Last night Larry King hosted a discussion with a few of the most influential american evangelicals on his talk show. Each of them was a included in TIME magazine’s 25 most influential evangelicals in America list, which is from their most recent issus, dealing with the power of evangelicals in the American political world.
On the show were Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Franklin Graham, T.D. Janks, and Brian McLaren. Of course, it was easy to see who was going to be relevant, and who wasn’t.
The LaHayes are sure doing a great job at whatever it is they are doing, but heck if I know what that is!
Franklin Graham was his normal stuff, giving the gospel message in a very humble way, but giving it none the less.
T.D. kept his patience even though Larry King talked to him about the evangelical track record with racism (which in case you haven’t noticed – sucks – America was not built on biblical principles, it was built on the backs of black slaves).
Brian McLaren, perhaps the least evangelical of them all, was what was expected as well.
No big surprises.
One caller in to the show did make me think though, and then another did too.
First, one caller commended McLaren and Janks for being open-minded. It made me wonder why we have to be polarized into open- or closed-minded…
I think it is the real call of Christians to be known as compassionate, which may well go beyond the open/closed minded discussion. Compassion is like the flavoring in the dish, because being open- or closed- minded without compassion is pretty much the same thing isn’t it? And perhaps, people who commend Christians for being open-minded have no idea what they are talking about and really just admire the compassion with which the person responds.
Second, a caller asked McLaren about his view on the war. I love going to listen to Brian speak, simply to hear the people try to peg him down with their heretic darts. McLaren was wise though, and stuck by his views, being a little sneaky about not saying whether or not he supported Bush, but being outright in saying that he does not support Bush’s actions in the world.
I think we’re all very, very grateful for the initial good results from the election, so I have nothing but gratitude that went so well. And I think we’re all so proud of the Iraqi people for, at great risk, going out to vote. But I think we still, many of us who are Christians are not spoken for, by a lot of the most public voices. And a lot of us are raising very deep questions about the U.S.’s role in the world, and is this really a sensible role for us to take.
So, it was an interesting night, and will be good conversation for the small group this week…