Collaboration In Matters Of Religion

November 2006

Dear Friends,

     Did you know that collaboration between the French and the Anglo- Saxons in matters of religion goes back quite a ways? One of the most notable episodes was the Réveil in the early 19th century. Among the human factors helping to trigger this remarkable revival of religion was the visit of an enigmatic Scottish Baptist minister to the city of Geneva in 1816 and thereafter. There he taught Bible studies and orthodox theology to students who would carry the message throughout the French-speaking world.

     At the same time, Haldane found that orthodox religion was much more prominent and more influential than he had first estimated. Leaders such as Louis Gaussen, César Malan, Merle d’Aubigné, and Adolphe Monod possessed strong talents in crafting a message that would bring new life into a Protestantism that had been left decimated after a century of persecutions. Truly, then, this was a partnership, long before the idea became fashionable. (A wonderful new book by Kenneth Stewart, Restoring the Reformation, from Paternoster, tells the whole story in great detail.)

     As an American organization we try to help out with French evangelical causes such as the Seminary in Aix-en-Provence. And we are able to send financial gifts as well as human resources on a regular basis. Whenever I go to Aix, in order to teach my courses, I try to bring our friends the latest in good scholarship from across the Atlantic. And I always tell the community there that they are not alone, and that we are ready to help. At the same time, they help me understand the Christian faith in fresh ways. Their professors are publishing and lecturing on many topics from the point of view of European Christian faith.

     As we approach the end of the year, would you consider enhancing this great partnership by making a special gift toward the Boice Chair, through the Huguenot Fellowship? An endowed faculty position is one of the best ways to ensure the continued training of leaders for the work of God’s Kingdom. Perhaps we will see another awakening!

Very Truly Yours,

William Edgar, President