I love the story Cornelius Van Til tells about hearing an Arminian preach (sorry, can’t remember where). The Arminian likened salvation to a bus driver coming into town and preaching in the public square through a megaphone, “I’m off to Fort Knox where there’s gold enough for everyone. Whomsoever wishes may come aboard my bus and we’ll receive the gold together.”
I’m trying to remember the details – it’s a while since I heard the lecture. But as I remember it Van Til went up to the preacher afterwards and thanked him for a brilliant illustration. “I’d make only one change to it,” he said.
“Instead of pulling up at the town square, I’d have him preaching at the cemetary.”
Evangelism is basically Ezekiel 37 – prophesying to dry bones. The people are dead. Whomsoever may come. But the star of the show is the Spirit, giving life through the word.
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Not sure it ever happened (happy to be contradicted), but what a good illustration as heard in this morning’s sermon by Neil Green (my vicar).
Abraham Lincoln was once at a slave auction. A young girl was being sold, naked but for her shackles. Lincoln was so distressed by the thought of her being bought by any of the rabble present that he bid for her himself. As the price went up and up, Lincoln continued to outbid the rest and eventually he paid top dollar for her. The girl was brought to Abe, petrified of what a man who paid so much would want with her. Lincoln took off his great black cloak and clothed her saying ‘You’re free.’
The girl couldn’t believe it. She said ‘You mean I can go?’
He said ‘Yes’.
‘I can marry anyone I want?’
‘I can work anywhere I like?’
‘I can go anywhere I please?’
‘Then,’ she said, ‘I will go with you.’
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