Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The First and Last Entries

Below is an excerpt from the first entry in Jim Elliot's Journal, followed by the final entry, which was written about one week before his martyrdom by the Auca Indians in South America:
January 17, 1948
What is written in these pages I suppose will someday be read by others than myself. For this reason I cannot hope to be absolutely honest in what is herein recorded, for the hypocrisy of this shamming heart will ever be putting on a front and dares not to have written what is actually found in its abysmal depths. Yet, I pray, Lord, that You will make these notations to be as nearly true to fact as is possible so that I may know my own heart and be able to definitely pray regarding my gross, though often unviewed, inconsistencies. . . .

Help me, Lord, not to "mourn and weep" only for those things, once precious, which You teach me are but dead (whether desires, pleasures, or whatever may be precious to my soul now), but give me a willingness to put them away out of my sight (Gen. 23:4). Burying places are costly, but I would own a Machpelah where corpses (dead things in my life) can be put away.

December 31, 1955
A month of temptation. Satan and the flesh have been on me hard. How God holds my soul in His life and permits one with such wretchedness to continue in His service I cannot tell. Oh, it has been hard . . . I have been very low inside me struggling and casting myself hourly on Christ for help. Marriage is divorce from the privacy a man loves, but there is some privacy nothing can share. It is the knowledge of a sinful heart.
These are the days of the New Year's Believers' conference on the Sermon on the Mount. Yesterday I preached and was helped on "whoever looks upon a woman . . ."!
"Let spirit conquer though flesh conspire."
Out of such humility came fierce preaching and a willingness to die for the cause of Christ.

Below are the three parts of a sermon preached by Elliot in 1951.

The Resurrection - Jim Elliot (Part 1)

The Resurrection - Jim Elliot (Part 2)

The Resurrection - Jim Elliot (Part 3)

Certainly a passionate, Scripture-saturated preacher! Some thought-provoking things here. And some real challenges, too.


  1. Thank you for a meaningful post.
    I had the privilege of knowing Jim Elliot very well when I was a small boy. You and/or your readers may be interested in a new book which contains transcribed messages (from an old wire recorder - forerunner of magnetic tape) of Jim Elliot prior to his leaving for the mission field. These messages really show both his love and zeal for God and his insight and wisdom.
    JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks To You (ISBN 9781615797646). It was my privilege to transcribe and edit this material.

  2. Robert,

    Thank you for sharing this information, and thank you for your work in the Gospel.

    I have been looking through Jim Elliot's journal, and what a gem it is. A published volume of his sermons will be a wonderful additional resource. Seeing how soft hearted he was in his private devotions, and how ferocious he was in his preaching, it shows the proper balance every preacher needs to have. He will be bold and uncompromising in the Word because he holds it firmly, applying it to himself first as the sinful, needy, destitute and wretched man he knows he is. He knows all of his righteousness is by grace alone, and in Christ alone.

    Grace & peace,
    Derek Ashton

  3. Derek,
    Thank you for the feedback.
    I have searched your site for contact information and could not find it.
    I would like permission to post part of your post ("The First and Last Entries") on my blog site - with proper credit to you.
    Also, afters spending some time on your site I plan on adding it to my "Better Blogs" listing on my blog site.
    In Him,

  4. Bob,

    You are welcome to quote or reprint anything I have written on this blog, provided there is a link back here or at least a standard attribution.

    I was likewise perusing your sites yesterday and thought I would post a link on my blog roll.

    If possible, I'd also like to get permission to quote a short section from your book. I found a spot where Elliot uses the word "paradox," and this caught my attention.

    If you'd like to email me directly, it is THEOparadox at gmail dot com.



Feel free to respond to anything written in the posts, or to the comments left by others. All comments are reviewed before they are published.

Please be charitable. If you disagree, do so with grace. Keep your words positive, focused, and on-topic. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to treat everyone else with respect and grace, speaking the truth in love.