Stanley Soltau

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soltau_TStanleyYesterday we looked at the life and ministry of Dr. T. Stanley Soltau, missionary to Korea, pastor, and director of World Presbyterian Missions. Today we turn to Dr. Soltau’s little booklet, Our Sufficiency, for our Sunday sermon.

“OUR SUFFICIENCY IS OF GOD”

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.” — 2 Corinthians 3:5

In this day of want and poverty in so many parts of the world, when even the bare necessities of life are hardly sufficient to meet the needs of millions, and when even in this favored land we have been warned of certain restrictions which we must face in order that in other countries starvation may be avoided; in days like this it is always encouraging to think of one source of sufficiency which never fails and never can fail, and a source which is always accessible.

The Apostle Paul in writing to his friends in the great city of Corinth, says, “Our Sufficiency is of God.” He is writing to Christians who were living in a city whose name was a synonym for vice and immorality, it was also a city famous for its commerce and culture; and when great wealth, and great education and great wickedness go hand in hand, it always makes things difficult for a real believer in Christ Jesus. In spite of that discouraging background however, Paul writes to his friends there telling them that they are an epistle or a letter to Christ, written by the Holy Spirit on their hearts; that is, their lives were so different from what they had been before knowing Christ, and so different from the lives of others, that it was clear to all that the Holy Spirit had made Christ Jesus not only real to them but real through them to others. The Apostle then goes on to say that he has this confidence that the testimony of their lives will continue because God is working in them just as He has worked in Paul himself, and will prove His sufficiency by making them competent in exactly the same way in which He made Paul, and those with him, competent for the work to which He has called them.

The word “Sufficiency” in the Greek includes the idea of being made competent, competent for whatever situation may arise or for whatever task which God may call upon you to perform.

Any man who possesses this conviction has a freedom from anxiety and a quiet peace and assurance in these days of uncertainty and difficulty that will carry him through to victory. I wonder if you can say “My Sufficiency is of God . . . He has made me competent, by the working of His Holy Spirit in me, for every emergency and every responsibility that I shall meet this day.” Can you say it and really mean it? If you can, then thank God for it and begin from this minute to practice it and to experience His sufficiency in your life. If you cannot say so, then ask yourself why.

He has made it possible for all if they will only meet His conditions, which are:

1. A humble and sincere confession of their own sins and helplessness.

2. A grateful acceptance of the Sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on behalf of their sins, and then a joyful submitting of themselves, body, soul and spirit to Him; and a conscientious seeking to put Him first in all things, and a looking to Him for daily guidance and enabling power in all the decisions and activities of their lives.

As soon as that is done, His Spirit begins His gracious ministry in their hearts in order to make them competent and equipped to live victorious and powerful lives to His honour and glory.

It is a very helpful thing at the beginning of each day to remember this, and in faith to claim the equipment from the Lord, which He sees that we will NEED to meet the various temptations and testings which lie ahead of us; and then to start out the days work in assurance that He had prepared us for it. Let us do so now!

Our God and Father, as we bow in Thy presence at the beginning of this day, we ask Thee to equip us with all that we shall need to live for Thy honour and glory, and to please Thee in all things. In the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

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soltau_TStanleyOn Friday of this week, July 19th, we looked at the life and ministry of Dr. T. Stanley Soltau, missionary to Korea, pastor, and director of World Presbyterian Missions. Today we turn to Dr. Soltau’s little booklet, Our Sufficiency, for our Sunday sermon.

“OUR SUFFICIENCY IS OF GOD”

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.” — 2 Corinthians 3:5.

In this day of want and poverty in so many parts of the world, when even the bare necessities of life are hardly sufficient to meet the needs of millions, and when even in this favored land we have been warned of certain restrictions which we must face in order that in other countries starvation may be avoided; in days like this it is always encouraging to think of one source of sufficiency which never fails and never can fail, and a source which is always accessible.

The Apostle Paul in writing to his friends in the great city of Corinth, says, “Our Sufficiency is of God.” He is writing to Christians who were living in a city whose name was a synonym for vice and immorality, it was also a city famous for its commerce and culture; and when great wealth, and great education and great wickedness go hand in hand, it always makes things difficult for a real believer in Christ Jesus. In spite of that discouraging background however, Paul writes to his friends there telling them that they are an epistle or a letter to Christ, written by the Holy Spirit on their hearts; that is, their lives were so different from what they had been before knowing Christ, and so different from the lives of others, that it was clear to all that the Holy Spirit had made Christ Jesus not only real to them but real through them to others. The Apostle then goes on to say that he has this confidence that the testimony of their lives will continue because God is working in them just as He has worked in Paul himself, and will prove His sufficiency by making them competent in exactly the same way in which He made Paul, and those with him, competent for the work to which He has called them.

The word “Sufficiency” in the Greek includes the idea of being made competent, competent for whatever situation may arise or for whatever task which God may call upon you to perform.

Any man who possesses this conviction has a freedom from anxiety and a quiet peace and assurance in these days of uncertainty and difficulty that will carry him through to victory. I wonder if you can say “My Sufficiency is of God . . . He has made me competent, by the working of His Holy Spirit in me, for every emergency and every responsibility that I shall meet this day.” Can you say it and really mean it? If you can, then thank God for it and begin from this minute to practice it and to experience His sufficiency in your life. If you cannot say so, then ask yourself why.

He has made it possible for all if they will only meet His conditions, which are:

1. A humble and sincere confession of their own sins and helplessness.

2. A grateful acceptance of the Sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on behalf of their sins, and then a joyful submitting of themselves, body, soul and spirit to Him; and a conscientious seeking to put Him first in all things, and a looking to Him for daily guidance and enabling power in all the decisions and activities of their lives.

As soon as that is done, His Spirit begins His gracious ministry in their hearts in order to make them competent and equipped to live victorious and powerful lives to His honour and glory.

It is a very helpful thing at the beginning of each day to remember this, and in faith to claim the equipment from the Lord, which He sees that we will NEED to meet the various temptations and testings which lie ahead of us; and then to start out the days work in assurance that He had prepared us for it. Let us do so now!

Our God and Father, as we bow in Thy presence at the beginning of this day, we ask Thee to equip us with all that we shall need to live for Thy honour and glory, and to please Thee in all things. In the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

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A Distinguished Lineage

“If we as God’s people were only more willing to wait for the Lord, how infinitely great would be the things that He in His graciousness would be delighted to do for us and in us and through us to the blessing of others and to the glory of His Name.” — Dr. T. Stanley Soltau.

soltau_TStanley

Through a long, useful life, Theodore Stanley Soltau, D.D. served faithfully and well the Lord he loved.

Theodore Stanley Soltau was born in 1890, of missionary parents in Tasmania, and throughout his life was himself a missionary in every sense of the word. The Soltau family had  originally been Plymouth Brethren.  In fact, Stanley’s grandfather, Henry William Soltau, was born in Plymouth, in 1805. Henry authored works which remain in print to this day: The Holy Vessels and Furniture of the Tabernacle and The Tabernacle, the Priesthood and the Offerings.

Stanley received his early schooling in England, but when Stanley’s parents returned from the mission field to the United States in 1904, he remained stateside to obtain his undergraduate training in Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His theological work was done at Princeton Seminary under men whose names are familiar to all in our church.

Shortly after graduation from seminary Dr. Soltau began a quarter of a century of profitable missionary endeavor in Korea. During these years he served under the Mission Board of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., working in pioneer missionary works as well as in the administrative work of the mission in that land. It was while Dr. Soltau was in Korea that the church there suffered much persecution for its faith from the Japanese. Dr. Soltau stood firmly with the Church in resisting the attempts of the government to interfere with its service for the Lord.

Forced, through illness, to return from the foreign field in the late 1930’s, he entered on a new phase of his service. He was pastor in Evanston until 1942 when he was called by the First Evangelical Church of Memphis, Tennessee.

The blessing of the Lord was upon his ministry in Memphis and the church grew in number and service. Dr. Soltau’s life-long interest in missions was reflected in the interest of First Evangelical Church in supporting missions around the world.

After twenty-six years of an active and valuable pastorate, Dr. Soltau resigned in June of 1968. In his “retirement” he was, if anything, more active in his ministry for people and for missions. He traveled extensively in the U.S. and on missionary trips to South America and around the world.

In the early 1950’s, Dr. Soltau united with the then Bible Presbyterian Church. His help in the formation of World Presbyterian Missions was great and he served until 1971 as the president of this missions board. He was for a time on the board of the North Africa Missions agency, as well as that of the Greater Europe Mission and also Columbia Bible College.

T. Stanley Soltau, Christian gentleman, scholar, missionary, statesman, pastor, in the midst of an active life, at the age of 82, stepped into the presence of the Lord on the afternoon of July 19, 1972. “Blessed are the dead, that die in the Lord.”

The Lord blessed Dr. Soltau and his wife with children who grew to place their trust in Christ. His daughter Eleanor served in Jordan as a medical doctor; daughter Mary worked with a ministry for the handicapped; George was engaged full-time with prison ministry and Addison served as a professor at Covenant Theological Seminary and currently serves as an associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Coral Springs, Florida.

Words to Live By (once more, for effect):
“If we as God’s people were only more willing to wait for the Lord, how infinitely great would be the things that He in His graciousness would be delighted to do for us and in us and through us to the blessing of others and to the glory of His Name.”

Biographical—
A memorial for Dr. Soltau was published in the 1973 Minutes of Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. Our account above is based on that text. An obituary was also published in the RPCES newspaper,  The Mandate, and there is a Memorial for Dr. Soltau in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 15.4 (Fall 1972) 256. But thus far, the primary work on Dr. Soltau’s life remains the biography by Charles Turner, included as chapter nine in Chosen Vessels.

Bibliography—
1932
Korea, The Hermit Nation.  London, New York : World dominion Press, 1932. 123 p. [Includes “The Bible in Korea, by Rev. R. Kilbour, D.D. [1867-1942], on pp. [79]-89.]

1934
“Mission Survey,” in The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Korea Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., June 30-July 3, 1934, Rhodes, Harry A. and Richard H. Baird, editors.  Seoul, Korea : Y.M.C.A. Press, 1934. pp. 216-233.

1942
Straight Road to Christian Living : Valuable Helps for Young Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1942. 63 p.

1944
Christ is the Son of God. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1944. 48 p.

1946
The Everlasting Gospel. Memphis, TN : The Mid-South Bible Center, 1946. 65pp.

1947
That They Might Have Life. Memphis, TN : The First Evangelical Church, 1947. 29pp.

1949
Lo, I Am With You Always.  Memphis, TN : The First Evangelical Church, 1949.  31pp.

Who do men say that I am?  Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen Press, 1949.  112 p.

1956
A Straight Road to Christian Truth [Seoul] : Presbyterian Publication Fund, 1956), Korean language.  65 p.

1959
“The High Priesthood of Christ,” serialized in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 1958-1959.

Facing the field; the foreign missionary and his problems.  Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1959.  135 p.

Missions at the Crossroads: The Indigenous Church—A Solution for the Unfinished Task. Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Book House, 1959.  188pp.

1960
“Reformed Theology and Missions,” in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 5.4 (April 1960): 15-16.

“Paradoxes of the Cross,” Part I – The Place of Defeat and Victory, in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 5.4 (April 1960) 7-8;  Part II – Man’s Sin versus God’s Love, in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 5.5 (May 1960) 11-12; Part III – God’s Identification of Himself with Man, in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 5.6 (June-July 1960) 5-6.

“How Often Should We Observe the Lord’s Supper?,” in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 5.5 (May 1960) 10

“The Two Empires in Japan,” in The Bible Presbyterian Reporter, 5.6 (June-July 1960) 15 [review of John M.L. Young’s book]

1961
The Standard Bible Commentary on Acts. Seoul : Committee on the Bible Commentary of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea, 1961. 456 p.

1963
“Committing the Message to Faithful Men,” – Convocation Exercises at Covenant College and Seminary, St. Louis, MO, 27 September 1963.

1966
The God-pointed Life: Lessons from the Life of David.  Chicago : Moody Press, 1966.  127 p.

1969
In the Enemy’s Territory.  [s.l. : s.n.], 1969.  137 p.

1971
Yin Yang, Korean Voices.  Wheaton, IL: Key Publishers, 1971.  147 p.

1977
Liberalism versus Historic Christianity.  Lincoln, NE : Back to the Bible, 1977.  15pp.

1970-1979?
Jesus, man or God?  Memphis, TN: Time for Truth, 1970-1979?  55 p.

Undated
Our Sufficiency.  (s.l. : s.n., n.d.  20pp.

The Reality of Christ’s Promises : A Series of 10 Broadcasts by Rev. T. Stanley Soltau, D.D., over Station WMC.  Memphis, TN : First Evangelical Church, n.d. [1940s]), pb, 51pp.

See also—
While Charles Turner, in his biography of Dr. Soltau [chapter 9 in the volume Chosen Vessels (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1985), pp. 159-183] states that Dr. Soltau “…kept no journals, no copies of his correspondence…”, nonetheless the PCA Historical Center is blessed to have some of the Soltau correspondence preserved among some of its other collections:

Robert L. Rayburn Papers:

Rayburn, Robert G., Correspondence, Soltau, T. Stanley, 1959 – 1961 8 30

Frank Fiol Papers:

Correspondence, 1956: Frank Dyrness, T. Stanley Soltau, John G. Crane, Kenneth Horner, Carl McIntire, R. Laird Harris, J.E. Krauss 359 7


At the Covenant College archives—
“For to Me to Live Is Christ,” [Final Message at Covenant, 6 pages].

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