Seeing what’s not there

Joe Carter did yeoman service in First Things a couple of weeks ago coming to the defense of Francis Schaeffer. The late Mr. Schaeffer, a figure unknown outside of Evangelical circles, has been much in the news of late, chiefly for having his views savaged by his son, Frank.

Mr. Carter’s defense was more directly prompted by a New Yorker┬ápiece on Michele Bachmann and he uses the device of correcting shoddy investigative work to not only defend Francis Schaeffer but also to dismantle the liberal bogeyman of Christian Dominionism.

Dominionism, that trendy theocratic spectre, was also exorcized by A. Larry Ross in The Daily Beast yesterday. Ross, a long time media rep for Billy Graham, has a thoughtful list of ten things the press gets wrong about people who are trying to live as Evangelicals.

A decreasing level of religious literacy and lack of contact with unabashedly religious people in our culture are just two factors among many which lead to slanted and sloppy reporting. While Christians can patiently try to explain who and what they are to mainstream media outlets, it remains to be seen whether those outlets are willing to do their homework and not only understand Christian terminology but realize that most of us are not looking for an earthly kingdom.