This week the church lost one of its great generals, Dr. D. James Kennedy. Kennedy, senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, chancellor of Knox Theological Seminary, founder of Evangelism Explosion (and a stack of other ministries), made Satan more frustrated than Ted Nugent would be watching Dianne Feinstein attempt to shatter the Guinness Book of World Records’ longest break dance.
Yes, Dr. Kennedy was a disaster to El Diablo and his defeated ilk.
Having been a student of Knox Theological Seminary, I had the honor of meeting Kennedy on several occasions and listening to him preach at his church and teach in our classes. He / KTS even bought a massive (and beautiful, I might add) painting I did of John Knox which hangs in the seminary today.
Being the sardonic skeptic that I am, I’m not easily impressed by ministers nowadays. I am especially jaded toward the megachurches that are run by the super-coifed, Colgate-grinning, Rembrandt veneer type of guys. Most of these boys are preening narcissists, snake oil opportunists par excellence who are in the ministry simply because they can’t be Bon Jovi. Kennedy, on the other hand, impressed me. He was an old school reformer of a different stripe.
Here are two things I liked about Dr. D. James Kennedy:
1. He was driven by the Great Commission and the cultural mandate. Kennedy kept his sights locked on what the scriptures tell Christians to focus on, namely the saving of souls and changing culture.
Most postmodern pastors don’t do either anymore. Why don’t they preach the gospel Kennedy style, you ask? Well Spanky, it is offensive and most ministers, with their ragged little egos, would rather be liked than right, so they dilute the message and thus delude the masses with something other than that which Christ and the apostles preached. Kennedy didn’t do this. He was God’s UPS man; he simply and faithfully delivered the package he was given: the gospel uncut, which is the power of God to transform people and nations.
Speaking of nations, Dr. K loved the U.S.A. and that for which it stands (or I guess used to stand for). This love for our God-kissed country caused him to fight to uphold its original Judeo-Christian roots and the continuity of our religious liberties.
Jim Kennedy didn’t buy the notion that Christians shouldn’t be involved in influencing local, state and federal government, or the arts, or the educational system or anything else that goes down on God’s green earth. And no, he wasn’t a theocrat or a Christianist (whatever that is. Just make it up as you go, Lefties).