Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Influence Waning? Ha!

The Church Report, a conservative Christian publication, unveiled its latest list of "most influential Christians in America." Our own James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, came in at No. 5.

It was a pretty interesting list. The rest of the top four included: 1) Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston; 2) Billy Graham, evangelist; 3) Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago; and 4) Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas.

Three of the top five were megachurch pastors. My guess is that an earlier draft had our own fallen megachurch pastor, Ted Haggard, in this list's top 10. And frankly, an argument could be made Haggard deserved a high spot even now. What Christian leader has been more talked about than Haggard this year?

In fitting with the Report's conservative and evangelical leanings, mainline leaders were absent. Not even Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church and a controversial figure in her own right, managed to make it on the list. Even middle-of-the-road evangelicals didn't do that well: Rick Warren, head of Saddleback Church and arguably the most influential megapastor in America, wound up 16th on the list.

3 Comments:

Anonymous joshMshep said...

Have you seen this story yet? Looks like a documentary featuring Ted Haggard will be airing on HBO Jan. 25.

-joshMshep
www.myspace.com/joshmshep

6:02 PM  
Blogger Paul Asay said...

I actually have an advance copy of the show. I plan to watch it this weekend, and I'll probably talk about it Monday in the blog.

Just checked out your blog ... quite cool. Your thoughts on twentyfourseven were interesting and poignant.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Zen said...

Ahh but is it a positive or a negative influence? It's a question that deserves asking.

11:59 PM  

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