Ask the Editor: Why investigate Christian groups?


MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky answers questions you’ve asked.

MARVIN OLASKY, EDITOR: Four questions and short answers this time.

Question 1: What’s the point of reporting from the Mexico border? Are you liberals, telling us asylum seekers have it rough?  Surely we already knew that.

Answer: Pastor Bob Drake taught me the difference between gnosis, intellectual knowledge, and epignosis, experiential knowledge. I have gnosis concerning refugees but not epignosis. I suspect it’s the same for many of you. Our goal is to describe what’s happening at street-level, not suite-level—and our reporter Sophia Lee, now has epignosis, and communicates that to us.

Question 2: Since many of your positions are conservative, do you even talk to Christians who are more liberal politically?

Answer: It’s easier to talk to those like Ron Sider who share a high view of Scripture. We have lots to learn from each other—and talking politics helps us to remember to hold our political views more loosely than our theological ones. It’s harder to find common ground with those who are liberal politically and theologically.  I hope people of all stripes realize that WORLD’s commitment to the truth means we always strive to report views accurately, even when we disagree with them. 

Next Question: I understand part of WORLD’s job is investigations, but why investigate Christian groups?

Answer: Here are three reasons.

First, Christian groups these days are under tremendous pressure to go with the cultural flow. Sometimes that means bowing to government demands. Christians deserve to know whether they are being led by foolish, weak, or wicked leaders.

Second, secular journalists are eager to expose ministries. Corruption will eventually become public. WORLD can do a better job of reporting because we understand the context.

Third, anti-Christian propagandists say Christians are hypocrites. That we’re just out to protect ourselves. It’s important to show that Christians take sin seriously and are willing to expose it. Our God is a God of truth. He does not need our public relations help.

Last Question: How can Christian journalists avoid the egotism of folks like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, who seemed to have an unlimited view of their own power and influence? 

Answer: It’s not that hard for us at WORLD, since we’ve learned we have limited influence. But it’s a good question for all Christians, as Christmas approaches. Unlike Pulitzer and Hearst, we don’t trust in our own greatness. The Bible keeps us humble. We know that we are sons of earth who need a second birth – so hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new-born king.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Marvin Olasky.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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