“The Cross and the Switchblade” author, David Wilkerson, R.I.P.

April 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

The Protestant minister, perhaps most famous for his best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade, died in a head-on car crash on Wednesday. May he rest in peace. One news report says,

Wilkerson was driving east on U.S. 175 in Texas Wednesday afternoon, and moved into the opposite lane where a tractor trailer was driving westbound. The truck driver saw the car and tried to move out of the way, but still collided with the pastor’s car head on, according to Public Safety Trooper Eric Long. It’s unclear what caused Wilkerson to veer into the other lane. His wife Gwen was also involved in the crash and rushed to the hospital, along with the truck driver.

I read his book in the early 70s and enjoyed its dramatic depiction of how a committed Christian confronted violent gang members with the message of Christ. I didn’t hear much about Wilkerson over the years until just recently, when I read a “prophecy” he gave regarding the destruction of New York City which, thus far, as not come to pass.

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2 Responses to ““The Cross and the Switchblade” author, David Wilkerson, R.I.P.”
  1. Billy Bean says:

    David Wilkerson was a human being who, by all evidence, was sincerely trying to serve God in accordance with his own best lights and the gifts that God gave him. His impact on the world was neither wholly positive nor entirely negative, as is true of even those who are recognized as saints. I know people who have been blessed by the fruits of Wilkerson’s life, among which (I believe is the drug addiction rehabilitation program, Teen Challenge. This worthy ministry has been extraordinarily successful in helping drug addicts find deliverance from their idolatrous addictions through the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Memory eternal, David Wilkerson!

  2. Becky J says:

    Wilkerson, for better or worse, was highly influential on a number of Catholics in the late ’60’s. “The Cross and the Switchblade” got passed around in Catholic young adult circles at Duquesne U. and Notre Dame, and was a catalyst for these young adults to seek out a more emotionally intense expression of their Christianity. This led them to getting “slain in the spirit” in Pentecostal circles, and they brought this experience into Catholic prayer circles at their respective universities, where the Catholic Charismatic movement took off.

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