R. T. Kendall
|R. T. Kendall|
July 13, 1935 |
|Known for||pastor at Westminster Chapel|
Robert Tillman Kendall (born July 13, 1935) is a Christian writer, speaker, and teacher who pastored Westminster Chapel for 25 years. He is author of more than 50 books, including Total Forgiveness. Kendall is currently listed as part of the Word, Spirit & Power team, a non-denominational Charismatic ministry.
Early life and family
Kendall was born July 13, 1935 in Ashland, Kentucky and named after R. T. Williams who was a General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene. He married Louise Wallis of Sterling, Illinois on June 28, 1958, and together they raised a son and a daughter, Robert Tillman II (TR) and Melissa Louise. According to his testimony, Kendall came to a conviction regarding Calvinist theology and his own eternal security in 1955. He received degrees at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee (A.B., 1970), the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1972) in Louisville, Kentucky and the University of Louisville (M.A., 1973) before earning a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) at Regent's Park College, a hall of the University of Oxford. He later received a Doctor of Divinity from Trevecca Nazarene University (1988).
While at Oxford, Kendall was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Lower Heyford from 1974 to 1977 (now Brackley Baptist Church) which mainly served USAF families based at RAF Upper Heyford and RAF Croughton. From February 1, 1977 to February 1, 2002 he was the Minister at Westminster Chapel in London. He succeeded Dr. Glyn Owen who himself followed Martyn Lloyd-Jones and G. Campbell Morgan.
Kendall is well known for his view that later Calvinism departed from the teaching of John Calvin on the issues of assurance and the extent of the atonement. Kendall expounded his views in his D.Phil. thesis, The Nature of saving Faith, from William Perkins (d. 1602) to the Westminster Assembly (1642-1649) and his 1981 work Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649. Kendall's views prompted a response by Paul Helm, who wrote Calvin and the Calvinists in 1982.
Kendall's 1983 publication of Once Saved, Always Saved on the nature of Christian perseverance prompted debate of antinomianism among Chapel members and others. There were various disagreements over various issues. Indeed, so serious were these, that his predecessor, Lloyd-Jones, stated that Kendall should take no part in his funeral arrangements:
In the now-published account, however, Kendall says nothing of why the relationship broke down. Indeed it broke down so seriously that prior to his death, Dr Lloyd-Jones indicated that Kendall, far from organizing his funeral or memorial service, was to take no part in those proceedings.— Iain H. Murray, A review of R. T. Kendall, In Pursuit of His Glory
His charismatic beliefs and affirmation of prophecies and association with Paul Cain and the Kansas City Prophets from the early 1990s led to some controversies with some[which?] Christian groups.
A longtime member of Westminster Chapel had the following testimony regarding Kendall's preaching legacy:
R.T. Kendall is a man of great authority and leadership. He has an amazing knowledge of the Scriptures and a willingness to deal with any verse in the passage preached, however difficult it might be. I can never remember hearing a sermon which did not bless me. He truly practiced what he has preached. He has sought to reach every type of person and shown increasing patience and love to difficult people. Sometimes too patient! He has always shown himself to be open and honest.— Ernest Paddon, In Pursuit of His Glory
He instigated a "Pilot Lights" scheme of church members distributing tracts and orange stickers such as "Turn on to Jesus" and "Jesus Loves You" initially led by Arthur Blessitt[clarification needed] on the streets of Westminster in different languages to the general public. These evangelism techniques were based on those of Arthur Blessitt who preached at Westminster Chapel for a few weeks along with Sherry Blessitt and their children in the late 1980s. The scheme continued for about a decade. As a result, significant number of conversions were witnessed and some even joined the congregation and became active members. Despite that, church membership declined over the same period.
His "School of Theology" evenings attracted hundreds of visitors and church leaders from all over London. He introduced Thursday lunchtime services, which were visited by workers from nearby Whitehall.
In 2002 he was introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury's Envoy to the Middle East to meet the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Subsequently, the men met five times and RT Kendall had an opportunity to present the Christian gospel (The Christian belief that by putting their faith in Jesus Christ and His Substitutionary death by crucifixion that they will be forgiven by God, have a relationship with him on earth and go the Heaven when they die) .
Kendall is now in retirement in Hendersonville, Tennessee, from where he continues his work as an author and guest speaker at Christian conferences. He appears on Christian TV programmes and is a regular contributor to Christian publications. He is also the President of R.T. Kendall Ministries.
Kendall is the author of over fifty books including:
- All's Well That Ends Well
- The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
- Are You Stone Deaf to the Spirit or Re-discovering God?
- Before the Throne: A Comprehensive Guide to the Importance and Practice of Worship
- Believing God
- Between the Times: Malachi: God's Last Prophet of the Old Testament
- Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649
- The Complete Guide to the Parables: Understanding and Applying the Stories of Jesus
- Does Jesus Care?
- The Gift of Giving
- Grace and Glory
- Is God for the Homosexual?
- God Meant It for Good
- Great Christian Prayers: From the Rich History of Christian Faith - A Prayer for Every Day of the Year
- He Saves: How to Become - and Stay - a Christian
- Higher Ground
- Holy Fire (January 2014)
- In Pursuit of His Glory: My 25 Years at Westminster Chapel
- The Judgment Seat of Christ: What Will God Say to You When You Die?
- The God of the Bible
- Just Grace
- Just Say Thanks!
- Justification By Works: How Works Vindicate True Faith. Sermons on James 1-3
- The Lord's Prayer
- A Man After God's Own Heart: God's Relationship with David - and with You
- Meekness and Majesty
- Once Saved Always Saved
- Out of the Comfort Zone: Your God Is Too Nice
- The Parables of Jesus
- Pure Joy
- The Sensitivity of the Spirit: The Forgotten Anointing
- The Sermon on the Mount
- Stand Up and Be Counted
- Tales of Total Forgiveness
- Thanking God
- These are the Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things
- Thorn in the Flesh
- Tithing: A Call to Serious, Biblical Giving
- Total Forgiveness: Achieving God's Greatest Challenge
- Unashamed to Bear His Name
- Understanding Theology (in 3 Volumes)
- A Vision of Jesus
- The Way Of Wisdom: Patience In Waiting On God Sermons On James 4-5
- When God Shows Up: Expecting the Unexpected
- Who by Faith
- The Word and the Spirit: Reclaiming Your Covenant with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God
- Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer
- Worshipping God
- Why Jesus Died (February 2012)
- "Christian marketplace best-seller list". June 2003.
- Word, Spirit, & Power conferences
- "RT Kendall Ministries - FAQ".
- "RT Kendall Ministries - About RT".
- "RT Kendall Ministries - FAQ".
- Macleod, Donald. (June 1984) The Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland.
- Thomas, Derek. (January 1984) Evangelical Presbyterian pp. 2ff
- Murray, Iain H. (March 1984). "Will the Unholy Be Saved?". The Banner of Truth Magazine (246): 1ff.
- Murray, Iain H. (March 2004). "'Openness to the Holy Spirit': How Westminster Chapel Was Turned Around". The Banner of Truth Magazine (486): 25–32.
- Fisher, G. Richard (January–March 2004). "Is God "Showing Up" Today? The Claims and Confusion of R.T. Kendall". The Quarterly Journal.
- Alderson, Richard (1986). No Holiness, No Heaven!. Banner of Truth Trust. ISBN 0-85151-495-2.
- Kendall, R. T. (2002). In Pursuit of His Glory. Hodder & Stoughton. p. Foreword. ISBN 0-340-78602-7.