I mentioned the death of Luciano Pavarotti this morning, and but I had no idea that Dr. D. James Kennedy passed away yesterday. Dr. Kennedy’s Sunday morning “Coral Ridge Hour” was a staple at my house. His biblical teaching and passion for our country hit the spot for my parents, even though we were “full gospel” Christians. I’ve grown up since then, and I realize now how much fuller the gospel we heard from Kennedy’s Florida pulpit was.
Dr. Kennedy was a tireless promoter (with such teachers as Ravi Zacharias, R. C. Sproul, and Francis Schaeffer–and others) of intellectual life as a Christian calling. He provided a vital counterpoint to the superprominent TV ministries that preceded or followed his on our local networks. The self-help “gospel” of Robert Schuller, the prosperity “gospel” of Kenneth Copeland, the end-times hysteria of John Hagee–all paled in comparison to the steady, reasoned, scriptural preaching of Dr. Kennedy.
His focus on evangelism, too, helped thousands of churches and tens of thousands of believers to fulfill the Great Commission in their lives. Evangelism Explosion was a landmark program that continues to influence churches and communities today.
His vision for Knox Theological Seminary continues to bear fruit in the lives of future pastors and theologians. May we, the church, continue to benefit for generations to come.
I’m no saint-worshipper, but we’ve lost a great champion of the faith.
Visit the Dr. James Kennedy Memorial site for video and text.