Wheaton College's alumni magazine, Wheaton)
When Wheaton's editor asked me to write a short article, I guess I was feeling grumpy that day and tried to decline. But she is a good sales lady; and as she opened the possibilities ("You can write on anything you want to"), I began to think about the fact that not many people are old enough to write with authority on Old Age. This fact was further driven home when my wife of 64 years, Margaret, had only seven of her classmates plus spouses show up for their 65th class reunion at Alumni Weekend in May. So being one of the "last roses of summer," I surely should be able to share a few helpful thoughts.
by David and Tim Bayly on December 14, 2004 - 8:13pm
The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves to be at home here on earth. As long as we are aliens,we cannot forget our true homeland, which is that other kingdom You proclaimed.
(Malcolm Muggeridge in Jesus Rediscovered.)
Speaking of death, since I turned fifty-one an hour and fifteen minutes ago, may I finally ask that I be referred to, with respect, as "Old Bayly"? It's little to ask.
by David and Tim Bayly on March 16, 2005 - 10:02pm
1 Corinthians 15:20-26
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Death is the ultimate foe; the last enemy Christ destroys is death. Death is not just man's enemy, but Christ's. It follows, then, both logically and Scripturally that death is Satan's friend. Death is Satan's victory. Satan is the Prince of Death. His first victory over man was in the cause of death.
Remember this if you are ever tempted to embrace death as a friend. Dalliance with death is friendship with the Devil.
We must all surrender to death. To embrace death, however, is to reject Christ because the last enemy Christ destroys is death.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, started a new online magazine last year titled By Faith Online. Regularly, the editor, Dominic Aquila, sends out an E-mail containing news of interest to PCA members and teasers for the latest issue. Today I received the latest copy and noticed this announcement top and center:
If I End Up Like Terri: An Open Letter to My Wife
Mark Hartwig, a ruling elder in Forestgate Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been fighting cancer for 10 years. He wrote "If I End Up Like Terri: An Open Letter to My Wife" in light of the Terri Schiavo matter. To read the whole letter, go here. It begins:
These last few months have troubled me deeply. And I have a request that I hope you'll have the courage and strength to honor: If I ever become like Terri Schiavo, please don't put me through what she has endured.
After fighting cancer for 10 years; after suffering through multiple courses of toxic drugs; after two stem-cell transplants and 16 dismal weeks in a hospital room, tied to tangles of tubes, I've only scratched the surface of her misery. I feel as if I've scaled great mountains of suffering only to find I'm in the foothills of a range that towers beyond sight.
Reading the text, "If I ever become like Terri Schiavo, please don't put me through what she has endured," I feared the worst. But reading the full text of Mr. Hartwig's open letter, I was moved. Deeply moved.
If I may insert a personal note, the description Mr. Hartwig gives of how he would want to die is almost exactly how our brother, Nathan, a pastor in Bristol, Virginia, was privileged to die three and a half years ago now, at the age of forty. He was at home the last few months, hooked up to an IV pump, loving and being loved day and night by his faithful wife, Sandy; their four children, Cassie, Sarah, Frances, and David; and the Bayly extended family member whose privilege it was to serve them that week.
Follow the link below to read the full text of Eric Rudolph's statement after pleading guilty to four bombings yesterday.
Thanks to reader Phil Rich for calling our attention to the text of Rudolph's statement.
I hadn't read or heard of the statement until I read Mr. Rich's comment an hour ago. My initial thought is that there are significant elements of truth in his statement mixed with a great deal of falsehood.
Unfortunately, the truth has to do with God's attitude toward abortion and our national guilt and Christian ennui in the face of it while the falsehoods have to do with how Mr. Rudolph chose to go about preventing this sin.
Though I have yet to read a logical answer to Paul Hill's claim that he was simply protecting babies, Eric Rudolph was not protecting babies. He was killing and wounding baby-killers, homosexuals, bystanders and Atlanta Olympic Game-goers.
Yet there are some elements of this statement that are powerful despite Mr. Rudolph's self-serving rationalizations in other areas.
I find it interesting that Mr. Rudolph was apparently prepared and waiting to kill the FBI agents pursuing him yet ultimately backed downed, having come to view them as individuals and not wanting to cause suffering. I'm not sure even Mr. Rudolph believed his own rhetoric at that point.
A couple hours ago, Dad Taylor went to be with the Lord. God was so good to us. We had just joined the rest of the family that had been here at 1515 East Forest caring for Dad and Mom--daughter Becky; son Peter and his wife, Sharon; son Mark; daughter Gretchen and her husband, Bob; and then Mary Lee and I with our youngest two, Hannah and Taylor, arrived. Within the half hour of our coming into Dad's room, he breathed his last.
We were in the room around his bed singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" when Gretchen noticed his breathing had stopped. We sang the Doxology, read Psalm 91, and prayed together.
Mom had been out with Becky at an audiology appointment. When she returned and was told, she responded "Well, he got home before dark."
Here is the poem Mom was referring to:
LET ME GET HOME BEFORE DARK
by J. Robertson McQuilkin
It's sundown, Lord.
The shadows of my life stretch back
into the dimness of the years long spent.
I fear not death, for that grim foe betrays himself at last,
thrusting me forever into life:
Life with you, unsoiled and free.
But I do fear.
I fear the Dark Spectre may come too soon -
or do I mean, too late?
That I should end before I finish or
finish, but not well.
That I should stain your honor, shame your name,
grieve your loving heart.
Few, they tell me, finish well...
Lord, let me get home before dark.
The darkness of a spirit
grown mean and small, fruit shriveled on the vine,
bitter to the taste of my companions,
burden to be borne by those brave few who love me still.
No, Lord. Let the fruit grow lush and sweet,
A joy to all who taste:
Spirit-sign of God at work,
stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.
Lord let me get home before dark.
The darkness of tattered gifts,
rust-locked, half-spent or ill-spent.
A life that once was used of God
now set aside.
Grief for glories gone or
Fretting for a task God never gave.
Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory.
Gazing on the faded banners of victories long gone.
Cannot I run well unto the end?
Lord, let me get home before dark.
The outer me decays -
I do not fret or ask reprieve.
The ebbing strength but weans me from mother earth
and grows me up for heaven.
I do not cling to shadows cast by immortality.
I do not patch the scaffold lent to build the real, eternal me.
I do not clutch about me my cocoon,
vainly struggling to hold hostage
a free spirit pressing to be born.
But will I reach the gate
in lingering pain, body distorted, grotesque?
Or will it be a mind
wandering untethered among light phantasies or
Of your grace, Father, I humbly ask...
Let me get home before dark.
-as printed in the Spring, 1989 Columbia Bible College & Seminary Quarterly
Ken Taylor was my father-in-law, and what a wonderful father-in-law he was! I hope later to write about his life and faith, but for now I would like to post this obituary written by Dad's son, Mark.
We don't yet know the date and time of the visitation and memorial service. When we do, I'll post them here.
Mary Lee and I are grateful for the love and prayers of all of you.
* * *
Kenneth N. Taylor
May 8, 1917 - June 10, 2005
A memorial service for Kenneth N. Taylor, 88, of Wheaton, will be held this coming week at College Church in Wheaton, 332 East Seminary, Wheaton. Interment will be at Wheaton Cemetery.
Ken was born May 8, 1917, in Portland, Oregon, the son of George N. and Charlotte Huff Taylor. He died on June 10, 2005 at his home in Wheaton.
He graduated from Wheaton College in 1938 with a major in zoology. He attended Dallas Theological Seminary from 1940-43, and he graduated from Northern Baptist Seminary in 1944. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Wheaton College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Taylor University, and Huntington College. He received dozens of honors, including Alumnus of the Year from Wheaton College and from Northern Baptist Seminary. The DuPage Heritage Gallery at the DuPage County complex includes a display commemorating his life and work.
Ken was involved in the field of Christian literature for 65 years. He began his career in 1943 as editor of HIS magazine, published by Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship. He worked at Good News Publishers from 1946 to 1947. He was director of Moody Literature Mission from 1947 to 1963, and most of that time he served concurrently as director of Moody Press. He and his wife, Margaret, founded Tyndale House Publishers in their home in Wheaton in 1962. He served as president of Tyndale House from 1962 to 1984, and as Chairman of the Board from 1984 until the time of his death.
Ken was known around the world as the translator of The Living Bible, which sold more than 40 million copies. He began his translation work in the early 1950s, when he would paraphrase portions of Scripture for use in the family's daily devotions. Much of this work was done on the train as he commuted between Wheaton and Chicago. The result of that early work was a book called Living Letters, which was a modern-language paraphrase of the New Testament epistles. He couldn't find a publisher who was interested in the project, so he decided to publish it himself. Living Letters went on to sell millions of copies after Billy Graham began giving copies to his television audience. Ken paraphrased the rest of the Bible over the next nine years, and The Living Bible was published in 1971. It was the best-selling book in America in 1972 and 1973.
In addition to his work as a publisher, he wrote many children's books, including The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, Taylor's Bible Story Book, Living Bible Story Book, My Life: A Guided Tour (his autobiography), and My First Bible in Pictures (which has been translated into more than ninety languages). Ken was an entrepreneur. He was one of the founders of the Christian Booksellers Association in 1950. He and Margaret founded Tyndale House Foundation in 1963, and he founded Living Bibles International, which sponsored Bible translations in 100 major languages around the world. He created a format for daily Bible reading called The One Year Bible, which has sold millions of copies. While The Living Bible was a solo effort, later in life Ken served on the Bible Translation Committee for the Holy Bible, New Living Translation.
Ken is survived by his wife of 65 years, Margaret Taylor (nee West); his children Rebecca Taylor Kraft, John Taylor, Marty (Art Grosman) Taylor, Peter (Sharon) Taylor, Janet Taylor, Mark (Carol) Taylor, Cynthia (Philip) Brown, Gretchen (Robert) Worcester, Mary Lee (Timothy) Bayly, and Alison (James) Lingo; 28 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Lyman (J. Mae) Taylor. He was preceded in death by his brother Douglas Taylor.
Visitation will be at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois.
Funeral arrangements were made by Hultgren Funeral Home, Wheaton.
Arrangements for Dad's visitation and memorial service have been finalized. Visitation will be Tuesday afternoon and evening, from 2-8 PM, at Wheaton College's Coray Alumni Gym. The memorial service will be Wednesday morning, 10 AM, at Wheaton College's Edman Chapel with committal immediately following at Wheaton Cemetery (family only, please).
by David and Tim Bayly on August 13, 2005 - 2:42pm
It's been extremely hot this past week. When we first exited O'Hare a week ago, the heat was a welcome relief from the cool weather we'd had in Africa and England. But within a few minutes it became oppressive and it hasn't let up since.
The other day when I got in the car the heat brought to mind our Lord's account of the Rich Man and Lazarus in the afterlife, and how the Rich Man in Hell cried out for water, but could have none. For a few minutes I meditated on what an awful place hell is--a place where the heat is unbearable and the thirst can never be quenched.
Reputable evangelicals such as John Stott deny the eternity of hell torments and that is understandable. It's one of the most difficult doctrines to submit to in all of Scripture. But as Harry Blamires wrote in his classic, The Christian Mind, if we're going to start tearing difficult passages out of Scripture, shouldn't we start with the one that's always been more offensive than any other:
(Jesus) was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:23-25).
For men tempted to take Stott's shortcut and play with universalism and annihilationism, I highly recommend Jonathan Edward's sermon, "The Eternity of Hell Torments." Commenting on the Biblical account of the Rich Man and Lazarus found in Luke 16:19ff., Edwards exclaims over men like Stott:
It is strange how men will go directly against so plain and full revelations of Scripture, as to suppose notwithstanding all these things, that the eternal punishment threatened against the wicked signifies no more than annihilation.
Incidentally, for several reasons (including that, contrary to His habit in telling parables, our Lord actually names the central character in this account, 'Lazarus') John Calvin believed that this account was not a parable, but real history that Jesus knew from Heaven.
Today, my daughter Hannah and I were driving out in the country and we stopped at a farm stand. The stand's attendant was in her sixties and we waited while she finished her conversation with a customer of a similar age. Of course, the topic was the weather--specifically,the unbearable heat. The customer commented, "Preachers oughta tell their congregations tomorrow that this heat gives you an idea what hell's like."
Prayer: O Father, Creator of both Heaven and Hell, give us a living faith in the blood and righteousness of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that we might escape the fires of hell and be brought safely, along with all who love you with an undying love, into your presence where there is fulness of joy forevermore. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 3, 2005 - 8:42pm
Note from Tim Bayly: For some Lord's Day reading that will strengthen your faith, this from the Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (1884) under the entry for Rev. William Tennent, Jr. Our good readers will recall that Tennent's father, the Rev. William Tennent Sr., was the founder of the Log College, one of Princeton Seminary's two mother institutions.
Please do take the time to read this entry. What a reminder of the power of prayer, as well as the closeness of death and the glory of Heaven! How I wish I could also say, with Tennent, "So great (are) my ideas of heavenly glory, that nothing which (does) not in some measure relate to it (can) command my serious attention."
Tennent, Rev. William, Jr. the second son of the Rev. William Tennent, Sr. was born June 3rd, 1705, in the county of Armagh, in Ireland, and was just turned of thirteen years when he arrived in America. He applied himself, with much zeal and industry, to his studies, and made great proficiency in the languages, particularly in the Latin. Being early impressed with a deep sense of divine things, he soon determined to follow the example of his father and elder brother, by devoting himself to the service of God in the ministry of the gospel. He studied theology under the direction of his brother Gilbert, who had pastoral charge of the church at New Brunswick, N.J.
In October, 1733, he was installed pastor of the Church of Freehold, N.J. After a life of great usefulness, he died at Freehold, March 8th, 1777 aged seventy-one. He was the friend of the poor.... Few men have ever been more holy in life, more submissive to the will of God under heavy afflictions, or more peaceful in death.
...(Tennent) once dined in company with governor Livingston and Mr. Whitefield, when the latter expressed the consolation he found in believing, amidst the fatigues of the day, that his work would soon be done, and that he should depart and be with Christ. He appealed to Mr. Tennent whether this was not his comfort.
Mr. Tennent replied: "What do you think I should say, if I was to send my man, Tom into the field to plow, and at noon find him lounging under a tree complaining of the heat and of his difficult work, and begging to be discharged of his hard service? What should I say? Why, that he was an idle, lazy fellow, and that it was his business to do the work that I had appointed him."
In The Assembly's Missionary Magazine, in 1806, the Hon. Elias Boudinot, LL.D., who was well acquainted with all the members of the remarkable Tennent family, published a memoir of the Rev. William Tennent, Jr., in which the following interesting incident of his history is related:
After a regular course of study in theology, Mr. Tennent was preparing for his examination, by the Presbytery, as a candidate for the gospel ministry. His intense application affected his health, and brought on a pain in his breast and a slight hectic. He soon became emaciated, and at length was like a living skeleton. His life was now threatened. He was attended by a physician, a young gentleman who was attached to him by the strictest and warmest friendship. He grew worse and worse, till little hope of life was left...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 6, 2005 - 6:32am
Knowing myself, I can imagine many of our good readers saying to themselves about the post just under this one, "Yeah, that sounds real light and fun. Some dead guy writing about some other dead guy, and it's not even Scripture. If I want exercise, I'll go straight to Scripture--not to a secondary source. Anyhow, my life is hard enough; I don't want to think about death and heaven and hell and prayer. Forget it."
As the Stones (thanks, Rob) put it:
I told you once and I told you twice
But you never listen to my advice...
This could be the last time
This could be the last time
Maybe the last time
I don't know
by David and Tim Bayly on December 16, 2005 - 9:02am
Tim and I commend this thoughtful article, written by a pastor after the recent suicide of a young father in his church, to our readers. Christmas magnifies sorrows. Our father found Christmas painful for the rest of his life after the death of our oldest brother, Joe. Yet he overcame depression and darkness--and we loved being with him at Christmas. We trust this article may be of help to some who struggle with darkness at this time of year.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross tells of noticing the positive afterglow in a London hospice after a black cleaning woman had passed through patients' rooms.
"'What are you doing with these dying patients?' I asked," Kubler-Ross writes in her book, Questions About Death and Dying. "She became very defensive and emphasized that she only cleaned the rooms."
After weeks of trying to get to know the woman, Kubler-Ross was finally able to speak freely with her. She learned that she had been raised in a ghetto and currently led a life of near-poverty. She had once sat in a hospital waiting for hours for a physician to see her three-year-old son. The boy died in the waiting room
"She ended her story with the following statement," Kubler-Ross writes, "You know, death is not a stranger to me any more. He's like an old acquaintance and I'm not afraid of him. Once in a while when I walk into the room of some of these dying patients they look so scared that I cannot help but walk over to them and touch them and say, "It's not so terrible."
Jesus speaks to us and says of death, "It's not so terrible."
And we as Christians minister comfort to the world simply by looking death and suffering steadfastly in the eye, touching those who suffer and telling them gently, "It's not so terrible."
It's not so terrible. For those who know Christ even death itself is an old and conquered acquaintance.
Tim and I learned from our mother and father that nothing is more comforting than a touch of friendship and a reassuring word that God's sovereignty, while immensely painful at moments, is the strong mountain of those who trust in Him.
Actions which comfort are good. Even better is that form of comfort which takes suffering in stride and confidently looks to God. Dad used to say that Job's comforters did a great job for the first week--as long as they merely sat at Job's side in silence, they were all he needed. It was only when they opened their mouths that they turned from comforters to tormenters.
The latest New Yorker has a profile of Paul McCartney titled "When I'm Sixty-Four." It's a melancholy piece, even when it's trying oh-so-hard to be cheerful. The dominant chord is struck by this excerpt from the album McCartney's about to release, Memory Almost Full, the cut "The End of the End":
On the day that I die I'd like the jokes to be told And stories of old To be rolled out like carpets That children have played on And laid on while listening To stories of old.
But for us, the saddest note struck must be this vignette...
News of the death of Harold O. J. Brown comes from Blair Smith:
Harold O. J. Brown, John R. Richardson Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina, went home to be with the Lord July 8, 2007 at 8:25 pm. He was born July 6, 1933 in Tampa, Florida, to Dr. Harold Ogden and Mary Bakas Brown. He would have celebrated his 74th birthday this year.
The full RTS statement on the occasion of Dr. Brown's death is available below...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 28, 2007 - 11:58am
This Christmas, the Bayly family here in Bloomington has experienced the truth of Ecclesiastes 7:2-4:
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy. The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, while the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
Our dear Aunt Elaine went to be with the Lord here at home at 4:25 this afternoon. She's now in the presence of the Lord where there is great joy forevermore. We thank God for the privilege of her presence in our home and family these past six years and four months.
by David and Tim Bayly on December 28, 2007 - 7:46pm
(Tim) God bless all of you for your kind expressions of love and faith which have greatly comforted our family. Thinking about how many of our loved ones won't be home yet this Sunday, Mary Lee and I have decided not to have Aunt Elaine's memorial service for another week or two. We'll announce the date here on the blog as well as through our church E-mail list.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 28, 2008 - 10:17am
I’ve been deeply troubled for many years as I’ve noted how pastors, elders, and Christian health care professionals don’t bother to educate, let alone speak prophetically to the church about the attacks upon the Image of God multiplying before our eyes. Most of the attacks occur at life’s vulnerable margins—the unborn, the newborn, the feeble, the comatose, the elderly—and they happen in the millions each year. The souls that die are those souls Christians should be most concerned for because, in our time, these are the widows, orphans, and sojourners in distress.
But certain forces conspire to silence our consciences, keeping us blind, passive, and unfaithful to the watchman’s duties as these attacks grow. What are those forces?
Well of course, materialism, love of comfort, greed, selfishness, fear, unbelief, hatred of the gift of discernment, and more. But, for many of us, the critical factor is our own direct and indirect involvement in bloodshed.
Directly, we ourselves have fornicated and, to escape the mess, allowed our girlfriend to hire Planned Parenthood to murder our child. We ourselves have turned away from a pregnancy at an inconvenient age—say forty or forty-five—and secretly driven to the city to have our little one murdered. We have allowed our obstetrician to talk us into killing our unborn child after an ultrasound revealed certain serious fetal anomalies of a genetic origin. We have refused to allow our loved ones to be fed by tube, depriving them of the means of the sustaining of life when death was neither imminent nor inevitable. We have institutionalized our fathers and mothers, declaring our work for the Lord more important than the Fifth Commandment; and, shortly after institutionalization, we were greatly relieved that death came quickly.
Indirectly, we have been silent in the face of changes in medical standards and technology that assault life. We have prescribed and fulfilled prescriptions for drugs we knew worked in a statistically significant number of cases (or normally) as abortifacients. On our visits to the hospital or nursing home, we have turned a blind eye to the pneumonia that is not being treated with an antibiotic...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 29, 2008 - 6:05am
I've known the grief of losing loved ones; my brothers, father-in-law, Mapalo, Rita... many others. Then, of course, my father. If the Lord had not been on our side, we would have been swept away.
Beyond the private sphere, I've been struck with a more public grief, but rarely. I think my grief when John Lennon died wasn't really for him, but for the death of my youth. Immediately, though, I was brought to my senses by my dear friend, Paul Cote, who suggested it was God's kindness, keeping Lennon from even greater condemnation had he lived longer.
(Tim: I first met Paul Cote walking down the hall of our dorm at Northern Illinois University. Wearing a tall leather Lincoln hat, Paul mentioned he liked Dylan. We became friends. Since then, we've roomed together, gotten our M.Divs. together, and we continue to visit and correspond. Through the years, I've occasionally asked Paul to retell the story of his friend, Gary Gygax, and the beginnings of Dungeons and Dragons. What did he think about all the Christians who were convinced that D&D was something close to necromancy or child-murder?
Here on the occasion of the death of Gary Gygax is Paul's personal account of the origins of D&D in the Gygax's merry home, a home large and generous enough to take Paul and many other teenage boys in and to give them fun. As you read this eulogy, stop and think: What if our Christian homes were as stable, joyful, and generous to the waifs all around us?)
When I was a 13 year old boy living in Chicago, a friend's father
introduced his son, my friend, and me to military board games published
by the Avalon Hill Company of Baltimore: Gettysburg and The Battle of the Bulge.
As boys we had enjoyed listening to our fathers telling stories about
World War II, and watching old war movies with John Wayne, and
especially Errol Flynn. And on rainy days when you couldn’t play
outside, these games were more fun than abstract games like cards and
chess. Historian John Keegan states in the introduction to The Face of Battle,
“for a young man training to be a professional soldier, the central
question is: what is it like to be in a battle?” Knowing that our
fathers had gone to war, and that it was a formative moment in their
lives, in becoming men, our imaginations were fired by the same
question, and war games, like reading military history, were a way of
thinking about these things.
Here's a picture of Gary Gygax at the podium, addressing the opening of the first
wargaming convention, the Geneva Convention (Gen Con.) held in Lake
Geneva, Wisconsin. Standing next to Gygax is Bill Hoyer, president of the
International Federation of Wargaming (IFW). This and the other photo below may be the only pictures taken at this first wargaming convention in 1968.
Avalon Hill published a magazine for its customers called The General, and through an ad in the back I began corresponding with a “war gaming club” in the Chicago land area, with the grandiose name, "The International Federation of War Gaming" (IFW). The IFW consisted of a couple of dozen gamers, most of whom had never met one another, but who played games by mail, wrote articles about games etc. That’s when I began corresponding with Gary Gygax, who worked in downtown Chicago but commuted by rail to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Gary lived in a small, comfortably run down house on a main street in the Town. He had 5 children, all close in age, and all having bright red hair just like his wife, Mary...
(Tim) An excellent post on Gary Gygax and D&D by Pastor Travis Hutchinson. The post makes good applications to the copy-cat nature of what passes today for Christian imagination; also to the inhospitality of our church youth groups.
"For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:13-15)
(Tim) A few years after Yale was founded, a student spoke critically of one of Yale's tutors saying, "He has no more grace than this chair." Yale's response was swift: The student was expelled and, despite his apology (contra Wikipedia), Yale refused to reinstate him. Centuries later, Yale named one of her Divinity School buildings for this student. It's the only building ever named for a student who was expelled.
One of this student's contemporaries also attended Yale a few years earlier when Yale was just being chartered. At that time, Jonathan Edwards himself was caught up in the discipline of Yale's tutors. Their infraction?
They were promoting Arminian theology. Yale had been founded because of Harvard's betrayal of Christian doctrine, so no one involved in Yale's founding was about to let it happen again.
What does Yale discipline today?
This past year, a Yale art student regularly impregnated herself (artificially, with a syringe), then killed the babies she never knew by taking oral abortifacients--all of which she carefully documented with a video camera for display at a Yale art exhibition. Yale's administration was quite embarrassed and released a statement...
(Tim/ from Jim) Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman just lost their five year old daughter, Maria. She was killed earlier this morning in a tragic accident at the Chapman home. Please pray for the Chapman family, but particularly their sixteen year old son, Will, as they grieve Maria's departure for Heaven.
The Chapmans have been personally helpful to our family in several ways over the years and we consider them rare gems within the CCM industry. They're members of Christ Community (PCA) Church in Franklin, Tennessee.
(Tim, w/thanks to Bill, Tom, and Priscilla) Last year, my dear friend, Bill Mouser, passed on this report by his friends, Tom and Priscilla, of the death of Priscilla's parents. At the time, Mary Lee and the rest of our family were coming to the end of six years sharing our home with my own Aunt Elaine Bayly, who died the end of December. I thought this meditation on life and death was helpful and asked Tom and Priscilla for permission to put it up for others to share. They kindly agreed and I thank them.
So here, first, is a letter from Bill Mouser introducing the letter; followed by Tom and Priscilla's letter, itself...
(Tim: A week or so ago, thirty plus members of Church of the Good Shepherd went to Bloomington's City Council meeting to oppose our tax dollars being appropriated by the Council members to fund an organization that makes Hitler's Third Reich and it's Holocaust factories look like child's play. I'm speaking of course of Planned Parenthood which makes its living off of the slaughter of unborn children tenderly nestled in their mother's womb. By itself, Planned Parenthood is responsible for a quarter of a million of those murders each year, and they're moving their abattoirs into more affluent areas in order to grow their bloody profit.
Each year here in Bloomington, Planned Parenthood goes through the charade of requesting tax dollars to help provide its clients with some service close to, but not exactly coterminous with it's slaughter machine. And each year, our city fathers cuddle up to this progressive nonprofit and ante up our dough over our vociferous protest. One of those speaking against this Holocaust funding this year was Mary Lee's and my dear friend and fellow CGS member, Joshua Congrove. Although we were out of town at the time, we heard Josh's testimony was good, so I asked him if he could send me a copy. Here are a few prefaratory comments he wrote to set the scene, followed by what he said that night.)
This year, as usual, Planned Parenthood received a donation from the Bloomington City Council (and from public funds) to support a particular medical procedure. While the procedure itself is unobjectionable, the giving of public money to an organization that performs hundreds of abortions per year is an egregious act that demands objection...
(Tim, w/thanks to James) Who are my heroes from the last half of the twentieth century? Among others, Mother Teresa, John Cardinal O'Connor, Francis Schaeffer, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Joe Sobran, Iain Murray, Dad and Mom (Ken & Margaret) Taylor, John Piper, Dad and Mud (Joe & Mary Lou) Bayly, Elisabeth Elliot, Erwin Raphael McManus, Paige Patterson, Mrs. Kent (Barbara) Hughes, Doug Wilson, and
Alexander Solzhenitsyn. (One of these is a joke--you figure it out.)
About twenty years ago, I read Michael Scammell's Solzhenitsyn: A Biography. A very long read, it was superb and I commend it although I'm sure it's been superseded in more recent years. Personally, I'd attribute the fall of Communism more to Solzhenitsyn's courageous writing than any other factor, including Reagan's famous...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 13, 2008 - 4:14am
(Tim) Yesterday, Pastor Conrad Mbewe posted an account of the services held for his dear friend and fellow elder, Dr. Simon Mphuka, who was laid to rest last Friday. The loss to Kabwata Baptist Church there in Lusaka, Zambia, and to the nation itself (Dr. Mphuka was a key leader in the provision of medical care in association with local churches in southern Africa) is large and I ask you to join me in praying for the Lord's comfort for Dr. Mphuka's widow, Lillian, and her three daughters, as well as our brothers in Christ there in Lusaka.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 15, 2008 - 12:14pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Kamilla) The memorial service for funk singer and musician Isaac Hayes, a longtime advocate of that particular idolatry called Scientology, will be held in Memphis' Hope Presbyterian Church. Hope is a congregation holding membership in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a small presbyterian denomination whose reason to exist is primarily defined by being halfway between David's and my own denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, and the apostate Presbyterian Church (USA).
Many churches have left the PC(USA) this past year because of various acts of heresy and moral shipwreck on the part of the denomination's leaders, and almost all those congregations have jumped into the arms of the EPC rather than the PCA. The EPC allows them to continue to have women exercise authority over men in their church life, serving as deacons, pastors, and elders.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 26, 2008 - 11:36am
(Tim, w/thanks to James) If you're a logophile, philologer, or philologue, you might get a kick out of this written by Laurance Urdang and used by the NYT as the final paragraph of his obituary:
This is not a succedaneum for satisfying the nympholepsy of nullifidians. Rather it is hoped that the haecceity of this enchiridion of arcane and recondite sesquipedalian items will appeal to the oniomania of an eximious Gemeinschaft whose legerity and sophrosyne, whose Sprachgefühl and orexis will find more than fugacious fulfillment among its felicific pages.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 6, 2008 - 5:19am
(Tim: This by Mark Chambers, although not the title. Incidentally, yesterday I received an e-mail from a longtime member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan who estimated the number of Redeemer's members who voted for Barack Obama was fifty percent.)
There is nothing particularly unusual about the picture above; nothing fantastic or different. It is just the result and remains of the typical abortion; a bit of messy refuse to be discarded after the useful cells have been harvested. At least it is not an entire waste, we can be thankful for that after all.
The decapitation is interesting. The heads of fetuses, being too large for the vacuum tube must be pulverized to facilitate removal. Similar to certain seed pods that find their way into my garage that are too large for the shop vac I must take steps to reduce the size of them in order to suck them up. I find that stepping on them works quite well, and it is only a minor annoyance. Not nearly so complicated as finding the obstacle via ultrasound in order to crush it with forceps. But doctors are adept at accomplishing the difficult and we must salute them...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 21, 2008 - 5:34pm
(Tim, w/thanks to David T.) Apparently the chattering classes never knew where turkey wishbones, legs, and breasts came from. Quite a firestorm has broken out over Governor Palin taking an interview at a turkey farm. As she was interviewed, turkeys were being killed in the background.
Aghast at the scene, as the clip was about to be aired, MSNBC newscaster David Shuster advised parents to get their kids "out of the room." After the clip, Shuster reported a "photographer asked Governor Palin if she wanted that as a backdrop and she replied, 'No worries.'" (Good responses here and here, and full length video here.)
Every Christian would do well to make sure his sons kills an animal now and then as a reminder that God has given critters to us for food and we should rejoice in His provision. To kill and eat animals is not to be cruel. It's an act of faith. Man alone bears the Image of God. Turkeys, dolphins, dogs, and crickets do not. (And with apologies to certain friends, certainly not cats.)
Earlier today, Mary Lee and I agreed that, like it or not, our youngest son, Taylor, will go deer hunting next week with Mike Boles and his son, Seth. Taylor isn't particularly interested, but he'll be going anyhow. It's a discipline fastidious boys shouldn't miss...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 4, 2008 - 8:42am
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials... (1 Peter 1:3-6)
(Tim) Friends of Baylyblog will know of our affection for Anne Ivy, a sometime contributor who always demonstrates feminine grace combined with great Scriptural wisdom. Very suddenly, last week, Anne's husband, Don, was diagnosed with wildfire cancer. He died this past Saturday at 4:40 PM, and his funeral was yesterday, in Dallas. Our dear brothers, Bill Mouser and Mike McMillan, were able to be there for the service, joining Anne and her family in celebrating her husband's Homegoing.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 8, 2009 - 6:43am
(Tim) Father Richard John Neuhaus has passed through the valley of the shadow of death. May God have mercy on his soul. His death is a great loss for Roman Catholics and Protestants, alike. But maybe even more for Protestants since there are few men of his Biblical understanding, discernment, and courage among us. Toll the bell.
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away
today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two.
He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the
day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer
he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a
collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of
friends, he died...
(Tim) Late last night, David forwarded an e-mail that my longtime friend, Larry Allen, had died. It was a sudden death with no prior warning. Larry was on the phone with a co-worker and friend, laughing, and then God took him. The cause of death is unknown.
For seven or eight years, I served on the board of Presbyterians Pro-Life with Larry and that's when I knew him best. Being a witness for the unborn in the Presbyterian Church (USA), a pagan denomination where, as early as 1983, official denominational documents said that abortion "can be an act of faithfulness before God," meant the entire time we were at denominational meetings and general assemblies we suffered the most vile opposition. Everything short of physical attack.
Larry cared very much about the weak and oppressed, being pleased to humble himself in his association with the despised work of speaking up for the unborn. And in speaking up for them, he wasn't simply associated with God's "Yes" in supporting crisis pregnancy centers (which he did); he also said God's "No," preaching and teaching and calling us to repentance for our cruelty in slaughtering our little ones.
(Tim) Friends, the last two days have brought a blow to Church of the Good Shepherd and, despite the ephemeral nature of this forum, personally, I'd like to ask your prayers.
From Baylyblog comments, some of you will recognize the name, Eric Rasmusen. Monday evening, Eric and his wife, Helen, lost their second daugther, Elizabeth, as well as Eric's parents, in an automobile collision. Here's the statement Eric released...
(Tim) Tentatively, the visitation for Elizabeth Rasmusen, daughter of Eric and Helen Rasmusen, has been set for this coming Thursday, July 23rd, from 4-8 PM at Deremiah Frye Mortuary. The funeral service is likely to be Friday morning, July 24th, but neither the time nor location has yet been set.
Just now, Eric and Helen are at the visitation for Eric's father and mother, Benjamin and Marilyn Rasmusen, at the Eighner Funeral Home in Somonauc, Illinois. Services in Illinois will be held tomorrow morning at 10 AM at St. John's Lutheran Church, also in Somonauk.
Here's the obituary for Benjamin and Marilyn Rasmusen.
As it now stands, it is likely Amelia and Ben, Eric and Helen's two children also injured in the crash, will be released from the hospital tomorrow.
In behalf of Eric, Helen, and their family, I thank all of you for your love for the Lord Jesus Christ which has poured out to the comfort of the entire Rasmusen family.
(Tim) We went to the Vietnam Memorial, today, and I found it unexpectedly moving. From the first, I was no fan of Maya Lin's design. But having been there, now, I think I was wrong.
To be sure, it's minimalist, but there's no question the people of these United States have come to own it. And how could they not, with the terrible weight of names and names and names--stretching down and back up out of the ground? It's an intensely intimate monument to our national loss.
Walking along the wall, we passed one man doing a brass (granite) rubbing of some man's name. An older couple peered at the name their fingertips were pressed against. Was it a neighbor boy or their son? Surrounded by tears and whispers, children were quiet.
And then the memorials laid in the three of four inch granite trough that runs the length of the wall--so far, 62,000 of them.
(Tim) Recently, I've done some reading on the teaching of Scripture concerning children who die early in life, whether in the womb, at birth, or before the age at which they are able properly to discern the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ--to examine themselves as they come to His Table.
First, we have to admire the single-mindedness of the Roman Catholics. Although the doctrine of limbo is widely reported to be on life support at the Vatican right now (and I'm sure abortion has played a key role in bringing it into question), we can see they acted on principle in their manufacture of this dogma. (And yes, despite their efforts to deny it, this doctrine has been dogma until now.)
From conception, children are corrupted by Adam's sin; therefore children, too, need to be saved from that corruption if they are to enter Heaven; baptism washes off the corruption of original sin, saving a man; children who die in the womb are not baptized; therefore, children who die in the womb are not saved. Thus such statements as these...
(Tim) We are examining the teaching of Scripture concern matters related to the state of the souls of children of believers who die in the womb, as infants, or as very young children. And in the course of this discussion, under the first post in this series, Pastor Dave Curell made reference to Calvin’s comments on 1Corinthians 7:14. For the record, here are Calvin’s comments pertinent to this discussion. There’s a reason Calvin is widely recognized as the prince of exegetes. No one comes close to his precision and judicious restraint in explaining Scripture.
After Calvin's comments, we'll pick up our theme as it is opened up by God's Covenant promises and work.
First, then, the text, followed by Calvin's explanation.
And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.(1Corinthians 7:13, 14)
Verse 14: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified."
Paul therefore declares here, that marriage is, nevertheless, sacred and pure, and that we must not be apprehensive of contagion, as if the wife would contaminate the husband....
(Tim) Our spam filter has been acting up again causing legitimate comments to be thrown into a spam bin where, in thirty days, they die if David or I don't go in and browse the smut to see if there's some treasure. You can imagine that browsing the smut is, for us, not something we want to do. So that, combined with time constraints, means we are late to find those treasures. And that means when we do find the treasures and post them, often they're so late to the queue that they don't show up on the "Recent Comments" column of the blog's main page. So, you'd have to be reading old comments for the fun of it to find them.
Sad state of affairs, isn't it?
All this to point your attention to a couple comments you don't want to miss, both toward the bottom of the page. One is by Eric Rasmusen who, grieving the loss of his parents and nine-year-old daughter, Lizzie, last month, wrestles with the question of Scripture's teaching on the eternal destiny of children of believers...
(Tim) During four years in the late nineties and early two-thousands while pastoring Church of the Good Shepherd, I also led the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as its Executive Director. My brother, David, joined me in that work and was a great help, designing our first web site and providing invaluable counsel while also serving in the pastorate.
Part of my work was editing CBMW's journal. Periodically, we ran interviews--one being with my hero, Elisabeth Elliot. Naturally, I did the interview myself.
Growing up, the Bayly family had a long personal association with the Howards of Philadelphia--particularly Dave Howard and his sister, Elisabeth Elliot. A couple months ago, Elisabeth's husband, Lars, wrote me telling of a recent trip he and Elisabeth had taken to visit family down in South America. For those of you who know and love them, Lars and Elisabeth are doing well.
So then, here's the interview from CBMW's Journal, Volume 5, No. 1.
* * *
PLAIN AND SIMPLE: AN INTERVIEW WITH ELISABETH ELLIOT
JBMW: We are delighted to be able to speak with you. Why do you think you've been a lightning rod in the evangelical world on this particular issue?
EE: I didn't know I was! I have just proceeded the way I've tried all my life to proceed-by studying what the Bible says and living by it. If I'm asked to talk about it, of course I have a responsibility to talk about it. It is from this that I have learned that I'm not wanted in many circles...