For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 12 Jan 2014.
Religious leaders rarely feature in lists of celebrities who have passed away, and 2013 was no exception. Let me mention three significant religious leaders who died in 2013.
Well known gospel singer George Beverly Shea performed at Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusades for decades and recorded more than 70 albums. A Canadian known for his booming bass-baritone voice, Shea prepared audiences for Graham’s message by singing songs such as “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and “How Great Thou Art.”
Edith Schaffer, along with her husband, Francis, both Presbyterian missionaries, established the L’Abri Fellowship, a retreat center in Switzerland that became a think tank for Christian theologians and activists.
And Dallas Willard, philosophy professor at the University of Southern California, was a passionate proponent of rigorous discipleship. He wrote: “The spiritual life is a life of interaction with a personal God, and it is pure delusion to suppose that it can be carried on sloppily.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.