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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Sep 12, 2004.
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
John Vernon McGee was born in Hillsboro, Texas, in 1904. Dr. McGee remarked, “When I was born and the doctor gave me the customary whack, my mother said that I let out a yell that could be heard on all four borders of Texas!” His Creator well knew that he would need a powerful voice to deliver a powerful message.
As a student pastor, Dr. McGee's first church was located on a red clay hill in Midway Georgia. It was here that he received his greatest compliment: “It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted out, 'I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!' He started to say more but choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the field, I prayed, 'Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said, I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.'”
After completing his education (earning his A.B. from Southwestern University in Memphis, Tennessee; his B.D. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia; his Th.M. and Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas), and after pastoring Presbyterian churches in Decatur, GA, Nashville, TN, and Cleburne, TX, he and his wife came west, settling in Pasadena, where he accepted a call to the Lincoln Avenue Presbyterian Church. He recalls this period as the happiest in his life, with a young family and a young congregation whom he loved.
Dr. McGee's greatest pastorate was at the historic, Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles, where he served from 1949 to 1970. Here he began a daily radio broadcast called “High Noon Bible Class” on a single station.
Dr. McGee began teaching Thru the Bible in 1967. After retiring from the pastorate, he set up radio headquarters in Pasadena, and the radio ministry expanded rapidly. Today the program airs on over 400 stations each day in the United States and Canada, is heard in more than 100 languages around the world and is broadcast worldwide via the Internet.
During his last few years failing health demanded the cancellation of many speaking engagements. This was extremely distressing to him. There was no recurrence of an earlier bout with cancer during this time, only a weakening heart. Back in 1965, after radical surgery, the doctors had given him 6 months to live. The Lord gave him 23 years.
Dr. McGee and the Board of Directors planned in advance how the program would continue in the event of Dr. McGee's homegoing. The message would remain the same and the “voice” of Thru the Bible Radio would continue to be Dr. McGee, through the use of the taped 5-year program, except for those foreign language broadcasts, where the producers use the printed 5-volume Bible study to translate and produce the program.
On the morning of December 1, 1988, a few minutes after a visit with the Associate Director of Thru the Bible, alert and in conversation centered around his concern for the continuance of the radio ministry, Dr. McGee fell asleep in his chair and quietly passed into the presence of his Savior.
As a young Christian working during the summer at Hume Lake Christian Camps in Hume, CA I was working on one of the dining halls. A man stopped to observe our work. I didn't know him so I introduced myself and asked him about what he did for a living. He told me and I had not heard of him before. Later I asked some others if they knew him. They were surprised that I had never heard of him before.
What a great example he was to me of humility. That was 30 years ago.
He was never what you would call a Baptist, none-the-less, he was one of the great teachers of the Bible of the 20th century.
Dispite having all of those degrees and knowledge in his head, he would speak to the common man in his teaching and preaching, or, as he said, if I am quoting him correctly, "Keep the cookies on the lower shelf where the kiddies can reach them."
Of all my readings of his works I can say that there has been only one point where I could say I disagree with him: He agreed with Walvoord that everyone born is written in the Book of Life, and if one dies unsaved, they are blotted out. First, that reeks of Open-Theism; Second, there are two passages in Revelation that destroys that idea: 13:8 and 17:8 speaks of some people that are very much alive at that point, but they are NOT in the Book of life.
His biggest struggle was in the area of election-free will, no big surprise there. He said when he was fresh out of seninary, when he knew everything, he could reconcile the two sides, but (at that writing) now he couldn't.
"I don't know how God runs that computer of election, but I know that He has given to you and to me a free will and we have to exercise it."
Don't care if he was electionist or not, I know there were many a time when I listened to him and knew in my heart he was a child of God.
Go an old, torn, well-eared Bible here by Vernon Mc'Gee and every now and then will refer to his outlines if I needed a little help preparing a sermon.
I loved the way he labored to describe places like Ephesus or Colosse in his outlines. Makes you feel like you were right there.
He is still on the radio here, I catch him periodically. Much better than most of the other garbage on radio, even on the "Christian" station. of course, I think perhaps joyce meyer might be a little more entertaining, but...
I have most of the books that were made of his Through the Bible radio broadcasts. He promotes the Gap theory - i.e. there is an undisclosed amount of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Most that espouse this have the gap at millions or billions of years.
Maybe so, but I don't believe that McGee believes in evolution.
That would be correct. One who believes in the Gap theory is still a creationist just an "old earth" creationist and not a "young earth."
Thanks Diane for the nice bio on Dr. McGee.
For His Glory & Our Joy,
I don't recall saying anything about evilution. I do know the difference.
I do enjoy listening to him on the radio. And I like having the books of his program so I can use them when I study. Does anyone know where I can get the volumes I'm missing so I so I can have a complete set (if that possible)?
You can order the books from his site
I used to listen to him on the radio. He was always a blessing to me. Diane, great bio. Thanks for taking the time to post it for us.
My observation is that some people may not know that brother McGee is with the Lord. When he died we heard nothing on our local Christian station to that regard. It seems to me that they should refer to him as the "late" J. Vernon McGree...just my opinion.
I have always been encouraged and blessed by his bible teaching, though I never participated when we held his "on air" communion service. To me that is a local church matter. His books are basic and down to earth just as he was and I have a number of them in my library.
I'm usually able to listen to "Thru the Bible" at work...and I once heard his explanation for the "gap theory". He said that GOD has left plenty of evidence concerning a great age for the earth and the universe, such as the great amount of time required for light from distant stars to reach us; that certain kinds of rock formation cannot occur rapidly...and that God would NOT deceive us by making those signs appear old when they're not...and that in NO WAY contradicts God's making THIS current world arrangement...after all, Genesis 1 does NOT say God made THIS WORLD out of nothingness, but that THE DEEP was already there...his analogy, if I remember right, was as a shapeless lump of clay being molded by a potter. He set the present boundaries of the seas...and there's evidence in almost every land there is, that it was once beneath the sea...and MORE THAN ONCE, not just at Noah's flood.
NONE of us are perfect, but there are some who are more perfect than others, and JVM was one of the BEST!
I agree. I admit that it is possible that the "Gap Theory" is correct. I do not think that we have enough evidence to draw any conclusions about this or many other things that God has not given us much information on. I am willing to leave it in God's hand. I do not, however, believe that evolution is consistent with what the Bible teaches.
I remember two statements by ole J. Vernon
"Friend, this is where the rubber meets the road!"
"And may God richly bless you, my beloved!"
Yep, remember those two statements well. Mom used to listen to JVM a lot. She'd record him sometimes just so she could listen to him at different times of the day or during quiet time.
I still listen to him almost daily.You never have to guess what he had to say.I like his saying " it's what you learn after you know it all that counts".