In August I had the privilege of speaking at a conference for pastors organized by our brother Conrad Mbewe in Zambia. Together, we enjoyed a wonderful time in the Word and fellowship. I also learned that TGC International Outreach had arranged to send a copy of The God Who Is There to every pastor in attendance. Listening to the stories of those from poorer parts of the country, I was slightly shamed by the depth of their gratitude for this book that would introduce them to biblical theology.
My travels during the last fifteen months have taken me to every continent except Antarctica. They have reinforced four long-held convictions:
First, no language has as many biblical resources as the English language. The strength of its holdings is the product of many providential events. However, there is no reason for English speakers to feel proud of this bountiful inheritance; rather, to whom much has been given, much is required.
Second, there are languages that serve hundreds of millions of people (e.g., Chinese, Hindi, and Arabic). These languages have very few solid Christian resources. This is even truer for less prominent trade and tribal languages. Skilled translation is greatly needed.
Third, the digital revolution makes it possible to distribute excellent materials all over the world.
And fourth, many people of the world are too poor to own computers, or their region is without reliable Internet access. For the poorest, for the rural, for the least advantaged, there is no substitute for books.
Our privilege at The Gospel Coalition is to deploy trustworthy English resources wherever possible to help equip the global church. We address the second point by working with a variety of translators to make more material available in more languages. There are also gifted pastors and theologians within these language groups who have risen to produce their own resources. We work to distribute these as well.
TGC is one of several ministries experiencing phenomenal growth in the digital distribution arena. Even where some countries have blocked our site, end users often smile and tell us they know how to “climb the wall.” As global access grows, the web will continue to be a critical tool. And for those technology-deprived regions, TGC International Outreach labors to provide books in accessible languages—at no cost to the end user.
God has given us all of these strategic means of spreading sound, biblical teaching around the world. As we move into the New Year, I would like to invite you to partner with us in this cause of Theological Famine Relief. Please prayerfully consider sending aone-time gift, or better yet, joining with us through monthly support
I want to express my deep gratitude to our many partners and supporters around the world. Thank you for all you’ve done this past year to link arms with us in our joint-mission to spread the Gospel to the nations.