“One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible,” wrote historian Henry Adams.

How true it is.

When we strip away the layers of acquaintances, classmates, relatives, associates, and coworkers from our circle, I suspect very few of us find more than one or two we can count as true friends.

What is true for us is also apparently true for God. Moses, Abraham, Enoch, and Noah constitute the handful of those whom God called friends.

I have been privileged in my life to count as a friend a man who was a friend to many. J. Duncan Brown, who passed away in October (CT, Nov. 11, 1991, p. 52), was not a famous man. Renown swirled all about him and lit up his large family of friends, but it kept its distance from Duncan himself for fear it would interfere with the many tasks he had shouldered.

Duncan was always laboring to further the kingdom of God. Whether it was his work as chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, or as a member of the boards of Christian Coalition Outreach, Grove City College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Christianity Today, Inc., he was constantly pushing ahead, reaching for the future.

Duncan cared deeply for the body of Christ and worked relentlessly to build it up. A man of wealth, he gave generously and joyfully. A man of influence, he shared his power and lost no opportunity to serve others. A tireless laborer, he left a legacy of deeds. Duncan was colorful, cheerful, and overflowing with hope. He was just the kind of friend anyone would want to have.

A successful businessman who gave richly of his time and money to Christian organizations, Duncan never let his busy schedule preclude his devotion to the Lord or his friends.

God Will Provide

There ...

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