Two days ago, on August 27th, marked fourteen years since I became a Christian. And all month, I’ve been reminiscing about all the instruments of God’s grace that keeps me singing hymns of praise to him.
These instruments of grace are faithful ministries that helped shape who I am today. These ministries helped shaped my theology, my blog, and my pursuit of perseverance in Christ. I discovered these ministries within the first two years of my salvation—when I needed them most.
These ministries are all online ministries, and they discipled me, even from afar, better than my local church, at that time, did. If it weren’t for these ministries, I wouldn’t have the privilege of blogging today. The words on my blog are just a repetition of everything I learned from these ministries.
So here are the five ministries that shaped my theology:
Way of the Master
Way of the Master was the most influential ministry in my life. When I was first introduced to Ray Comfort’s and Kirk Cameron’s ministry, I never imagined how it would greatly change my theology and my life. I started watching Way of the Master’s episodes within weeks after I became a Christian to help me learn how to explain the gospel to my friends. Instead, they explained the gospel to me—they were the first ministry to give me a biblical understanding of the gospel. They helped me become more discerning, and they helped me reject my local church’s prosperity gospel. And especially, they introduced me to Paul Washer’s ministry.
After his interview with Way of the Master, I searched for Paul Washer’s ‘Shocking Youth Message” on YouTube, and I found the sermon on Lane Chaplin’s YouTube page. Paul Washer’s sermon made such a huge impact on me, I craved for more preachers like him—and I found them all on Chaplin’s page. This included John MacArthur, Charles Spurgeon, and Mark Kielar from Cross TV. Mark Kielar’s videos on Lane Chaplin’s YouTube page expanded on what I learned from Paul Washer. I essentially binged-watched all of Cross TV’s videos one weekend, and the videos helped me understand the biblical nature of Reformed Theology and the unbiblical nature of the seeker-sensitive movement.
I was still a member of a prosperity gospel church, at the time, so soon after I discovered Lane Chaplin’s YouTube page, I wanted to listen to more Paul Washer sermons. And that led me to Sermon Audio, an online library of sermons by faithful preachers, including thousands of sermons by Paul Washer and Charles Spurgeon. Sermon Audio became precious to me. I listened to at least two or three sermons from their website every day. At the time, I was a young sheep without a faithful shepherd, and sermons by Paul Washer and Charles Spurgeon from Sermon Audio helped me follow Christ.
Grace To You
One of my readers kindly offered to send me The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Set of 33 volumes. As you can imagine, I’m deeply grateful for her incredibly kind gift. When I asked her why she was being so kind to me, she said she surmised from my blog that John MacArthur had made a deep impression on my theology. And she’s right. John MacArthur’s ministry, Grace To You, has shaped who I am today.
Many of you know my blog wouldn’t exist without Challies.com. However, before I became familiar with Challies.com, Phil Johnson’s blog, PyroManiacs, was my first real introduction to Christian blogging, and it made a deep impression on me. Phil Johnson’s connection to John MacArthur and Charles Spurgeon made him especially interesting to me. But his articles on mainstream evangeliclasm, theology, and culture became even more interesting to me. If my blog has been helpful to you, it’s because PyroManiacs was so helpful to me.
So that is the list of five ministries that shaped my theology and my life. What are yours?