Joel Hunter believes Barack Obama will bend an ear to evangelicals. What makes him think that? Hunter was asked to pray with Obama the same day he was elected into office.
Hunter, who is a registered Republican, is one of the proponents of a wider evangelical agenda and was also asked to pray at the Democratic National Convention. He is author of the book A New Kind of Conservative: Cooperation Without Compromise.
Hunter was supposed to join a conference call with Obama, pentecostal megapastor T.D. Jakes, the Methodist minister Kirbyjon Caldwell. But because Caldwell had to hop on a plane and Jakes had to go on TV, Hunter was left with a more private conversation with Obama and Otis Moss, pastor of Olivet church in Cleveland.
Hunter's prayer with Obama was not something he announced. In an interview with Christianity Today early on November 5, he nearly mentioned the prayer as a side note, but he felt it was an indication that Obama wants evangelicals at his side.
What do you think of an Obama administration?
I think we're going to be invited into many conversations. He is a consensus-oriented type of leader. We need to be able to respond to those invitations to those given. Part of our role is to speak truth to power. That certainly is part of our role. The most effective way of doing that is not to be so narrow and combative. It's to be part of the conversation. It's not to back down on any moral convictions that we have. By the same token, we've got to understand that we can be much more effective in getting our point across and realizing our goals if that prophetic language comes with a degree of understanding and respect.
Do you think he will be willing to work with evangelicals on specific policies?