by T. A. McMahon
The Berean Call – President
According to the online encyclopedia wikipedia.org, “Christianity Today [CT] is an Evangelical Christian periodical based in Carol Stream, IL. It is the flagship publication of its parent company Christianity Today International, claiming readership of 290,000. The founder, Billy Graham, stated that he wanted to ‘plant the evangelical flag in the middle-of-the-road, taking the conservative theological position but a definite liberal approach to social problems.’
“Today it, and its 13 sister publications, reach well over 2 million readers in its traditional paperbound form, and more than 10 million pageviews per month in their Internet form.”
It was right after I became a born-again Christian more than thirty years ago that I encountered my first copy of Christianity Today. Having grown up Roman Catholic, my appetite for anything evangelical was ravenous. Yet even in those early years of my faith, there were things that I read in that magazine that troubled me. I recognized, in Mr. Graham’s own words, “a definite liberal approach to social problems” in the promotion of “Christian” psychological counseling (see TBC, July 1999 ).
Of even more concern, however, were articles that clearly favored Roman Catholicism. This was disconcerting for one who had recently been delivered from the bondage of the false gospel of Rome. I remembered also reading an old quote from Billy Graham, which he had spoken nearly a decade before he started CT. He declared that “The three gravest menaces faced by orthodox Christianity are Communism, Roman Catholicism, and Mohammedanism” (Plains Baptist Challenger, March 1984). Incredibly, years later, among CT’s contributing editors and writers were Roman Catholics, including Catholic priest Richard John Neuhaus. It was Neuhaus, along with CT editors Chuck Colson, J. I. Packer, Timothy George, Thomas Oden, Richard Mouw, and Mark Noll, among others, who formed, were promoters of, and/or were signers of “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.” Their news release proclaimed: “[L]eading Catholics and evangelicals are asking their flocks for a remarkable leap of faith: to finally accept each other as Christians….[E]vangelicals including Pat Robertson and Charles Colson joined with conservative Roman Catholic leaders today in upholding the ties of faith that bind [them]….They urged Catholics and evangelicals…to stop aggressive proselytization of each other’s flocks.”
The Catholic bias of CT is reflected in the modus operandi of Graham’s crusades: they were, and continue to be, publicized and subsidized by each Catholic diocese where they take place. Additionally, the crusades continue to be outfitted with Catholic counselors who guide those Catholics that “come forward” to return to their local Catholic churches.
The list of Catholic luminaries celebrated by CT includes popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II (Graham told Larry King that he and the pope “agree on almost everything”), Mother Teresa, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Buddhist/Catholic monk Thomas Merton, and mystic Catholic priest Henry Nouwen. Catholic mysticism is further promoted by CT contributing editor Richard Foster, who is the godfather of the modern contemplative/mystical (read “Eastern”) movement within evangelical Christianity.
It seems that no voice that advances apostasy has been omitted from CT’s list of contributing editors or writers: Ron Sider, President Obama’s leftist theologian; Notre Dame professor Mark Noll; Eugene Peterson (who wrote his own bible called The Message); Eastern Orthodox followers Frederica Mathewes-Green and Bradley Nassif; former executive editor Terry Muck (who writes of his love for the Buddha); Leith Anderson (who promotes the experiential over the propositional, i.e., that emergent experience trumps doctrine); and psychology and Bible integrationist Eric L. Johnson, to name but a few. Click here to continue reading this article.