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Dr. A. J. Gordon (1836-1895), the founder of Gordon-Conwell theological seminary, was one of the most educated, polished and effective Baptist preachers of the century in which he lived and ministered. After his death, his son related how his father had often expressed his longing for a return of the farmer preachers he had known during his boyhood. The reason he gave for this he said was that “They knew their Bibles from cover to cover. With such men as that,” the elder Gordon had said, “We could renew the religious life of New England.”

My wife belongs to a family distinguished for having an unbroken chain of at least six generations of such Baptist preachers in it – preachers who knew their Bibles from cover to cover, believed them from cover to cover and preached them from cover to cover! It was to my great advantage that I grew up as a Christian around, and was under the influence of, a great many preachers like this.

We have a glaring scarcity today of such preachers as are referred to above. We have a great many preachers today who have never even personally read their Bibles from cover to cover, who certainly are making no effort to preach them from cover to cover, and who live as if they believe little of what is between their Bibles' covers. And, if the truth were known, this is why the state of Christianity is as abysmal as it is today, and why America is in the moral free fall that it is in.


I think Dr. Gordon understood something that we would do well to understand and admit today. What our churches, our country and our entire society needs today more than anything else is a renaissance of “farmer preachers;” good, humble, God-called preachers, who, regardless of where they live, know their Bibles from cover to cover and will preach them from cover to cover without fear or favor. God in His providence could allow this to happen, and in my studied opinion, only if this happens, will we see any renewal of spiritual life in America the likes of which will deliver the United States from being “turned into hell” along with “all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17).

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