Truly its an honor to meet Dr. Magalit. This prolific Christian author still has the strength and wisdom to talk about God. While others are enjoying their retirement, Dr. Magalit, in his 70’s he graced an apologetics seminar here in Batangas. And I know he can still go on by God’s grace ( he told me has 2 book project coming soon.)
After the apologetics seminar, I sat with Dr. Magalit and talked about his friendship with John Stott, his books and advice for young pastors:
Delighting Grace: Hi pastor. You have mentioned that John Stott mentored you. How was it and what is the one thing you learned from him that you treasured?
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Yes, but not formally. He is an officer of IVF in Cambridge ( which Dr. Magalit is previously connected). The first book of his that I read is “Basic Christianity”. It’s a wonderful presentation of the gospel though its a long read. The gospel was clearly explained in that book. We actually reprinted that in Manila. His a long time friend. Every time I go to London I visit his church. Although latter in life he mentored me, I know him in my youth through his books. Then when I became pastor every time he comes to Manila, of course, he will come and see me.
Delighting Grace: You wrote a booklet about Iglesia ni Cristo titled “Who is Jesus According to the New Testament?”. Please tell us the process of writing this booklet.
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: I wrote that in 2012, then somewhere along the line, our elders told me, “Manong, if you need a sabbatical to finish the the book, we will give you two months.” So I completed the book in two months.
Delighting Grace: So whats the reception of the booklet by the Iglesia ni Cristo ministers?
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: They didn’t read it. They don’t want to read it.
Delighting Grace: You personally talk to someone in the INC on why they don’t want to check out the booklet?
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Our Young People went to the Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple which is near Diliman.
Delighting Grace: No clamoring? They just don’t want to read it.
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: They don’t want to read it.
Delighting Grace: Among your books which is the most memorable for you?
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: I think the most important is this (pulls out the booklet titled “Who is the Real Christian?”), its still a best seller and my church in Quezon City buys this by the hundreds and uses it as a primary tool for evangelism. It has a Tagalog version and its cheap. Its only 5 pesos.
Delighting Grace: You have been in the ministry for so long. So in your opinion how did the evangelical landscape in the Philippines changed from your early days to the present?
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: I think the evangelical landscape today is more intentionally involved on socio-political. Because the Lausanne Congress evangelism is our top priority but its not only our duty. We have a duty to be involved socio-politically. Meet human needs, serve the poor and help refugees. I was part of Lausanne Congress.
Delighting Grace: Lastly pastor, what would you advice to young pastors who are just starting in the ministry.
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Make sure you have time everyday to read your Bible and to pray. Your quite time is fundamental. That’s basic. Second, your wife should be a real partner. Are you married?
Delighting Grace: Yes.
Dr. Isabelo Magalit: Your wife is your closest partner. You will share her even your heartaches and injustices that they have done to you as a pastor. You wife is the main protection from falling into sin. It’s very important to have your wife as a partner in your prayer life in your Christian service. She must do something for the church. Involve your wife in everything you do.
Delighting Grace: Thank you pastor for the time you gave for this interview. God bless
Online resources from Dr. Isabelo Magalit:
Buy Dr. Magalit’s books online:
Can a Christian be a Nationalist? by Dr Isabelo F. Magalit audio message:
A Worker Approved by God by Dr. Isabelo Magalit audio message: https://www.mixcloud.com/atsph/a-worker-approved-by-god-dr-isabelo-f-magalit/
Guys I have a treat for all of you. Here’s the raw and unedited audio interview of Dr. Isabelo Magalit . Part 1 is 9 minutes and Part 2 is 6 minutes. Some of what you’ll hear from these mp3 are not included in this blog post.