Christianity,  News

Fox News panel turns into evangelical small group

The video above is a remarkable discussion about “religion”–even for Fox News. The panelists are predominantly Christian–as far as I can tell–and their conversation ends up sounding like an evangelical “prayer and share.” This kind of conversation on cable news is really rare, so I thought it was worth noting.

(HT: Eric Metaxas)


    • cmaglaughlin

      Everything but adoration towards the Pope knocked my socks off! After all, anyone, let alone a Pope, who says atheists qualify for eternal life, is pure, unadulterated heretical BS!

      • Esther O'Reilly

        I think the Pope isn’t a clear thinker or speaker, but I believe that’s not what he actually said or meant to communicate. I’m not an adoring fan myself but let’s be careful not to accuse the man falsely.

        • cmaglaughlin

          Did Pope Francis say that atheists will go to heaven?

          Yes. Here is the part of his controversial speech as documented on a Catholic website:

          “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! “Father, even the atheists?” Even the atheists. Everyone! We all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path to peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. “But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.” [1]



          • James Bradshaw

            I think you’d find a great number of comments by early church fathers to be a bit liberal, though:


            The mass of men (Christians) say there is to be an end to punishment and to those who are punished.—St. Basil the Great

            There are very many in our day, who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments. — Augustine (354-430 A.D.)

            We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer to redeem, to rescue, to discipline in his work, and so will he continue to operate after this life. –Clement of Alexandria

          • Eric Landstrom

            Jesus offered himself to reconcile the world unto God. While I do not read Pope Francis to be promoting universalism, or the salvation of atheists without coming to Jesus alone for salvation, I do see Pope Francis promoting the Spirit of God being poured onto all persons. Historically it has been considered that none do good except by the good of God. This is grace, the Spirit of God’s ministry. God the Spirit moves among all people seeking to reconcile them with Jesus’s already completed work. Recognize this.

  • Dr. John Wesley Slider

    Professor Burk, thanks for the re-post of this segment. We probably have some mutual friends at Southern. Though I am Methodist (retired UM in 2010, and now a Free Methodist pastor), I am also a grad of Southern (MDiv and DMin in the 80s). Keep up the good work. I am on the Moral Side of the News (WHAS-TV) with Dr. Kevin Smith.

  • Jonathan Clark

    Are we supposed to be in glad agreement with the panelists? I’m not American and have never been there, so have no way of knowing whether they speak with wise, Biblical insight or not, but they seemed to be talking from a different worldview than what I’d have thought ‘evangelical Christians’ would be concerned with. Intrigued I am, encouraged – not so much. Your insight please?

    • James Bradshaw

      Not to answer for Denny, Jonathan, and I’m not an evangelical, but having conversed with a multitude of them online and in person, I can tell you that there is not as much unanimity amongst self-professed evangelicals in America as you might think. They are as diverse as the American population itself.

      On the one hand, you have progressives like Randal Rauser and Rob Bell (the latter being a universalist).

      On the other, you have rigidly orthodox men like Doug Wilson ( and the members of Triablogue (

      Many are highly educated, most are thoughtful and can articulate their beliefs very well (although you’ll have many who simply came to their beliefs through absorbing the culture around them, of course). Their personalities are all over the map. Some are very tolerant of dissenting opinion while others are quick to label you as an “apostate”.

      I’m not sure American news anchors and pundits are going to be very representative of American Christianity, in general. They tend to be intentionally provocative for the purpose of ratings.

      Have you seen greater consensus in thought where you’re from?

  • Curt Day

    I saw the discussion as more of a discussion on religion in general by people who professed to be believers. A couple of things that others are sensitive to include the acknowledgement that there are some peaceful Muslims and the use of the color white for describing what follows the death of a Christian in contrast to the use of the color black for describing what follows the death of a nonChristian.

    As for the statement on Muslims, it was rather ignorant. Considering that there are over 1.5 billion Muslims we need to think about what the world would be like if the vast majority of them were not peaceful. The statement also ignored the 20th and 21st century history of Western intervention and even imperialism in the Arab world as a context for the horrible violence that the minuscule percentage of Muslims do practice. Somehow, what we do to others is either minimized or overlooked while what others do to us is often either magnified or put out of context.

    And of course the association of the color black with bad and white with good can mean nothing to Whites but has often been a burden to Blacks.

    No need to comment on the one person complaining that we need Australians to play manly roles in the movies.

    But the excitement over the surge in religious activity is not necessarily something Christians can rejoice in. The preaching of other gospels is not necessarily something we should rejoice in. And when relying on Pascal’s wager, as the one commentator claims to do, is not Biblical.

    Finally, we need to lessen the association between political conservatism, as represented by Fox News, and Christianity. Not that there are not a significant number of political conservatives who are Christians, but we can’t afford to equate the two. Such would do harm to the reputation of the Gospel.

  • Esther O'Reilly

    Eh… I’m not as excited about the Noah movie as everyone else. From the pre-screening reviews it looks like one big piece of environmentalist propaganda. Plus dinosaurs. The truly great sin is “not caring for the earth.” The true thrust of Noah’s story has been molded into a liberal form. This is hardly going to spark some kind of revival.

    Also, fact check—Gibson didn’t play the lead role in Passion, that was Jim Caviezel, who IS American and also a true “manly man.”

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