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January 29, 2024 6:00 am

Monday, January 29th | Reuben Archer Torrey

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 29, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of the Clearview Today show, Dr. Shah discusses the life and ministry of R.A. Torrey and how he has impacted Christianity.

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Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?


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T-O-D-A-Y. A healthier, happier you is just a click away. If you have any questions for Dr. Shaw or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at

That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show. You can share it online with your friends and your family. You can leave us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from. Absolutely nothing less than five stars for any reason whatsoever. I can't think of a good reason why you would do such a thing.

But listen, we're going to leave a couple of links in the description, so you can do just that. Today's verse of the day is coming to us from 1 Peter 1, 23-25. Numbers are really difficult today. Having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible through the word of God which lives and abides forever. I love that anytime the Bible talks about being born again. It makes me think of the interaction Jesus has with Zacchaeus, where he's like, you've got to be born again. And Zacchaeus is like, what are you talking about? How am I going to be born again?

It's not the way it works. But it really is that sense of new life, that sense of the old us is dead, and the new us has been brought to life in Christ. We had someone write into the show for the first time in a while with some banter suggestions. Blake P. from North Carolina wants to know, what was your first car? Oh, my first car was a 2000? 2001? 2000.

I can't remember. But it was a Ford Focus. Okay, Ford Focus. A teeny tiny little car. I looked like I was getting out of a clown car every time I found it.

So that's what I was thinking. A Ford Focus, I was like, I think that's kind of a small car. It is a small car, and I'm a comically large man. Yeah, you are tall. You're like 6'3", right?

Yep. And yeah, that is small. What color was it? Silver. Silver Ford Focus.

It got to the point where anytime I would stop at a stoplight or a stop sign, it would shake like a Chihuahua. Is that your car? It was smaller than that.

It didn't have the hatchback thing. Okay. That's it right there. That's your car? That's the one. Wow. 2001 Ford Focus. That's the one. Wow. My first car was a 1987 Jeep Cherokee Laredo.

That's it right there. That was my first car. That thing was a piece of junk! It was a piece of junk.

I'll tell you. This is how you know you live in the South. My first car came from a dude's yard. It had a sign.

Tell me you live in the South without telling me you live in the South. My first car came from a neighbor's yard. A guy lived down the road with this old, rusty, white Jeep Cherokee Laredo just sitting in his front yard.

There was a piece of notebook paper in the window with Sharpie written on it. $1500. Nice. And my parents took it out of my money that my Meemaw left me without telling me.

Nice. And they went and bought that car and it barely ran. But it was glorious. I love it.

It was a taste of freedom. I drove that thing into the ground. I drove it to death.

I drove it until it never ran again. Write in and let us know what your first car was. Or better yet, send us a picture of your first car. Yeah, send us a picture of your first car. It doesn't have to be your car specifically, but just Google it.

Google what the make and model was. If it had a nickname, tell us the nickname of your car. I know one of them.

There's a guy in our church who drove a truck that he loved when he was called the Gray Goose. I love it. Or you can visit us online at We'll be back after this. You can check us out on Apple Music or on Spotify. Anywhere digital music is consumed. We've got a few singles out right now. We have an EP out as well. And right now, at this moment actually, we are working on our first ever full length original album.

Hopefully that's going to be out sometime this coming summer. Clear View Worship on iTunes and Spotify is your 24-7 place for inspiration and worship. Follow us today and let God's message of hope, love, and faith be a guiding light in your life.

Amen. Let's hop back into the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

That's right. We are here once again in the Clear View Today studio with Dr. Abbadan Shah, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. And I just have to say, if he wears one more stylish sweater into this studio, he's in.

Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah. He's going to be a full-fledged cast member part of the show. If he wears one more cool sweater, like stylish sweater, I'm loving it. Here's my question. This question was not even a pullover. Hang on, because I do want to let you talk, but I'm loving it. Okay, go ahead. Go ahead. Dr. Shah's rocking the sweater.

Yeah, it's nice. Where's your sweater? I didn't wear a sweater. I'm not a sweater guy. Sweaters look kind of frumpy on me. I think you need better sweaters. Well, no, I think I need to control my eating, because Pastor Shah has been on the low-calorie thing for a little bit, since the beginning of January, I believe. Maybe a little bit sooner. December. So, the sweaters are looking good.

They're hugging the form kind of nice. That's all I'm going to say on the radio. Yours was kind of good. I've got to get better on my eating a little bit. I think maybe around spring, I'll be sweater-ready. And then, of course. You'll be sweater-ready once we're out of sweater weather.

Dr. Shah, someone wrote into the show, Lake Pee from right here in North Carolina. They want to know, what was your first car? My first car was actually kind of like a moped. Like a scooter? Well, not really a scooter, but it was a moped. Scooters are, if you grow up overseas, there's a distinction between those two. But I had a moped. It was a Suzuki. And then I had a motorcycle as well. Nice.

Very nice. That's what I had when I was in college back in India. Did you know when you came to the States that people didn't drive mopeds as much on the road as they do there? Or was that a shocker? That was a little shocker.

But I know why, because you may die from that. Usually we see mopeds, there's like this one guy just like putting along and risking his life. That's not how it looked like overseas. So what was your first car when you got here to the States? I didn't have a car. So I kind of rode around with friends. And then Nicole and I got married and she had a Pontiac, I forgot now what was it called.

But anyways, it'll come to me in a second. And then I had a Chevy S10. That was my first, I bought it, I owned it. It was like a 1989 Chevy S10. You got a Titan right now, right? The Nissan Titan? Oh yeah, that's my second Titan. Yeah, because you had the black Titan when I first met you. Four-door, big truck. I gave it to Nicholas and then from Nicholas it got passed down to Thomas. But now I have a silver Chevy S10.

That's pretty awesome. Chevy S10, you got the Nissan. No, I'm sorry.

Yeah, you're good. It's the sweater, man. I have a Nissan Titan. It's a good truck. Yeah, we were reminiscent about first cars earlier today and it's just one of those things that brings back good memories. You think about your first car, you think about childhood.

Well, really, I guess getting into adolescent and adulthood. Yeah, thinking about those things that made an impact on you. And we were talking about, on today's episode, yesterday actually was the birthday of R.A. Torrey, famous evangelist.

That's right. So we did talk about it yesterday, obviously, because it was Sunday. Hopefully you guys were worshiping in church yesterday.

But we want to talk about it on today's episode. We love doing these character studies. We do a couple of them every month because these are heroes of the faith that really... See, I tend to think, and I think a lot of us tend to think, that once the book of the Bible, the canon is closed, God is kind of done working through people. Those are biblical characters.

See my word and then that's it. Right. Those are biblical characters and now everybody else is just people who...

But I mean, at the end of the day, God is still working through these heroes. Right. That's right.

And R.A. Torrey, Ruben Archer Torrey. That was his full name. He was born in 1856.

This is pre-Civil War in New Jersey, United States, of course, for those who are listening overseas. And then he attended Yale University and he did his bachelor's and then he attended Yale Divinity School where he did his bachelor's in divinity. Not a slouch when it comes to academics.

No, no, no. He grew up in a good, well-to-do home. His father was a merchant, a manufacturer, really, and he had a good childhood. And then he, of course, got saved while he was at Yale, which is sort of hard to see that nowadays where some of these Ivy League schools are. And then he went on to become the pastor of a Congregational church in Ohio. He was ordained, got married, had a daughter.

And then he actually went to Germany, Leipzig, and Erlangen University in Germany, and he studied there. Wow. Yeah. So, yeah, really, an educated man. That's right.

Very much so. And it's one of those things that we, you know, we on this show have constantly pushed for Christians to educate themselves. That's right. And not just like, quote-unquote, do your own research, but actually be educated.

Go through your formal education as a Christian. That's right. That's right.

And so he went along just being a pastor and then did some ministry, and then he was called by Billy Graham to come and be a superintendent of his Chicago Bible Institute. Extremely high calling. Yeah. That's incredible. Yeah. And then, which went on to become the Moody Bible Institute. So this is where he went and became very well known.

That's really awesome. Yeah. Yeah. What do you think he's most known for? Do you think it's, because until we started planning for this, I've heard R.A. Torrey before, but it's usually in, like, lists of names.

Yeah, right. Like, so people talk about, you know, he's one of the greats. He's up there with D.L. Moody or R.A. Torrey or Francis Schaeffer, who we're talking about tomorrow, by the way. But what do you think he's most known for? His education, his founding of colleges, his preaching, his evangelism? A little bit of everything.

Really? But if you could, if I were to, if you were to wake me up in the middle of the night and say, what do you think R.A. Torrey was known for? I would say his convictions. Yeah. He was a, he was a strong, he was strong in his academics.

OK. But at the same time, he was also very strong in his fervor for Orthodox Christianity. Now I'm talking about Eastern Orthodox.

You're talking about biblical Christianity or theology. He was very strong on that. Do you think that's missing nowadays?

Oh, yeah. I mean, we've come a long ways since R.A. Torrey. And what was good about him was not only was he academic minded, because he went on to become the president of Biola, which is at the time known as Biola Institute of Los Angeles, but today we know it as Biola University. He became the dean there for some time. But he was also strong in his convictions. OK. But he was also very evangelistic, which is very hard to find a person with all those characteristics.

Right. He's academic. He is evangelical, fundamentalist. Now, you know, since then, fundamentalism has taken on a bad name. But he was the original fundamentalist, and we'll talk about that in a moment. And then he was also evangelistic. Yeah. And it is kind of difficult to find someone who's all of those things, because we tend to gravitate towards what interests us or what we feel like we're strongest at.

But to encompass all those characteristics of the Christian life is very rare these days. Yeah. And he even did mass evangelism. Yeah. There's a lot of that focus on hyper specialization. Like, I'm going to be good at one thing. Right.

This is all I'm going to build my life around. But sort of this kind of wide range of gifts and talents. I mean, you see that in people like R.A. Torrey. You see that, I feel like, in people who have made a profound impact, is that they weren't just one thing. Right. That's right. And we need people like that, especially today, who would be academic and yet strong in their biblical convictions and evangelistic. Yeah.

And he was all those things to the point that he, towards the end of his life, he actually resigned and did traveling evangelism. Wow. Yeah.

Yeah. Which is rare. Do you think it's because these days we're trying to market our skills? We're trying to make money off of our skills.

Not us specifically, but just Christians in general. We're trying to find what is that niche that hasn't been captured? And let's market it so that all because he's all these different things, right?

He's wearing all these different hats and succeeding at them because of his convictions. Right. Do you feel like that's missing these days or do you feel like it's like we just don't have that kind of culture anymore? I think we just, a lot of people, I'm not saying everybody, a lot of people are just simply going for success. Right. A lot of people are.

If I can just be, if I can become a household name, if I can have a bestseller, if I can be on that big, what do you call those, those circuit, you know, if I can be that speaker in all the major conference circuit, that would be it. Yeah. And people like Ariatore did not think like that, I think. They were good at marketing themselves. It would be a foolishness to think that they didn't do that. They did it very well. Right.

But at the same time undergirding that they had a certain set of convictions that they did not compromise and hence people loved them. Today we try to get people to love us and endorse our view. That's a good point. Yeah. That's a really good point.

We are so desperate for validation and attention from the outside world, even from the non-Christian world. Yeah. And we do things in hopes that we will get those likes and those shares and those follows and those retweets. Yeah.

And be different so that people will go, ah, wow, I like that. That's pretty cool. Instead of this man is going to stand on his convictions and no matter what he will not compromise. Yeah. And I can learn from him. Yeah. I can follow him. I can recommend him to somebody else.

That was Ariatore. One thing that I've always admired about you is that, and I think if you zoom out and look at churches and ministry, there's always an imbalance between the how and the why. And we shift way too much to one side or the other. So like me, I'm very tech related, so I'm all about the how. You know, how are we going to do this? What tech do we need? What cameras do we need?

What sounds and microphones and scheduling do we need? And you are very much like, there's got to be a balance of both because if you don't have the why, then the how ultimately doesn't matter. We'll just have cool toys, but no one will listen to us. Right. After a while it gets old and people move on and they want to hear something fresh and new and it's, you're not that important. Right.

But if you have those foundational convictions that are coming from the word of God and that people are looking for, and this represents historic Christianity, then people will get behind you. But I think people go, ah, I don't want that because that reminds me of a bygone era. Right. I don't want to be like them. I want to be different. But what you're really saying is I want to be like so and so who is really getting all the likes and shares right now. Yeah.

I want to be like them. True. That's what you're really saying.

That's right. What from R.A. Torrey's life has been most impactful for you as you've learned and studied about him? Lots and lots of things to be very honest. So let me back up a little bit and let's talk about his book or this compendium that was published called Fundamentals. The Fundamentals. Would you like to know where I got this book? Where's that?

It was sitting in a giveaway box when I came to seminary. Really? Yeah. Someone can just walk up and take it? Yeah.

It was like on McDowell Drive. We had this little mailbox, mail room where you could go and get your mail and all that. And there was a box sitting there with this Fundamentals inside. Like the person didn't even care to take this with him. Wow. I feel very sad for the person who just threw it there. They didn't know what they were tossing away.

Yeah. If you threw this away. You clearly don't know what you have.

Or you knew and you don't like it. Wow. And what does this book have? Okay, now this was kind of written at the turn of the century. So you're going back to 19, this was written, let me see, I'm going to get the dates right over here. Now this was redone by Charles Feinberg.

If you know John and Charles Feinberg. This was redone in 1958, but that's not the original date for this book. But inside you'll find articles like the history of the higher criticism, authorship of the penitent, the Bible and modern criticism.

Let me just jump. The testimony of Christ to the Old Testament. The early narratives of Genesis. And this is some very well known names like James Orr, George F. Wright, James M. Gray. These are very famous people. The inspiration of the Bible, definition, extent and proof.

Let's see. Fulfilled Prophecy, A Potent Argument for the Bible by A.C. Gablin, who was a very famous theologian, scholar. So he was a, so R.A. Torrey was a scholar. Do you think he was a text critic? I wouldn't say he was a text critic. I got you.

But he was a biblical scholar. Yeah. Here's another one.

The Deity of Christ by B.B. Warfield. Have you heard that name before? I have.

I'm sure you have. Yeah. And he himself wrote chapters in this book like Certainty and Importance of the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. Remember I talked about that, the importance of the bodily resurrection? Because in recent years, people have come out and said, just because it didn't rise bodily doesn't shake our faith.

Like, whoa, whoa, what did you just say? Yeah, there's an assertion there that you're assuming we all agree with. Right. Yeah.

And that's not true. Right. And maybe we can discuss that one day.

Yeah, that would be a good one. The Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in the, I'm sorry, not that one. Here's another one. The Place of Prayer in Evangelism. This is also oratory.

C.I. Schofield did The Grace of God. Thomas Spurgeon, this is Charles Spurgeon's son, did Salvation by Grace.

And E.Y. Mullins, who was the president of Southern Seminary back in the day, The Testimony of Christian Experience, and the list goes on. Wow. 64-some articles are in this book, and these are powerful, powerful chapters. Some of them, I'm sure, are dated, but they are doing their level best to capture the core of Christianity. I believe every pastor should have this on his shelf.

Well, that's just what I was about to ask you. How do you get to a place where oratory was, because he's obviously a very well-educated man, but to be in those conversations, to be writing those books, to be reforming his views and honing his craft and his skill, what does it take to take a pastor or a minister or someone who's in ministry that's listening to this episode from where they are now to oratory's level? I mean, he was an intellectual, as we say, but he was also always seeking for the truth, seeking to defend the truth, seeking to preach and propagate the truth. That was his life. And so he was known. And I would compare him somewhat, not all the way, but somewhat to someone like Norman Geisler in the past century.

Is that the when skeptics ask? Yeah, yeah. Norman Geisler passed away a couple years ago, but he was sort of like that, but different. Oratory was not like Norman Geisler. Norman Geisler was not like oratory. They were different.

But it kind of reminds me of that. And I can think of many other people who are kind of just like him. Also, another book greatly impacted my life, which actually I had to read when I was in college. This is going back to the 90s when I did a class on the Holy Spirit. Here's a book.

This is my book from Tocqueville College. But it's called The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. You know, we often forget that the Holy Spirit is a person. We think of it like some sort of mist, some sort of force.

Or like an actual literal dove. He's just a bird that's up in heaven. But Oratory's book on the Holy Spirit is still being used in many places. Of course, it is dated a little bit when it comes to research. But one of his best chapters was towards the back of the book. I don't 100% agree with that chapter, but it's a great chapter. It's called The Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Great chapter. Can I read some of the points of the chapter? Okay, so he says, in the first place, baptism with the Holy Spirit is a definite experience of which one may and ought to know whether he has received it or not.

You see, I already slightly disagree with that, but he will clarify in a moment. In the second place, the second point, it is evident that baptism with the Holy Spirit is an operation of the Holy Spirit distinct from and additional to his regenerating work. Point three, the next thing which is clear from the teaching of Scripture is that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is always connected with and primarily for the purpose of testimony and service. Like today, we talk about tongues and all these things.

He said, no, it's for testimony and service. It's the baptism of the Spirit. That's the purpose for the baptism of the Spirit. Now, immediately you could see, I'm sure if you've heard me preach, you picked up something that's like, oh, wait, something doesn't sound right. And the something that doesn't sound right is, yes, it is different from regeneration, but it happens at the same time as regeneration.

Two distinct things happening simultaneously. Right, because the Bible talks about we were baptized in the Holy Spirit. So how can he say that?

Well, listen to what he says. He says, potentially every member of the body of Christ is baptized with the Holy Spirit. And he quotes that verse that I just referenced, 1 Corinthians 12, 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Now, listen to what he says, the story. He says, but there are many believers with whom that which is potentially theirs has not become a matter of real, actual, personal experience. See, I wonder how many Christians think that way. Because I remember, even up until somewhat quasi-recently, just kind of equating spiritual things with metaphorical things. So to say we're baptized in the Spirit, that's just, and this is, I think, what people think is that's poetic language.

That's just kind of a nice way to think about it. But yeah, the Holy Spirit didn't actually baptize your soul in some ethereal water or something. But it's an actual spiritual phenomenon that is happening. So here's how he says it under the same point. He says, it is one thing to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, perhaps dwelling within us way back in some hidden sanctuary of our being, back of definite consciousness, and something far different, something vastly more to have the Holy Spirit taking complete possession of the one whom he inhabits. Wow.

That's powerful. So he's not saying that go out there and seek the baptism. What he's saying is, it has happened, but do you truly accept it? Do you truly live by faith in that knowledge? But there are people who will go and seek the baptism of the Spirit, as though it's something they can achieve, I guess?

Right. And he does clarify. That's why I like him, because he's telling you to do something, but he is clarifying that it's already been done, but have you truly appropriated that by faith? Hence, I like him. And that's why people who have a misguided understanding of the Holy Spirit want to like him, but then they come across that and go, oh, he's not going to let us go off the rails.

So he's very balanced. Maybe we can actually go into that on an episode, because I would love to talk about that a little bit more. I appreciate that balanced approach and that marrying of a scholar and a pastor. We've said this on the show before, but Dr. Shah, that's something that you do incredibly well, is that you take the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor and you're able to hold both of those at the same time.

And that's a rare thing. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, maybe you learned something about the life of R.A. Torrey and the importance of stepping up to the life that God has called you to live, write in and let us know, 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at

Don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website. Be a part of what God is doing here at the Clear Read Today show. I also want to thank Mighty Muscadine for sponsoring this episode of the Clear Read Today show.

You can head over to their website. Use promo code TODAY, that's T-O-D-A-Y, when you check out. And you're going to get a discount on your purchase, and a portion of that purchase is going to come right back here to your favorite podcast, the Clear Read Today show.

Jon, what's coming up tomorrow? You already hinted at it a little bit. You sprinkled it in there, I heard you.

Yeah, just sprinkled it right on in there. Listen, we've got another birthday of a titan. Happy birthday to... You want to do it?

No, that's okay. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Francis Schaeffer. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Francis. We'll see you tomorrow. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear Read Today. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 20:25:14 / 2024-02-10 20:38:33 / 13

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