By Jay Rogers
Published April 3, 2008
In the early days of America, newspapers often printed sermons preached from the pulpits of the local churches in the colonies. The pastors and Christian leaders of that day knew that it was important to be continually getting the printed word out to the people. The Christian world view was so prevalent at that time that almost everyone thought according to godly principles.
You can see this in the writings of the Founding Fathers. A Christian view of every area of life was held to – you can see it in the art and literature of the day, as well as in the form of government they devised. The truth of God was diffused into every area of life.
The literature that was going out at that time was teaching the American people on a day-to-day basis the biblical principles of what God had to say about society. This created a sentiment in our society that produced the Revolutionary War and our form of democratic government.
Now it is sad to say that unlike centuries ago, most Christians put little or no emphasis on the printed word. We don’t see a need for it. Most of our literature evangelism is limited to a few tracts telling people how to get saved or saying the four spiritual laws. We are limited to a salvation only message. Now it’s very important to get people saved before we can really change our society from the inside out, but the salvation-only message is not what The Forerunner is all about.
The purpose of The Forerunner is to saturate the market place of ideas – the university campuses – with a Christian world view that applies to every area of life. When this Christian world view is spoken on a consistent basis – not only will many be saved – but we can expect the hearts and minds of the students to be affected and changed on a larger scale.
The Influence of the Printed Word
In the 1700s, the Great Awakening came to an end because of the influx of rationalistic thinking from Europe in the form of literature. Revival waned because books containing the philosophy of the Enlightenment were disbursed on the college campuses by the ton. Books containing rationalistic principles were given out to the students for a few pennies. If they wouldn’t buy them they would be given to them for free.
The effect on U.S. colleges was disastrous. Students looking for an excuse to rebel against Christianity embraced Rationalism. Bible colleges became centers of skepticism. Students formed societies calling themselves by the names of the French philosophers of the Enlightenment. One group forced the resignation of a Bible college president. Another group attempted to blow up a campus building. This sounds like the 1960s, but it was the late 1700s!
The Second Great Awakening
Certain Christians had the courage to fight this trend and the Second Great Awakening broke out in the early 1800s. It should come as no surprise to you at this point ito know that the leader of the Second Great Awakening, Peter Cartwright, believed that the distribution of Christian literature was the force that seeded this awakening.
Peter Cartwright was a Methodist circuit rider who would travel on horseback in Kentucky and the other western states of America and preach. This is what Peter Cartwright said:
“For more than 50 years, I have always believed that it is part and parcel of a Christian’s sacred duty to circulate religious literature. The press is destined to minister salvation’s grace to the perishing millions of the earth.”
20th Century America
The difference between this time period and 20th century America, is that Christians have done little to sow seed in the form of the printed word. To make matters worse, while the Church has been sleeping, tares have sprung up in abundance.
Daniel Webster, the 19th century American statesman, saw a disturbing trend. Listen to this quote and ask yourself if this is what has become of America:
“If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, then error will be. If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendency. If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will. If the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of this land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”
Daniel Webster saw it coming. The disturbing trend was that Christians weren’t getting the printed word out to the people. Daniel Webster feared that the devil would soon come in and sow the seeds of corruption in America.
So what is the most effective way to turn the tide of evil in the late 20th century?
Literature containing the Truth of God’s Word needs to be disbursed among the students. When God’s truth is presented in any form, it will always gain ascendency over the godless philosophies of the world because it is the Truth of God. The main result of getting literature out is to change the students’ thinking. If we don’t confront the students thinking through the printed word then godless philosophies will definitely win out.
What is a practical plan to start saturating your campus with Forerunners?
The only obstacle is raising the money. But as the numbers of Forerunners increase, the price per newspaper goes down. At 15 cents a copy, 1000 Forerunners are $150. And consider that doing this is like having 10 full time evangelists out on campus every month. Then realize that there are a couple of practical ways to raise the money to do this:
- Raise money from churches and Christian groups in your area.
- People in your church may be willing to support monthly campaigns to saturate the campuses. (If 6 people gave $25 a month this would equal 1000 Forerunners).
If every Christian in America understood the importance of getting the printed word out to the people, we would see the same effect that has happened throughout history. And our nation would be changed for all time and eternity.
“And the one on whom the seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; and indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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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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“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.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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