King's Business - 1962-01

by Dr. Louis T. Talbot Chancellor of The Bible Institute of Los Angeles

when “life-changing” was not unknown. Moody had preached a clear Gospel —- the necessity of receiving Christ as Saviour and Lord — and thousands had been saved, their lives transformed. As a result of Moody’s devotion to the Word of God, Moody Bible Institute had been founded (followed by the Bible School movement), where ministers could be trained in the Scriptures. Billy Sunday thundered against sin, closed saloons and broth­ els by his powerful preaching and was credited for bring­ ing in national prohibition. At the same time he was no mere reformer. As Moody had done before him, he pre­ sented Christ as Lord and Saviour, and those who “hit the sawdust trail” in his meetings were instructed in the way of salvation as revealed in the Bible. He preached a morality based upon regeneration and founded on the Word of God, which is the only lasting morality. So Buchman’s “ life-changing” theme was not unique for his times. However, his terminology was different. He declared, “ To the horror of the experienced, hard- boiled, practical man, Moral Re-Armament dares to call its summary of the Sermon of the Mount into four basic truths quite simply ‘The Four Absolutes’ These were not original, either, as they were embodied in the law of Moses, in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount. Nevertheless, these moral laws were never given by God as the means of salvation. They ministered death, not life. Israel could not keep them, and the Gen­ tiles fell short of the righteousness of God. The Oxford Groupers claimed that attempting to keep them would drive men to Christ. But one is astonished to read of men whose lives were wholly sinful and worldly one minute, and the next “ changed” immediately by contact with some Oxford Grouper. A Japanese leader states that he- decided to “ clean up” his life, to stop impurity and hea­ vy drinking. Then he declares he found the courage to “ clean up” his nation. “ So I decided,” he continues, Continued on next page ♦Remaking the Word, Speeches of Frank Buchman, p. 319

Moral Re-Armament writers would remember this ad­ mission of Russell’s and start substituting “ the Gospel” and “ the Cross’ for “Moral Re-Armament” in their pub­ lications and preaching. However, at the same time Mr. Russell was apologizing to his reading public, he was mentioning “ 40 theories” of the atonement and insisting that the church had never formed a “ doctrine of the atonement.” This is not true, for all evangelical bodies which have remained true to the Word of God include the vicarious, substitutionary view of the atonement in their creeds. There has never been but one “ theory” of the atonement for Bible believers, and that is embodied in the truth, “He died for me.” In “ For Sinners Only,” Russell stated that the Ox­ ford Groupers called themselves “ life-changers,” not evan­ gelists, for terms like “ evangelism,” “ saved,” etc, no longer had any meaning for our times. He called upon men to “ turn back to God, cut out sin, make restitution for past sins, and let God take full command of every area of life.” This sounds very commendable, but some­ thing vital is lacking. Where is the presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ as man’s only Saviour? Where is the teaching that “without shedding of blood is no remis­ sion” ? Where are the truly “ life-changing” words of the Saviour: “Ye must be born again” ? “ It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” we read in Jeremiah 10:23. No man can “ let God have full command of his life” un­ til he has been regenerated. “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” the prophet Jeremiah declared. An unsaved man cannot determine to live a Christian life and do it. The fruit of the Spirit does not grow out of an unregenerated heart. "Life-Changing" Evangelism was receiving a great deal of attention when Buchman began his work. Two continents had been stirred by the preaching of Dwight L. Moody. He had been followed by the dynamic ministry of the ex-baseball player, Billy Sunday, then at his zenith. It was a time



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