What role should our emotions play in motivating us towards missions? The answer is in church history. Jonathan Edwards is noted his biography of the famous missionary David Brainerd, who was among the first to reach the Native Americans with the gospel. But most people don’t know that Jonathan Edwards wrote about Brainerd primarily as an example of a missionary life driven by powerful, stirring affections for God. And if we feel the way we should about God and his gospel, we will be driven out on mission too.
To explain all this, we consulted with Ryan Martin. Ryan is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as the associate pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is on the board of directors of Religious Affections Ministries. Ryan received his undergraduate degree at Northland Baptist Bible College, and has received further training from Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minn. (M.Div., 2004; Ph.D., 2013). He was ordained in 2009 at Bible Baptist Church of Elk River, Minn. (now Otsego, Minn.). He has a wife and children too. Ryan is the associate editor of Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). He contributed to the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans, 2017) and is the author of Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: “The High Exercises of Divine Love” (T&T Clark, 2018).
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