Sunday, January 31, 2010


Dr. Arthur T. Pierson was a renowned Presbyterian preacher of the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is said in his world travels that he preached over 13,000 sermons. He was author of over 50 books. He succeeded Charles Spurgeon at Metropolitan Tabernacle, London for the two years of 1891-92. He was a consulting editor of the Scofield Reference Bible. He was an organizer of missions, and is credited with spurring missionary work to a greater level in the early 1900s. He is called by some "the father of fundamentalism", having worked with R. A. Torrey, B.B. Warfield, and others on the five volume answer to liberalism titled The Fundamentals, originally published in 1910, and still in print 100 years later in 2010. One of the greatest short pieces I have read by Pierson is this one, which is so relevant, I believe, to today's post-modernism.

“Adopting worldly maxims, catering to worldly tastes, corrupted by worldly leaven, there has been a gradual letting down of the severe standard of New Testament piety, and a constant effort to robe the gospel in worldly charms, in order to attract worldly men to the church.”

“These worldly expedients have proved very successful in secularizing the Church, but have sadly failed in evangelizing the world. They do not even draw the people except so far and so long as their novelty attracts curiosity seekers, or feeds the morbid appetite for excitement. It is time all such measures were abandoned as helps to the work of evangelization. They are rather hindrances; for they destroy the peculiar character of God's people as a separate people, they divert attention from eternal things, and they grieve the Spirit of God, on whose presence all power depends.”

“The fact is, Zion's attractions are unique ; like her Lord, they are not of the world; they belong to another order of beauty, "the beauty of holiness." When the Church robes herself in the charms of worldly attire and adornment, she not only fails to draw the world to herself and to Christ, but she actually takes the infection of the " Spirit of the Age," which, however disguised, is hostile to God.”

From Evangelistic Work, A.T Pierson, p 92, 94, New York; Baker and Taylor, 1887

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