Henry Drummond and The Greatest Thing

Henry Drummond died, on March 11, 1897. Professor Henry Drummond was no friend of Biblical Fundamentalism.

Drummond was born in Scotland in 1851 and became a man of varied talents. He was at various times an evangelist, lecturer in natural science, ordained minister, Professor of Theology, explorer, geologist and author. He did not receive an academic degree, yet he ascended to academic posts.

His 1883 book, “Natural Law in the Spiritual World”, sold 70,000 copies in its first five years and made his name famous. After surveying southern and central Africa for the African Lakes Company he produced another popular text, “Tropical Africa”. And his work, “The Ascent of Man” was also widely read. That book helped promote the evolutionary cause as it argued for the survival of the fittest, a thesis previously maintained by Professor John Fiske.

In 1890 Drummond travelled to Australia and in 1893 he was in Chicago, USA.

Drummond was a gifted evangelist who assisted Dwight L Moody’s revival campaigns for two years.

History Faces Bar

Get a Free Church History Post every day by Subscribing at http://chrisfieldblog.com

In Moody‘s early Northfield Bible Conferences he invited Drummond to speak.  “But later he refused to have him back!  Moody was not ashamed to take a stand for theological truth.  Drummond was one of the most effective public speakers of the era, and to cancel him from the Northfield program took genuine courage” (History of Fundamentalism, by E. Dollar, page 80).

Although coming from a godly Presbyterian home and trained “in an evangelical family”, and despite the fact that he was tremendously impressed by Moody and Sankey, he became a leading Liberal theologian, Professor in the Free Church of Scotland, and an ardent defender of the evolutionary hypothesis.

R.E. Day, in his excellent biography of Moody, Bush Aglow, says that “Drummond was one of the vanguard of men, amiable, attractive, to whom no-one could deny the name Christian, who nevertheless helped write ‘Ichabod‘ over 20th century Zion” (page 207). Drummond was particularly influential over the thinking of younger men who looked up to him.

Why, then, did Donald Prout include him in his Christian history notes?  Because in 1874 Drummond wrote a small book that has become a classic in Christian literature – The Greatest Thing in the World, a study of I Corinthians 13.

“So long as time shall last, The Greatest Thing in the World will be a high peak on the skyline of devotional literature” (ibid, page 209). That book sold 12 million copies, dwarfing the success of all his other works put together.

When Drummond died due to poor health at the age of 46, on 11 March, 1897, Moody “cried like a child.  ‘He was the most Christ-like man I ever met.  I never saw a fault in him,’ he said over and over through his sobs” (Moody without Sankey, by J. Pollock, page 258).

(It is to be noted that the Henry Drummond of this article is not to be confused with Henry Drummond (1780-1860), who was founder of the Catholic Apostolic, or Irvingite, Church).

Find hundreds of succinct Church History posts at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/topics/ministry/church-history

History Bar

This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com

7 Things Destroying Relationships

I spoke recently on the topic “How To Stay In Love”. In researching for the message I checked out what people suggest are relationship breakers. There are a number of things people suggest are lacking in relationships that go sour. As I pondered the issue I came up with my own list of Seven Things Destroying Relationships. I thought I would share them with you.

My list is based on my own personal experience as a husband and the hundreds of hours of relationship counselling I have given to men and women, young and old, over several decades. So this list does not come from guesswork or shallow assumptions.

I point out that I have had people walk out on my sessions, weep, argue, kick the furniture, go silent, sulk and give other varied reactions to my input. I have done the hard yards in getting to the insights which I now share with you. Please don’t take this list lightly.

OK, are your ready to check yourself against Pastor Chris’s hot-list? Are you ready to allow our own heart to be convicted by these Seven Deadly Sins? Are you man or woman enough to face realities which you might not like?

You still have time to click off this page and save yourself the offence of what I am about to share. I will never know that you chickened out and ran back to your delusions.


Still with me??

OK ‘brave-heart’, here we go…….

The Seven Deadly Sins Destroying Relationships are…….

1. Selfishness

2. Being self-focused – Selfishness

3. self-Ishness

4. Caring for self first – ‘selfishness’

5. SELFishness

6. See item #1

7. More of the same…..

The reason I can be so confident in making up this list is that Love and Selfishness are mutually exclusive. That means they cannot exist in the same place at the same time. I know that to be a fact because of what the Bible teaches in the world’s most beautiful description of “love”, 1Corinthians chapter 13.

In 1Corinthians 13 the Apostle Paul gives an extensive and awesome description of love. And in that description he says that “love does not seek its own”, 1Corinthians 13:5. That is the same as saying: “Love is not selfish”, “Love does not push its own will”, “Love does not demand its own way”, “Love has given up self-interest” and “Love is not demanding”.

When we find people who are selfish, demanding, argumentative, pouting, jealous, angry, resentful, hurt, pushy or self-indulgent, we know that they do not have love. Real Love does not display any of those things.

So, if you are facing challenges in your relationships take a moment to consider how you rate on any one of the Seven Deadly Sins Destroying Relationships which I have outlined above. As you call on God’s grace to transform you from being a selfish person, to being one who can love others unconditionally, you will find your relationships with others are transformed too.