When I moved on from teaching to attend Westminster Seminary, CA., Jon gave me a signed copy of his book, "The Will of God and the Cross: An Historical and Theological Study of John Calvin's Doctrine of Limited Redemption." Little did I know about whom I had worked with. This was probably the definitive work against RT Kendal's thesis that Calvin was not a Calvinist in his view of the atonement. Kendal and others believed that Calvin and Arminius shared the common view that Christ died for all. The thesis was quickly adopted by many evangelical theologians. Jon Rainbow's book, in my humble opinion, was the definitive reply to the Calvin against the Calvinists thesis (If you can find the volume anywhere, get it!--it was published by Pickwick Publications, 1990). Jon also wrote many other articles that really were groundbreaking. His article on the duplex beneficium (the double benefit) published in Ex Auditu, is still a standard reference article to demontrate the Protestant view on the necessary connection, but not confusion, between justification and sanctification.
Jon was a mentor and friend, and I will miss him dearly. I wish that I had communicated with him more about how thankful I was for his influence upon my life. But I know that he now enjoys that eternal rest that Christ gives to all whom love him. I thank the Lord for godly influences in our lives, and one influence that will always be remembered is that of Jonathan Rainbow.
Jonathan H. Rainbow died peacefully at his home in Visalia, CA and entered his heavenly home on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. He was born the oldest son of John and Priscilla Rainbow on June 14, 1951 in Minneapolis, MN. He would have been 59 years old on his birthday. When he was a young boy, the Rainbow family moved to Pomona, CA, where Jonathan attended school and graduatedfrom Pomona High School in 1969. He continued his studies at the Universityof California at Santa Barbara, where he met his wife, Pat Weimortz Rainbow. They were married on July 8, 1972. Jonathan attended seminary atWestminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. After seminary, theRainbows moved to Heil, North Dakota where he pastored his first church andstarted a family. He later earned a doctoral degree in Reformation Historyat UCSB. From there he moved to Porterville, CA with his family and was apastor for seven years before becoming a teacher of history, Bible, and Honors English at Central Valley Christian High School in Visalia, CA. Jonathan Rainbow loved music and was a great story-teller, two passions that came together in the four full-length operas he composed and produced inlocal theaters. He leaves to his family, friends, students and many who have been blessed by his preaching, a legacy of faithful service to his Lordand bold preaching of the Word of God. Jonathan is survived by his wife Pat of 38 years, three children, Hannah Ploegstra (John) of Visalia, JesseRainbow (Andrea) of Somerville, MA, and David Rainbow (Brady) of Glen Ridge,NJ.