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The Quincentenary and Spanish Missions

By Jay Rogers
Published August 1, 1992

Is the Grace of God Returning?

Until 500 years ago, Spain was the leading nation in sending missionaries to the far corners of the world. Through Catholic monastic orders, such as the Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and the Franciscans, a form of Christianity advanced in the world. Unfortunately, it was also through these orders that the great religious persecutions of the 15th century were fostered through the Spanish Inquisition under the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

It is a little known footnote of history that 1492 is also the year that the last Jews were expelled from Spain. Shortly before Columbus’ ships left the harbor of Palos, he recorded this event. The gold that was looted by the Spanish monarchs from the Moors, Protestants and Jews was used to finance Columbus’ first voyage. Yet the voyage of Columbus was to open up a world where people could come and worship God in freedom.

In retrospect, this period of Roman Catholic missionary expansion represents a mixed picture. The conquistadors imposed Spanish civilization and Roman Catholicism by force, at times treating the Native Americans with cruelty. However, many of the Spanish missionaries and explorers had pure intentions. There were advances of the gospel in salvation and in educational and charitable work. But their work suffered the shame of being entangled with colonialism and the unredeemed aspects of western culture.1

In the 1500s, the focus of world evangelism began to shift toward England, perhaps as a result of the trampling of the grace of God by the Spanish. With the coming of the Protestant Reformation and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England gained supremacy over the seas and took up the cause of world evangelism through her own Protestant colonists.

The first Protestant missionary society was established in England in 1649. The Mayhews and John Eliot began the work of evangelizing the Indian tribes of New England in the 1640s. The Moravians sent hundreds of missionaries from Anglican churches to America in the 1700s. The Baptist Missionary Society was founded by William Carey in 1792; the London Missionary Society in 1795; the Church Missionary Society in 1799. A student movement at Williams College and Andover Seminary led to the founding of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1810.2

Now that 500 years have passed since 1492, it appears that Hispanics may once again become a dominant missionary force in the earth. Missiologists are looking to South America to be one of the focal points of revival and spiritual awakening in the 1990s. The Olympic games and the World’s Fair to be held in Spain this Summer promise to bring more evangelistic activity to this nation than ever before in history.

The number “five” in Scripture is often associated with divine grace working to bring men to salvation.3 Five centuries have passed since Columbus’ voyage and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. We see a simultaneous reappearance of the Spanish world in the role of world missions. Is the grace of God that once departed from Spain now returning?

The history of Spain is a reminder to Christians in the United States today that although God may choose to use a particular nation at some juncture of history in a strategic way, his saving purposes are not bound to any political state or institution. God’s grace alone is the determining factor in the advance of the Gospel of salvation.

1 John Jefferson Davis, Christ’s Victorious Kingdom (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1986) pp.74-76.
2 Ibid, pp. 76,77.
3 Cf. Numbers 7:17-83; 1 Kings 6:6-24; Matthew 14:17-21.


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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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