The evangelical world mourns the loss
of a leading light this week in the death of Norman Geisler
. As a noted Christian apologist, devoted academic and author of more than 125 books, Geisler’s impact on a generation of pastors is incalculable.
I briefly encountered his ministry during a course on evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
. A book Geisler co-authored with his son, David, titled “Conversational Evangelism,” was one of our assigned texts. It was an engaging and practical help that generated much discussion among students about ways to implement his strategies for sharing the gospel with lost family, friends and neighbors. I am personally thankful for Geisler’s ministry, and I am certain that I am not alone.
This week we celebrate Independence Day
on July 4th. The freedoms we enjoy provide a unique context for sincere and vibrant religion to flourish. We should thank God every moment that we are able to gather openly with brothers and sisters in Christ and share our faith publicly. Millions of Christians around the world worship together at great risk, and many sacrifice their very lives.
One of my favorite annual rhythms during the week of July 4th is to read President George Washington
’s farewell address
. As he stepped away from power into retirement, Washington demonstrated a degree of humility and patriotism that I wish all politicians would mimic.
In closing the address, he recounted his 45 years of service devoted to seeing our fledgling nation take flight. Washington asked forgiveness for any unseen faults in his leadership, and he looked forward to joining his fellow Americans under the “benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward” for the hard work and dangers that he and many others endured.
This week I pray American Christians are filled with gratitude for the God-given rights our country recognizes, and I pray our thankful hearts overflow into deeds that ensure those rights are protected for all people now and in the future.
Happy Independence Day!
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