(from Charles Templeton's book,
Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith)
FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS, Charles Templeton was a major figure in the church in Canada and the United States.
During the 1950s, he and Billy Graham were the two most successful exponents of mass evangelism in North America. Templeton spoke nightly to stadium crowds of up to 30,000 people.
However, increasing doubt about the validity of the Old Testament and the teachings of the Christian church finally brought about a crisis in his faith, and in 1957 he resigned from the ministry.
In Farewell to God, Templeton speaks out about his reasons for the abandonment of his faith. In straightforward language, Templeton deals with such subjects as the Creation fable, racial prejudice in the Bible, the identity of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus' alienation from his family, the second-class status of women in the church, the mystery of evil, the illusion that prayer works, why there is suffering and death, and the loss of faith in God.
He concludes with a positive personal statement: "I Believe."
Journalist, evangelist Charles Templeton dies
WebPosted Fri Jun 8 09:57:01 2001
TORONTO - Charles Templeton, whose career included everything from writing news and plays to preaching the word of God, died Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Templeton's first job in journalism was as a cartoonist at The Globe and Mail in the early 1930s.
He ended up holding senior editorial positions at The Toronto Star and Maclean's magazine, as well as jobs in broadcasting.
But in the 1940s he switched from news to religion for a while – becoming an internationally renowned evangelist after studying at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Templeton introduced the Youth for Christ movement to Canada in 1945, before going on to preach in Europe and Japan.
He ended up as well known as his friend Billy Graham, but eventually abandoned the pulpit and became an agnostic.
In the mid-1960s, Templeton resigned as managing editor of The Toronto Star to run for the Ontario Liberal Party's leadership. He lost, and took a job as director of news and public affairs at CTV from 1967 to 1969.
He wrote several books, including Life Looks Up (1953), and Jesus His Life (1973) as well as novels like The Kidnapping of the President (1974) and The Queen's Secret (1986).
His last book, Farewell to God (1995) was about his loss of faith.
Templeton also wrote a number of plays that were performed on CBC and BBC, and won two ACTRA awards for broadcasting.
"We were saddened to hear about Charles Templeton's death," said Douglas Gibson, president and publisher of McClelland & Stewart, in a statement Thursday.
"Charles was known across Canada for his range of accomplishments in many media, but at McClelland & Stewart he was highly regarded as one of our most successful authors," he added.
Templeton was 85.
Written by CBC News Online staff
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)