Christian lawyers organize as never before to protect religious freedom.
In 1950, only two students at a prominent Christian college were considering careers in law. Of the two, just one went on to become an attorney. Evangelicals of the time were not overly concerned with social issues: it was more important to be preachers, missionaries, teachers. The cultural changes of the last three decades, however, many of them in the legal arena, left conservative Christians out in the cold.
Philosopher Francis Schaeffer has had strong words on the lack of Christian influence on the legal system. “The law is in shambles and the Christian lawyers have not made any significant impact towards its development. I wonder, where are all the Christian lawyers? I feel let down by them and think I have, and the church has, a right to feel let down,” he said at a conference last spring.
But slowly and quietly, evangelicals have penetrated the legal profession, and rumbles from several quarters indicate the Christian voice will grow even more forceful.
At Wheaton College, for instance, more than 70 undergraduates participate in a prelaw society. Oral Roberts University recently won accreditation for its law school from the American Bar Association. Bob Jones University has an adviser for a contingent of prelaw students.
But perhaps more important than young Christians looking forward to being lawyers is the increased activity of Christians already in the ranks. Groups whose intentions range from devotional fellowship to serious legal intervention have sprouted across the landscape, mostly since the 1960s. They include:
• The Christian Legal Society (CLS), initiated in 1961 and now grown to 2,000 members, has moved from the humble purpose of Christian ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more