Monday, February 09, 2009

Lament for a Lost Friend: Gary Lewis

For many years, I have sadly wondered whatever happened to my friend, Gary Lewis. Gary was one of my first Christian friends after my conversion in 1976. I met him at the University of Oregon in the fall of that year. The next year I lived in a Christian men's house called The Way Inn (owned by First Baptist Church) along with Gary and about a dozen other young men. We took several classes together that studied the work of Francis Schaeffer.

Gary was a brilliant student, who studied linguistics and Chinese in particular. He wanted to be a missionary to China, but later joined the military. The last communication I had with him was in the early 1980s when he sent me an inscribed copy of Warning to the West by Solzhenitsyn. I had become a pacifist, and Gary--now in the military and with conservative convictions--was abjuring me to rethink my views. Thanks to that book and others, I did so, and adopted a just war position and more conservative views in general. (It may shock some readers to know that I was a Sojourners-reading, pacifist from about 1979-1980. I even voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980).

Gary was a sensitive and bright soul, earnest for God and his Kingdom. We often talked and prayed and laughed together, sharing significant things from our young Christian lives. Yet for over a quarter of a century, I have had no idea where he is. I do not know his middle initial, and Google searches always turn up a pop group called Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Wrong that is.

So, if anyone can point me to this man, Gary Lewis, please let me know. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1978 and served in the military. His parents were from California, I believe. I miss him and would like to see what God has done with his life over all these years.


Brian Smith McCallum said...

Professor G,

Have you tried ZabaSearch?

Also, your local public library should have a subscription to a tool called ReferenceUSA, which may help.

Daniel said... I hear is good, for a small fee.

Not to get into it if you don't want to but I don't see how being pacifist is necessarily a more liberal position than just war. At least if we're talking conservative vs. liberal theology, I think both positions can be argued as conservative and orthodox. If we're using political vocabulary I would want to see statistics on how many Christians who are pacifist are democrats and how many Christians who are just war are republican. And then I would want to ask whether these people are more influenced on that view by their Christianity or by their politics.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

I was speaking of politically liberal. One may be conservative theologically and interpret biblical ethics to require pacifism, as does Ron Sider.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

PS: At the height of the cold war, Ron Sider wrote a book saying we should surrender to the Soviets by unilaterally disarming. Jim Wallis preached the same thing. Gladly, no one heeded their ideologically insanity.

Daniel said...

Nuclear disarmament isn't insanity when the purpose (or at the least, effect) of nuclear bombs are to kill in mass, primarily civilians.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Unilateral surrender to a totalitarian regime is insane. It gives in to evil in a fallen world.

Daniel said...

Yeah, that's insane. But mutual nuclear disarmament is not. Even for the just war proponent.

Although, one wonders how insane it is to rely on God for protection rather than our own autonomous means. That's what I struggle with anyway.