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I knew I would learn how to preach from Haddon, but what I didn't know is I would learn how to love.
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Thank you for this beautiful tribute, Pat. When I texted our son to tell him that Haddon had passed away, he immediately shot back a text, and his comment (in addition to expressing his sadness) was, “He was a kind man.” Our son’s interaction with Haddon took place when our son was in elementary and middle school, and I was struck with the beauty of those words—that he remembered Haddon as being kind to him as a 9-14 year old. Haddon showed love by his kind words, actions, and demeanor.
I am so grateful for having had the privilege to study under Haddon Robinson. He was one of the key reasons I chose to do my D.Min. work at Denver Seminary in the late '80s. His methodology and passion and creativity continue to inform and influence me as I prepare my weekly expository message. And when a young preacher asks what resources I would recommend for preaching, the first answer I give is always his Biblical Exposition.
Like many of his students, Haddon was my favorite preacher. He mentored me through my doctoral thesis. My favorite memory of him was during my 2nd residency. He stopped class to pray for one of my peers who was dealing with a difficult situation at his local church. Haddon's prayer was short but to the point (yes, he even used "Big Idea" in his prayers). He simply prayed, "Lord, give Bill thick skin and a soft heart." How often we are tempted to do the opposite -- develop thin skin and a hard heart. He was a great mentor. I cherish the memories that he helped me create.
I recall the long pause after Haddon once told us, "We don't preach the Bible." Then he finished, "We preach the Bible...to people."
What a beautiful tribute. Though I do not know Haddon's life story, I only know of him through the many who were personally touched by him and through his warm (and LOVING) voice and approach as he shared his insights on the Discover the Word radio program. I hope that some day soon, one of these people so affected by his life will write a biography so the rest of us can know his "back story" too.
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