For now or for ever?
Once again I spoke too soon. The moment I finished my snarky comment about the curious way in which the ailing D. James Kennedy was spirited off to Michigan while the young Brian Fisher stepped into his oversize shoes, Coral Ridge Ministries made a little announcement on its television program, The Coral Ridge Hour. Kennedy is being replaced, temporarily at least, by John Sorensen, the executive vice president of Evangelism Explosion International. Evangelism Explosion is one of Coral Ridge Ministries' many branches. Sorensen quotes Kennedy as saying that the purpose of Evangelism Explosion is “to Christianize the world.”
The Coral Ridge Hour often rebroadcasts old Kennedy sermons, sometimes repackaged with offers of new books or videos from the Coral Ridge media store. Given the decades of material in the Kennedy archives, his television program could undoubtedly continue to do this indefinitely. However, at some point the ministry might chafe at the lack of new material. Perhaps that point has nearly arrived. While previews of coming attractions still include plugs for forthcoming rebroadcasts of D. James Kennedy holding forth from the pulpit, the Coral Ridge board of trustees has anointed Sorensen as Kennedy's temporary substitute. Sorensen has thus nudged Brian Fisher aside as the new voice of Coral Ridge. While everyone continues to give at least lip service to the notion that Kennedy will eventually return to his duties, the designation of Sorensen as lead pastor pro tempore opens up at least the possibility that Kennedy's successor has now stepped forward.
Will Sorensen be able to wear Kennedy's mantle with the same assurance and effectiveness as his predecessor? Let us all pray that he will not.