Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.Psalm 116:15
David Powlison has died. Today at 11:00 am, under the care of Hospice, family, and friends, he passed into the ultimate rest of Jesus Christ and His soul-satisfying good news.
I met David Powlison four times. The first time was in seminary when I met him by-proxy through his influence upon a number of my professors and pastors. Biblical counseling was new to me (as was just about everything else). It was clear from the start that this person named Powlison had profoundly influenced those who were influencing me. Wise and winsome were his ways in the care of souls.
I met David Powlison a second time in his writings. Carefully crafted, intentionally worded, marvelously insightful. Having personally experienced God’s transforming power exercised through biblical counseling, I required no convincing to read all I could. Powlison dominated my reading list. Wise and winsome were his words in the care of souls.
A third time, I met Powlison through his teaching and speaking. Though some would describe him as one of lesser dynamics or eloquence, I found his public preaching and teaching quite immeasurably impactful. His pastoral demeanor, word-choice, love for Jesus, commitment to Scripture, effective application of truth, and transparency captivated my attention. Again, wise and winsome.
Then, a fourth time I met David–this time in person. It was a high honor for me to talk with David a handful of times over the last few years. Knowing my high respect for him–borne out of his impact on my life through others, writings, and talks–it would be reasonable to expect a start-struck experience once face to face. But in reality, he wasn’t a star. From word one, David (this giant of the faith to me) was immediately a brother, a father, a friend, a person of sincere interest in others and sincerely interesting to others. Gracious, warm, inviting, gentle, wise, and winsome in person.
Few people have made a broader impact on me and so many others. Have you met him? You can. He’s still alive. By grace, you can meet him through the myriads of pastors, preachers, biblical counselors, church members, and countless others who have inherited the riches of God’s wisdom through the legacy of David Powlison. You can meet him in his books and articles and audio posts like this. And if you’re in Christ, I have no doubt you will meet him in person one day, shining like the sun, rejoicing in the winsome wisdom of our Triune God.
Bless the Lord for David Powlison (1949-2019), an ordinary yet incomparable servant of Jesus Christ.