Ronald L. Dart — Christian apologist, educator, author, minister, broadcaster, college Dean, and founder of Christian Educational Ministries — has died at age 82. His wife Allie Dart told us in a message that he “died peacefully in his sleep early this Sabbath morning, January 23rd, from a prolonged battle with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.”
He was “a gifted teacher of the Word of God. People around the world have come to appreciate Ron’s easy style, his non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. People say they get hooked on Ron’s depth of insight into the Bible and appreciate the unique gift for clarity and simplicity that enable him to hold an audience.”
Primarily and most personally, he was for Adrianne and me our friend, pastor, and teacher — as he was for so many others across the nation and throughout the world.
In the essay My Giants associated with this website, I listed Ron among those who have been “my personal giants, on whose shoulders I gratefully (if sometimes shakily) stand.” It remains as true today as when I wrote it that “I have learned more about the Bible from Ron Dart than any of my other pastors and professors — and quite possibly than all of them combined.”
My first reaction on hearing the news this morning was tearful grief at the loss of someone so special in our lives. And that emptiness remains as I write this. But we know, thanks in large part to Ron’s teaching, that he has fallen asleep and awaits Christ’s return and the Resurrection. We draw great solace and hope in that. And we give overwhelming praise and thanks to God our Father for Ron’s release from his physical infirmities and the trials of this world, as well as for the certainty of his eternal life to come.
In 1995, Ron retired from a career as a minister, administrator, and educator, in order to found Christian Educational Ministries. CEM is a service ministry with two major goals: first, to share the Gospel with the world, to evangelize, to make disciples for Jesus Christ; and second, to teach those who are disciples of Jesus all that He commanded His disciples to do. This Mission became the springboard for his daily 30-minute nationally syndicated radio program, titled Born to Win. Hundreds of his Born to Win programs and his sermons (in .MP3 format) are available for download on the CEM Born to Win website.
I have included here a video of one of Ron’s sermons, titled A Doctrine of Grace, which typifies what has been called his “remarkable gift of clarity and love and understanding of the Bible.” Below that are links to information about his three books, and finally a brief bio. Years ago, with his permission, I reproduced Ron’s Confession of Faith on my website, and I commend it to you.
In all of this, we cannot forget to express our deep admiration and love for Allie, Ron’s extraordinary wife and partner-in-ministry. Our hearts and spirits are with you, Allie.
We will all miss having Ron Dart with us, but we thank God for the gift of his teaching, his intellect, his humor, his leadership, his generosity, him as role model in our quest to become children of God, and — his grace.
Books by Ronald L. Dart
The Lonely God
2005, 212 pages
The Thread: God’s Appointments with History
2006, 304 pages
Law & Covenant
2007, 240 pages
Ron Dart’s writings, sermons, and radio programs available on its website.
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY : Ronald L. Dart was born to young parents on a farm just south of Harrison, Arkansas. His father worked for the railroad and also sang bass with the Melody Four Quartet. He started school in a one room schoolhouse in Gaither, Arkansas and finished high school in Houston, Texas where he met his wife to be, Allie Driver. He joined the Navy in September of 1952 and earned the rating of petty officer first class in four years. After the Navy, Ron attended Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas for two years, and Ambassador College for two years, earning a bachelor’s degree. Ron served as a pastor of a church, returned to college to get his Master’s Degree, and then went to the University of Texas in Austin and did work towards his doctorate in Communications. It is through his continued studies in theology and communications that Ron’s gift for teaching the Word of God became evident. He has taught Old Testament Survey, Epistles of Paul, and public speaking. He has CDs of sermons he has given on virtually every book in the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.