It's Respect an Evangelical Day!
Later today, Weblog will comb through the weekend's religion stories, discovering what's been happening the last few days in the religion world. Already, there's indications that it was a relatively busy weekend—at least 18 people are dead in fresh Christian-Muslim violence in Indonesia's Maluku islands, and there was lots of religion talk over at the D.C. abortion demonstrations.

But this weekend was also significant for something that we evangelicals—like everyone else—love to do: hearing what others are saying about us. Tony Campolo and other evangelicals have talked about a kind of inferiority complex in the movement. Christian leaders have often been driven by a quest for cultural respectability and acceptance. A few years ago, it was common to hear parachurch and advocacy organizations pushing for "a seat at the table."

Two major articles in the mainstream media this weekend touch on precisely those issues of cultural respect—but evangelicals may not like the conclusions.

The first item is noteworthy not just for its content, but for its authorship. "Nearer My God To Thee," in the new issue of U.S. News & World Report, marks the return of Jeff Sheler's byline to that magazine's pages (he was laid off about a year ago, and Jay Tolson has been writing most of the publication's few religion stories since then). Since Sheler is also a contributor to PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, which collaborated with U.S. News on this major survey of evangelicals, it's not too surprising to see him as the magazine's author for the piece. One hopes to see his byline on more articles.

"Despite the booming popularity of evangelical artists and authors, evangelicals themselves remain an enigma to many outside ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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