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Who makes your list?

Who makes your list? has released its picks for the “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.” Headed up by Franklin Graham, with father Billy Graham coming in at number five, and Pat Robertson filling out the top ten, the list has a clear political weighting. Beneath a red alert notice asking, “Is the rapture going to happen soon?” the compilers explain,

It is also a time when a new Pope seems poised to launch a reassessment of traditional Catholic moral teaching — and the American free-market establishment — that will spark spirited resistance within the church he governs. And so Cardinal Raymond Burke, formerly of St. Louis and little known before Pope Francis’ election, features prominently on our list.

Not everyone on the list carries traditionally conservative credentials, however. Katharine Jefferts Schori (the list is inconsistent in its application of titles and honorifics) comes in at 25, and Nadia Bolz-Weber, the “Pastrix” founder of the House for All Saints and Sinners, is safe inside the fold at number 92.

Who would make your list of “Top Christian Leaders in America” for 2015?

Photo: Presiding Bishop Katharine  Jefferts Schori closes out the top quarter of the list. Posted by Rosalind Hughes



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Paul Woodrum

While I’m always happy to see our most gracious Primate and Presiding Bishop receive due recognition, it’s a bit embarrassing when it’s a list headed by Franklin and Billy Graham.

Anand Gnanadesikan

Let’s see, here’s Samaritan’s Purse rating on Charity Navigator…

4-star rating, $368 million spent on helping those in need.

Let’s compare that with Episcopal Relief and Development, shall we?

3-star rating, $16 million spent helping those need.

Seems like we could learn something from Franklin Graham…

Now Marc Driscoll and Creflo Dollar, that’s another thing altogether… that truly is embarrassing.

Alexander Bennett

Highly respected for their integrity and good works that have improved the lives of millions, both men have a deep faith in Jesus Christ.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” rom1.16

“Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me , his prisoner.” 2tim1.8

Alexander Bennett

I like the bible teachings of Ravi Zacharias, J. Vernon McGee, Alistair Begg, Chuck Smith, Adrian Rogers, K.P. Yohannan, David Jeremiah, Erwin Lutzer. (McGee, Rogers, Smith are deceased).

Sean Ferrell

What a strange list! Perhaps most surprising to me was the inclusion of Gavin McLeod (from TV’s The Love Boat), and Sarah Palin. I think their inclusion on the list says much about the author of the list, and not a lot about the actual top 150 religious leaders in the country.

Phil Fox Rose

Such a silly list. Just focusing on the Catholics: Wuerl and Dolan belong; while conservative, they are working to be effective and relevant; but Burke was fired and sidelined by the pope, Donohue, besides being a credential’s blowhard and troublemaker with no real power, is chief defender of the just fired Bishop Finn. Meanwhile, the most important American Catholic leader, Cardinal O’Malley, a member of the pope’s 8-person inner advisory team, doesn’t make the top 100.

Anand Gnanadesikan

Yes, I noticed O’Malley wasn’t on the list either. But of course he’s more a pastor than a politician…

Anand Gnanadesikan

Given that the criterion to get on this list seems to be:
1. Celebrity (I mean Mark Driscoll?!? After losing his ministry?!?)
2. A willingness to play in the political arena.
So I’m not sure it’s particularly a compliment to be on the list.

Though at least for Michael McConnell, Robert George and Russ Hittenger it’s their job to think about politics. The last two, who were professors of mine, are great teachers who treat their students with exemplary fairness.

What’s striking to me is who is not on the *conservative* list.
1. John Piper- leader of the Neo-Calvinist movement.
2. Michael Farris- head of Patrick Henry College and leader in the homeschool movement.
3. Peter Kreeft: One of the most effective Catholic evangelists.
4. R. Albert Mohler: Head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
All of whom have *far* more actual impact on the life of the church at large than Creflo Dollar.

I also can’t understand how a list couldn’t include
1. Richard Stearns-World Vision
2. Alec Hill- Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
3. Jim Liske- Prison Fellowship
4. Jonathan Reckford-Habitat for Humanity

Of course, that would mean upholding people who actually try to do something about social justice (other than Franklin Graham), rather than just talking about it.

Notice also, no Phyllis Tickle, Diana Butler Bass, Jaroslav Pelikan, Ben Witherington…. people who actually have an impact on the spiritual formation of ministers. But no, it’s celebrity that counts…


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