Nicholas Kristof: Evangelicals really are doing good work overseas
It's good to see that The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who opines twice weekly on international issues, is taking his own advice to heart: that journalists pay more attention to evangelicals.
The last time Kristof wrote about orthodox Christianity, he was justifiably deluged with indignant mail and the target of several angry columns by others. In that column, Kristof wrote that anyone who believes in the Virgin Birth was anti-intellectual. It would have received even more angry responses, but it was published during the blackout. ("It seems likely that God arranged to curtail circulation so that not many people would read your column," Andy Rooney wrote him.)
Among the responses was one from Southern Baptist seminary head Al Mohler. "When it comes to something as significant as the nature of Christianity, Kristof and his columns are dumb and dumber," he wrote. Kristof's column, he said, was "perhaps the worst opinion piece to run in that paper in years—and that's really saying something."
In his "Kristof Responds" area of the The New York Times web site, the columnist said in two separate entries that he never intended to insult people's religion. "But I believe my point still stands that there is a growing divide between an increasingly secular intellectual elite … and an increasingly faith-based evangelical community," Kristof wrote in his September 11 entry. "The traditional middle ground, mainline churches, is evaporating." Reiterating his claim that evangelicals are progressively rejecting the life of the mind didn't win him any friends.
In today's paper, however, Kristof returns to a subject that earlier won him some praise—or at least uncritical ...1
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