Last Saturday I had the opportunity to meet and have a pipe with Dr. Tony Curto who serves as the Associate Professor of Practical Theology in Missions and Apologetics at GPTS. Dr. Curto has served in the mission field of Africa as well so I asked if he had any issues with other orthodox Christians, did their work overlap, did other groups such as Independent Fundamental Baptists cause any issues (I’ve heard IFB’s do rock the boat from time to time), etc. (When I used the term “orthodox” I mean Trinitarian, Bible believing Christians excluding Mormons, JW…you get the picture.) Dr. Curto mentioned the following passage from Pilgrim’s Progress about how true Gospel ministers are “one of a thousand.” By the power of God Gospel Ministers “can beget children, (1 Cor. iv. 15), travail in birth with children, (Gal. iv. 19), and nurse them himself when they are born.” Dr. Curto went on to say not everyone in the mission field was called by God to be in the mission field.
CHRISTIAN. Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the City of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I called here you would show me excellent things, such as would be helpful to me on my journey.
INTERPRETER. Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him. So he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which, when he had done, Christian saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it; it had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in its hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.
CHRISTIAN. Then said Christian, What meaneth this?
INTERPRETER. The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand: he can beget children, (1 Cor. iv. 15), travail in birth with children, (Gal. iv. 19), and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas, thou seest him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head: that is to show thee, that, slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’s service, he is sure, in the world that comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going, hath authorised to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way. Wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right – but their way goes down to death.
The commentary portion can be found on Bunyan Ministries.