In Memory of Bowden

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15 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    Looking to take on yet another fight tonight, now are ya. 😉

  2. Michael says:

    I’m a known brawler… 🙂

  3. JTK says:

    Sometimes rebellious teenagers see and state the ugly truths that parents ignore…

    His writing has changed me profoundly and I’ve shared several things with others.

  4. Michael says:


    Thank you again for listening and hearing.

  5. Captain Kevin says:

    Thank you for reposting this, Michael. Where would you recommend that a newcomer to Bowden’s works begin?

  6. Eric says:

    I resonate with your desire that God’s grace in Christ extends more widely than just those who have chosen Christ. It’s often said “I’m not a universalist, but I hope Jesus is”.

    In the story of the good Samaritan, God’s people got love wrong while the outsider got it right. Jesus said to go and do likewise. We on this site seeing you doing that, following the example of good Samaritans like Bowden.

  7. JoelG says:

    “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

    I think Bowden chose Christ without knowing he did.

  8. Michael says:


    I’ve learned the hard way to start people on the magazine articles, of which there are hundreds.
    Some good ones are here…

    His magnum opus is still “Down by the River”… I heartily commend it.

  9. Michael says:


    Some of the best people I know, (including my best friend) died without a profession of faith, or at least a public one.

    I can’t help but think that Jesus loved them more than I did…and I’ll trust in His mercy without creating another doctrine to try to explain why I can…

  10. Xenia says:

    My guess is that he got into the pearly gates by a loophole,<<<

    At the risk of angering everyone, I will wade in.

    For starters, I do not doubt the human goodness of Mr. Bowden and I appreciate Michael's understandable fondness for this man.

    People often accuse me (and Orthodoxy) of believing in "salvation by works." I have spent the past 15 years here on the Phxp trying to explain why we don't believe in salvation by works but instead, in a synergistic faith + works. Most folks here don't agree with my view and want to reduce it to "faith produces good works," which I always say isn't quite what we mean.

    But even in the Orthodox scheme, of paramount importance is faith in Christ. Good works without Christ is the very definition of salvation by works. And without Christ, there is no salvation at all. There are no loopholes. If a person denies Christ, even if the Gospel was presented to him or her in a less than satisfactory manner, there is still denial.

  11. Michael says:


    You’re not going to anger me.
    I understand the tradition and the Scriptures and I have little in either to commend my hope…except that the work of Christ is that of reconciliation and that someday He will be all in all.
    16 years of writing about Christian scoundrels requires hope that there is more than has has been written…and I fully acknowledge I could be wrong.

  12. Descended says:


    That was a touching way to address this. Thank you.

  13. John 20:29 says:

    this may be presumptuous of me and isn’t posted without heartfelt sympathy

    to see good people pouring their hearts into good works and good words, while ignoring the state of their own soul’s relationship to their Creator, makes it so difficult to condemn them for not loving God…
    it isn’t quite as hard to condemn as unworthy, the pontificating, sidewalk superintendent who slams god when bad things happen on this planet
    the latter hasn’t a leg to stand on at judgement day and the only hope the good person has is in the fact that a perfect God is perfectly fair…
    and that is the hope that we who love good people can cling to – still…

    the ultimate question we must ask ourselves is, “should a person who hears of, but has no time for the God Who loves enough to pay our sin debt on a cross as the one obedient incarnate son… should the one who has no response in his soul to that fact – either in time or in eternity – get a free pass into redemption because they cared about some of their fellow man’s suffering?
    it is a hard question to face and i suspect most of us hang up on it when we think of some good people we’ve known…

    ask yourself this hard question: “can i truly love someone who ultimately proves to not have the capacity to respond to this amazing God’s perfect grace and love?” … is the person who judges God instead of himself any different that the arrogant Pharisee? it will be well – trust God, indeed and know that He is a perfectly fair God …
    just thinking on what is a hard thing to think on – hard for all of us

  14. Captain Kevin says:

    I certainly am glad the decision of who is in who is not doesn’t lie with me.

  15. Captain Kevin says:

    …who is in AND who is not…

    That’s what happens when you type while falling asleep.

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