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spirited public relations in a digital age



Updated: 2015-09-16T16:14:20.282-04:00

 



Rooftop moving to WordPress

2010-05-28T14:48:02.049-04:00

As of today, we've shifted The Rooftop Blog to WordPress. Please check us out there. Thanks.

Jim Jewell



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #17 Jack Hayford. Pentecostal Standard

2010-05-26T12:09:05.417-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#17 Jack Hayford. Pentecostal standard b.1934Most Pentecostal leaders are known as firebrands because of their high-octane presentation and spiritual zealotry. But the dean of the Pentecostal and charismatic movement, Jack Hayford, is often described as gentle, careful, and diplomatic. He served for more than 30 years as pastor of Church on the Way near Los Angeles and recently completed a term as president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Hayford is also widely known for his involvement in Promise Keepers and his role as founder of The King's College. He has written nearly 50 books and 600 hymns and choruses. In 1978, he wrote the popular praise chorus "Majesty." Hayford has emerged as “Pentecostals' and charismatics' gold standard," according to Steve Strang, publisher of the leading charismatic magazines Charisma and Ministries Today. “Pastor Jack would fall into a category of statesman almost without peer," Strang told Christianity Today.He is the founding pastor of the Church on the Way, a congregation of 12,000 in Van Nuys, California, a one-time Anglo suburb of Los Angeles that has become gritty Latino turf. But the church has not moved. Hayford believes that the Church on the Way was called to that very location. Spanish-language services have become the leading edge of the church, averaging 6,000 in weekly attendance.Hayford stepped in as head of the Foursquare denomination after its leadership had lost $15 million in a pyramid scheme. He also was part of the team that was chosen to mentor and restore the disgraced president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who resigned amid a gay sex and drugs scandal.“He is viewed as a voice of reason and calm at a time of scandal and crisis. They look to him as a source of balance,'' says Thomson Mathew, dean of the graduate school of theology at Oral Roberts University.Co-chairman of the Israel Christian Nexus, Hayford has made 34 trips to Israel. “I don't think of myself as a Zionist,'' Hayford says. “I believe in God's sovereign providence and purpose with his ancient people."Hayford brings Pentecostals together with other evangelicals. He has done this by patient outreach, one person at a time. In his public speaking he makes frequent, appreciative references to non-Pentecostal influences, from C. S. Lewis to Richard Foster. He reaches out to other L.A.-area pastors. John MacArthur counts him as a friend despite their many theological differences. Presbyterian pastor and former Senate chaplain Lloyd Ogilvie considers him one of his oldest and dearest prayer partners."His integrity and theological depth are so well known that he can draw together all kinds of factions," Strang says.In keeping with that role, Hayford is frequently involved as a leader in interdenominational activities, from prayer breakfasts to Billy Graham crusades. As a prominent speaker at Promise Keepers events, he has been heavily involved in efforts at racial reconciliation."He is known throughout the world as one of the great ecumenical leaders," says Ogilvie.He reaches across theological divides, Tim Stafford writes in Christianity Today: “without toning down his Pentecostalism one decibel. He is, in fact, aggressive about his beliefs, though he presents them graciously, in a way that explains and persuades. Leadership editor Marshall Shelley recalls hearing Hayford at a prayer summit at Multnomah Bible College. Most of the gathered pastors were conservative non-Pentecostals. ‘"By the time he was done, he had most of those pastors lifting their hands in praise," Shelley says. "He did it by explaining why it was biblical and why it mattered. He made sense. He brought rationality to spiritual expressiveness.’" In 1969, Hayford was asked to pastor a sma[...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #14 Ralph Winter. Missiologist

2010-05-24T16:32:40.114-04:00

(image)
[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]

#14 Ralph Winter. Missiologist. 1925-2009

The missionary task has changed dramatically in the last half century because of the accomplishments of missionaries past, the dramatic closing of nations and regions and the opening of others, and the changing perception of effective methods of recruiting and assigning missionaries and impacting “the field.”

At the center of this world of change was Ralph D. Winter, a 10-year Presbyterian missionary to Guatemala who founded the U.S. Center for World Mission and William Carey International University. He is widely regarded as one of the key factors behind the major shift of perspective in the mission movement -- from going to countries and individuals to penetrating “unreached peoples,” or those who have been bypassed by traditional mission strategies. Winter introduced this new approach in what many consider a watershed moment for modern mission—his presentation the 1974 Congress for World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland,an event organized by Billy Graham.

Winter argued that instead of targeting countries, mission agencies needed to target the thousands of people groups worldwide, over half of which have not been reached with the gospel message.

Graham said: “Ralph Winter has not only helped promote evangelism among many mission boards around the world, but by his research, training and publishing he has accelerated world evangelization.”

Golden Gate Seminary professor Ray Tallman, shortly after Winter's death in 2009, described him as "perhaps the most influential person in missions of the last 50 years.”

Winter was a highly educated leader who received degrees at Caltech (B.S.), Columbia University (M.A.), Princeton Theological Seminary (B.Div), and Cornell (Ph.D). He also studied at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he would later teach.
After the 1974 Lausanne Congress, Winter and his wife Roberta felt there needed to be a place to tackle cultural and linguistic barriers hindering the sharing of the Gospel with all people. In 1976, he left his secure, tenured position at Fuller to focus on calling attention to the unreached peoples, founding the U.S. Center for World Missions.

Ralph Winter was the most influential missiologist in the last half century, with his work and thought creating a shift in Christian missions strategies in a changing modern world.

--Jim Jewell



Book Review: Church in the Making by Ben Arment--terrific and not just on church planting

2010-05-24T13:03:35.742-04:00

I’ve been handling publicity for a new book about church planting that I think should be of interest not only to those seeking to and thinking about planting a church, but also to anyone hoping to start something new to advance Christian mission. Church in the Making by Ben Arment doesn’t mince any words, and it has the tone of a soldier who has fought the good fight and won, but at a high personal cost, with the sense that the battles could have been easier with better intelligence, and mourning the soldier-friends who he has seen fall around him. I’ve never tried to start a church, but I knew even before reading this book that it is extremely difficult, with a high rate of failure. Arment demonstrates a passion for saving future church planters from heartache and failure; but in the process he writes some things that will undoubtedly rub church planting traditionalists the wrong way. For instance, Arment writes: “We have placed a dangerous label on church planting that puts tremendous pressure on planters to persevere through any and all difficulties. We call it faithfulness. But in many cases it should really be called stupidity.” If you have plans to plant a new church, open a new campus, or help someone who is, you need to get and read Church in the Making. It is well written and an easy read. It’s worth your time. But it is also valuable to people like me who are involved in starting and advancing Christian organizations, missions, and causes. I’ve seen a lot of the same mistakes that Ben describes in ministry start-ups of all kinds; and I’ve made a number of the mistakes myself. I wish I would have had Church in the Making to read several years ago. I’ve marked nine different principles in the book that I’ve seen ignored by too many ministry leaders (myself included). 1. Plant in Fertile Soil Arment: “Every community has an established degree of spiritual receptivity. When you plant a church on fertile soil, it springs to life out of the community’s readiness. When you plant a church on infertile soil, it chokes and gasps to survive. In this case, you have to stop planting and start cultivating.” (page 3) 2. Experience Produces HumilityArment: “You can always tell a new, inexperienced church planter because he’s the only one who thinks he knows what he’s doing. The veterans show a humility that can only come from experience. It takes a year or two to knock the self-reliance out of the new guys.” (page 10)3. A Dream and Hard Work are Not EnoughArment: “Church planters are notorious for thinking that a great dream plus hard work equals a thriving church. But church planters fail all the time with this formula and have not idea why.” (page 46)4. Build a Network FirstArment: “I’m convinced that when God calls a planter to start a church, he calls him either to start a social network first (which can take years) or simply to leverage the one he’s been building around him.” (page 81) 5. You Can’t Do It AloneArment: “When God creates a church in the making, he doesn’t just call one person to start it. He calls a whole network of people who have been growing pregnant with vision.” (page 137)6. Properly Channeled Frustration is GoodArment: “God uses frustration to shape a vision. This is what he did to Nehemiah. And this is what he did to me. If God doesn’t build up a tremendous amount of frustration within us, we’ll never have the passion to pursue his calling.” (page 158) 7. Don’t Let Cash be KingArment: “The only thing worse than not pursuing your God-given vision is compromising your God-given vision for the sake of cash flow. Don’t let money do this to you.” (page 162) 8. Put a Good Staff to WorkArment: “Senior pastors are notorious for under-estimating the potential of their staff, mostly because they overestimate their own potential. Creating systems in your church is a far better way to leave a legacy than building up yourself.” (page 191)9. Many Tomorrows Do No[...]



A Theology of Sex (and Cooperation): New Evangelical Approaches to Curb Abortion

2010-05-21T16:13:45.040-04:00

New Evangelical Effort to Curb Abortion Rate Washington, D.C., May 20, 2010 – In an effort to pursue common ground towards reducing the number of abortions in the United States, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), representing 40 denominations, scores of evangelical organizations and millions of American evangelicals, today announced a new initiative focusing on respecting sex and respecting life. The NAE Generation Forum will explore practical and realistic approaches to curtail the high abortion rate in this country. Particular focus will be placed on young adults since they, not teenagers, have the majority of abortions. “America has an abortion problem,” said Leith Anderson, NAE President. “Yes, we are grateful that the abortion rate has declined. But, a million abortions in the United States every year is unacceptable. The NAE is engaging a fresh national dialogue seeking effective ways to significantly reduce the number of abortions.” Polling indicates that most Americans would like to see fewer abortions. The NAE recently partnered with Gallup, Inc. to poll evangelicals on their views about abortion. Nearly 9 out of every 10 evangelicals believe abortion is a serious problem in our country and that it should be an important priority for our nation to work together to reduce the number of abortions. Significant majorities of the respondents indicated support for a wide range of possible methods for decreasing the abortion rate – from parental consent and waiting periods before abortions to efforts at making adoption, pre- and post-natal care, and contraceptive services more accessible.[i]In response to this survey and with the desire to make measurable progress in reducing abortions, the Board of Directors for the NAE adopted a resolution supporting constructive efforts toward decreasing the number of abortions in America. The resolution reaffirms, “The NAE actively, ardently and unwaveringly opposes abortion on demand.” Then, noting the Bible’s call to civility and charity with our neighbors, the resolution continues, “The NAE is pleased that some longtime opponents in the debate over the legality of abortion have expressed interest in working together to dramatically reduce the incidence of abortion in the United States. Without compromising our core convictions, we seek honest conversation about ways to achieve this goal. These conversations should build on our shared concerns for human dignity, protecting children and promoting healthy families and communities.” The NAE’s Generation Forum will host events across the country to create dialogue about how local churches can be involved in effectively decreasing the number of abortions in their congregations and communities. Theology of Sex“We do not wish to exalt a one-size-fits-all approach to abortion reduction,” states the NAE resolution. “Rather, we urge church leaders, always with a mind to honor God’s gifts of life and sex and his holy institutions of marriage and family, to seek out strategies appropriate for their congregations and communities.”At an NAE forum on respecting sex and reducing abortions held today at Wheaton College, the NAE distributed a document titled, “Theology of Sex,” to help evangelicals understand and cherish human sexuality, build strong families, respect human dignity and celebrate the precious gift of life.Here is the full text of the NAE resolution. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------[i] Gallup conducted this national telephone survey of 1,000 evangelicals, ages 18-95, from July 7 – Aug 1, 2009. Evangelicals were identified by denominational affiliation, church attendance at least once a month, accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and affirming the Bible as the written word of God and a guide for life. This poll has an overall margin of error of ±3.1%.For information: Contact: Julie Shutley, 972-267-1111 [...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #16 Luis Palau. Innovator

2010-05-21T15:31:09.780-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#16 Luis Palau. Innovator. b.1934Portland’s downtown waterfront on a summer afternoon in 2000 was ablaze with sound, action, and color; rock music screaming, skateboarders and BMX riders strutting their stuff, and the mostly young crowd in prime form, enjoying the sun drenched festival atmosphere. This was not a concert, sports event, or political rally, but a Luis Palau street festival drawing some 140,000 people; an updated version of an evangelistic crusade that brought new prominence to the longtime efforts of the Argentina-born evangelist.It is unlikely that anyone in the crowd was saying: “This Palau guy seems like the next Billy Graham,” which is a relief to both the Palau and Graham organizations, neither of which was comfortable with this moniker that was heard from time to time early in Palau’s ministry. Now, it is the Graham organization and others who are playing catch-up to Palau’s dynamic outreach to the next generation through dynamic large-crowd street festivals.In fact, as Franklin Graham began to pick up more speaking responsibilities from his aging father, he had the instinct to do something different but, using the same teams that at times seem robotically steeped in Graham’s 50-year old crusade methodology, the Franklin Graham Festivals were little different than Billy Graham’s events, except in name and the inclusion of some contemporary musicians on-stage. Indeed, because of his openness to innovation, Palau has regenerated the mass evangelism genre and demonstrated that the methodology—while needing a generational facelift--is not quite ready to be retired.While Palau’s street festivals have been a great success and put some distance between he and the Grahams, the two organizations do have the same succession plan: both Billy Graham and Luis Palau have knighted their sons (Franklin Graham and Kevin Palau) to take the reins of the organizations and assume the evangelistic speaking mantle from their fathers.[Nepotism is alive and well within evangelical organizations headed by their entrepreneurial founders. Leadership is shifting to the sons at BGEA and LPEA; and when the board at Focus on the Family nixed the idea of a stronger role for Ryan Dobson at Focus on the Family, James Dobson left and started a new radio program with Ryan. Jerry Falwell was succeeded by his sons at his university and church; Pat Robertson’s likely successor is his son Gordon; Joel Osteen took over Lakewood church from his father. Some other father-to-son hand-offs that didn’t work out so well: Oral Roberts to Richard and Robert Schuller to Robert Jr .]It was in the 1990s that Palau’s ministry focus moved toward the United States—the majority of his crusades had been overseas—and by the end of the decade he had refined the unique festival evangelism outreach. Embracing contemporary life and culture, these festivals combine popular Christian music artists, a massive skate park featuring top Christian athletes of action sports like skate boarding, BMX and motocross, and even Veggie Tales for the children. The central feature, though, remains an evangelistic message inviting an on-the-spot response to the Gospel. It was Kevin Palau who realized that extreme sports greatly influence the youth culture and incorporated BMX riding and skateboarding demonstrations into the festivals. This has given the ministry an additional edge to its outreach to youth. Recently, Kevin and actor Stephen Baldwin co-produced Livin It, a 40-minute documentary that includes extraordinary sports action and compelling face-to-face, street-style evangelism. Born and raised in a wealthy Argentinean family, Luis Palau b[...]



Church in the Making: Valuable for ministry leaders, not just church planters

2010-05-20T13:45:57.890-04:00

I’ve been handling publicity for a new book about church planting that I think should be of interest not only to those seeking to and thinking about planting a church, but also to anyone hoping to start something new to advance Christian mission. Church in the Making by Ben Arment doesn’t mince any words, and it has the tone of a soldier who has fought the good fight and won, but at a high personal cost, with the sense that the battles could have been easier with better intelligence, and mourning the soldier-friends who he has seen fall around him. I’ve never tried to start a church, but I knew even before reading this book that it is extremely difficult, with a high rate of failure. Arment demonstrates a passion for saving future church planters from heartache and failure; but in the process he writes some things that will undoubtedly rub church planting traditionalists the wrong way. For instance, Arment writes: “We have placed a dangerous label on church planting that puts tremendous pressure on planters to persevere through any and all difficulties. We call it faithfulness. But in many cases it should really be called stupidity.” If you have plans to plant a new church, open a new campus, or help someone who is, you need to get and read Church in the Making. It is well written and an easy read. It’s worth your time. But it is also valuable to people like me who are involved in starting and advancing Christian organizations, missions, and causes. I’ve seen a lot of the same mistakes that Ben describes in ministry start-ups of all kinds; and I’ve made a number of the mistakes myself. I wish I would have had Church in the Making to read several years ago. I’ve marked nine different principles in the book that I’ve seen ignored by too many ministry leaders (myself included). 1. Plant in Fertile Soil Arment: “Every community has an established degree of spiritual receptivity. When you plant a church on fertile soil, it springs to life out of the community’s readiness. When you plant a church on infertile soil, it chokes and gasps to survive. In this case, you have to stop planting and start cultivating.” (page 3) 2. Experience Produces HumilityArment: “You can always tell a new, inexperienced church planter because he’s the only one who thinks he knows what he’s doing. The veterans show a humility that can only come from experience. It takes a year or two to knock the self-reliance out of the new guys.” (page 10)3. A Dream and Hard Work are Not EnoughArment: “Church planters are notorious for thinking that a great dream plus hard work equals a thriving church. But church planters fail all the time with this formula and have not idea why.” (page 46)4. Build a Network FirstArment: “I’m convinced that when God calls a planter to start a church, he calls him either to start a social network first (which can take years) or simply to leverage the one he’s been building around him.” (page 81) 5. You Can’t Do It AloneArment: “When God creates a church in the making, he doesn’t just call one person to start it. He calls a whole network of people who have been growing pregnant with vision.” (page 137)6. Properly Channeled Frustration is GoodArment: “God uses frustration to shape a vision. This is what he did to Nehemiah. And this is what he did to me. If God doesn’t build up a tremendous amount of frustration within us, we’ll never have the passion to pursue his calling.” (page 158) 7. Don’t Let Cash be KingArment: “The only thing worse than not pursuing your God-given vision is compromising your God-given vision for the sake of cash flow. Don’t let money do this to you.” (page 162) 8. Put a Good Staff to WorkArment: “Senior pastors are notorious for under-estimating the potential of their staff, mostly because they overestimate their own potential. Creating systems in your church is a far b[...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #43 Stu Epperson. Radio Transformer

2010-05-20T11:33:50.679-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#43 Stuart W. Epperson. Radio transformer b.1935Unless you live in the world of religious broadcasting it will be difficult to grasp how totally Stu Epperson and his Salem Communications have changed Christian radio throughout America. He did this by taking a new approach and pumping life into the expansive but often toothless religious radio industry. The new idea: acquire radio stations with high-powered signals on the commercial radio band spectrum, unlike most Christian broadcasters who tend to purchase many low-power translators. Epperson started Salem Communications with his brother-in-law Ed Atsinger in 1972 and today Salem is the dominant player in the Christian radio industry (Epperson is the chairman; Atsinger the CEO). Today, Salem Communications, a for-profit corporation traded on NASDAQ, operates about 100 stations, 65 of which are in the top 25 markets. Salem is the fifth largest U.S. radio station owner after Clear Channel, Cumulus, Citadel, and Entercom. Salem owns slightly more AM than FM stations, and covers one-third of the U.S population; the programming targets audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. Epperson, Atsinger, and other family members control about 85 percent of the company.The innovation and product expansion have continued. On the radio side, Salem now operates stations that provide traditional Christian teaching and ministry programs, contemporary Christian music stations, country music, and talk radio stations that feature conservative (although not necessarily Christian) hosts. These include some of the most popular second-tier (if the first tier is Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck) conservative talkers, including Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, and Hugh Hewitt.The company also produces and syndicates programming through the Salem Radio Network, which boasts about 2,000 affiliates that subscribe to religious programming, its twice-hourly news summaries, and other news programming—through a credible news operation, SRN News (part of what Columbia Journalism Review called “an alternative universe of faith-based news”). In addition, Salem publishes books and magazines and operates the Salem Web Network, a provider of online Christian content that owns and manages more than 60 websites, including: Christianity.com, Crosswalk.com, OnePlace.com, SermonSearch.com, LightSource.com, ChristianJobs.com, ChurchStaffing.com, TheFish.com, Townhall.com, CrossDaily.com, Hotair.com, and many more.As this generation has progressed, Epperson may be the most powerful unknown evangelical in America, with perhaps far more actual influence and decisive power than well-known figures such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, or James Kennedy. Epperson attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he received a bachelor's degree in radio/television broadcasting and a master's degree in communications. In 1984 and 1986, Epperson was the Republican nominee for the fifth Congressional district of North Carolina. In both races, Epperson was defeated by the incumbent Democrat, Stephen L. Neal.He is a member of the board of directors of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). Friends say his real passion is helping the fatherless. He founded “One Kid at a Time”, a youth mentoring organization, now part of the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring, where Epperson serves as chairman of the board. Epperson lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His wife, Nancy, is on the board of international Christian broadcaster Trans World Radio (TWR). He [...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #11 Rick Warren. Generational Bridge

2010-05-19T15:57:38.009-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#11 Rick Warren. Generational bridge b.1954If forced to choose, by most measures megachurch pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren is now the most influential evangelical in America. He has his evangelical critics, but most mute their criticism when he presents the Gospel in places such as Fox News Channel and prays boldly at the Presidential Inauguration. Warren has worked to shift the evangelical movement away from an exclusive focus on traditional evangelical social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage (regarding the latter, he called divorce a greater threat to the American family), to broader social action. Warren's five-point plan for global action, the P.E.A.C.E. Plan , calls for church-led efforts to tackle global poverty and disease, including the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to support literacy and education efforts around the world. In February 2006, he signed a the Evangelical Climate Initiative, a controversial evangelical statement backing action to combat global warming. As the director of the ECI campaign, I saw firsthand how Warren’s signature drew media attention and provided the campaign with a gravitas that it otherwise lacked, making it impossible to ignore. In this and numerous other efforts Warren has been parting ways with other conservative, high-profile evangelical leaders. Warren's softer tone on political issues central to U.S. evangelicals and his concern for issues more commonly associated with the political left have resulted in the characterization of Warren as one of a "new breed of evangelical leaders." But it has also been misunderstood by much of media as indicating a shift in the position of the “new breed” on traditional evangelical issues.Warren has been married to Elizabeth K. Warren (Kay) for 31 years in 2010. They have three adult children (Amy, Josh, and Matthew) and four grandchildren. He considers Billy Graham, Peter Drucker, and his own father to be among his mentors.Due to enormous international book sales, in 2005 Warren returned his 25 years of salary to the church and discontinued taking a salary. He says he and his wife became "reverse “tithers,” giving away 90 percent of their income and living off 10 percent. Warren is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States. He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism. He is perhaps best known for the subsequent devotional, The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 30 million copies, making Warren one of the bestselling authors of all time. Warren holds conservative theological views and traditional orthodox positions on social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and stem-cell research. What distinguishes his public voice is his call on churches worldwide to also focus their efforts on fighting poverty and disease, expanding educational opportunities for the marginalized, and caring for the environment. During the 2008 United States presidential election, Warren hosted the Civil Forum on The Presidency at his church with both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. Obama later sparked controversy when he asked Warren to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration in January 2009. Warren’s chief contribution has been the forging of a new tone and a broader set of issues from the prominent position he earned through historic book [...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #9 Pat Robertson. Waves and Airwaves

2010-05-19T13:33:17.338-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#9 Pat Robertson. Waves and Airwaves b. 1930Pat Robertson has always been full of surprises. Sometimes his surprise declarations play fairly well on the public stage: such as when he shocked the political establishment by not only running for president in 1988, but also placing second in the Republican primary in Iowa, which a decade earlier had been established as a viable first step for unlikely candidates when Jimmy Carter prevailed on its snow lined plains. Often his comments bring not acclaim but outrage, or at least as laugh lines on the late night shows. Sometimes his comments are careless and callous—such as his comments about Haiti’s pact with the devil, when tens of thousands of Haitians lay dead under earthquake rubble. At other times widespread mockery of Robertson is the result of broad exposure to earnest and widely accepted charismatic expression.Like many other Christian leaders who brought faith to the nation’s largest stages during this generation, Robertson is a man of remarkable intellect and accomplishment. He built one of the nation’s largest media enterprises, and found personal fame and fortune as a result of his prowess. “Pat” was born Marion Gordon Robertson to U.S. Senator A. Willis Robertson, a conservative Democrat from Virginia, and Gladys Churchill Robertson, a Southern belle and midlife convert to Christ. It was his mother who prodded and prayed for her son’s spiritual journey and she was instrumental in his conversion. He was raised as a Southern Baptist and later shifted to the charismatic movement. While Robertson’s first and most significant corporate founding was the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), he also founded the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the Christian Coalition, Flying Hospital, International Family Entertainment Inc., Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, and Regent University. He has remained the host of The 700 Club since its founding (except for the several months when he stepped away to run for president).His media and financial resources make him a recognized and influential voice for conservative Christianity. At the same time, the carelessness of some public statements have undercut his credibility and damaged the attractiveness internationally of the very faith he has sought to propagate. After Robertson called for Hugo Chavez’s assassination, syndicated conservative talk show host Neal Boortz said to his evangelical listeners: “Do you realize how much damage Pat Robertson has done to evangelical influence in this country?” As Boortz pointed out, untoward statements by Robertson have not only been damaging on their face, but they have also provided ammunition to the opponents and critics of evangelicalism, including many media representatives.Other controversies surrounding Robertson include his claim that some denominations harbor the spirit of the Antichrist and his widely misunderstood claims of having the power to deflect hurricanes through prayer. Using his broadcast pulpit, Robertson has also denounced Hinduism as "demonic" and Islam as "Satanic," and called Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's health crisis an act of God.The week of September 11, 2001, Robertson discussed the terror attacks with Jerry Falwell, who said that "the ACLU has to take a lot of blame for this" in addition to "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays, and the lesbians [who have] helped [the terror attacks of September 11] happen." Robertson replied, "I totally concur." Wh[...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #3 Francis Schaeffer. Philosopher

2010-05-19T00:17:19.983-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#3 Francis Schaeffer. Philosopher 1912-1984When I was a collegian, which my kids believe may have been in the early days of the republic, if you wanted to look like a serious believer you had a book by Francis Schaeffer tucked under you arm—or at least displayed prominently in your bookcase (which may have been an orange crate in your dorm room). Schaeffer was mysterious, thought-provoking, and a little ornery, and he seemed European. Whether or not we could understand what he was writing, we loved to have the appearance that we were contemplating his deep questions. A theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor, Schaffer is best known for his writings and the establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer advanced traditional Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics, which he believed would answer the questions of the age. Schaeffer popularized a conservative Reformed perspective and many credit him with helping to spark a return to political activism among evangelicals in the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially in relation to the issue of abortion. Today, roughly 25 years after his death, his teachings continue in the same informal setting at The Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation in Gryon, Switzerland. It is led by one of his daughters and sons-in-law as a small-scale alternative to the original L'Abri, which is still operating in nearby Huemoz-sur-Ollon and other places in the world. On the other hand, Schaeffer's son Frank Schaeffer has bolted from the shadow of his father, distanced himself from many of his views, and converted to the Greek Orthodox Church.Schaeffer's views were most fully developed in two works: the book titled A Christian Manifesto published in 1981, and a film series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?. The name A Christian Manifesto, is intended to position its thesis as a Christian answer to The Communist Manifesto of 1848 and the Humanist Manifesto documents of 1933 and 1973. Schaeffer's diagnosis is that the decline of Western Civilization is due to society having become increasingly pluralistic, resulting in a shift "away from a world view that was at least vaguely Christian in people's memory ... toward something completely different". Schaeffer argued that there is a philosophical struggle between the people of God and the secular humanists.Schaeffer has also been embraced by the modern Christian environmental movement as a conservative champion of environmental protection, citing his 1970 book Pollution and the Death of Man. He wrote in Pollution: "...the hippies of the 1960s did understand something. They were right in fighting the plastic culture, and the church should have been fighting it too... More than this, they were right in the fact that the plastic culture - modern man, the mechanistic worldview in university textbooks and in practice, the total threat of the machine, the establishment technology, the bourgeois upper middle class - is poor in its sensitivity to nature... As a utopian group, the counterculture understands something very real, both as to the culture as a culture, but also as to the poverty of modern man's concept of nature and the way the machine is eating up nature on every side."--Jim Jewell[...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #12 John Stott. Evangelical Pope

2010-05-17T23:30:38.585-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#12 John Stott. Evangelical Pope b.1921The most beloved of evangelical pastors and theologians in the last 30 years is probably John Stott, who although an Anglican from Great Britain has nonetheless been calming influence, a source of clarity and conviction, and a convening force for evangelicals in America and the world over. Stott has written more than 50 books, including Basic Christianity, The Cross of Christ (of which J. I. Packer says: "No other treatment of this supreme subject says so much so truly and so well."), and Evangelical Truth. He has traveled regularly to the United States, and his prominence within North American evangelicalism was reflected in his role as Bible expositor on six occasions at Urbana, the triennial student missions convention arranged by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote of Stott: “This is why so many people are so misinformed about evangelical Christians. There is a world of difference between real-life people of faith and the made-for-TV, Elmer Gantry-style blowhards who are selected to represent them. Falwell and Pat Robertson are held up as spokesmen for evangelicals, which is ridiculous. Meanwhile people like John Stott, who are actually important, get ignored.It could be that you have never heard of John Stott. I don't blame you. As far as I can tell, Stott has never appeared on an important American news program. A computer search suggests that Stott's name hasn't appeared in this newspaper since April 10, 1956, and it's never appeared in many other important publications.Yet, as Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center notes, if evangelicals could elect a pope, Stott is the person they would likely choose.” In the words of his biographer, Timothy Dudley-Smith: “John Stott has provided a model for international city-centre contemporary ministry now so widely accepted that few now realize its original innovative nature.” Central in this model were five criteria: the priority of prayer, expository preaching, regular evangelism, careful follow-up of enquirers and converts, and the systematic training of helpers and leaders. One of Stott’s major contributions to world evangelization was through the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization held at Lausanne, Switzerland. John Stott acted as chair of the drafting committee for the Lausanne Covenant, a significant milestone in the evangelical movement. As chair of the Lausanne Theology and Education Group from 1974 to 1981, he strengthened evangelical understanding of the relation between evangelism and social action. He was again chair of the drafting committee for the Manila Manifesto, a document produced by the second International Congress in 1989.Although known for a gentle tone and for his embrace of dialogue among varied groups of Christians and with other faiths, Stott makes it clear that he does not believe truth is plural.As Brooks writes: “Stott does not believe in relativizing good and evil or that all faiths are independently valid, or that truth is something humans are working toward. Instead, Truth has been revealed. Stott writes: ‘It is not because we are ultra-conservative, or obscurantist, or reactionary or the other horrid things which we are sometimes said to be. It is rather because we love Jesus Christ, and because we are determined, God helping us, to bear witness to his unique glory and absolute sufficiency. In Christ and in the biblical witness to Christ God[...]



The Oil Spill Tragedy: How Our Churches Can Help

2010-05-14T16:21:47.300-04:00

What can we do as Christians and what can our churches do to help address the damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Here's a thorough guide from Flourish, with clear information, how to pray, ideas for fundraising, and tips for action.

One tip:

Although it is not appropriate to fly down to the Gulf Coast, pick up an oil-slicked bird, and start scrubbing on your own, there are lots of opportunities to assist established organizations with oil spill clean up efforts at ground zero.



Leaders of the Evangelical Generation #19: Bill Hybels. Church changer.

2010-05-14T13:39:45.531-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#19 Bill Hybels. Church changer b.1951Walk into most evangelicals churches in America today, large and small, and you are likely to see the influences in worship style and service components of Bill Hybels and the Willow Creek church and association. It is particularly true in the megachurches, regardless of their evangelical flavor--from reformed to Wesleyan, charismatic or Baptist. Early, he was criticized for using marketing language to sell church and accused of smoothing the sharp corners off the Gospel to make it more “seeker-sensitive.” In recent years the Willowcreek team has been its own strongest critic, faulting its failure to adequately develop spiritual maturity while creating an enormous, active congregation.Hybels’ South Barrington, Illinois, church is the third most attended in the country, with an average weekly attendance exceeding 23,000, and the nation’s most influential church for the last several years in a national poll of pastors. He is also the founder of the Willow Creek Association and creator of the Global Leadership Summit. In 1971, as youth pastor at Park Ridge's South Park Church, Hybels started a youth group with friend Dave Holmbo. With modern music, dramatic skits and multimedia combined with Bible studies in relevant language, the group grow from 25 to 1,200 in just three years.After 300 youth waited in line to be led to Christ in a service in May 1974, Hybels and other leaders began dreaming of forming a new church. They surveyed the community to find out why people weren't coming to church. Common answers included: "church is boring", "they're always asking for money", or "I don't like being preached down to." These answers shaped the group's approach to creating a new church, Willow Creek. In October 1975 the group held their first service at Palatine's Willow Creek Theater. 125 people attended the service. The rent and other costs were paid for with 1,200 baskets of tomatoes, sold door-to-door by 100 teenagers. Within two years the church had grown to 2,000 and in 1981 it moved to its current suburban location. Willow Creek is the prototypical megachurch, with modern worship, drama and messages focused on the unchurched. Through its association, Willow has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. Not long ago Willow released its findings from a multiple year qualitative study of its ministry. Willow Creek leadership wanted to know what programs and activities of the church were actually helping people mature spiritually and which were not. The research revealed that "increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does not predict whether someone's becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does not predict whether they love God more or they love people more.” Speaking at his Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings:“Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back, it wasn't helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.' We should have gotten people, ta[...]



A Southern Baptist Leader's View of the Oil Spill

2010-05-13T14:04:36.944-04:00

There is no shortage of articles and broadcast reports on the Gulf oil spill--who is to blame, what's being done to stem the flow of oil, what the impact will be on the Gulf coast and its people, flora and fauna.

The Flourish Blog has an important view of things, The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Creation Care, from Southern Baptist Seminary's Russell Moore.

Moore writes:

Some conservatives, and some conservative evangelicals, act as though “environmentalism” is by definition “liberal” or even just downright silly. Witness a lot of the evangelical rhetoric across social media on Earth Day a while back: mostly Al Gore jokes and wisecracks about cutting down trees or eating endangered species as a means of celebration.

Do some environmentalists reject the dignity of humanity? Yes. Do some replace the reverence for creation with that due the Creator? Of course. This happens in the same way some do the same thing with reverence for economic profit or any other finite thing.

There’s nothing conservative though, and nothing “evangelical,” about dismissing the conservation of the natural environment. And the accelerating Gulf crisis reminds us something of what’s at stake.


This is an important read for those of us who are conservative evangelicals from one of our community's articulate leaders.

--Jim



Evangelical Conservatives Seeking to Forge New Position on Immigration, Arizona Law

2010-05-10T12:59:45.716-04:00

There is an encouraging move afoot by conservative evangelicals to deal constructively with the immigration issue and to find a solidly biblical position not necessarily in line with majority Republican or Democratic platforms.

The effort is headed by Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Matt Staver, dean of the Liberty University Law School, and Samuel Rodriquez, head of the largest evangelical hispanic group in the nation.

Today's news:

A growing chorus of conservative evangelical leaders has broken with their traditional political allies on the right. They're calling the Arizona law misguided and are attempting to use its passage to push for federal immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

The group, which includes influential political activists such as Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy wing, and Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, will soon begin lobbying Republican leaders in Washington to support comprehensive immigration reform under President Obama.

But a big part of their job is to first persuade rank-and-file evangelicals to get on board.

"There's a misconception among people at the grass roots that the pathway to citizenship is amnesty, and it's not, but we have to overcome that," said Staver, who heads the law school at the university founded by Jerry Falwell. "There's a lot of work to be done."

Staver and Land have partnered with the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, an influential Hispanic evangelical figure, and Rick Tyler -- former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's longtime spokesman and head of Gingrich's new values-based organization -- to try to draft a consensus evangelical position on immigration reform.


--Jim Jewell



ATLANTA SPRAWL AND LOCAL INNOVATION BOTH FEATURED IN WEB SERIES PREMIERE ON NEW URBANISM

2010-05-05T14:16:29.002-04:00

Sprawlanta Offers Stark Contrast of City’s Alarming Growth and Development Model at Glenwood Park PREMIERE TO BE FEATURED AT CONGRESS FOR THE NEW URBANISM IN ATLANTA MAY 19-22ATLANTA, May 3, 2010—Atlanta’s suburban sprawl and a citizen’s entrepreneurial effort to address the crisis are featured in the premiere of a new Web series about the challenges facing America's growing cities.Titled Sprawlanta, the first episode of American Makeover sounds the alarm bell on Atlanta’s suburban sprawl, warning that America’s fastest expanding city has been on a pace that would extend the city from coast to coast by the year 2050. The premiere will be featured at the 18th national conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) at the Hilton Atlanta, May 19-22. The conference will include international planners, designers, engineers, and other specialists on retrofitting corridors and neighborhoods for more pedestrian and transit-oriented mobility and for healthier living. There’s a particular accent on health at the 2010 conference, which has been organized with help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).“When it was founded in 1850, Atlanta was 3.14 square miles. Today metro Atlanta is approximately 8,379 square miles. If you extrapolate this exponential growth rate over the coming decades, Atlanta could cover the entire continental United States by mid-century!" explains Buffalo-based filmmaker John Paget.Atlanta was a natural choice for the series’ first episode because of its infamous sprawl and because it is home to Glenwood Park, one of the success stories that is at the heart of the American Makeover series. The new online show spotlights the harmful effects of sprawl and the transformational possibilities of new urbanism and traditional neighborhood design—such as Glenwood Park--in cities across America.“There’s been a lot of makeover television shows about kitchen remodels and plastic surgery; but what really needs an extreme makeover is the American landscape, which has been completely ‘uglified’ by sprawl,” says Paget, explaining the impetus for the series.“It’s not just the aesthetic issue; severe sprawl is making American life dysfunctional for all of us,” adds Dr. Chris Elisara of First+Main Media, producer of the series. Recent books and news stories have led to a growing awareness of how suburban sprawl is bad for human health and the environment, but people remain largely unaware of any alternative to the suburbs. "We're hoping to remind audiences of the harms of sprawl, but really focus on the solution, which comes down to how we design towns and communities.”The unique series is partially sponsored by the Notre Dame School of Architecture and The Fund for the Environment and Urban Life (www.enviro-urban.org). The series can be viewed at www.americanmakeover.tv. Glenwood Park, AtlantaRecently built by Charles Brewer, founder and former CEO of the Internet service company Mindspring, Glenwood Park is a 28-acre development less than 2 miles from downtown Atlanta. In the episode, viewers experience a day in the life of Glenwood Park, a community that consists of diverse people, various housing types, retail, restaurants and office space. The smart, attractive design and the mix of residential and commercial buildings ultimately work to create a pleasant, walkable neighborhood that stands in stark contrast to Atlanta's automobile-dependent suburbs. Brewer, interviewed in the episode, says, “It all comes down to walkability.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Howard Frumkin (also one of the episode’s f[...]



American Makeover Series Starts in Sprawlanta

2010-05-03T16:35:38.501-04:00

When filmmakers John Paget and Chris Elisara were looking for a location to shoot the pilot of their new web series on the strategic growth of American cities, they considered Atlanta the natural choice. It is history’s fastest expanding city, which in their series premiere—called Sprawlanta—they say would spread from coast to coast at the rate it has grown since its beginning. But they found that Atlanta was not only the poster child of suburban sprawl but also the site of one of the nation’s models of what is called “new urbanism.” Glenwood Park, a development by Internet entrepreneur Charles Brewer on the Glenwood Avenue connector, provides an example of a in-town location with wonderful places to live, work, shop, eat, and play within walking distance; a model of what these fans of new urbanism say will create safer, more enjoyable, and healthier cities.

The series is called American Makeover and you can view the Sprawlanta series premiere and support this project here.

--Jim Jewell



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #50 Kurt Warner. Sportsman

2010-04-30T13:30:46.298-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#50 Kurt Warner. Sportsman b. 1971Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner has many admirers, not only because of his stellar play, his sportsmanship, and his perseverance, but also because he’s so open about his Christian faith. He does not take the credit for his success without thanking God and praising Jesus Christ. There have been many stunning victories in Warner’s career, one of the most decorated post-season quarterbacks of all time. After each victory, the first words out of his mouth are recognition that his skills come from God and his life is in His hands. There are many athletes today who use the limelight to shine light on their faith in God; it has become part of the sports landscape. Athletes congregate on the field after a game to pray; stars offer a sound bite honoring Jesus. It rarely makes the news. Warner is among the most prominent, consistent, and most effective. He understands a discussion with sports reporters about resurrections comes only in the context of career revivals and that tape recorders or cameras are often shut off when faith references start up. During a visit to The Oprah Winfrey Show, Warner "basically had three sentences to say, so, in the middle one, I made sure I mentioned my faith, because how could they cut it out?" he said. "I went to watch the show on replay . . . and they cut it out!"Warner is justified in wanting his faith to be part of his story, because it is dishonest and inaccurate to do otherwise. He is one of the NFL's great success stories. In five years, he went from a 22-year-old stock boy at a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Hy-Vee grocery store to Super Bowl MVP. Later, he has morphed again, from unemployed veteran to a record-setting starting quarterback with the Cardinals, taking them to the first Super Bowl in team history. "I wasn't always this way," he told an Arizona sports writer. During his final season at the University of Northern Iowa in 1993, Warner went to a country-music dance bar called Wild E. Coyotes. He spotted Brenda Carney Meoni and asked her to dance. Her immediate reaction? "Get away. Get away.”"Here's this cute guy in a bar with an entourage of females, and I'm the last person that makes sense for him to go to," said Brenda Warner. "I'm a divorced woman with two kids, one with special needs. And Kurt's 21. Twenty-one."They danced, and the next day, Warner was knocking on her door with a rose."Again, I'm screaming in my head, 'Go away!' but I opened the door and said, 'C'mon in,'" she said. "My 2 1/2-year-old grabs him by the hand and shows him every radio we own." He fell in love with my kids before he fell in love with me. When we'd have a fight and were going to break up, he'd say, 'Well I get the kids.' I'm like, 'But they're my kids!' " They stuck together, even when it appeared football wasn't in Warner's future. He signed with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent in 1994 but was cut before the season began. He returned to UNI to work as a graduate assistant football coach and spent nights stocking shelves at the local Hy-Vee grocery store. He moved in with Brenda, who was struggling financially and turned to food stamps for a while. They drove a car that died every time it turned left.He landed with the Arena Football League's Iowa Barnstormers in 1995 and three years later was sign[...]



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #7 James Dobson. The Voice

2010-04-28T16:47:54.469-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#7 James Dobson. The Voice b. 1936The rise and radio reach of former USC psychologist James Dobson made him one of the most heard, respected (and among those opposed to his conservative political and positions, despised) public figures of his generation. His Focus on the Family program, which he started in a storefront office in Arcadia, California, in 1977, provided enormous help to parents and spouses through a radio program that was one of the nation’s most popular in any genre. At Dobson’s zenith, there was not a more powerful figure in evangelicalism.In his final years of work at Focus on the Family, it had become difficult to recall the early days of James Dobson’s radio program. Shuttered behind high security doors of an immense Colorado headquarters, Dobson’s public voice had become increasingly polemic and political. The family-doctor persona had developed an edge, and his ministry was losing the distinctiveness of the original family-focused brand. As one Christian publishing executive told me: “Focus on the Family sees their organization and the message for families, which is more needed than ever, now marginalized not by people outside the community of faith where those impressions have been entrenched for quite some time, but inside the community of faith where perceptions among 20 -30 year olds is that Focus is 90% political and 10% about the family.” With Dobson stepping more squarely into the political arena in the last decade, what was known at Focus as the organization's "nurturing" side—the lifeblood of the ministry—had been overshadowed in the public eye. I know and like James Dobson. I’ve spent time with him on many occasions, and I have admiration for what he has done to help families. His accomplishments are enormous, and Focus on the Family (which by the way is one of the great organization names, because the name states the mission) is a powerhouse advocate for the family. It is wrong to dismiss the contributions of James Dobson because he yielded to the seduction of political power, and it is short-sighted to focus on Dobson’s political involvement, which—while not without impact—was the least successful and important of his endeavors. His impact on Christian radio and the extent of his help to parents over many decades cannot be overstated. The Focus on the Family daily radio program airs on more than 2,000 radio stations, and has some 1.5 million listeners a day—enormous by Christian radio standards. Son of a Nazarene PreacherJames C. Dobson Jr. was born to Myrtle and James Dobson in Shreveport, Louisiana, and from his earliest childhood, Christian faith was a central part of his life. He once told a reporter that he learned to pray before he learned to talk. In fact, he says he gave his life to Jesus at the age of three, in response to an altar call by his father. He is the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Church of the Nazarene ministers. His father, James Dobson Sr. (1911–1977), never went to college, choosing instead the life of a traveling evangelist. Dobson's father was well-known in the southwest, and he and Mrs. Dobson often took their young son along so that he could watch his father preach. Like most Nazarenes, they forbade dancing and going to movies, so young "Jimmie Lee[...]



What Republican said this...

2010-04-28T11:35:29.733-04:00

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
10 You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

. . . in the last 60 years this prosperity decalogue has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln. But alas, they were penned in 1942, decades after Lincoln, by an obscure Presbyterian minister, William J. H. Boetcker. He released a pamphlet titled Lincoln On Limitations, which did include a Lincoln quote, but also added 10 statements written by Boetcker himself.

People who got the pamphlet thought the 10 statements were written by Lincoln and they have been distributed widely under Lincoln's name.

The error was cemented when Ronald Reagan attributed some of these to Lincoln at the 1992 Republican National Convention. Reagan said:

I heard those speakers at that other convention saying "we won the Cold War" -- and I couldn't help wondering, just who exactly do they mean by "we"? And to top it off, they even tried to portray themselves as sharing the same fundamental values of our party! What they truly don't understand is the principle so eloquently stated by Abraham Lincoln: "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

If we ever hear the Democrats quoting that passage by Lincoln and acting like they mean it, then, my friends, we will know that the opposition has really changed.


Good list, regardless of who came up with it!



50 Leaders of the Evangelical Generation: #13 J.I. Packer. Wise Counselor

2010-04-27T16:14:33.320-04:00

[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they've had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]#13. J.I. Packer, Wise Counselor b. 1926It is surprising to first meet J.I. Packer in his academic setting, an unassuming room at Regent College in awe-inspiring Vancouver. My first impression was “Mr. Rogers Goes to College.” But then, of course, Packer speaks and you begin sense the wisdom of the ages in one of Christendom’s wise and courageous thinkers. The son of a clerk for Britain’s Great Western Railway, Packer won a scholarship to Oxford University, where as a student he first met C.S. Lewis, whose teachings would become a major influence in his life. In a meeting of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, Packer committed his life to Christ. Throughout the years Packer, like Lewis, taught and demonstrated that orthodoxy is the friend not the enemy of cross-cultural and cross-denominational engagement. The Anglican scholar is one the most significant evangelical theologians of the last one hundred years and hHe has had a strong influence through his many book and lectures on many Christian renewal movements in the U.S. and worldwide. He has helped Christians in their pursuit of Knowing God, the title of his influential 1973 best seller, which taught the simple, deep truth that to know God is to love His Word..A 2009 essay collection edited by Beeson professor Timothy George concludes that he “should be seen fundamentally as a "theologizer," a "latter-day catechist," a Reformed prophet standing in the tradition of Irenaeus, Augustine, Calvin, Baxter, and Owen.” Packer has said “the numeric growth of evangelicals, which has been such a striking thing in our time, is likely never to become a real power, morally and spiritually, in the community that it ought to be if it does not embrace a God-centered way of thinking, an appreciation of his sovereignty, an appreciation of how radical the damage of sin is to the human condition and community, and with that, an appreciation of just how radical and transforming is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ in his saving grace.” His collegial manner can mask what would otherwise be seen his conservative, even “right wing” beliefs. After being ordained in the Anglican church, Packer soon became recognized as a leader in the evangelical movement in the Church of England. In 1978, he signed the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which affirmed the conservative position on inerrancy. In a 2009 discussion Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll found Packer to be “clear minded at age 82 and he remains incredibly conversant, insightful, and witty. Impressively, his words are impeccably precise.” During that visit, Packer explained his strong opposition to homosexuality on biblical grounds, and he said the teaching that Christians can remain practicing homosexuals is heresy because it denied the basic tenet of repentance.Packer has also been engaged in some of the most important statements of evangelical engagement, including his decision to sign the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document in 1994. He is perhaps the most influential evangelical theologian to call for stronger ties between evangelicals and Roman Catholics, but he believes that unity should not come at the expense of orthodox doctrine. Nonetheless, his adv[...]



What Republican said this...

2010-04-27T15:33:30.936-04:00

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.


Answer tomorrow.



More Inspiring Short Speeches

2010-04-26T16:20:35.713-04:00

I love great speeches, and the best are speeches that deliver an eloquent punch quickly. We offered a selection of inspiring short speeches almost six years ago. Here are more; some you’ll recognize. I’m sure others will be new to many:Well KnownBlood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat Sir Winston ChurchillMay 13, 1940 On Friday evening last I received from His Majesty the mission to form a new administration. It was the evident will of' Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties.I have already completed the most important part of this task.A war cabinet has been formed of five members, representing, with the Labour, Opposition, and Liberals, the unity of the nation. It was necessary that this should be done in one single day on account of the extreme urgency and rigor of events. Other key positions were filled yesterday. I am submitting a further list to the king tonight. I hope to complete the appointment of principal ministers during tomorrow.The appointment of other ministers usually takes a little longer. I trust when Parliament meets again this part of my task will be completed and that the administration will be complete in all respects. I considered it in the public interest to suggest to the Speaker that the House should be summoned today. At the end of today's proceedings, the adjournment of the House will be proposed until May 21 with provision for earlier meeting if need be. Business for that will be notified to MPs at the earliest opportunity.I now invite the House by a resolution to record its approval of the steps taken and declare its confidence in the new government.The resolution:"That this House welcomes the formation of a government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion."To form an administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself. But we are in the preliminary phase of one of the greatest battles in history. We are in action at many other points-in Norway and in Holland-and we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. The air battle is continuing, and many preparations have to be made here at home.In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if 1 do not address the House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the political reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind sha[...]



PR Tip: Getting Your Research Results Noticed by Media

2010-04-26T15:19:58.093-04:00

Releasing interesting research results, such as a compelling national poll, has always been a good way to get media coverage. The Spin Within offers three tips to get your research noticed and published by reporters. Top line:

1) A picture is worth a thousand words

2) Include your methodology

3) Timing is everything


I've found that timing in the release of research results is like location in real estate.