by Flyn Ritchie • June 29, 2017
It’s not often you hear the word ‘ashram’ in a Christian context – at least not outside India – but we are fortunate enough to have an annual BC Christian Ashram Retreat, this year at Trinity Western University July 14 – 16.
The term ‘ashram’ is a Sanskrit term that means ‘a’ (apart from) ‘shram’ (work), or retreat.
This year the featured speaker is Darrell Johnson, who is well known around town as an excellent preacher and a leader of integrity.
Johnson was chosen, no doubt, for those qualities, but he has also harboured a deep respect for the founder of the ashram movement, E. Stanley Jones, ever since his time in graduate school.
He emailed me about that connection:
During the last year of seminary (Fuller, in Pasadena, California) I was in a small prayer group with fellow students, one of whom was John Piper. As graduation approached, the group leader, Daniel Fuller, son of the founder of the seminary, charged each of us to get to know one servant of Jesus whom He has used to spread the Gospel; to ‘sit at the feet’ of that person, reading everything we could about their message and ministry.
John Piper chose Jonathan Edwards; and if you know John you know how Edwards impacted John’s life and ministry.
I did not immediately know whom to choose, as I had come to seminary out of doing physics and my ‘heroes’ were scientists. It was in the second year after ordination that I encountered E. Stanley Jones, not in person, but through his books.
He is the Methodist missionary of the 20th century whom God used in powerful ways in India, so much so that the church of India refers to him as the greatest missionary since the apostle Paul!