Winning Ways

from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas

Contact: Tom Goodman, Pastor

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Hillcrest Church Office
December 10, 2003

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Here is this week’s WINNING WAYS . . . .

SPECIAL NOTE: We’ve prepared an e-card that you can send to your friends, inviting them to Christmas events at Hillcrest!  Go to and follow the instructions.  Thanks to Tammy Wallace and Paul Waldo for adding this feature to our outreach!

“A New Respect for an Old Commitment”
by Tom Goodman

The New York Times is hardly the place to find friendly coverage of conservative Christians and our convictions.  That's why it was such a nice surprise last year to read Nicholas' Kristof's piece titled "Following God Abroad."

He applauds what he calls "the new internationalism" among today's evangelicals who are "saving lives in some of the most forgotten parts of the world.”  He brings to light the work of evangelicals who fight for international religious freedom, resist the global trade in slavery and forced prostitution, and stem the tide of AIDS in Africa.  He's not entirely comfortable with us, and complains about our "simple-minded moralistic streak.”  But, he says, "all in all, we should welcome this new constituency for foreign affairs in Middle America. . . .  I've lost my cynicism about evangelical groups partly because I've seen them at work abroad."

Well, it's good that Times readers got the word on the work conservative Christians are doing.  But hang on.  The "new internationalism" of evangelicals is anything but new.  As Erich Bridges says in SBC Life, "Go back several generations, or several centuries, and you'll find that the only outsiders who worked in many far-flung places - besides colonial forces, traders, and adventurers - were missionaries.

Bridges challenges his readers with a pop quiz:

·         "Who, beginning in 1793, spent four decades teaching the poor of India to read, producing grammars and dictionaries in six Indian languages, and tirelessly campaigning for laws against infanticide, child abandonment, and the ritual burning of Indian widows on their husbands' funeral pyres?  ANSWER: William Carey, the humble British Baptist cobbler who became the father of modern evangelical missions.  He did much of his heroic work over the objections of the powerful East India Company - not to mention the clerical establishment of his own church.

·         "Who, beginning in 1895, spent fifty-six years in India, rescuing more than a thousand children from neglect and abuse as Hindu temple prostitutes?  ANSWER: Anglican missionary and author Amy Carmichael.

·         "Who, after going to China in 1873, campaigned for an end to the binding of women's feet and at the end of decades of selfless service gave her own food - and life - to the starving?  ANSWER: Lottie Moon, Southern Baptists' most renowned missionary."

The only difference is visibility.  News of missionary labors "used to circulate in the churches and the [religious] subculture," Edith Blumhofer, director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, told Christianity Today in response to the Kristof piece, "Now it's out there.  It's up on the Web....  It's more accessible to other people."

This Sunday our church will focus attention on international missions work and on the support our church provides for missions causes around the world.  All throughout the Christmas season, we encourage you to support the "Lottie Moon Christmas Offering," named in honor of the Southern Baptist missionary, mentioned above, who gave her very life to both the earthly and eternal life of the Chinese.  For more information about the work your Christmas Offering supports, go to

We hope you’ll join our effort at raising $22,000 for the International Missions Board this season!


The Nicolas Kristof piece can be found at (link requires registration)

The Erich Bridges piece can be found at

The Edith Blumhofer quote can be found at

THIS WEEK: Discover Hillcrest: A.M. Edition!  Have you wanted to join Hillcrest but you’ve been unable to attend our "Discover Hillcrest" class in the afternoon?  Then here's your chance!  Pastor Tom will hold an "A.M. Edition" of the class during the Sunday School hour on two CONSECUTIVE Sundays, December 14 and 21.  It takes 2 hours to complete the class, so you should plan on attending both Sundays.  The fast-paced class will give you the information and inspiration you need for meaningful involvement in our church.  Join us from 9:30-10:30 a.m. for this special "Discover Hillcrest: A.M. Edition!"

Christmas Events at Hillcrest:  Go to our website for news about Christmas events at Hillcrest, including our “Dessert Theater” and “Living Nativity”!  Send an e-card inviting your friends to our Christmas events at



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