Eureka, William Carey

When studying church history, the term, “tower experience” often gets thrown around. It refers to Luther’s “Eureka!” or “Ah Ha!” moment as he was studying the Book of Romans and finally understood he doctrine of justification by faith. Other tower experiences include Wesley hearing Luther’s Preface to his Commentary on Romans and Spurgeon being told to “Look to Christ” after hearing from Isaiah.[1] In Confessions, Augustine tells about his experience after a fruit stealing incident and then hearing children “take up and read.” For William Carey had a tower experience about the opposite of Spurgeon’s. Carey asked about spreading the Gospel and his minister told that if God wanted the “heathens” saved, that the Almighty would do it himself.[2]  In An Enquiry Into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversions of the Heathens, he laid out that spreading the Gospel was a duty put unto man. “Our Lord Jesus Christ, a little before his departure, commissioned his apostles to Go, and teach all nations; or, as another evangelist expresses it, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Enquiry helped to put the Gospel with all of its intriquities, especially sin, which is an idea often foreign to cultures such as those familiar with Hinduism.[3] It is thanks to Carey that missions stayed alive. The thought of the time was that the Great Commission in Matthew 28 was actually a command, not for generations to come, but for those who heard it firsthand. With his partners, Andrew Fuller and John Thomas, he established a mission in India and helped to found the Baptist Missionary Society.[4] Near Calcutta is the Serampore mission. This mission would become the model for all other missionary settlements afterward. The Serampore mission showed nonstop progress including translating the Bible into multiple languages. Serampore opened the door for more international missions.[5] Carey had become known for his translations, unfortunately a warehouse fire in 1812 proved the entire effort fruitless.[6] This showed comparisons to Carey’s life as he often neglected his wife and children.  Carey laid down a model for evangelism in foreign cultures that should be adopted by all missions (and mission societies) since then. He showed how to proclaim the name of Christ and how to act with a foreign people and a foreign government.[7] Given current relations with Iran, China, and other hotspots, we would do well to learn from the example of William Carey.

 

Bibliography

Lawson, Steven J.. The Gospel Focus of Charles H. Spurgeon. Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2012.

Moreau, A. Scott, Gary R. Corwin, and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions, 2nd Ed..Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015.

Tucker, Ruth A.. From Jerusalem to Iranian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, 2nd Ed.. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.

Winter, Ralph D. and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds.. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, A Reader, 4th Ed.. Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2009.

 


[1]Lawson, Steven J.. The Gospel Focus of Charles H. Spurgeon. (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2012), 5.

[2] Tucker, Ruth A.. From Jerusalem to Iranian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, 2nd Ed.. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), 123.

[3] Winter, Ralph D. and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds.. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, A Reader, 4th Ed.. (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2009), 313

[4] Moreau, A. Scott, Gary R. Corwin, and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions, 2nd Ed.. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015), 118.

[5] Tucker, 127.

[6] Ibid., 128.

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