John Dickinson was an American patriot, but one of a different sort. Dickinson represented Pennsylvania in the Second Continental Congress. Dickinson believed the colonies should become a sovereign nation, but thought the method should be negotiation rather than armed conflict. Dickinson opposed the Declaration of Independence and when it was passed, he refused to sign it. He nevertheless displayed great courage when he left the congress and enlisted in the Continental Army even though he believed the armed cause was futile.


It may have been that act that endeared him. When the revolution was over he was revered in the political life of both Pennsylvania and Delaware. He participated in writing both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States. What would be the result in churches if church leaders who don’t get their own way could be so dedicated to the church?

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.