Remembering Rennie Showers (1935–2019)
Visit the Renald Showers resource page, which is devoted to the work and ministry of this man of God.
News of the passing of renowned theologian Dr. Renald (Rennie) Showers in April generated a massive outpouring of condolences from people in virtually all segments of the evangelical community. To anyone who knew Rennie, the response came as no surprise.
His theological expertise, gift for writing, and exceptional skill as a Bible teacher unquestionably motivated the immense number of people touched by his ministry to express their sorrow at his death. Such an outpouring of affection is seldom seen for someone who teaches theology and shapes minds in proper modes of Christian doctrine and conduct.
For me, after more than 30 years as colleagues, his passing marks the conclusion of a relationship I’m not likely to find in quite the same way again. Though tenacious when it came to theology, Rennie possessed a kindness of spirit that I experienced repeatedly in the quiet hours we spent together in conversation apart from the bustle of conferences and work-a-day matters. Whatever the subject, he was gracious, with a rather contagious appeal in how he answered questions and related to people’s personal concerns. I, too, feel heartfelt personal loss at Rennie’s departure.
I think I speak for everyone who listened as he taught in a clear, logical fashion, patiently answering questions. They came away feeling that in Rennie, they’d met a friend. His was the gift of instruction with empathy that touched so many lives and will not be lost in our memories. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord…that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13, KJV).
former executive director of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
I first met Dr. Renald Showers while a student at Philadelphia College of Bible (PCB, now Cairn University). I knew of him because I was working in the shipping department at The Friends of Israel headquarters, where we mailed out materials all over the world. One of our newest titles back then was The Most High God, Dr. Showers’ now-famous commentary on the book of Daniel.
But it wasn’t until he became one of my professors in the fall of 1983 and I had the privilege of listening to him teach the Word of God that I began to grasp just how knowledgeable, humble, and gracious a man he really was.
Back then PCB assigned each student to a faculty member who would be available to pray with you, encourage you, and provide wisdom and advice. I was given a name, but I popped my head into Dr. Showers’ office one day and asked if I could speak with him instead. His response was a resounding yes, and I found myself visiting his office many times while at PCB.
We talked about everything—doctrine, The Friends of Israel, personal matters, even sports—while he sat at his desk eating a sandwich he had brought from home. He made it easy to be yourself. He knew how much I loved baseball, particularly my home team, the Philadelphia Phillies; so he brought me with him twice when he shared God’s Word in the locker room at Veterans Stadium with the Phillies players—including Mike Schmidt and Tug McGraw.
There’s a story Rennie loved to tell about the time I missed his class. He told it at his retirement dinner in 2016, and I think he’d want me to tell you now because he got such a kick out of it. I was struggling through Greek and had an exam coming up, so I decided to skip Rennie’s class for the first time ever and study. The next time class met, while Rennie was taking attendance, he looked at me with a big smile on his face and declared for all to hear, “You know who you would’ve sat next to had you not missed class? John Denny.” Talk about a missed opportunity for a young guy who loved baseball and adored John Denny!
John was a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Phillies at the time. A believer, he later went to Rennie’s office where they talked about how to share Christ with fellow Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton.
Rennie was special to me. He knew so much and was able to communicate his knowledge effectively, while still being warm, personable, approachable, incredibly patient, and very understanding. I admired and respected him tremendously.
In 1989, my esteemed professor became a valued and much-loved colleague. We would often meet at the Word of Life Bible Institute in New York. Rennie would be the guest lecturer for the first-year class, and I would be lecturing to the second-year students. I look back on those times of fellowship as precious gifts from the Lord. I will miss you, Rennie.
a Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
7 thoughts on “Remembering Rennie Showers (1935–2019)”
I had no idea Dr. Showers passed until the following month. I took my first Bible class from Rennie as a student at IBS in Bellmawr, NJ in 1992. I failed his class and was ready to quit and move back to Massachusetts discouraged. Dr. Showers sat me down and encouraged me to stay and retake the class. I passed with a 100% grade! I had him speak at my Prophecy Conference in Swansea Massachusetts in 2006. He will be missed, but a glad reunion day is coming. the Rapture!
Dr. Showers spoke here in Chattanooga for several years at the International Board of Jewish Missions, IBJM. I wouldn’t miss his teaching for anything because it was a seminary education drinking from a fire hose. I am so thankful for the education I received from him. Currently, I am reviewing his book on Daniel, Most High God as I am teaching on the Book of Revelation. I’m so thankful for all the resources that Dr. Showers authored. I am greatly blessed to have heard his teaching and have his resources at my fingertips.
I have read many of Dr. Shower’s books in and out of the seminary. Then, my wife and I were eating out at Hershey Farms in Lancaster, PA. some years ago; I went to the bathroom to wash my hands. I just heard some bad news on the radio, I am standing next this man, I said hi, and remarked how we have to be living in the end times, and how reprobate this society is. He agreed, and stated we are living in the end times for sure. I thought he looked familiar. I got back to my seat and told my wife that I saw this gentleman in the restroom, and he looked familiar. That weekend we had signed up for a seminar at Willow Valley with the Friends of Israel. As I walked into the huge room, I saw Dr. Showers and I knew he was the gentleman I met in the restroom. I walked up to him and introduced myself. We both laughed after I apologized to him for not recognizing him. I have a signed book by him that he authored called :”There Really is a Difference.” Unfortunately, I just recently found out he went home to be with the Lord. I am sure he received a great welcome home from Jesus; “Well Done my Good and Faithful Servant.”
Like so many others, I have fond memories of Dr. Showers. In the early 2000’s, I emailed Dr. Showers and asked if it were possible to speak by phone. I had so many questions about different issues ranging from soteriology to eschatology. He graciously sent me his phone number and we ended up talking for over an hour! We all know the tremendous knowledge he possessed about theology, in general, and eschatology, in particular. This knowledge is clearly expressed in his many works. But something occurred at one of the prophecy conferences at PCB which left an indelible mark on my memory. While speaking to the audience about the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, known popularly as the Tribulation, Dr. Showers began to tear up. I don’t believe it was very noticeable to most, but since I was sitting relatively close to the podium I could definitely see he was emotionally impacted by what he was teaching and was trying to conceal it. Although Dr. Showers looked forward to the blessed hope and the future kingdom with all the saints, I believe he was profoundly touched in the depth of his being by what he knew was coming one day upon the earth and those who would not respond to God’s grace during the time of the Tribulation. Dr. Showers wanted to use his gift of teaching to bless the church body. I think he wanted to motivate us to reach out to the lost, to reach those who comprised the burden he carried with the gospel.
I am looking for an introduction to a book that Dr. Showers wrote, where he discusses the dark days of his ministry, and what God was doing in his life that he was not aware of until a later time, and how this changed his ministry for God’s glory.
Does anyone know where I can find this?
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything similar to what your are describing in any of the books that we offer here at FOI by Dr. Showers. There are other books that he wrote and co-wrote that we do not sell, and it may be in one of those. You can find our Renald Showers resource page here: https://www.foi.org/rshowers/.
Have a blessed day.
Growing up in a dedicated, loving, Bible believing family, I knew The Lord. As a young adult however, I grew increasingly pressed to make sure that the theology that I believed to be true was in fact truth, and my belief was not due simply to my parents influence. Dr Showers taught a class during my year at IBS called ‘God, Man and The Bible’. The methodical, clear teaching he gave, with such gentleness and conviction, gave me exactly what I needed in my time of questioning. What The Bible says can be trusted, is is inherently true. God has not changed. It will be glorious to see dear Dr Showers in heaven one day, surrounded by the many people he pulled upward, closer to The Father he so loved. I am grateful for his writings, that we on earth can still access some of the wisdom God blessed him with. Maranatha!