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Presentation #1 Title

"The Christian Neighbor" by White Kennett: How a Sermon Published in 1711 is Still Relevant Today

Presentation #1 Abstract

On October 29, 1711, the then-Dean of Peterborough, White Kennett, D.D., shared a message that may be more relevant in America in 2019 than it was for its original audience. Dr. Kennett preached a sermon, “The Christian Neighbor,” during which he defined a Christian’s neighbor not by a collective religion, a common nationality, or a shared hometown, but rather as any person on Earth who needs our love, friendship, or other gifts that God has granted us. In the current period of blind nationalism and media-driven scare tactics, this message has become lost to groups of Christians all around the globe. In the United States, our government has attacked the Christian’s neighbor and denied Christian Americans the right to share our gifts with those who need it most. Even some Christians are now calling for closed borders, harsh immigration legislation, and reduced aid to people in need. Dr. Kennett’s sermon, though a beautiful guide to living life as a Christian should, is not free of flaws. Kennett’s anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic ideology hurts his overall message. However, if those sentiments are removed from the work, what is left is a picture of love; the love that Jesus directed and demanded of those that would bear the name Christian.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Bradley Havenar served 14.5 years in the United States Marine Corps and was medically retired in 2017. He has since earned his BA in History with a Minor in Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2019. Currently, Bradley is enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK.

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"The Christian Neighbor" by White Kennett: How a Sermon Published in 1711 is Still Relevant Today

On October 29, 1711, the then-Dean of Peterborough, White Kennett, D.D., shared a message that may be more relevant in America in 2019 than it was for its original audience. Dr. Kennett preached a sermon, “The Christian Neighbor,” during which he defined a Christian’s neighbor not by a collective religion, a common nationality, or a shared hometown, but rather as any person on Earth who needs our love, friendship, or other gifts that God has granted us. In the current period of blind nationalism and media-driven scare tactics, this message has become lost to groups of Christians all around the globe. In the United States, our government has attacked the Christian’s neighbor and denied Christian Americans the right to share our gifts with those who need it most. Even some Christians are now calling for closed borders, harsh immigration legislation, and reduced aid to people in need. Dr. Kennett’s sermon, though a beautiful guide to living life as a Christian should, is not free of flaws. Kennett’s anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic ideology hurts his overall message. However, if those sentiments are removed from the work, what is left is a picture of love; the love that Jesus directed and demanded of those that would bear the name Christian.