Cleaning out my office this week, I came across Time magazine’s February 2005 list of “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.”
Howard and Roberta Ahmanson
Richard John Neuhaus (a curious choice, I thought then and now)
Billy and Franklin Graham
Rick Santorum (a slightly less curious choice than Neuhaus after the 2012 primaries)
Tim and Beverly LaHaye
John Stott (as a transatlantic inspiration)
I found the list interesting in several respects: the inclusion of two Catholics, the inclusion of only one Hispanic; and only two women outside of the two listed as part of a couple. Why wasn’t George W. Bush included? The editors chose to exclude some other then-obvious choices, such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Don Wildmon, choosing instead to introduce less familiar names to its readers.
In 2012, we’d have to make several obvious and sad deletions (Stott, Colson, Winter, Knippers, Neuhaus. Others no longer seem as influential, including Dobson, Gerson, and possibly even Billy Graham. Haggard = definitely not.
Some holdovers are certain, such as Warren, Richard Land, T.D. Jakes, and David Barton (we’d rather have John Fea, but he’s yet to make the Daily Show), and probably Bill Hybels.
Some new choices would also be obvious: Joel Osteen and Tim Tebow, for starters. Perhaps Mike Huckabee. Rob Bell? There must be other Latinos and at least one Asian American who should make such a list in 2012.