Connections: Dennis Kinlaw

(I will not be posting this Friday and Saturday, so this category comes to you a little earlier than usual)

Many of my mentors have been men and women I’ve never met.  But “doubly blessed” is anyone who has mentors close at hand as the Christian journey unfolds.  So it has been for Jeannie and for me in Dr. Dennis Kinlaw and his dear wife, Elsie.

You can go to Google or to and find about his writings, but I tell you right up front: you are in for a deep blessing in what you will read from his pen—-Preaching in the Spirit, The Mind of Christ, We Live as Christ, Let’s Start With Jesus, and a much-valued book of daily readings for a year entitled, This Day With the Master. 

In addition to his writings, I would want you also to know that a wealth of Dr. Kinlaw’s audio and video presentations are available through the ministry of The Francis Asbury Society.  I’m currently re-listening (for example) to his excellent series on “Prayer.”

I do not know of anyone who has a better grasp of the Christian life than Dennis Kinlaw, or who can take that breadth of wisdom and apply it to the Wesleyan emphases of holiness of heart and life any better than he can.  But after all is said about his influences upon my Christian formation, I have to also include the times Jeannie and I have spent with him in ordinary conversations—which were anything other than “ordinary”—much more like precious memories of visiting with a true saint of God.  Oh, my!

I hope you will “connect” with Dennis Kinlaw, and I use this week’s “Connections” blog to bear witness to his ongoing influence in my life.  Standing by his side for so many years was Elsie, about whom equally good things could be said.  In fact, Dennis himself said she was the greatest single influence in his life, and those of us who knew her can see how that could. be.  When Elsie came to the end of her way, she and Dennis made a simple witness—which they put onto a ceramic plate:  “We are in God’s hands, and they are good hands.”  Jeannie and I thank God for connecting our hands with theirs—and through theirs, to God’s.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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