Today is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Greg Bahnsen a man whose teaching has impacted thousands both during and after his life. My own introduction to Dr. Bahnsen happened rather serrendipitously and I can remember the moment, exactly. It was late one evening and I was doing some research on the internet. I stumbled upon a website (that no longer exists) and somewhere near the bottom of the bar on the right side, I spied a sermon entitled, “Was the Reformation Necessary?” If I recall, that speech was about an hour long and I was fascinated. Thereafter, I found many of the 1,500 lectures and classes Dr. Bahnsen has left for us and my interest contiued to grow. Dr. Bahnsen’s lectures often required several listenings as he was a first rate scholar and an expert in advanced theological and philosophical concepts. But once his teachings are comprehended, their power and applicability is unmatched.
Dr. Bahnsen was described to me by someone who knew him, personally, as the “20th centuries greatest Christian debater”. He spent significant energy during his life debating atheists and his 1987 debate against Gordon Stein is still used by Christian seminaries as the best example of the application of presuppositional apologetics. He was a master of explaining what goes on when a believer meets an unbeliever and those insights are as important today as they were then. Dr. Bahnsen’s concept that “God exists because of the impossibility of the contrary” is someting every Christian should have on the tip of their tongues every day.
But more than an epochal intellect, Dr. Bahnsen had a huge heart. He was a dedicated pastor and a loving father. In fact, my wife and I have listened to his last sermon several times and have yet to leave it with a dry eye. As he delivered that sermon, Dr. Bahnsen was facing a risky surgery, his survival from which was uncertain. He spoke of that uncertainty with a caring for his congregation and family that was immensely moving.
The testimony to the quality of a man’s life may well rest in how people remember him long after he is gone. Today, there is no less enthusiasm in the descriptions told by Dr. Bahnsen’s friends and acquaintances. More importantly, his sons carry on his legacy in a way that would make him proud – and with strong evidence of the love and striving for Godliness that he inspired in them.
May God continue to use the work of Greg Bahnsen for the furtherance of His kingdom. And we give thanks, today, for sharing His Dr. Bahnsen with us.
Soli Deo Gloria