Robertson McQuilkin and Bob Dylan

Robertson McQuilkin

This post is in honor of my friend of 39 years who recently had his prayer answered and made it to his home in heaven.  I miss him deeply.

It was 1980.  I was working two doors down from President McQuilkin directing Financial Aid and helping to begin what would become the Development Department.  I was also a part time seminary student.  So at the busiest season of the terms I would go home for dinner and then return for an evening of study and catching up on files and work in the office.

It was close to midnight and I was working away on financial aid files and listening to the newest music by Bob Dylan.  Slow Train Coming (1979) and Saved (1980) were strong gospel albums that had Dylan booed off the stage at some of his concerts.  I loved them!

Slow Train Coming Bob DylanSaved Bob Dylan  ( I still listen to them weekly as I exercise)

What I did not know at the time was that Robertson had come by the office also.  Years later he told me that as he started down the dark hall and heard Dylan booming in the building he was all prepared to speak a word of correction to the custodial help.  Instead it was one of his new hires; a young man he was sure loved Jesus.  But how could he be listening to that rock and roll racket?

When I saw him stick his head in the doorway I immediately turned the volume down and explained that Bob Dylan was giving a clear testimony in his music.  I asked him if he would like to borrow the albums and check it out.  He said he would. So the next day I loaned them to him.

About a week later he returned the albums and I will never forget his words.  “Well, you can’t read those lyrics and not believe Bob knows the Gospel thoroughly.  It is just a shame that when God saved him he didn’t heal his voice.”  And then he gave me his classic grin.

Bob Dylan photo

Robertson modeled for me a man willing to suspend a judgmental spirit and listen and learn even when what he encountered what was not part of his preferences or culture.

Lord, Help me to do the same.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have a humorous memory with Robertson?  Comment below!

2 comments

  1. Jun Huang

    I was shocked to find him still alive in Chapel. And after chapel, I talked with him the same thing.”My friend asked me where is the President that take care of his sick wife, I said he was in heaven” He said, not yet. I am still living. I am so glad I can see him alive in my life. I asked for taking a picture with him. He agreed immediately like he obeyed all the other leaders like the current President. I found a soul as soft and obedient as a child in his heart.

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  2. Norman Rogers

    As a first year student at CBC in 1973 I was in Mr. McQuilkin’s Christian Life Seminar class. He asked if anyone could quote Romans 6:12-14. Having memorized the passage, I stood up and proudly started quoting the passage. Being a little nervous, I misquoted verse 14 saying, “… for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are under the law and not grace.” I immediately realized I messed up, but he and everybody else got a good laugh! I’ve never forgot that!

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