Ministry

The Way to God by Dwight L. Moody: A Book Review

The Way to God Dwight L. Moody

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

Dwight L. Moody’s The Way to God offers a strong understanding of God’s agapic love and how that agapic love can transform the lives of all people willing to receive Him into their hearts. Recognizing that Christ is soon to return, Moody challenges people to answer His call to salvation, allowing them to enter into the joy of the Lord. The book primarily centers on several sermons he delivered across England and the United States, although he added more material in this work. His chief desire is for the reader to “be strengthened, established, and settled in the faith of Christ” (vii).

One of the most important elements of the book is Moody’s emphasis on sharing the message of God’s love with everyone, especially with the unsaved. For Moody, those sharing the message of God’s love need to have a deep knowledge and understanding of this love. The author is convinced that the more we help people know and experience God’s love, the many more souls that will be rescued from a burning Hell. Salvation, though, isn’t simply a “fire insurance plan”; it’s about possessing an intimate relationship with God and experiencing a victorious life in Christ.

Moody contends that Christ’s greatest and most vivid example of His love for all is the work He did at Calvary for us: dying on the Cross to give all who believe in and receive Him in their hearts eternal victory over sin. Without Jesus dying on the Cross, humanity faced eternal damnation in Hell. Christ demonstrated His divine love for us by suffering the most brutal beating and death ever at Calvary. Therefore, as the writer asserts, if one longs to see what divine love looks like in public, simply see the Cross and observe our Savior’s blood shed for us “while we were yet sinners.”

The author divulges that when a person receives Christ’s salvation, the Holy Spirit comes into his or her life and aids him or her in living a life that pleases Him, a life empowered to escape the temptations Satan will attempt to present him or her daily. Satan’s agenda is “to steal, kill, and destroy,” but the power of the Holy Spirit working in us enables us to conquer everything Satan tries to throw at us.

This is an important book, especially for unbelievers. I encourage every true believer to purchase at least two copies of this book: one for himself or herself to read and one for an unbeliever to read. Although passing out tracts is okay, we need to modernize our evangelistic efforts; giving a book like this one to a lost soul is a more modern evangelistic effort.

Again, read this book and share a copy with an unbeliever.

I received a copy of this book from Aneko Press to compose this honest review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison  

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Donate to an Effective Ministry: Paradise Church of God in Christ

Paradise Church of God in Christ

(Photo Credit: Paradise Church of God in Christ)

Grace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior:

I am a member of Paradise Church of God in Christ at 4234 Hendrix Drive, Forest Park, Georgia 30297.  To begin, I would like to invite you to join us for worship. Our Pastor, Bishop Paul L. Fortson, is a wonderfully-inspired man of God who loves the Lord and loves His people.  It would be a pleasure to have you attend one of our anointed services in the near future.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your support as our church tackles a monumental task.  In 2002, Bishop Fortson was led by the Lord to build a gymnasium and cultural center for the members of Paradise and our surrounding community.  In 2003, we opened the doors to the newly-built Paradise Gymnasium & Cultural Center.  Since then, many wonderful things have transpired to not only benefit our members, but also our local community, the city of Forest Park, and neighboring cities throughout Clayton County.

With a goal to help community residents make positive changes in their lives and build stronger families, Paradise has assisted men, women and youth through mentoring programs, sports tournaments, career and education coaching, and parenting and life skills development.  I am Godly-proud to share that several of the young men and women we have worked with have gone on to college or trade school and are now productive citizens in their respective communities.  Additionally, in 2012, we served the international community by partnering with Forest Park’s City Government as the host site for over 100 volunteers who collectively packaged more than 20,000 meals for the people of Haiti.

Given our Center’s impact, our desire is not only to continue serving in this capacity, but also to do more!  Today, our church is facing a financial challenge, however.  God has given a vision through our Pastor called Sponsor a Saint.  I am asking you to Sponsor a Saint by sowing a seed of $100, $50, or $25.  By sowing a seed, once or becoming a ministry partner, you will enable us to liquidate our mortgage (one million dollars) for the Paradise Gymnasium & Cultural Center.  By liquidating the mortgage, it will allow us to expand our community service and do more.  I believe God placed our church here to help people.  Moreover, I believe God is going to bless you for whatever amount He leads you to give.  We have selected the following theme for this year: “We are called to minister and witness to a deeply distressed and troubled world” (Acts 20:15-18).

With your help and God on our side, we are going to make it!  We would be pleased and honored if you would take a moment and sow a seed today.  You can mail your seed offering to the address above, or please go to our website at www.paradise/cogic.org and make your donation.  All donations are tax deductible.

Be blessed in Jesus name,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

Director of Christian Education

Chairman of Education Special Interest Group

Paradise Church of God in Christ

Reverend Markel Hutchins: Linking Activism and Ministry

Markel Hutchins

(Photo Credit: WSB TV)

A champion for racial, social and economic justice and product of Morehouse College, Reverend Markel Hutchins serves as a shining progressive example of how postmodern Black preachers should be passionately active in their communities.  Hutchins has not been derelict in his duty to engage in civil and human rights efforts, efforts like those Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X championed. Even when he was in high school, one could see a burgeoning fighter for justice in the making: He led a march against the proliferation of drugs in the neighborhood surrounding his school.  Mr. Hutchins went on to become an ordained Baptist minister, leading Markel Hutchins Ministries.  Although there are laws prohibiting clergymen from being politically engaged in the confines of places of worship, this does not mean they cannot be involved in issues pertaining to social and economic policy affecting their communities, especially outside of their places of worship.  Hutchins certainly understands this.

Reverend Hutchins has an acute awareness of the power and significance of Black preachers’ serious involvement in political, social and economic issues during the Civil Rights Movement.  Black preachers during that period understood how to minister to the comprehensive needs of their congregants.  Yes, it’s one thing to feed one’s members spiritual food; another to feed their social, economic, professional and personal development.  Mr. Hutchins has been highly attentive to the complete needs of those he leads.  By doing this, he helps to further the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Although his leadership and ministry emerged in Atlanta, Georgia, a pivotal site during the Civil Rights Movement, his visionary leadership calls him to fight for justice throughout America.

When Black preachers invest in the communities in which they are situated, those communities become better places to live, work and play.  Unfortunately, too many Black preachers are too concerned about their personal and church’s financial prosperity to involve themselves in essential community development. Numerous pusillanimous Black preachers hide behind their collars and robes instead of tackling challenging and critical issues in their communities, including homelessness, police brutality, unfair labor practices, criminal justice system abuses, and racism, as Reverend Hutchins has done and continues to do.

Ministries not advocating for their communities are purposeless.

Markel Hutchins Ministries has purpose, vision and results.

While we increasingly see, hear and read accounts of preachers involved in corruption, and it’s easy not to support any preacher—which is a product of a burgeoning nihilistic impulse in postmodernism—it’s important to pay tribute to those preachers who are making a remarkable difference in the lives of people and their communities.  This is why we have to give Reverend Markel Hutchins his flowers while he’s living.  Although you may not always agree with his methods and viewpoints, it’s clear this man loves his country deeply enough to hold it accountable to fulfilling its nonpareil ideals—expressed most vividly and eloquently in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  We should demand an America as good as it’s promised, and Hutchins is tireless warrior working to see those utopian founding ideals materialize.

When an individual thinks critically and comprehensively about the work Reverend Markel Hutchins has done and is doing, it becomes transparent why former Atlanta Mayor, Shirley Franklin, the first female mayor of Atlanta and first Black woman of a prominent Southern city, posits that he “will soon be celebrated as one of our nation’s most visible and viable public servants.”

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison