I have yet to comment about Jerry Falwell’s death. Though I mourned the passing of Bruce Metzger, since he did much more work in apologetics and textual criticism closer to my own passion for the Word of God, more than I did Dr. Falwell’s, it is still sad to see any man of God and brother in Christ leave this earth, even though I know it means that God is calling them home.
Dr. Falwell once told a graduating class from Liberty, of which my church’s youth pastor was a part of, that if Liberty ever stopped teaching the Scriptures properly that he wanted them to return under cover of darkness and burn the entire place down.
Of course, as our youth pastor points out, that only means that Dr. Falwell recognizes that the true legacy of Liberty isn’t the buildings but the teaching of a biblical theology from Scripture. Though he may have said that in a rather run-around fashion, it was only one of many things that Dr. Falwell said that got people’s attention.
But the best attestation to Dr. Falwell was perhaps delivered by N.T. Wright (HT to Daniel from Anchor for the Soul):
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.
May God bless everyone who proclaims and defends His word. Even those with whom I’m starting to disagree with on stylistic choices, such as J.P. Holding, Crystal (aka Little Pixie of Terror), “Mountain Man,” “Razorphreak,” and the others I’ve talked to in the course of this ministry. God can use all of us imperfect humans, and that both humbles and amazes me. It’s a stern reminder to “judge not, lest ye be judged.”