ted kennedy knew better than the average evangelical

In this week’s Time magazine, Mike Barnicle described Ted Kennedy’s fondness for sailing and his home in Hyannis Port (p. 42). “I love living here,” Kennedy said, “And I believe in the Resurrection.”

I don’t know how much of the gospel Ted Kennedy understood (I mean that as a neutral statement), but he got the resurrection exactly right. On this point he apparently knew better than such evangelical giants as John MacArthur, Millard Erickson, and Rick Warren, all of whom say that our final home is in heaven rather than the New Earth. According to them, Ted Kennedy is not coming back, at least not here.

I hope that Ted Kennedy did put all of his trust in Christ for his salvation from sin. If so, I’ll see you in Hyannis Port, Ted.

10 Comments

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  1. And we’ll be able to put up with and to really enjoy this fickle Michigan weather in all its extremes… (Sigh….)

  2. Lake Effect: Product of Creation or Fall?

  3. Mike,

    For another interesting perspective on the Kennedy funeral, check out Russell Moore’s blog.

  4. Adam,

    I see the Lake effect is a product of creation. The discomfort it causes us is a result of the fall…. so to use what is perhaps an over worn cliche, but one I like to use, it’s “both/and”….

    Cheers….

  5. Mike – you give props to Teddy and yet take shots at John MacArthur, Millard Erickson, and Rick Warren. Can you cite your sources or explain in greater detail what you mean? I lost you on this one bro. You say you don’t know how much of the gospel Ted Kennedy understood, but that he got the resurrection right. How do you know he’s even talking about the same resurrection you are?

  6. Derek:

    Ted seems to think that he will return to the New Earth, which is precisely what Scripture promises and what many evangelicals miss (and which I attempt to correct in my first book, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”). My point is that if Ted Kennedy seemed to understand this, then shouldn’t we expect the same from our evangelical leaders?

    For sources, see chapter 4 and 6 of the Purpose Driven Life, The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur (he also wrote a children’s book which speaks of going to heaven and says nothing about the new earth–I can’t think of the name or find it on amazon just now), and read the eschatology section in Erickson’s Christian Theology.

  7. Jack H.

    That is a good post by Russell. It reinforces my point–and my surprise–that for all that Ted Kennedy may have got wrong about the gospel, he apparently had a very earthy understanding of the Christian hope. Of course our hope is for more than this, as Russell rightly explains, but why can’t evangelicals get that part right too?

  8. Mike,

    I tend to think that one reason, (not an excuse) is what Joe Crawford and others called “folk theology”. Another reason is the tendency of evangelicals, especially those of a dispy bent, to focus so much on end time schemes that they lose sight of the new creation. I suppose I should give credit for that thought to David Lawrence, 1995. Any concept repeated often enough takes on a significance all its own.

  9. The Wall St. Journal did a nice job in covering Ted Kennedy’s career and personal life. While I agree with you that evangelicals generally give little or no thought to the New Earth, I think (in your excitement of possibly being asked to later sail with Ted) you gave him more credit for his resurrection comment than implied.

  10. Sorry Mike – I just don’t see it. I’d like to believe that you have a lot more in common with John MacArthur, Millard Erickson, and Rick Warren than you do with Teddy K. The four of you seem to be fighting the good fight, even though you may not agree on certain issues (that btw in my most humble opinion are not even fundamental issues). Who knows what Teddy believed and/or even understood about a New Earth? I don’t think I’d throw our “evangelical leaders” under the bus just to make Teddy sound like he had his theology together.

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