Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Remembering Dr. D. James Kennedy

Dr. D. James Kennedy, pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, passed away peacefully this morning (HT: Justin Taylor). You can read a timeline and watch a video tribute of his life here. Mark Dever recently posted about the influence of Dr. Kennedy and his "Evangelism Explosion" on the resurgence of Calvinism among young evangelicals. Here, I want to share my own story.

Five years ago today I was in Ft. Lauderdale being trained in Evangelism Explosion. During my time there I was able to meet Dr. Kennedy, and had my picture taken with him. I wrote in my journal: "He was very kind and allowed me to have my picture made with him. . . . We talked with him for maybe 5 minutes. It was a pleasant experience."

But what impressed me most about Dr. Kennedy was not how "nice" he was in our 5-minute conversation. Having been a Christian legalist, I was most impressed about how evangelistic this Presbyterian minister and his church were. Having been taught that Calvinists were not evangelistic, Dr. Kennedy showed otherwise. This had a profound impact on me as I struggled with my position within Christian legalism.

So while we mourn our loss of Dr. Kennedy, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank God for using this man to help me in my journey away from Christian legalism.

1 comment:

Bonita said...

Thanks for writing this.