The Education of Ed Dobson, Part 1

How a lieutenant in the Moral Majority rediscovered the power of the local church.
As our Fundamentalist forefathers withstood the winds of liberalism that were sweeping across the Atlantic, so we in our generation must withstand the tide of secularism that has permeated every level of society. … Let us raise the flag of Truth and wave its banner high. We must stand without compromise for the Truth that has set us free.Fundamentalist Journal

That thunderous call heralded Ed Dobson's 1982 debut in the pages of the new, fast-rising Fundamentalist Journal. Later editor-in-chief of that magazine and close associate to Jerry Falwell, this Irish-born pulpiteer has traveled an intriguing spiritual path—and one that has not always pleased his one-time mentor.

In his heady years with the Moral Majority, Ed Dobson was something of a point man. He advanced the cause of social redemption through political activism, parachurch structures, and media connections. He relished the slings and arrows that came his way as badges of honor.

Today, he still works for redemption, but from a different platform. Dobson, now 47, stands each weekend before more than 6,000 worshipers at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves as senior pastor and shepherd. Instead of strong-arming politicians, he has chosen the model of spiritual empowerment through the local church.

Still, Ed Dobson's world view today is not a total rejection of his past. Rather, he has come to a deeper understanding over the years of what his true "fundamentals" are.

Up, Up, Up The quick mind and work ethic of the wiry young Irishman with the sparkling eyes drew attention from the minute he arrived in Lynchburg at age 23. His first job was to be Liberty University's dean of men, but before long he was also teaching New Testament survey, ...

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