I'm afraid we in the UK have only heard distantly of Jerry Falwell. Most churchgoers in England won't have heard of him at all; nonchurchgoers will only have heard of him as a strange character who pops up from time to time when people are writing 'how weird can they get' articles in our newspapers shaking their heads over American strangenesses.My own sense, having spent a lot of time in the States over the years, is that he was a classic of his type and with a lot more integrity than some of the shady characters in the religious penumbra. But, insofar as I know what he taught -- which I freely admit would be second or third hand -- he was saying some things which I strongly say myself but I think in a different framework, and some things which I strongly argue against (e.g. on the present state of Israel and prophecy).
Within the strange, large economy of God's grace, which filters the truth of scripture through all of us imperfect interpreters, it may be that I make just as many mistakes as I think he did, but we are each called to be true to what we find in scripture and I have no reason to suppose he was not as obedient to that imperative as I struggle to be.
May he rest in peace and, with the rest of us, rise in glory where we shall look back on present disagreements like an adult looks back on childhood squabbles in the playground.
Posted by Nicholas T. Wright on May 16, 2007 12:37 PM
Is this not a model of kindness and generosity for all to follow, especially for scholars to embrace?