Fire and balm

"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them." Isaiah 11.6


Duncan Campbell was over 50 when he returned to the mission field. But far from slowing down, it would appear that his accumulated experience invigorated his passion for sharing the Gospel. He was, by all accounts, an energetic preacher!


Despite his ordination, Duncan had no formal theological education. Yet he was possessed of a thorough knowledge of scripture which he applied liberally in his sermons. His stress was on God's impending judgment, balanced by his mercy towards sinners. While he was a lion in the pulpit, he was a lamb in his pastoral work, happy to invest hours in counselling and praying with people who were anxious about their souls.


Duncan Campbell never actually led anyone to the Lord. His contribution was to lay before people the truths about God and about the human condition. He left it to the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those who were listening. That same Spirit was clearly at work in the community, so Duncan was anxious not to get in the way. When God's agents are obedient and responsive, energetically restrained yet ready for action, the scene is set for God's direct intervention: nothing short of a taste of heaven. The technical term is "intrusional ethics": eternity breaking into the present.

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