| Richard Dale Land, Sr.
(College administrator, former talk show host, and major figure in Southern Baptist Convention
|Born|| November 6, 1946 |
|Spouse|| Rebekah Land|
A native of Houston, Texas, Land received his Bachelor of Arts in history in 1969 from Princeton University in New Jersey. He received his Master of Theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, where he research the history of the Puritan movement in 17th century England.
From 1988 to 2013, Land was the president of the influential Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a position from which he retired amid controversial comments about the racially-charged Trayvon Martin case in 2012. He then assumed the presidency of Southern Evangelical Seminary. The more liberal Russell D. Moore (born 1971) succeeded Land at ERLC.
From 2002 to 2012, Land hosted Richard Land Live, a nationally syndicated radio program. He is also the executive editor of The Christian Post.
In defense of President Trump
In December 2020, Mark Galli (born 1952), a former Presbyterian pastor and the retiring editor of the publication, Christianity Today, established years earlier by Billy Graham (though no longer owned or operated by Graham's family or organization), wrote an editorial endorsing the removal of U.S. President Donald Trump, as two articles of impeachment were voted upon by the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. The articles were rebuffed by the narrow Republican majority in the United States Senate. A Trump supporter, Land called Galli a “useful idiot,” used by liberals. "It is a classic example of the evangelical elitism that is destroying segments of evangelicalism in this country. It is a wrong-headed editorial from beginning to end," Land said.
James David "J. D." Greear (born 1973), the pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and the 62nd president of the Southern Baptist Convention ignored the Galli controversy. Land said that several Southern Baptist leaders have said they disagree with the editorial, among them Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, a mega-congregation in suburban Dallas, Texas. Land described Trump as the “most pro-life president in the modern era. … It takes him about one nanosecond to know what his moral responsibility is … it is to defend the unborn.” Galli implied that evangelicals who disagree with him "haven’t finished college, they don’t have jobs, they are blue collar workers at entry level, they don’t write books and give speeches, they don’t attend conferences." Land said that Galli's editorial painted his evangelical opponents as "ignorant and stupid."
Graham (who serves on the President's religious advisory council) called Galli's editorial "a partisan political hit job,” on the president and conservative evangelicals. Graham said that "some of those guys would like to see themselves above the fray and self righteously judge those who are in it,” Graham said that President Trump has “come through big time for Christians” in pro-life, pro-family, pro-Israel issues, and more." Graham said that Christianity Today has become ‘Christianity astray’ because it has moved left, left, left and is no longer reflective of the views of cnservative theology and biblical truth. Graham said he still expects 85 to 88 percent of evangelicals to vote for Trump on November 3, 2020.
- Richard Land. Mylife.com. Retrieved on May 4, 2020.
- Adelle M. Banks (August 1, 2012). After Ethics Probe, Southern Baptist Leader to Retire. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on May 4, 2020.
- Bob Allen (April 11, 2014). SBC leader says evangelicals paying price for 'narrow vision' of religious freedom. Associated Baptist Press. Retrieved on May 4. 2020.
- Southern Baptist Statesman Richard Land Condemns Evangelical Elitism. The Todd Starnes Show (January 2, 2020). Retrieved on May 4, 2020.