Jack Chick, yeah, the one and only Jack Chick died Sunday. His tracts, a staple of the “you’re-gonna-bust-hell-wide-open-and-fry-like-a-sausage” wing of Protestant, American Christianity, were big and occasionally found in my circles in the 1970s and 1980s. Since he waged holy war on Halloween, a death on that date would have been ironic. The Lord is in charge of beginnings and ends. He worked according to His schedule.
I first laid eyes on one of those Jack Chick tracts in the late 1970s. A few of my seminary classmates favored them. I may run across one these days about once every few years. The tracts were labeled by some “Christian pornography” but I thought they were interesting and reasonably fair, although on the edge and sometimes beyond of what I personally thought to be sensible. Some of his stuff was virulently anti-Catholic. A decade before the first widespread notice of Roman Catholic priests and child sex abuse, I recall a Jack Chick comic tract that was in that neighborhood.
Homosexuals, the affluent, the Masons, evolution, Islam, the occult, sports, Hinduism, Buddhism, Native Americans and others were the subject of his mini-graphic novellas.
There is a spectrum of tracts for those who think them helpful: Four Spiritual Laws, many Billy Graham examples, some very intellectual and sophisticated…and Jack Chick. To be candid, I can picture Bill Bright’s Four Laws tract and Jack Chick’s. Not any of the others.
Southern Baptists come in a fairly wide spectrum as well, and that in many ways – worship style, preaching style, dress, leadership, etc. There are Chick tracts lovers and Chick tract haters among us. I’m grateful that such a wide range of different believers find some common ground to do the Lord’s work together. Speaking of the young SBC whippersnappers, I’m curious how many have never seen a Jack Chick tract.
Jack Chick, 1924-2016. R.I.P.