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Monergism, Missions, and Moderation

July 19, 2006

Whaddyathink of the new blog subtitle? 

One of the reasons I have loved John Piper is that he was the first guy I read who brought together in my mind two passions that God had placed in my heart: monergism and missions.  Before reading Let the Nations Be Glad, every call to missions I had heard focused too much on the need of man and too little on the glory of God. But Piper’s statement that “missions exists because worship doesn’t” ensloganed wonderfully what God had impressed on me through this verse:

Isaiah 61:11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Now by moderation, I of course mean the Biblical discipline of drinking beer (Deut. 14:26).  But today I want to give it a different spin and mean by moderation the biblical discipline of frugality for the sake of generosity.  Good Measure is a ministry begun by Bernard Borah to help support gospel preaching ministries that help the poor in Africa and Asia.  I like Bernard.  I really enjoyed painting bunkbeds with him in Ensenada, Mexico in 1989.  He was a campus minister with the Navigators when I was a student at the U of I.  He says that feeding every starving person in the world would cost a staggering 13 billion dollars a year.  But Christians in America spend 20 billion dollars a year on soft drinks.  Click on the link above and check out how he’s laboring to change that.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2006 7:49 am

    Statistics like these are so disheartening:

    Approximately 160 million adults in America claim to be Christians. If 110 million of those would increase their giving by just $15 a month, that would generate another $19 billion a year, enough to feed every starving person in the world and educate every child currently not in school.9

  2. July 19, 2006 9:23 am

    yeah, I saw in the TEAM 2005 annual report that North Americans spend like 2 billion a year on chewing gum. :(

    I do like the subtitle, the alliteration hits a home run.

  3. egana permalink
    July 19, 2006 10:19 am

    Thanks for the clicky definitions. I would not have known what monergism was, otherwise…

  4. July 19, 2006 11:37 am

    I actually find Bernard’s site to be quite encouraging, even exciting.

    It has certainly always seemed plausible that if we all started giving sacrificially, the poverty and hunger of the world could be significantly reduced.

    But Good Measure is saying that even if American Christians gave trivially (for Americans), there would be more than enough to meet the seemingly insurmountable need.

    This is great news! It is difficult to imagine Americans suddenly giving sacrificially, but it’s not so hard to imagine them giving up some portion of their soft drinks and chewing gum.

    This encourages me to give more, without feeling the familiar despair that I’m pouring money into a bottomless pit. Yes, it’s just a drop in the bucket, but now it’s a bucket of finite, manageable proportions.

    Thanks for the link!

  5. egana permalink
    July 19, 2006 5:10 pm

    there’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza dear Liza, there’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole……

    actually, no there’s not, but Gorf’s mention of a bucket started the song in my head…

  6. July 20, 2006 8:33 am

    Meeting the need today won’t make the need cease to exist tomorrow. So there *is* a hole in the bucket, but apparently we could still keep the bucket full with the dregs of each bottle of Coke. I only mention this lest we think that we only need to give up our soft drinks for a year in order to end world hunger. So it really is giving sacrificially, in that this particular way of “solving the problem” involves lifestyle change.

  7. August 5, 2006 3:58 pm

    Actually the amount needed to virtually eliminate world poverty would reduce each year as we start meeting needs.

    If we buy 10,000 families a cow, a few goats or a bunch of chickens, then many of them will not need help again next year. In many cases they start helping their neighbors out of their gratitude that someone helped them and the effect multiplies.

    Another example: $3000-5,000 to drill a well for a village with no safe drinking water is a one-time expense. Though the needs will never end, they will diminish over time.

    Thanks for seeking God’s will concerning His heart for the poor.

    Bernard

  8. August 8, 2006 12:05 pm

    Good news! Thanks for the correcting my misunderstanding.

  9. Oddball permalink
    August 11, 2006 12:54 pm

    I think another hole in the bucket is structural injustice:

    http://www.wvi.org/wvi/publications/publications.htm#eco

    As crucial as giving is, I also think political engagement is essential.

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