The Editor of *Christianity Today* Weighs-In on the Perkins and Falwell Jr. Debacle


Christianity Today usually tries to stay out of the political fray.  Frankly, I was somewhat surprised that they were willing to let me write so freely about Ted Cruz during the 2016 campaign.  (The piece actually won an award).  I respect the folks at CT and I am always impressed by their reporting on evangelicalism and politics.  Court evangelical Robert Jeffress has described those affiliated with the CT approach to politics as the “Christianity Today crowd.”  (Count me as one of the crowd!)

Earlier this week, editor Mark Galli (check out his new book on Karl Barth) weighed-in on the Tony Perkins “mulligan” and Jerry Falwell Jr.’s wacky comments and tweets.

Here is a taste of his piece:

To be fair to Perkins, however, the call to turn the other cheek is not a universal guideline for Christian behavior. It is a very good guideline in many, many situations, and one Christians should instinctively start with. But it doesn’t take deep imagination to recognize that Jesus does not call us to simply absorb evil in every instance. He certainly didn’t. He called out the Pharisees in the strongest language—“hypocrites,” “blind fools,” “sons of vipers” (Matt. 23)—and he turned over the tables in the Temple and drove out the money changers with a whip (John 2:15).

In the same vein, we rightly tell women they should not simply turn the other cheek when a man sexually assaults them. Similarly, African Americans who are abused by the system should fight for justice. And so on and so forth. Christianity is not a passive faith in the face of evil, but one that encourages and models courage and standing up to evil, along with the virtues of patience and forbearance.

This is one reason being a Christian is so hard at times. It takes a fair amount of wisdom to discern when and how these various virtues come into play in any given situation. I’m making a larger exegetical point here: We Christians should not reflexively default to one set of virtues when we’re trying to craft or critique public policy. So formally Perkins is right to suggest that.

Galli is much harder on Falwell Jr.  Read the rest here.

7 thoughts on “The Editor of *Christianity Today* Weighs-In on the Perkins and Falwell Jr. Debacle

  1. Does a professor who chooses to publicly condemn his political opponents have an ethical obligation to hold his political allies publicly accountable for their misconduct?


  2. To MJD: Since you “see nothing in [his] blog posts…” that take the approach you want him to take, I’m curious why you follow the blog and repeatedly make this same accusation? Thanks for any light on this.


  3. The idea that Christians are being bullied by Obama or anybody on “the left” is ludicrous. The problem with the article is that it takes that claim at face value.

    American Christians have more power and wealth than any demographic group in world history.


  4. You are quick to make sport of Tony Perkins and Jerry Falwell, Jr., — which, in this instance, is easy to do — but your criticism of “court evangelicals” will never be anything other than witty sanctimony unless you begin holding your political allies accountable for their corruption. So far, I see nothing in your blog posts indicating you are committed to the proposition that justice must be impartial in order to be justice.


  5. And now they have a club which they can gleefully wield – victory against the infidel and unbeliever. “The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.”

    And now, as part of the transaction, good and decent and honorable men and women are being ripped from there families and sent from the only country they have ever known to an uncertain fate in strange and often dangerous lands. Many are sitting alone in jail now with little or no access to the law. Do you know any of these people John? I do. Do you know any of their children? I do. Where is the Trump-worshiping Evangelical compassion and charity and sense of moral justice? The underbelly of grudge-fueled revenge is not a pretty place. Where is that in the Evangelical discussion?

    What’s to be made of prophets preaching revenge and moral violence? If only there were a book.


  6. I must say: With Falwell Jr., the apple has not fallen far from the tree. Falwell Jr. has the same penchant for putting his foot in his mouth as his father did! I’ ve never been a big fan of the Moral Majority. To many of us ” non Trump” evangelicals, these “court evangelicals ” as you’ve so aptly coined the term, are not only sounding patently ridiculous, they are bringing shame and disgrace to the name of our Lord!


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