By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
Dr. John Warwick Montgomery preaches the Gospel message in Marseille
It proved yet another fascinating endeavor for the prolific writer, legal scholar, lecturer, philosopher and thinker, made possible through the efforts of PHC alumna Kelly Orsini (Government: International Politics & Policy, ’08). Orsini is a dual American/French citizen currently engaged in graduate work at the Institut d'études politiques of Aix-en-Provence.
In 2009, she had been working as executive assistant for Dan Painter, president of the International Christian Community, a network of English-speaking churches across Europe. That year, Orsini suggested Dr. Montgomery as the speaker for the group’s annual Christmas carol service in Marseille. Although they could not arrange the details on such short notice, they scheduled Dr. Montgomery for 2010 instead.
“French society is very tied to the principle of ‘laïcité,’ or secularness, which has traditionally emphasized a separation between religion/faith and public life,” explains Orsini. “As the French also value intellectual abilities, Dr. Montgomery’s distinguished credentials were an asset. People are less likely to siphon off what he says as being from a ‘religious’ person.”
An audience of nearly 800 people witnesses the Christmas service
“If this good news is not made personal by an act of faith, it might as well not have happened at all,” Dr. Montgomery concluded.
This extraordinary opportunity shone a light into a country that has very few chances to hear God’s Word presented as truth.
At PHC, Dr. John Warwick Montgomery teaches Principles of Biblical Reasoning and upper-level philosophy courses. He holds eleven earned degrees and has written more than fifty books in four languages on the issues of human rights and biblical apologetics.