Friday, March 09, 2007

Apologetics: D. L. Moody vs. James White

Here is a report from none other than Charles Spurgeon about D. L. Moody's success with atheists and scoffers. As I read Spurgeon's remarks, I wonder what fruit "Dr." James White has to show for his efforts? After all, James spends most of his time challenging and debating people of similar stripe.

Where's the fruit, James? D. L. Moody didn't know Greek and didn't have one of those correspondence bought "Dr" degrees by his name, yet after contact with him the most hardened sinners came to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Could something be missing from James's ministry? Did Moody have something that cannot be bought from a correspondence school?


[The below was sent from Brother Bob Ross to his email list]

The following is an excerpt from C. H. Spurgeon's magazine, The Sword and the Trowel, February 1876, page 86, "Messrs. Moody and Sankey in Great Britain."

Edinburgh is a city of wealth and leisure. Large numbers of persons who have either made or inherited fortunes reside here; and among the very highest classes of Edinburgh society were found the heartiest admirers of, and the most enthusiastic workers with, the evangelists [D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey] from across the sea.

But there are also, in this center of wealth and learning, a good many educated infidels, who have united themselves into clubs for the purpose of preaching their unbelief in much the same way as Christians unite in churches to enjoy the fellowship of faith. Among the notable cases of conversion was the chairman of one of these infidel clubs. He came to a meeting, intending not only to ridicule it, but hoping also to raise a controversy with Mr. Moody, and thus practically break it up.

In this, however, he was altogether unsuccessful, and would have been thrust out of the house for his interruption, if the speaker had not interposed in his behalf. He remained for some time after the congregation were dismissed; and Mr. Moody, seeing him, inquired if he wanted to be a Christian.

He replied that he did not, and that he had a very poor opinion of Christians.

"Would you like to have us pray for you?" said Mr. Moody.

"Oh yes; I have no objection to your trying your hand on me, if you like; but I think you will find me a match for you."

Mr. Moody kneeled down beside the scoffer, prayed for him earnestly and tenderly, and then left him, promising to pray for him still further at home.
It was not long before he was brought under deep conviction of sin, resigned his presidency of the infidel club, and earnestly and faithfully sought the Savior. At a subsequent meeting in Edinburgh, out of thirty persons seeking the Lord, seventeen were members of this infidel club, one of them its chairman, the successor of him whose conversion has just been related; and who has since become a successful evangelist.

The work in Edinburgh was repeated in many other towns of Scotland such as Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, etc., and with similar results, the people going so far as to tolerate Mr. Sankey's "unsanctified musical machine."

The campaign in Ireland which succeeded was still more remarkable when we take into account the national prejudices of the population. In Dublin the Great Exhibition building was hired for the meetings as being the only place in the city capable of accommodating the multitudes who came to hear.

This success of the evangelists in the Emerald Isle was a fine testimony to the power of the simple gospel; for while no fierce denunciations of the apostate church were heard from the platform, the converts came alike from the ranks of Romanists as well as from the houses of the Protestants. The Romish leaders raised the voice of warning, but to no purpose; and their machinations were aided by a club of atheists, who penetrated into the inquiry rooms to endeavor to turn the whole into controversy.


At Saturday, March 10, 2007 5:30:00 AM, Anonymous Billy F said...

I read somewhere that Moody was especially successful with infidels and had special meetings for them.

At Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:44:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...


Bob to Charles:

Have you seen the corny cartoon depiction, Charles, on James White's website -- of the group that looks something like a mixture of would-be WWF wrestlers, Punk Rockers, and Halloween Trick-or-Treaters?

This corny cartoon well-illustrates why I refer to such self-styled "pros apologian" as "appallingists."

At Friday, March 16, 2007 1:38:00 PM, Anonymous Bob L. Ross said...


Bob to Charles:

I knew a Campbellite preacher, Charles, who had what he called an "Institute to Defend God." He conceived himself to be the "master logician," and debated a few atheists ostensibly to "prove" that God exists -- but he never made any converts. His Institute died with him -- fortunately without effecting the existence of God in the least.

I thought about this Campbellite when I read in the "Challies" blog a report that R. C. Sproul said at his current Conference --

"The most important tasks of the apologist are these: To defend the existence of God and the authority of the Bible."

This is one of the evidences that modern "Reformed" folks are so far afield -- they are following such palabber as Sproul dishes out, and paying money to hear it to boot. And some are also following appallingist James White, wasting time and money lapping at his appallingisms -- including his current obsession about the "Tomb of Jesus."

"Defend the existence of God"? As if God needed anyone to prove that He exists!

Sproul says this is a "most important task."

Whatever happened to the "Great Commission" as being our most important task?

Appallingists like Sproul, however, are raking in the dough from naive patrons of the multiplied "Reformed" conferences held all over the place. Seems to be one of the most lucrative Christian rackets going today.

If Sproul would learn the Gospel and endeavor to lead men to Christ, he would not have to waste time trying to "defend the existence of God."

The only "apologetic" for the existence of God that means anything is the testimony of Jesus Christ (John 1:18). The Gospel is the power of God, not the "logic" of the appallingists.

The most feeble "ministries" of our time are those operated by the appallingists -- and their lack of dedication to the propagation of the Gospel accounts for that.

At Saturday, March 17, 2007 10:05:00 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Brother Bob, Hello!

You asked, Have you seen the corny cartoon depiction, Charles, on James White's website -- of the group that looks something like a mixture of would-be WWF wrestlers, Punk Rockers, and Halloween Trick-or-Treaters?

Yes, silly isn't it? I believe James is a classic example of an egomaniac. His followers practically worship him and he actually encourages their juvenile behavior.



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