Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Ways of Dealing with Controversy

I'm currently reading two biographies of early 20th century pastors -- one in the morning, and the other in the evening.

My morning reading is Fire in His Bones, biography of the great Toronto missionary advocate and revivalist, Oswald J. Smith.

My evening reading is The Shooting Salvationist, which gives the account of J. Frank Norris, of Forth Worth, America's first mega-church pastor and fundamentalist leader, who went on trial for shooting a man in his office.

Both men experienced significant controversy.  Smith used prayer and surrender as the primary means of dealing with it.  Norris, on the other hand, resorted to argument and aggression  (could he somehow be related to Chuck?)

I prefer the Smith method.

When I go to Toronto in July for a guest interview on 100 Huntley Street, my intention is to visit Oswald Smith's grave, and thank him for his influence and example.

Here's a poem written by Smith after a heartbreaking experience in his early days: 

Dwell Deep

"O lonely soul, dwell deep,
God plans thy life and He
Plans only what is best.
Dwell deep,
He watches thee."

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