Almost a month after the controversial resignation of Wayne Pederson as president of the National Religious Broadcasters, prominent advocates on both sides are trying to soothe hurt feelings and move the influential association forward.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who was integral in Pederson's removal, donated $5,000 of his own money to pay for Pederson's expenses related to his aborted tenure. Meanwhile, Robert Neff, vice president of broadcasting for Moody Bible Institute, sent a March 5 letter to the executive committee apologizing for comments in a previous letter blasting unnamed "600-pound gorillas" and "power boys" who "railroaded" Pederson from office.
"I stated some things that I would wish, in terms of how I stated them, that I could have another go at," Neff told Christianity Today. "It has been far more inflammatory and distracting than what I wanted to indicate, and that was to express my disappointment for the outcome and also to encourage a reevaluation of the process of how the association got to that decision."
Neff's second letter, while expressing regret for "poorly chosen" words and indicating a desire to de-escalate the matter, does not revoke his call for Pederson's reinstatement or for an ethics investigation. He says that he has apologized to Dobson and that he was not speaking on behalf of Moody Bible Institute or its president, Joseph Stowell.
On March 1, Dobson, in his own letter to the executive committee, called Neff's earlier letter "a tragic escalation of what began as a policy issue and has deteriorated into a full-scale split in evangelicalism." In a conciliatory gesture, Dobson sent the $5,000 check to Focus on the Family, which then was to forward it to NRB.
An interview of Pederson ...1
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