I’m thrilled to have my friend Mark Fowler contribute a guest blog for us. He has worked for many years at Temple Baptist Church and Crown College in Powell, Tennessee and has now become the pastor of Pleasant Beach Baptist Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee. I am excited to see all that the Lord will do with his life in the days ahead.
What would you pay to attend Charles Spurgeon’s college in the height of its existence? How far would you travel to sit in the woods and listen to the birds with Vance Hanver? Would you like to pray with Andrew Murray or listen to Alexander McClaren preach? What would a seminar on money or time management cost? Would you like to talk to a dear saint of God who has gone through a great trial and found God faithful?
What would you give to sit in the study with the great theologians and be at their desk as they gather their thoughts on a Bible passage? And what would you give to spend a day with Moses or with Christ and the disciples? What Christian would not like to sit with Moody and Sankey in their great crusades?
Would you like to travel to Africa with Livingston or to India with Carey? Is there anything we can learn from those who study our culture and provide statistics and analysis? Is there any value in the great minds of our day? Can we be taught to be more effective in ministry?
Price would not be an issue for an opportunity to live a simpler life and spend time meditating with the Puritans. Imagine the great expense of traveling the sawdust trail with Billy Sunday or following Edwards and Whitfield through the Great Awakening.
Some would say this is not possible. I can not afford a trip to London, China, or the Holy Land. For a few dollars and a little of my time I have attended their colleges, listened to them preach and pray, and borrowed nuggets of wisdom in areas of life that they have mastered.
I just had a great weekend alone in the woods with Vance Havner enjoying God’s creation. I enrolled in Spurgeon’s college for less than forty dollars and spent the weekend with Havner for just five. I think I will spend the day listening to Spurgeon lecture, or McClaren preach, or Murray pray. This list could go on and you may choose different names and experiences. At times I can almost smell the leather and old books in their studies or see the dust from the earth on the aged missionaries faces. In my heart I hear to the revival singing of days gone by.
We choose who we travel with and who we learn from by the books we buy and read. There is immeasurable value in a good book. We can enter their world for a little while. Who will you travel with next?