A Lively Hope for True Evangelism

“With what lively hope does our gaze turn now to the future! At last true evangelism can go forward without the shackle of compromising associations. The fields are white to the harvest.” With these words, J. Gresham Machen on June 11, 1936, expressed the excitement that surrounded the formation of the denomination that would soon take the name Orthodox Presbyterian Church. These words are noteworthy for two particular reasons. First of all, notice the optimism of these words—an optimism that in many ways stood in contrast to the circumstances in which they were uttered. Machen spoke to a small group of thirty-three ministers and seventeen elders. They formed a denomination of small congregations, few in number, most without buildings, and with meager financial resources. And they sought to form and grow a denomination in the middle of the Great Depression. Yet they approached such a daunting (some might say foolhardy) task with great optimism. Second, notice the focus of Machen’s words—a ... Read more

Surprising Shoe-leather Stories

Some of us wear cowboy boots, some heels, and some flip-flops. We all follow our Savior, who walked and talked, who ministered: “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary” (Isa. 50:4 NKJV). In our fellowship with the Lord Jesus, we appropriate strength and boldness to speak the Word in season. About two years ago, when Faith OPC moved to a new location in our city, we prayed for the Lord’s direction regarding the old approach of knocking on doors, being hospitable to neighbors, and making friends with people living nearby. God, in his grace, birthed wonderful opportunities. We have charted progress with maps, names, and addresses, and have had varying results. As we have been doing door-to-door calling on Saturdays, a surprise has come our way. In the Lord’s goodness, many more of us in the congregation have been befriending our neighbors and speaking with folks about the gospel. Door-to-door evangelism has opened up ... Read more

Discussing Your Faith

It took an atheist to turn me into a street preacher. I first met Peter at a coffee roaster in downtown State College, Pennsylvania. It was a sweltering July afternoon, and sensible people were drinking their coffee in the air-conditioned indoors. Yet as I left the shop, I saw a solitary person sitting in the heat. This peculiar behavior, combined with a strange slogan on his hat, prompted a conversation. That conversation was the beginning of an acquaintance that proved catalytic to the formation of Discuss Your Faith (DYF), the open-air ministry of Resurrection OPC to the main campus of Penn State University. But how did it happen? How did entrenched hostility to the claims of Christ foster a plan of deliberate engagement? The answer is simple .... My friend Peter showed me the alternative. The alternative to evangelizing is not simply doing nothing. It is far worse than that-for two reasons. First, non-evangelism communicates indifference . Penn Jillette, an American comedian and ... Read more


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