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What Evangelicals Can Learn from Flannery O’Connor

I just received the latest issue of Touchstone magazine in the mail yesterday. You won’t want to miss Donald T. Williams’ article, “Writers Cramped,” in which he outlines three things that evangelical authors can learn from Flannery O’Connor.

The opening of the article sets up and asks a penetrating question:

My fellow Evangelicals publish reams upon reams of prose. What we have not tended to write is anything recognized as having literary value by the literary world. What makes this failure remarkable is that our Protestant forebears include a number of people who did: Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, George Herbert, John Milton, and John Bunyan, to mention a few.

Equally remarkable is the host of near contemporary conservative Christians—sometimes quite evangelical and even evangelistic, though not “Evangelicals”—who were also important writers. G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor are all recognized as important literary figures even by people who do not share their Christian commitment.

Where is the contemporary American Evangelical who can make such a claim?

I think this is an important question, one that reveals that evangelicals just might have something to learn from a Catholic novelist. Be sure to read the rest of this one:

“Writers Cramped” – by Donald T. Williams (Touchstone).

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D. James Kennedy Retires

Evangelicals know him as the author of Evangelism Explosion. Reformed believers know him as a driving force behind the resurgence of reformed theology in America. The people of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida know him as their pastor of 48 years. I am of course referring to Dr. D. James Kennedy who announced today that he is retiring from the church that he founded in 1949.

What a blessing Dr. Kennedy has been to the church. Godspeed to him.

“Dr. D. James Kennedy Retires” – ALR News Release

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“. . . until another comes and examines him.”

Proverbs 18:17 says that “The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.” This is wisdom for all of us in how we treat one another in the body of Christ. If I hear a bad report about a brother, I always assume that there’s another side to the story and that the one I’m hearing may be wrong or ill-motivated.

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