D. James Kennedy bigraphy, stories - Religion

D. James Kennedy : biography

November 3, 1930 - September 5, 2007

Dennis James Kennedy (November 3, 1930 – September 5, 2007), better known as D. James Kennedy, was an American pastor, evangelist, and Christian broadcaster. He founded the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was senior pastor from 1960 until his death in 2007. Kennedy also founded Evangelism Explosion International, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Westminster Academy in Ft. Lauderdale, the Knox Theological Seminary, and the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, a socially conservative political group.

In 1974, he began Coral Ridge Ministries, which produced his weekly religious television program, The Coral Ridge Hour, carried on various networks and syndicated on numerous other stations with a peak audience of three million viewers in 200 countries. The Coral Ridge Hour continues to air widely as does the daily radio program, Truths That Transform, which airs on radio stations in the United States. Current and archived versions of both programs are available on the Coral Ridge Ministries . During his lifetime, Coral Ridge Ministries grew to a US$37-million-a-year non-profit corporation with an audience of 3.5 million.

In 2006, the National Religious Broadcasters association inducted Kennedy into its Hall of Fame. As a result of a heart attack from which he never fully recovered, Kennedy last preached at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church later that year, on December 24, 2006. His retirement was officially announced at the church on August 26, 2007, and he died in his home ten days later.

Apologetics and views

In Christian apologetics, Kennedy contended for Christianity as a reasonable faith and wrote several books, Why I Believe, Skeptics Answered, and Solving Bible Mysteries, to make the case for Christian faith from history, science, and logic. “Skeptics are welcome,” he wrote in his book, Skeptics Answered: “Christianity has answers that are not only satisfying for the soul but also satisfying for the mind.... Throughout the ages, many skeptics have looked at Christianity’s historicity and have ended up coming to faith in Christ. The evidence is there. It just needs to be looked at with an open mind.”D. James Kennedy, Skeptics Answered (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 1997), 13, 14. Kennedy also offered a “cultural apologetic” in which he argued for the earthly benefits brought by the influence of Christ and the Bible. His books, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born and What If the Bible Had Never Been Written, seek to document the positive impact of Christianity and the Bible in education, law, civil liberty, science, economics, the family, medicine, and the arts.

Many of his public messages focused on American history and the faith of the Founding Fathers of the United States in relation to a Christian worldview. For instance, Kennedy cited John Quincy Adams’ claim that Christianity is “indissolubly linked” to the founding of America.D. James Kennedy, Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States (Fort Lauderdale, Fla: Coral Ridge Ministries, 2004), 2. Kennedy wrote the forward to the 1987 book Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers authored by law professor John Eidsmoe. Kennedy was a founding member of the board of Moral Majority, a political movement in the 1970s and 1980s.Jerry Falwell, Falwell: An Autobiography (Lynchburg: Liberty House Publishers, 1997), 383. Cited in John Barber, America Restored (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Coral Ridge Ministries, 2002), 31. Kennedy, in opposition to same-sex marriage, called for a constitutional "Firewall" to protect the nation from "counterfeit marriage."

The Constitution Restoration Act was a bill promoted during the 2005 Confronting the Judicial War on Faith conference that sought to authorize Congress to impeach judges who fail to acknowledge "God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government" and to limit the power of the federal judiciary to rule in religious liberty cases. Kennedy was a co-signer of the "Land Letter" sent to President George W. Bush in October 2002 which outlined a "just war" rationale for the military invasion of Iraq. Kennedy sought to "reclaim America for Christ", a project he said, to “bring this nation back to God, back to decency, back to morality, back to those things that we wish America was like again.”D. James Kennedy, “Why Reclaiming America?” Message delivered in 2000 to the Reclaiming America for Christ conference, Coral Ridge Ministries. Available at 14:25 at http://www.coralridge.org/medialibrary/default.aspx?mediaID=2505.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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