12/10/2006

WHO SPEAKS FOR YOU?

When the media wants to know what Christians like you and me think they don’t ask us—they ask “evangelical spokesmen” [MORE]

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not one of them...religious leadership is not trustyworthy in anything these days.

James Petticrew said...

A bit pointless for me being in the UK, Erwin is a friend and I know him so would be happy with him representing my views in the States. Here is something I never thought I would hear myself saying as a Scottish evangelical, I am happy with the Archbishop of Cantebury representing my views in a UK context. The last archbishop, George Carey was meant to be an evangelical but he was a BIG disappointment. Rowan Williams was meant to a be liberal but he has played a blinder in the UK media standing up for orthodoxy and the values of the Kingdom. The Archbishop of York, a former Ugandan judge in a similar way is a fantastic spokesperson for the Church in its widest sense. So for me 10 out of 10 for Rowan Williams!

Anonymous said...

Interesting!

Notables for me for your list...

HIGH
+9 Billy Graham (Rarely offends anymore... and focused on eternal things in every reply).
+7 Bill Hybels (He could more suitably take the mantle than Warren... and at Summit this summer he won back my support).
+7 Jim Wallis (he makes space for the convictional Christian in political life).
+6 Rob Bell (I have the feeling that he's holding back some stuff... but so far I like what he says.)
+6 Bono (Not really an evangelical, but ditto with Rob B).

LOW
+2 John Hagee (He kind of freaks me out with the big chart thing on the stage).
+1 Jerry Fallwell (Thank the Lord that he hasn't had an affair at least... I rank him this low because of his tone as much as content).

As for whom I would add to the list with rankings for me...

HIGH
+8 Keith Drury (the guy who used to be a Gay Evangelical)
+7 N. T. Wright (he represents well on all the television shows that interview him)
+6 Ben Witherington (same as Wright, and more evangelical)

LOW
+1 Ted Haggard one year ago
-1 Ted Haggard today
(The NAE isn't real... it's a figment of the political imagination)

As for who should likely be on the list but who I wouldn't say "speaks for me":

Ray Comfort
George Bush

Amanda said...

I appreciate both Jim Wallis and Tony Compolo. By the way, Compolo says he's no longer using the term "evangelical," but prefers to be called a "red letter Christian."

Keith.Drury said...

For you new readers... my son is not announcing anything about my sexual orientation but is referencing this article
http://www.drurywriting.com/keith/gay.htm

;-)

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem may be that we are looking for a person to speak for us. I think the current evangelical church may be better served by a network. Which seems to be what many of the spokesmen on this list actually attempted. To name a few Billy Graham, Rick Warren, falwell, Robertson, Kennedy all have tried or succeeded at setting up a network and a spokes-company of some sort. It seems the people they speak for are more supportive of the company than the individual. This is of course what many protestant(and some evangelical churches like the Wesleyans) churches have in their councils. This is also what seems to be happening with Campus Crusade after the passing of Bill Bright.

As far as answering your question:
Pope Benedict - best represents me. I appreciate that he was elected instead of hired or just appearing, I appreciate his ministerial and theological education, knowledge theologically. I appreciate that he keeps traditions and doesn't just put on shows for the sake of a show.

The AJ Thomas said...

I would say McManus and Bell would be my top although of course Graham is great. If there has ever been an evangelical pope it's Billy. I think Hybels could be a good succesor to Graham but if it's Warren I won't be heart broken. Bono is great on the issues he speaks on.
I'm happy to not be spoken for by Falwell, Robertson (especially when he's calling for someones death), and Osteen.

Interesting to me is thet there are no Canadians on this list./ Even more interesting is that fact that I'm not sure I can think of one to add.

K Mowat said...

What about James Dobson? The media continues to come back to him as a major leader of "evangelicals" - and particularly the "religious right."

Overall, I find it mostly unhelpful to try to pinpoint a public figure that best represents me. The result is often that others make incorrect assumptions about my beliefs and ideologies.

Keith.Drury said...

Thanks KM--you are right... he's added now.

tricia said...

If someone must speak for me I lean towards it being Rob Bell & Erwin McManus at the top of the list and Chuck Colson and Graham a little further down the list.
On my definitely not list I'd say Ralph Reed & Pat Robertson.
The one person I would add at the top of the list would be Tim Keller.

Anonymous said...

I feel like most of these leaders are on one extreme or another, balance seems lacking.

While I appreciate the evangelistic thrust of Graham and Hybels, I am also drawn to the social justice issues that Campolo and Wallis trumpet. I feel like Warren is trying to strike a fine balance between these two camps and so he might be my choice from the list. I would mention McLaren and Bell, but the emergent leaders are just two far off the map theologically (I love 'em and I hate 'em at the same time).

Is it a shame that I can more easily pick out the guys I wish would shut-down or disappear? Robertson, Falwell, Olsten, Hagee... LaHaye isn't on your list but he could certainly be added to this category. These guys do more public damage than good I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to many of the unnamed to step up in the future, to be a "spokesperson".

I question however, that {m}any of these gentleman can even represent me as a whole. Of course, Willie G. and some of the "safe" evangelicals are solid in many ways...but I have unfortunately seen them drift due to their own OPPINIONS...

Not that oppinions are bad...but if you voice your oppinions as truth, they can certainly make good a statue in the place of BEST.

I will cite John Hagee for example and his continual political onslaught. If I were a Moslem watching his shoe, I would be rather leary. I'm not talking about watering down, and creating a posh "seeker-sensitive" heretical hogwash..but I am talking about lovingly disagreeing, as man to man, with tears of compassion...while standing on the truth of the Gospel. I hope what I am saying is not becoming obscure in translation.

I also question whether there is a true spokesperson possible in the MEDIA considering who it is run by...Do you think Beezlebub is aching for the COMPLETE Truth to be represented in a Fair and Honest way?

Then again, God is mysterious, and His Word does not come back void...He will certainly use anything we think of as a disadvantage to bring glory and honor to His Name.

Grace and Peace.

Anonymous said...

*replace shoe with sho[w] above.

Bumble said...

Yes, another vote for Tim Keller here.

James Watkins said...

They all get a great big ZERO since it is absolutely audacious and ludacrious to think that any human being can somehow synthesize the wide range of beliefs of those who call on the name of Jesus Christ. (And some on the list get a zero because of the audacious things they say!)

Jim
www.jameswatkins.com

Anonymous said...

TOP (7-10):
Rob Bell
Warren
Campolo
Wallis
Graham
McLaren
Jo Anne Lyons (she can speak for me when she makes primetime)

MAYBE (4-6):
Dobson
Bono

BOTTOM (1-3):
Robertson
Falwell
Osteen (what a picture!)
Joyce Meyer

But you probably could've predicted that from my age alone!

Dewing said...

It's interesting that some on the list (Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, Bauer) have mainly made their mark trying to lead socio-political movements, while others (especially Graham)are known for their preaching, outreach, and benevolent work.

I would much rather have the latter representing me! I don't belong to a Christian political party--I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ!

Personally:
-I don't quite trust Rob Bell--although I'm ready to acknowledge that my suspician is perhaps poorly founded. At least he's working to change hearts.

--Bono? No way. He is NOT OK on the issues he addresses. He's not a practical thinker, and is more concerned with appearances than effectiveness. In that way, he hasn't passed the Rock Star phase on his political advocacies. If I wanted people to think that love and compassion meant chasing window dressing and spending money for no reasonably predictable reutrn THEN I would pick Bono. Too harsh? Probably. I do like his music.

--I want no part of any of the "Moral Majority/Christian Coalition" groups--even though they are probably not as bad as their reputations suggest. I could stomach their retoric much more easily if they were speaking as political leaders rather than ministers of the gospel.

--Billy Graham can respresent Evangelism for me any time--he doesn't try to be "more than" an evangelist, and I respect that. HE can be the preacher of my church in the eyes of the media.

--Give me a Chuck Colson if I'm picking a guy to represent me: A scholar, an apologist, a philanthropic worker; and a logical,practical doer. I'm not saying Colson is ideal, but he's a man who has tried to position himself as a spokesman. We need a theologian and an apologist to "speak for us" in the media. --a C.S. Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea, Dr. Drury! Fun stuff.

It's tempting to want to put a 8, 9, or 10 next to one time "safe bets" like Billy Graham. Graham was featured in Newsweek earlier this year and had some scary things to say that seemed to hint at universalism and Biblical errancy (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14204483/).

I vote a 10 for my own senior pastor who shephereds the flock I am gladly a member of. What a blessing it is to be able to affirm that.

So Cal Drury said...

At times, I have disagreed w/ Dobson and thought that his style (and that of Focus on the Family) was been too extreme. Often, after hearing Dobson get lathered up about something, I have said to myself, "What's the big deal?"

However, as my own family has grown larger and I face the complex issues that impact my family, I realize that Dobson and Focus are speaking my language. What I thought was reactionary mumbo jumbo now resonates more clearly as something I understand and agree with. I can't think of any other public figure who generally shares my view of families and addresses those views with resource development and advocacy. Local churches and pastors are generally ill equipped to speak competently on most issue impacting the family--except for performing weddings and encouraging congregants to deal with the mangled family parts that come out of divorce.

As it relates to issues of families in our culture, I give Dobson a +10.

One caveat--I am finding that as I become more informed about some issues, Dobson is not extreme enough to accurately speak for me. So maybe I should demote him to +9.

JustKara said...

Let's get this out of the way
1. We ALL vote for our senior pastors.
2. THEN we vote for our spouses,fathers, mothers, and whoever else we want to praise here. (or in reverse order with #1)

BUT AFTER THAT.. MY VOTE GOES FOR

TOP
Billy Graham
Pope Benedict
Bill Hybels
Rick Warren
Rob Bell
Brian McLaren

MIDDLE
Charles Colson
Jim Wallis
Joel Osteen
Tony Campolo
Joyce Meyer
Dan Kimball
Erwin McManus

BOTTOM
James Dobson
Pat Robertson
James Kennedy
Ralph Reed
Gary Bauer

NOT EVEN ON MY LIST
John Hagee
Jerry Falwell
Bono

Nathan Crawford said...

JoAnne Lyon. She's amazing - I just heard her speak and she was incredible (How is it she doesn't have more sway in evangelical-land, or even our own denomination?)

What about searching the past as well. People like Luther Lee, Orange Scott, Charles Finney, even Martin Luther King, Jr. etc.

And, what about looking outside of an American context - to people like Rowan Williams, Eberhard Arnold, or even liberation theologians like Leonardo Boff or Gustavo Guitterrez (lib. theologians are thoroughly orthodox and concerned with the church in the world. Near perfect examples).

chad said...

Oh my, it isn't even Tuesday and there are more than 20 comments.

So, I'll comment on the comments. It seems clear that there is a major transition under way in who speaks for Christians (at least those who read your Internet Articles)... the guys the media go to are no longer the go-to guys anymore.

The question I have is how much the "designated spokesmen" influence we Christians ourselves. If Falwell-Robertson-Dobson were the agenda-setters of the past, what will the new spokespersons set as our agenda in the future?

Josh B said...

Joyce Meyer gettin' no love in here. Am I the only guy that likes her message, or should I be writting this anonymously. :) I'd say I like different personalities for different reasons, so in some small way they all speak for me. Whether i want them to or not.

I'd say these would be my picks:

Billy Graham
Rick Warren
Joyce Meyer
Bell/Mclaren
Bono

Although I'd go Ravenhill/Tozer if I could go last century.

Dan said...

Great topic!

Luke - I read the Billy Graham article and didn't take Graham's words to hint of universalism or questioning biblical errancy. I would be hesitant to say that just because of that reporters interpretations of Graham's thoughts he is into either of those things. I don't feel a huge need to defend Graham, but it does seem like he's earned the benefit of the doubt on those issues. I think what he was trying to get at was that ultimately God is the only one qualified to judge... just my take on it.

Also, I'm not quite certain why Joel O. has such a bad rap. I'll admit, my first impressions of him were that he was kind of "schmoozy", but everything I've ever heard him preach is very biblically sound. Maybe people on here have picked up things I haven't, but I like him. If my vote was based on the cheesy smile I'd say "nay", but looking beyond that I give him two thumbs up.

Also, I'm curious on the Rob Bell thing too - why people feel that they can't trust him that is. Are people trying to express that he just hasn't been around long enough to feel like a time-tested leader? I guess I was surprised because it seems as though he is quite a good representative of so many younger Christians... any thoughts on this anyone?

My top few - Graham, Hybels, Warren. They've all been around for a while and have proven to be great spokespersons for what I feel like represents my own faith well.

When they convey Christianity in the public eye they try to stick to the basics and emphasize God's grace, love, and his desire for a relationship with us.

I feel like those guys represent well what I think the image of Christianity should be in America.

Several of the others convey that Christians are judgmental, rude, and intolerant (to name a few characteristics).

Fairly recently I heard Reggie McNeal say that in general, as Christians in America, "we're not LIKE the pharisees; we ARE the pharisees." And that the same things we hate when we read about them are the very things that we often do - make people feel like they need to fit into our religious box to know God, or align with a certain political agenda, or go to a specific kind of church. I believe McNeal is on to something there, as scary as it may be to recognize.

It bums me out that anyone who follows Christ would want to be represented by a few of the folks on the list.

-Dan Ward

Kevin K. Wright said...

My top picks are:

Pope Benedict XVI
JoAnn Lyon
Rowan Williams
N.T. Wright
Marva Dawn
Philip Yancey

Those who do not speak for me:
Everyone else on the list
Benny Hinn
T.D. Jake
Max Lucado
John Maxwell

Of course, everyone knows that as Jim Watkins has mentioned, it is ludicrous to think that one person can be a "spokesperson" for the entire Body of Christ. However, if I were to fall off the log, the above names would be on my short list.

Dan said...

kevin,

just curious - why do lucado and maxwell make your "do not speak for me" list?

it seems like hinn and jakes are pretty clear in the sense that theologically they are pretty far from wesleyan, but maxwell and lucado seem to be fairly neutral in terms of theology and practice.

is it just that you don't care for their style, theological, or something else? just wondering...

a young woman said...

Those who could speak for me:

1) Miroslav Volf--based on "Free of Charge," and "Exclusion and Embrace" ***MUST READS FOR EVERY JESUS FOLLOWER**
2) Jo Anne Lyons
3) Jim Wallis
4) Philip Yancey--based on What's so Amazing about Grace, and The Jesus I Never Knew.
5) NT Wright

Maybe:

1) Stanley Hauerwas
2) Brian McLaren

No:

Most other pop Christian authors/speakers who have no formal training in theology, or those who only teach about Christian leadership maxims and church growth philosophies, or those who only preach the importance of the verbal gospel and individual experience of Jesus without emphasizing action 'for the other' as being ESSENTIAL for the Christian life.

matthew said...

From your list:
Most- Warren, Graham, Colson
Least- Can't decide

Off your list:
Most- Steve Gregg

Kevin K. Wright said...

I'm interested by the number of non-evangelicals on the list. The variety of responses leads me to think ponders a few things like:

1.) The word "evangelical" is protean in interpretation and can encompass a great deal of theological ground.
2.) Evangelicals are finding new spokespeople in traditionally foreign soil (Catholicism, Anglicanism). However, I suspect that these people are seminarians or individuals who have done other graduate work.
3.) Evangelicals are becomming more socially progressive while remaining theologically conservative.
4.) While the emergents seem to draw their support from a specific generation of people, Billy Graham draws support across the board.

Rick said...

The top for me would be Kimball & McManus. I would put Tim Keller, John Piper, and Andy Stanley up there as well.
N.T. Wright, Billy Graham, and Rick Warren get honorable mention.

Anonymous said...

My Top three:

(1)McLaren
(2)Wallis
(3)Warren (I think he strikes the balance between the first two perhaps)

My Bottom three:
(1) Falwell
(2) Robertson
(3) Hagee
*not in any particular order

I would probably add Yancey to this list, along with Archbishop Rowan Williams.

One RIP mention, Stanley Grenz.

dewing said...

Amen to Grenz! What a loss...

mark o wilson said...

None of them speaks for me -- but all of them have spoken into my heart at one time or another. You can learn something good from anybody if you're open.

Jon Dodrill said...

First of all Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Chuck Colson, and John Hagee aren't Evangelical leaders. They are Fundamentalists leaders. I'm sick and tired of Fundamentalists using the name Evangelical to "soften" their image, because all they're doing is ruining another catagory for a whole lot of people who they don't represent.

I Like the influence that Rick Warren and Bill Hybels have, but I can jump in bed with them just because they have big churches and successful books.

Joel Olsteen is a full fledge 4 square Gospel type, so he's out.

James Dobson...like focusing on the family, but can't say he speaks for me.

I'm so out of the Evangelical culture that I don't even know the following people: D James Kennedy, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, Jim Wallis, Rob Bell, Joyce Meyer, Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus

I do like the Brian McLaren/Tony Campolo movement but I have yet to hear something difinitive from them that I can sink my teeth into.

I liked our previous Pope better.

The two who I agree with the most?
Billy Graham - He pervades all denominational and conservative/liberal camps. He's a great man with a great mind. And
Bono, not for what he says, but for what he does.

derek bethay said...

0- Fallwell, Robertson, Reed, Bauer (These guys stick their feet in their mouths way too often & are too political for my liking... Jesus is not a Republican); Osteen, Meyer (They seem to be more Prosperity Gospel than anything else. Osteen could pass for a young Robert Tilton with his hairdo!)

Toss ups- Dobson, Kennedy, Colson, Wallis, The Pope, Kimball, McManus, Campolo, Hybels, Bell, McLaren, Bono, Warren, Graham

I like some things I hear & read from the "Toss ups" crowd but at times they have said or done things that have put me off.

I will say this for Bono: At least he is using his fame & popularity to try to help ease some of the pain and suffering amongst the poor of the world... which is more than can be said for the majority of people who have his fame, money & popularity.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, it's another popularity contest, is it? I'm surprised that nobody has posted this yet... And some are for Paul, some for Apollos and some for Peter, but "Jesus speaks for me." ;-)

Ask a certain kind of question and the answers tend to be fairly predictable. We should probably wait a couple hundred years before the "evangelical" celebrities in our time begin to be ranked.

Glenn Harris said...

Some of them represent me on some things, none of them represent me on everything and unfortunately some of them don't represent me at all. I don't feel comfortable rating them because I think they all serve a purpose within a narrow spectrum but come short when taken out of their particular element and try to be a spokesperson for a broader culture. My problem with them increases as their push to represent increases. The more they say they speak for me the less they actually do.

Anonymous said...

Billy Graham! Because he preached the "mind of God" though not so sure if he still does!!!

Anonymous said...

My vote would go to Anne Graham Lotz. As a spokesperson she always lifts up the name of Jesus, is reasoned, not offensive, not political and NEVER an embarrassment. Following 9/11 she was masterful in handling the major news media.

coach d said...

I'm taking a side trip on one of these people so I hope I don't get deleted by the blog-owner as non-germane. Here goes:

While I agree with most everybody here that Joel Osteen does not speak for me, I saw him interviewed last night by Barbara Walters. I must admit that when he preaches (or is interviewed) he has a strange and magnetic—almost magical—positive influence on people, including me. His positive uplifting voice tone, authentic smile, and affirming manner along with his his boyish simplicity--are seductive and attractive to people today who no longer have Robert Schuler telling us we are good and don't think highly enough about ourselves.

Then it occurred to me why--HE IS MISTER ROGERS REINCARNATED! Mister Rogers had the same effect. This time around he is behind a pulpit and has no fish tank.

It made sense to me last night for the first time. Osteen is telling us our belly button won’t come untied and let our skin fall off. He assures us that we won't be sucked down the drain when the water goes out of the bathtub. He affirms that we are going to get a new job, a big raise, or a year-end bonus soon. His audience is desperate for hope and his soft assuring voice is so believable. It is a human lottery ticket--and you know you are going to win when you listen to his voice!


The irony of course is that the real Mister Rogers was an actual seminary graduate while Osteen has no theological training beyond the positive-thinking books he’s read. He “gets his message directly from God” he smiled to Barbara last night. And she seemed to believe him though she did her intro reminding listeners that the his preaching "eliminates all sin, suffering and sacrifice from the gospel." (Then again, maybe Barbara Walters has done more theological reading than Joel.)

Whatever, if I can quit expecting Joel Osteen to be a preacher of the gospel, and will start seeing him as a reincarnated Mister Rogers come back as an adult motivational coach I might watch him more often without feeling something's missing... he helps me sometimes... especially when I am worried that my belly button might come untied.

Danelle said...

I really can align myself with much of what Billy Graham, James Dobson, and Rob Bell have to say...

I'm not so big a fan of Robertson, Falwell, Hagee

Anonymous said...

The clear choice:

1. Al Sharpton
2. Jesse Jackson
3. Juanita Bynum
4. T D Jakes

I can sense a bit of exclusion (if you know what I mean) in the list. Surely some of your great minds could have come up with some "colorful" alternatives.

Keith.Drury said...

OUCH BrotherDark--you caught me good! You are right--I tend to see all four of those as "African-American leaders" and not evangelical leaders... yet I fail to consder those on my list as "white leaders" -- naughty me-- me culpa. Plese revisit us here and keep me honest.

Keith

K Mowat said...

How about Tony Evans?

First AME Brother said...

Doesn't Erwin M. think he is a dark brother? From an Indiana perspective (which has Gary, parts of Indianapolis, genetically engineered corn, and some freakishly crossbred pigs as its idea of racial diversity) Erwin would probably seem pretty diverse--you know that whole Mosaic multi-cultural thing--he has parishioners of color--doesn't that rub off some?

Anonymous said...

I noted that your evangelical spokesperson list didn’t include any black Americans…but it isn’t entirely your oversight, you know. I don’t believe Jackson and Sharpton would ever identify themselves as evangelical leaders. It would be too much of a political distinction. Compare themselves to Dobson? No way! Jakes may be in a different category here, I think.

I find it interesting to note that our black Baptist brothers are less willing to align themselves with us in matters of faith than a German pope. Of course, Fallwell and Bauers (and, perhaps Dobson) hold a reciprocal attitude. So, this isn’t a critique of black leaders. I find it worrisome that clergy on both side of the American politic spectrum assume a public leadership role more in keeping with a lobbyist than a minister of the Gospel.

On the other hand, maybe this discussion is inherently socio-political. I might be a bit idealistic to expect matters of faith and Christian practice to be separate from the culture wars. …but I’m sticking with my idealism and praying for that day…

Anonymous said...

I tried to comment on this, but I found that I couldn't without being completely obvious about how old I am.

High-
1. McLaren (believe it or not, Generous Orthodoxy, along with Chesterton's Orthodoxy, pretty much brought me back to my faith)
2. Bell
3. Bono

Middle
4. MacManus
5. Yancy
6. Warren
7. The Pope

Low
8. Dobson (sorry)
9. All the names listed that are more fundamentalists than evangelicals.

A lot of the people I know that aren't Christians have a bad taste in thier mouths because of Christians. The names at the top of my list (I think) help ease that, while the ones at the bottom make it worse.

Anonymous said...

I would have to add Louie Giglio and maybe even andy stanley.

I would say that louie G would most represent me and that it could be a plethora of others that would least represent me.

chris swarthout

JOhn Mark said...

I would agree with a previous comment that perhaps we are not looking for spokesmen as much as people with whom we resonate. I would then mention Marvin Olasky, author of the idea of "compassionate conservatism," yet to be really tried, and his fellow editors Joel Belz and Gene Edward Veith of World Magazine, all conservative Presbyterians/Lutherans.
I confess that I am really not familiar with and of the Emergent crowd beyond name recognition, and partly because of that I will not submit and type of ranking order of preference.

JOhn Mark said...

sorry for typos

John Mark said...

Did I miss it, or did anyone mention Jimma Cahta? He has had two "big" books in what, the last year?

Vaughn W. Thurston-Cox said...

These are some real interesting names. Those who would not represent me: James Dobson, Falwell, Hagee, etc . . . . Those who are closer to representing me: Bono, the Pope, McLaren, Campolo.

I think the question is the thing that is most interesting. Who represents us? (I say this as someone who does not generally identify himself that way.) Given the degree to which we have privatized faith and interpretation of Scripture can we say any one person represents us without first anamethizing (spelling?) other orthodox Christians who may differ in their views on what the authority of Scripture means, etc . . . .

Hugh Anglin said...

What a complex question! In some areas, any and all of the people mentioned here represent what I believe, yet in some specific areas is where the complications arise. But if I could put together a delegation to beam down to the planet and if time and space were no issue, here would be my away team:

Tony Campolo: to represent social justice and compassion.
Brennan Manning: God's love and grace
Mike Yaconelli: passion and fun.
Billy Graham: to keep focus on essentials.
TD Jakes: preaching.
Joyce Myers: practical theology.
Sonny Barger: team leader (look him up on google and you'll see why)

Keith.Drury said...

THANKS for the insiteful additions and discussion of this topic--very helpful responses and it expanded all of our thinking.

It appears that the old spokesmen of "old media" no longer speak for us (if they ever fully did)?

Anonymous said...

I'd still add Gregory Boyd, N. T. Wright, Tom Oden to the list, and I would remove Dobson, Fallwell, Robertson,etc. Old school is NOT new school, even if it has its own political wing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, almost forgot. Add Clark Pinnock to the speaks for me list.

Russ Veldman said...

Out of the list of people you gave, Charles Colson is probably the closest. His ideas seem well informed and he avoids the sensational. The rest I don't like much at all, especially the charismatics and emerging church folks.

AJ said...

I am in the UK. Most of your religious leaders are American and male,which is somewhat scarey given their generally insular view of the World and the USA's position in it.

Americans I can identify as having something biblically useful to say include

Tony Campolo
Jim Wallis
Philip Yancey

Also despite her rather old fashioned views I get a lot of food for thought from the writings of Elisabeth Elliot.

American Evangelical leaders who frighten me with their political and social views, materialism, lack of sound historical and biblical scholarship and their refusal to address enviromental issues include

Jerry Falwell
Pat Robertson
Franklin Graham
Maurey Davies
Peter Marshall
James Dobson

It goes without saying that as a supposed evangelical George Bush is an appalling national leader given the events surrounding Iraq, Guatanamo Bay etc plus his track record on human rights abuses and refusal to address global warming.

luke middleton said...

Looks like news networks are showing their answer, a guy that didn't even make your list: Albert Mohler.