“I remember when August was still a full month of summer. We didn’t have to think about going back to school until sometime in the distant future after Labor Day. By the time you receive this, however, most schools will have been in session for weeks–in August!
Thinking about school, my mom sent me the introduction to a book my Dad wrote back in 2003 titled “The Triumph of Faith.” At present, it’s only available in Spanish (see the P.S. below if you’d like to help change that). But it’s so good, I had to share it with you. While I have edited much of it for space, please remember this is the type of teaching and lessons our national pastors and missionaries spread across 32 countries have access to for free—every day. Thank you for helping make that possible.” —Ed Thompson
The Triumph of Faith by Dr. Les Thompson
Until I was 13 years old, I hated school. I went to classes because I had to— never with a desire to learn anything. My idea of studying was to study ways to get by without studying. Then to our small missionary school came a wonderfully gifted teacher named Patrick Arnold, an Irishman with reddish hair. He immediately picked up on my total indifference to everything scholastic and set out to convert me into a good student.
I’ll never forget his first class. It was a lesson introducing us to medieval history. The first thing he did was draw a Viking ship on the blackboard. I loved ships, and he had my full attention. He sketched a map of northern Europe. “How many of your ancestors came from this part of Europe?” he asked, pointing at Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Since my dad was Swedish, I raised my hand. “Let me tell you about your ancestors,” he said.
he Vikings were some of the most wild, savage, fierce and feared inhabitants of all Europe. Instead of farming, they prided themselves on being pirates, savagely invading, robbing and killing those who lived along the coastal towns of Russia, Germany, France, England and Ireland.” He erased some of his geography from the blackboard, and wrote: a-viking. “In Scandinavian that means invaders of the sea…” and went on to tell us about the ferocious King of the Vikings, Erik the Red.
I was hooked. The hour passed like lightning. If this was what real school was like, I liked it! That night I dreamt I was a Viking—covered with white bear skins, my face covered with a heavy red beard, wielding a huge sword. That was the first time a school class had inspired a dream. I could hardly wait to go to school.
One day Pat Arnold told an equally thrilling story of a different man who arrived in Greenland on one of those Viking ships. His name was Olaf Trygvesson. He had a huge red beard which practically hid his face and penetrating blue eyes which radiated kindness. But instead of a sword, he carried a Bible. He was a missionary and wanted to “conquer” people with the Gospel. Dr. Arnold explained how over time, most of the Viking colony became Christians.
Patrick Arnold awoke my learning genes. I was never able to thank him enough. There in Cuba—my mother would force me to blow out my kerosene lamp—as I read history book after history book. So it was that on one of those late nights I discovered Martin Luther. I devoured his writing and teaching. Other than the heroes of the Bible, no one has profoundly impacted my life more than Martin Luther. So it should come as no surprise that one day I would write about this giant of a man.
The book I have written is called El Triunfo de la Fe (TheTriumph of Faith). It deals with faith, the doctrinal struggles Luther had with the Catholic leaders, and how deeply the Word of God drove everything Luther did. Jesus, indeed, had captivated Luther’s heart. I go on to state just as Luther challenged the church in the sixteenth century, we must challenge the church in the twenty-first. Our message must still be that same, simple, clear story of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. A church cannot be His church unless it is based on what by love and grace God accomplished at Calvary.
Unfortunately, our tendency is to forsake that gospel for something man-made, something that is a bit more comfortable, something more religiously satisfying. We prefer to add our likes to the Gospel, to make it something more sophisticated and much less demanding. So we begin to soften its demands here, add our notions there, until our gospel is, as Paul put it, “another gospel.”
Luther’s stand before Pope Leo X is the stand true Christians must make in every generation. We must examine our beliefs and make sure we have subscribed to real biblical faith centered on Jesus Christ and not to some man-pleasing type of spirituality. It is my hope these pages will serve to awaken a true, living faith in the heart of every reader. That we understand clearly that the same faith that forged the life and character of this magnificent Christian of the Middle Ages is the same faith that grips us to Christ today.
Presently, El Triunfo de la Fe is only available in Spanish. Would you be interested in helping make it available in English? It will cost roughly $2,000 to translate plus $1900 for production.
If you would like to help make this possible, just click below to email LOGOI.
If you would like to apply this gift to putting El Triunfo de la Fe into English,
click here to email LOGOI.