No one can know too much or be able to do too much," Harold Lindsell wrote in a book on missions published more than 40 years ago. Lindsell, in applying such counsel to his own life, wrote more than 20 books, becoming a potent force for growth and development of the evangelical movement.

Lindsell died January 15 in Lake Forest, California, after a long illness. He was 84. Lindsell served as CHRISTIANITY TODAY editor from 1968 to 1978. Subsequently, he became editor emeritus and a director on the board of the magazine's parent corporation, Christianity Today.

Under Lindsell's editorial supervision, CT played an important role in rallying evangelicals after the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. As an author, Lindsell is best known for his 1976 book, The Battle for the Bible, which documented and deplored the defection of noted evangelical institutions from belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. His series of annotated study Bibles, including the Harper Study Bible, Revised Standard Version, and his 1973 study of Christian ethics, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil, also have proved to be enduring in their popularity and scholarship.

FOND REMEMBRANCES: "I loved him as a brother," says CT founder Billy Graham. "He was a counselor to both Ruth and me. Many times I called him for advice." Ruth Graham credits Lindsell with being used by God to save her doubting faith when all attended Wheaton College.

Although ordained a Southern Baptist and possessing a solid academic pedigree, Lindsell never had any seminary training and never held a pastorate. Yet in important ways his peers saw in him the heart of a pastor and a man for whom prayer was second nature.

"He was a man of prayer who not only wrote about the subject, but lived it out personally," says Harold L. Myra, president of Christianity Today.

STORIED CAREER: Lindsell met Carl F. H. Henry, who preceded him as CT editor, when they were undergraduates at Wheaton College in Illinois. Lindsell served as best man at Henry's wedding, and the two served together on the faculties of Northern Baptist and Fuller Seminaries.

Lindsell sometimes came across as having a crusty demeanor. Backed by his firm convictions, he had been a debater in college, and throughout his life he thrived on enthusiastic exchanges of opinion, even at the family dinner table. Many found Lindsell remarkably tolerant. Coworkers liked his collegial bent as well. Arthur H. Matthews, who served on the CT editorial staff with Lindsell, hails him as "the best boss I ever had."

At Columbia International University in South Carolina, then Columbia Bible College, Lindsell achieved his first academic post as history teacher and registrar. There he met student Marion Bolinder, whom he later married. The Lindsells raised four children.

From there, Lindsell went to Chicago to teach at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, then to Pasadena, California, where 50 years ago he teamed with Henry, Everett Harrison, and Wilbur M. Smith as the founding faculty at Fuller. In addition to teaching missions and church history, Lindsell served as the seminary's first registrar, and later he became dean and then vice president. He left Fuller in 1964 to become associate editor of CT.

"In many ways, he remains a hero to us," says Richard Mouw, Fuller's president. "We believe that his indictment of Fuller on the inerrancy issue was unfair. At the same time, we continue to affirm the need for theological vigilance along with a better understanding of how to exercise it." Mouw added, "Now he and Dave can talk things over," referring to David Hubbard, the late Fuller president under whose tenure the seminary deleted biblical inerrancy from its statement of faith.

Although Lindsell's views on biblical revelation did not prevail at Fuller, they proved to be a catalyst for the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America. After The Battle for the Bible, Lindsell wrote a 1979 follow-up book, The Bible in the Balance. Lindsell is survived by his wife, four children, a sister and a brother.

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