Readers may have noticed that our first-ever international edition – Evangelical Times International (ETI) – has now been launched.
ETI is a quarterly, 16-page newspaper designed for low-cost air-mailing overseas. It contains news items, book reviews and accessible articles on theological, historical, devotional and biblical themes relevant to all Evangelicals. The articles are mainly, but not exclusively, drawn from previous issues of ET.
ETI’s purpose is to disseminate the gospel of Jesus Christ as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. It is designed to reach people in many lands who have little or no access to readable and affordable reformed literature.
Among other topics, the first issue of ETI addresses the subject of revival. As a test case, it analyses the 1904 revival in Wales in a factual and objective way, applying biblical criteria and drawing practical lessons.
Behind the choice of this particular theme lies a pressing issue faced by Christians all over the world. How are we to view the teaching that revival is already among us – if only we had the ‘faith’ to take hold of it? And is revival really manifested by ‘spiritual gifts’, physical healing and material prosperity, as many claim?
Believers everywhere struggle with these issues, for bad doctrine (like bad news!) is undeterred by national barriers. It leapfrogs continents by sky-waves and the internet.
False gospels appear in their rawest and most militant forms when they impact those least equipped to deal with them – the millions of churchgoers across the world who are poor in material terms and lack proper pastoral care.
We pray that through the ministry of faithful shepherds in many lands, ETI can help to reach the thronging sheep who are without a shepherd.
To read the newspaper will require a reasonable grasp of English, but 70% of the world uses English at least as a second language. Many more are eager to learn it (Chinese policemen are learning English in the UK for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing!).
Local overseas distributors (‘agents’) or their ‘sponsors’ (such as missionary-minded churches in the UK) will pay only for postage. Overseas mailings will consist of packs rather than single copies – preferably at least 10 copies of ETI per pack, with no upper limit.
We are now actively ‘signing up’ agents and sponsors, and full details of the logistics can be obtained by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an example, a church in the UK could sponsor a missionary to receive 20 copies of ETI by airmail for a full year (four issues), for just £35.24 worldwide (£18.48 in Europe).
The missionary (‘agent’) would be at liberty to distribute these copies free or else make a small charge to be used for some other purpose, such as to buy other literature. Alternatively, a missionary or pastor overseas without a sponsor could sell the papers for whatever it takes to pay the postage direct.
In short, we seek the widest possible circulation with maximum flexibility for those distributing the paper.
Why is ET doing this? What is our thinking? Firstly, this is not a commercial venture! ETI will have to be subsidised from ET’s normal subscription and advertising income.
Secondly, ET is notengaged in ’empire-building’ – ETI is only one of many instruments the Lord might be pleased to use. We launch the venture humbly, conscious of the enormous task of making known a truly biblical and Christ-centred message in a world which seldom sees true Christianity.
Thirdly, and positively, ETI is intended as a low-cost resource for Evangelical churches, missionaries and individuals overseas – especially those who cannot afford edifying books and are bypassed by other ministries.
The earth and its fulness are the Lord’s. The kingdoms of this world will one day become Christ’s. Meanwhile, they must be reached by the gospel, enlightened by the truth, and enriched by the unsearchable treasures of Christ.