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Senior Pastor Glenn Beck?

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It used to be said that Rick Warren was "America's pastor." Before that, of course, Billy Graham was the pastor of presidents. Now, it's Glenn Beck.

Regardless of your political views, you have to admire how Glenn Beck--a one-time drunk, washed up comedian--has transformed himself beyond a mere conservative commentator into a public persona writ large on the American evangelical landscape. A lesser person would assume that Beck had seen where the money and influence was to be had and beat feet to get there.

Professor Russell Moore of The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, spent his Sabbath afternoon writing a brilliant reflection on Beck's God and Country rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend. You must read it and then start working your way through these articles from Modern Reformation on civil religion and the two kingdoms.

1992: Christ and Culture

1993: Beyond Culture Wars

1994: God and Politics

2000: Why Two Kingdoms

2004: The Christian Voter's Guide

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  • Thanks for posting links to the Modern Reformation articles. I agree that the rally last Saturday represents the kind of confusion of the two kingdoms that the Religious Right would love to see realized in America/

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  • Guest - Smartwhiteguy

    Glen Beck is a joke, and to say a "lesser person would think he beat feet to get where the money is". This is exactly what he did. He is just like Sarah Palin. Making millions off of stupid americans by coming up with some an ever changing message and just apologizing and changing when he hits the wrong buttons. I am a conservative republican, and these people do not represent me. They appear to represent stupid white people that are on the borderline of racism.

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  • Guest - Nathan Carter

    The 'God and Politics' and 'Why Two Kingdoms' links seem to go to 'Beyond Culture Wars'.

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  • Thanks, Nathan. Links fixed.

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  • Guest - Greg Scandken

    I'm sorry, folks. I love the White Horse Inn and think you are doing wonderful work. But I was at the Glenn Beck rally, and Dr. Moore was not. I doubt he even watched it on television.

    Beck may be a Mormon, but he wasn't preaching -- or even mentioning -- Mormonism there. I had nothing to do with the event. In fact, he was very careful to keep the tone of the rally ecumenical. People of many faiths were at the rally. I saw Catholics, Jews, Mennonites, and a whole slew of Protestants. We were all united in the belief that God is in charge. I can’t imagine a thing wrong with that.

    Dr. Moore chose to pass judgment on half-a-million people he has never met. He doesn't know what was in our hearts. He chose to despise and belittle us. Hardly a model of Christian behavior.

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  • Greg, apparently you didn't read the article very well. Moore said, "Beck isn’t the problem." He said that what concerns him is what Beck's evangelical support says "about the Christian churches in the United States." The other key thing he said was this:

    "We’ve tolerated heresy and buffoonery in our leadership as long as with it there is sufficient political “conservatism” and a sufficient commercial venue to sell our books and products."

    Moore didn't pass judgment on the people (not "half a million") there. He simply told the truth about the leadership and direction in the church.

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  • Guest - Shawn Kramer

    Greg, Which God "is in charge"? The Mormon God, the Jewish God, The Islamic God....Ain't ecumenism grand? At the risk of having my "Christian behavior" brought into question, I have a suggestion...go watch Oprah.

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  • To the smart white guy: First of all your language is unbecoming of someone who professes Christ. Your title "smartwhiteguy" sounds to me prideful and arrogant along with calling people "stupid". I think you need to check your heart repent of that bro.
    To be honest I don't doubt Glenn Becks sincerity. I watch Glenn Beck on occasion, especially his Friday show where he takes one of the founding forefathers and does a quick bio on them, very interesting. Glenn is right when he says that the only hope for America is God (But I know his definition of God would be somewhat different than our own). But as Gospel centered Christians know-it's only through Christ that any real hope is found. I definitely don't agree with his ecumenical push, the locking of arms of various "pastors" /religious leaders, or with with or his Mormon beliefs (I don't think he is a staunch Mormon). I think he is more concerned with the political climate of America and is doing a good job at getting people more concerned with what is really going on with our nation. It's easy to write the guy off because he's in a cult, but as far as American politics go his show is pretty provacitive and educational, but like most political talk shows God is seen as a prop to get our best life now. The only hope for America is the Gospel and until he wakes up to that reality hearts and homes won't change for the best.

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  • Guest - Archie Cumbee

    One-time drunk, washed-up comedian? Rather vitriolic terms to describe a recovering alcoholic successful enough to write out a check to rent the Kennedy Center and then raise tons of money for a well-deserving charity. Actually, he can be quite funny while presenting aspects of our history and current events that most of us did not and do not get from our schools, universities, churches, and media. If not Beck to give a needed clarion call to the nation, then please suggest someone else (and get them to do it). Do we fear that what Beck is saying may actually be true, forcing some of us to possibly reexamine our political preferences? Or do we just shoot the (imperfect) messenger and go back to debating the finer points of theology?

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  • [...] Landry makes interesting comments concerning the Glenn Beck phenomenon in this post.  He also gives some good references to think through and discuss the role of God and government [...]

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