John Wycliffe was born in 1330 on a sheep farm in Yorkshire, England—remote and far from the action and activity of London.
Despite his relatively obscure beginnings, he made his way to Oxford and became a distinguished philosopher-theologian. Eventually, he rose to the rank of professor and then master of his college.
Without question, Wycliffe benefitted greatly from the access he had to Scripture at Oxford. He became an increasingly devout believer, and he yearned for his countrymen to be blessed with the same. But there was a major problem!
Bibles were in limited supply and written in Latin. Scripture was utterly incomprehensible to a majority of the English people!
So Wycliffe set about the monumental task of translating the Bible into the language of the people—medieval English. For his efforts, he was attacked by church officials, charged with heresy, exiled from England, and suffered great distress.
But after years of toil and danger, he presented God’s Word in his people’s own language. Scholars tell us that the culture of England was positively affected for hundreds of years as a result.
Culture today would greatly benefit from a similar transformation. But inadequate access to the Scriptures is no longer an excuse. Most people have the Bible in their own language. There’s no lack of opportunity—as the Book of Common Prayer suggests—to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” its teachings.
And yet from every corner of the planet, we’re reminded daily of the dire need for spiritual renewal in our world.
So what needs to be done… and does the Bible offer any guidance?
That’s the topic of my 6-message series, Thinking Clearly in a Messed-Up World, which I’m eager to describe for you today.
Allow me to reacquaint you with the cardinal passage on which the series is based—Romans chapter 12.
Writing in the first century—long before Wycliffe and the other Reformers—the apostle Paul foresaw the troubled times that Christ’s church would be called to navigate. He was clear in his critique of the culture of his day, instructing the believers, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world...” (Romans 12:2).
There was to be some manner of distance between Jesus’ followers and the troubled society of which they were a part. But Paul was not all negative, instructing:
“[B]e transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
It’s at this point that some earnest believers struggle. They read about being transformed and not conforming. They desire to please God by doing His will. But they’re not sure what to do or how to do it.
That’s what I’ll help you uncover in Thinking Clearly in a Messed-Up World.
I’d love to send you this series as thanks for your gift this month to help more people experience Life through the resources and teaching of Telling the Truth in the year ahead.
We’ve come a long way from the days of Paul, Wycliffe, and hundreds of others through whom God worked to record and preserve His Word. But our culture is still in need of revival, and the Bible still has the answers we need.
With your gift of support today, you’ll help continue proclaiming the truth of God’s Word around the world—paving the way for fruitful revival across the globe. Just click below to request your copy of Thinking Clearly in a Messed-Up World today!
As ever, thank you for your kind support. I’m so very grateful for you!