Tag Archives: jim elliot

The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Multi-Tasking)

“Multi-tasking” is a myth, so says several scholars. We think we are giving equal attention to a couple of items at once, but we’re not. Two rules I’m trying to live by: (1) Don’t check your phone when you are with another person and engaged in conversation with them, and (2) give your undivided attention to the person you are with.

Many Christians are quite familiar with the missionary/martyr Jim Elliot’s statement when he said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” That’s a wonderful quote. [I once taught a preaching course in Bible college and I told the students that if they are using such a quote in their sermon and they mess it up, just keep going! Sure enough, one student said, “He is no fool who loses what he never had to gain what he cannot keep.” I was roaring with laughter inside, but I was proud of him because he kept going!].

There’s another famous Jim Elliot quote that is worth pondering. He said, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every moment you believe to be the will of God.” When we seek to multi-task or are not giving the person in front of us our best attention, we are simply “not all there.” I’m learning, slowly, to focus on the other person and to develop serious friendships.




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Posted by on August 14, 2020 in Calvin & Hobbes


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Loving the Lord with Our Minds — The Apostle Paul in Acts 17 (Part 3)

As we prepare our messages for Emmaus Bible College’s “Christian MInistry screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-5-57-12-amSeminars” for February 6-7, we see Paul here in Acts 17 using his mind to reach his audience with the gospel.  Our text is Acts 17:19-34.  We’ve already noticed that he was “greatly distressed” to see the city “full of idols.”

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-6-30-46-amWe next notice that Paul engaged in reasoning with the groups that were there.  He does not merely proclaim the gospel (fideism), but reasons with them.

Please notice that he is skilled at reasoning with five groups:  (1) the Jews; (2) the God-fearing Greeks; (3) the intellectual loiterers of the day; (4) the Epicurean philosophers; and (5) the Stoic philosophers.  The Jews and the God-fearing Greeks were, no doubt, part of Paul’s own background.  But what about the intellectual loiterers?  Several questions occur to me in considering this third group:
1. Are we present in the “marketplace” to make connections with those kind of thinkers?

2. What about our “day by day”?  Paul consistently was there.

3. “those who happened to be there” — God sovereignly allows people to be at places where believers can engage them with the gospel.  We don’t need to set up formal appointments, but simply BE THERE!

Many of us know the great quote from missionary-martyr Jim Elliot.  He said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  There’s another Jim Elliot quote I love:  “Wherever you are, be all there.  Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Acts 17


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Jim Elliot’s Most Famous Saying . . .

The missionary-martyr Jim Elliot, who lost his life in seeking to FirefoxScreenSnapz060win the Auca people to Christ, is perhaps best known for his statement:


I once-upon-a-time taught homiletics (how to preach) to a group of undergraduate students when Northeastern Bible College in New Jersey was still in existence.  I remember telling them that if they use a quote in a sermon, and mess up the quote as they were giving it, to just keep going.

One student, impressed by the above quote from Jim Elliot, tried to use it in his sermon.  He botched it — and said something like . . .


Inwardly, I was cracking up.  But outwardly I was so proud that he kept on going in his sermon!


1.  What profound statement have you heard from someone that helps to guide your life?

2.  How do you relate this statement by Jim Elliot to what Jesus says in Matthew 10: 39″ Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”?


Posted by on February 16, 2013 in homiletics


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“HE IS NO FOOL . . .”

In light of a preaching engagement I have coming up in Georgia on APRIL FOOLS’ DAY, I was just thinking of the missionary/martyr Jim Elliot’s statement:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

I once taught a preaching course at Northeastern Bible College (my alma mater) in Essex Fells, NJ, before it went under financially.  I recall telling my preaching students, “If you’re are using a quote and botch it badly, just keep going!  Few will notice your mistake.”

One student tried to use the Jim Elliot quote and messed it up.   He said something like, “He is no fool who loses what he cannot find to gain what he thought he had.”

I could hardly contain myself in my internal laughter.  But I was so proud of my student for going on with his sermon!

[By the way, Jim Elliot said many other things worthy of quotation.  Here are two of my other favorites]:

1.  “Wherever you are, be all there.  Live to the hilt every moment you believe to be the will of God.”

2.  “I would rather be dead than live a life of obscure ease in so sick a world.”


1.  Your favorite Jim Elliot quotes?

2.  Thoughts on the ones I’ve mentioned here?


Posted by on March 13, 2012 in CHRISTIAN LIVING


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