Losing Dr. Kennedy

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.

3 thoughts on “Losing Dr. Kennedy”

  1. My family watched him as well growing up. His messages always had a refreshing quality to me at the time. I as well grew up in a “full gospel” church and only realize now the reason his broadcasts were a like a breath of fresh air.

  2. First of all, my condolences go out to Dr. Kennedy’s family. He seems to have been a man very sincere in his faith, and many persons came to Christ as a result of his work. There is nothing better that can be said about a person.

    I have very mixed feelings about his legacy in many other ways. The heavy-handed religious right, Christian nation, make America Republican movement that he was a major part of seemed to miss the point of the gospel in many ways and presumed a lot about how Christian ethics should look in a democratic society. If we were ever a Christian nation, we have a lot of explaining to do for our actions throughout history. America is a great nation with many Christians but to call ourselves a Christian nation is pretty presumptuous and arrogant.

    It seems to me that the what is left of the religious right now is just a bunch of “rich white men who don’t want to pay taxes.” (Apologies to Richard : )

  3. While I have to agree with Eric in that I would not necessarily stand with Dr. Kennedy on every point, that in my opinion does little to take away from the greatness of him in my eyes. Like you, I watched “The Coral Ridge Hour” fairly regularly growing up and was consistently blessed by Dr. Kennedy’s faithful exposition of the Scriptures. Even if you could not see from his perspective, one still ought to admire his courage and strength in not being willing to compromise on the numerous issues that are on the plate in America today. I enjoy your thoughts old friend and hope you’ll check mine out from time to time as well. I hope all is well with you and your family.

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