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I conducted an informal survey of over 30 persons, simply asking them to name the most influential evangelicals in America today. Though my choice of the respondents was subjective, I do have confidence that the men and women who gave me these names are very knowledgeable about the evangelical scene in the United States.

The respondents represent a cross section of denominational and non-denominational churches and entities. From my perspective, those I surveyed are clearly evangelicals themselves. Among the criteria I gave them, I included the following:

  • Limit the responses to Americans.
  • The names must represent living persons.
  • Name at least eight persons.
  • Only include evangelicals. I did not define “evangelical.”
  • Think “influential” rather than just those with whom you agree.

The problem with any list such as this one is the names you omit. Many well-known evangelicals did not make this top twenty list. I realize that another list done by another person would likely yield some different names. Here, then, are twenty of the most influential evangelicals listed in alphabetical order.

Matt Chandler — The lead pastor of teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and prominent author. Chandler’s podcast is consistently in the top five of the leading Christian podcasts on iTunes.

Wilfredo De Jesus — Better known as Pastor Choco, he is the head pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago and the author of Amazing Faith. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in America in 2013.

Ross Douthat — Author, blogger and New York Times columnist. He was a senior editor at The Atlantic and wrote Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.

Tony Evans — Prolific author and senior pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. He is also founder and president of The Urban Alternative, a national organization that seeks to bring about spiritual renewal in urban America through churches.

Louie Giglio — Pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, speaker, author, and founder of the Passion Movement.

Franklin Graham — President and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. Prominent evangelist.

Craig Groeschel — Founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, one of the largest churches in the United States with 15 locations in five states.

Bill Hybels — Founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and founder of the Willow Creek Association. Prolific author.

T. D. Jakes — Bishop/chief pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas. Prolific author of many books.

Tim Keller — Apologist, speaker, and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Author of several books.

LecraeChristian hip hop artist, record producer, and co-owner and co-founder of the independent record label Reach Records. Co-founder and president of the non-profit organization, ReachLife Ministries.

Albert Mohler — President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for more than 20 years. Prominent spokesman in evangelicalism. Author of several books and hundreds of articles.

Beth Moore — Founder of Living Proof Ministries in Houston. The ministry focuses on aiding women who desire to model their lives on Christian values. Prominent author and speaker.

Joyce Meyer — Prolific author and frequent speaker, with many of her appearances on television. Heads Joyce Meyer Ministries, based in Fenton, Missouri.

Joel Osteen — Senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, one of the largest churches in America. Prolific author of several books.

John Piper — Served as pastor for preaching and vision for 33 years at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Retired from the church in 2013. Prolific author. Founder of Desiring God Ministries.

Dave Ramsey — Best known for his syndicated radio show, “The Dave Ramsey Show,” heard on more than 500 radio stations. Authored many books, including four New York Times bestsellers. Focuses on personal financial health.

Priscilla Shirer — Bestselling author and frequent speaker, largely at women’s events. Most common venue is Bible teaching to women. She and her husband, Jerry Shirer, own and run Going Beyond Ministries.

Andy Stanley — Senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, and affiliated churches. Also founded North Point Ministries. Prolific author and frequent speaker.

Rick Warren — Senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, one of the largest churches in the United States. Author of several books, including Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 30 million copies.

Keep in mind that just over 30 persons responded to my questions. In that sense, it is more of a panel than a survey. Though the respondents did not have to offer comments, most of them did. Some of them offered two lists, such as two levels of influence. Others struggled in their own responses, trying to decide whether or not different persons were truly evangelicals.

I appreciate their time and thoughtfulness. Now it’s time to hear from you.

Who would you add to the list?


photo credit: Kat Northern Lights Man via photopin cc

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Comments

    • Thom Rainer says

      Lawrence: I hope the readers will find value in knowing who others say are influential in America. Sometimes I write for practical guidance; other times I write for the reader’s interest.

    • Thom Rainer says

      I did not accept any of the mentions for me from the panel, though I was grateful for the thoughts.

  1. Ted Olsen says

    Interesting. I’m curious if anyone who mentioned some of the more Reformed names (Piper, Mohler, and Keller especially, but also Chandler, Giglio, and Lecrae) mentioned Douthat, who is Catholic.

  2. Matt Carr says

    While there is no denying the influence of TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyer, I don’t believe they belong on a list of evangelical leaders. Jakes is non-Trinitarian, Osteen never preaches the gospel, and Meyer is known for heretical statements.

    I’d like to see “us” narrow who belongs in a conversation about influential evangelicals.

    • Adam says

      They love Jesus.

      I’m sure if all of your views were out on the table we could some unorthodox beliefs. Same with me.

      Especially if your highly Reformed ;)

      • TJ says

        But Adam, this isn’t a list of 20 most influential people who love Jesus. This is a list of 20 most influential evangelicals. I think it’s fair to question whether Jakes and Osteen belong on a list of evangelicals.

      • Lucy says

        Saying that you love Jesus does not makes you an evangelical Christian. Biblical Christianity does include a range of theological differences, but they are all based upon a core foundation of biblical truth. I would argue that the prosperity gospel taught by Osteen, Meyer and Jakes really is outside of that foundation and is a serious issue that affects their credibility in the realm of evangelical Christianity. The God of the Bible is not like Santa, giving us good things that make us happy because we obey. Rather, He gives us good things that make us more like Him; good things that may not make us happy at all, things that may cost us every thing for the sake of His name and things that we would never want. He is more interested in our holiness than our happiness and anyone who teaches otherwise is ignoring Scripture, the history of the church and the plight of fellow believers around the world. Such teaching should not be considered evangelical Christianity because it completely distorts the work of Jesus on the cross and the very purpose for which He came. He didn’t die for me so that I would be happy; He died for
        His church so that His name would be glorified through a redeemed people.

        • DT says

          Matt and Lucy: While I agree with your concerns regarding Jakes, Osteen, and Meyer, I don’t see how evangelicals can exclude them. They teach the Bible (as they interpret it) and they call people to faith in Jesus. You disagree with their interpretations, but what standard do you have to mark them outside of evangelicalism?

          • Corey says

            Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck “teach the Bible (as they interpret it) and they call people to faith in Jesus”, are they evangelicals too? I agree that these three do not belong on the list. I am sure they wear the label of Evangelical but does that make it true? If Trinitarianism is not a condition for being Evangelical, then what does disqualify someone?

          • Don says

            To love the Lord is to know Him in the Spirit, by knowledge of the truth of His word.
            1 Cor. 16:22 “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed.”

            The N.T. Gospel tells us to excommunicate anyone that teaches false doctrines & heresies, i.e. Prosperity Gospel, Word Faith movement, Purpose Driven Gospel, Latter Rain movement, Contemplative Spirituality, New Age movement, Toronto Blessing, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Wicca, “Pop Psychology” movement, and the Ecumenical movement – a full force Satanic effort to merge all religions into one “One World Religion”.
            Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

    • Sue says

      Thank you for saying what some of us were thinking.

      It would have made my day to see John MacArthur on this list.

  3. Friend says

    Great article! Craig Groeschel’s church actually has 18 physical campuses with a 19th almost completed.

  4. Matt Carr says

    I would add in their place: Doug Fields (he and simplyyouthministry are hugely influential on evangelical culture, since youth often lead the way); Chris Tomlin (is there anyone who has influenced evangelical worship music culture more in the last decade?); and Mark Driscoll (yes, his rep has taken a hit recently, but he still wields tremendous influence among the YRR movement).

    • says

      Maybe Mark Driscoll does technically “qualify” for this list, or the top 50, at least. But it’s a sad commentary on Evangelical health and discernment that he is even in the running. In somewhat different ways, I’d say similarly with Piper, Mohler, and a few others.

  5. Steve Miller says

    I think this type of list has merit if it is saying, as a leader this is who my people are reading, listening to and being influenced by. It should not be a worldly popularity contest. Influence is not the same as success. In my circles I would add to the list: Francis Chan, Ed Stetzer, Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, Mark Dever, D.A. Carson, William Lane Craig, Justin Taylor, Wayne Grudem, Dave Ramsey, and John MacArthur.

  6. Chris Crain says

    I do think Tomlin deserves another mention. Christian filmography is also on the rise once again. Perhaps those key leaders would be on a list like this.

    Dr. Ben Carson may be another rising influencer.

    Thank you. I always appreciate your articles. This list helps those with their focus on their own setting become aware of movements that have cultural and theological impact.

  7. Steve Smiley says

    I would have included David Platt and Francis Chan. If they are not among the most influencial evangelicals, they should be.

  8. says

    Dr. Rainer,

    Before we talk about influential Evangelicals, perhaps it would be good for there to be a common working definition on what an evangelical is. I find it really hard to believe that some of the people on this list would be broadly considered evangelical. Am I wrong to make that kind of assertion?

  9. Mark Dance says

    It is interesting that this panel seemed to naturally gravitate toward evangelicals who influence other evangelicals, which perhaps is why so many chose authors and pastors. Once I started to think of who influences most Americans, it is hard to argue that Mike Huckabee is not one of the most influential evangelicals in America right now.

  10. mark wood says

    Thank for putting a list together (even with a slightly informal survey). I am surprised that Francis Chan did not make it. I am also surprised that Mark Driscoll did not make it considering Matt Chandler did.

  11. Andrew says

    I would certainly include Mark Driscoll. You may agree or disagree with him. However, I would certainly include him on the list.

  12. says

    Like others who have already commented, I have to question the inclusion of Jakes, Osteen, and Meyer on the list. I also have questions about how the terms “influential” and “evangelical” are defined for this list. Like other commenters here who have thought outside of the pastor/author box, I would have to agree that Huckabee and Tomlin are certainly leading evangelical influences in America.

  13. says

    I think for millennials and many 30 somethings will say Francis Chan has been one of the most influential Christian leaders in their generation. How many Asian Americans were asked in your panel?

  14. Rick says

    A list of influential people might suggest that we all follow their lead, but the Apostle Paul didn’t fall in line with the Corinthian sectarians’ direction. He challenged it biblically. People on the list are certainly influential, but my concern is that preachers tend to look at pragmatic influence as more desirable than being true to the biblical pattern of leadership. The Noah of Genesis wouldn’t have made the list. :-)

  15. says

    I am thinking that the list is more the most well known or popular evangelicals in America. The most influential might be someone we have never heard of whose influence in the Kingdom only God knows. Just a reminder that our ways are not God’s ways and our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. Thanks for the article and list.

  16. Chris Gilliam says

    Thom,

    Can you share the generational percentages of your panel. (% builders, %boomers, %Xer’s % Mill.). I gather from the data that the re is a good mixture, I’m just curious.

  17. Thom Rainer says

    All –

    My panel was informal; thus I certainly did not achieve statistical ethnic, generational, or racial representation. Such is the reason I said my survey would likely have big differences than another. This effort was for general interest only.

    • Jim Hampton says

      Thom,

      Thanks for your post. It’s certainly an interesting list.

      As someone who works with stats/research in my role as a prof, I’m curious about something: Out of the “over 30″ people you asked, how many of those were Southern Baptist, or Reformed? I only ask because the list is highly tilted toward people in those traditions (with a few exceptions). One of the problems sometimes with survey work, as you know, is that when the people selected aren’t truly random, one can end up with only a slice of the pie.

      As others have mentioned, without a definition of what is meant by evangelical, it is sometimes hard to define whether someone fits that, as each of us has our own interpretation of what that term means. And perhaps more importantly, we tend to narrow the word to fit our personal definition of what it means, which automatically means excluding segments that others might readily include.

  18. CBH says

    I would add:

    David Platt
    Danny Akin
    John Maxwell (although I’m not a fan) ;-)
    Francis Chan
    D.A Carson
    Max Lucado
    Sarah Palin (yes, I said that lol)
    Mark Dever
    Fred Luter
    R.C Sproul
    Greg Laurie
    Jan Crouch (again, not a fan at all- but influence of TBN)
    David Jeremiah
    Jim Cymbala
    Ravi Zacharias

  19. says

    Two names that have not been mentioned but that would definitely be on my list are Charles Stanley and Alistair Begg. I would also have listed David Platt and Billy Graham as others have noted.

  20. Leland says

    There are a couple I would remove from the list. Unfortunately, one of them is an individual who I saw, on a video stream, speak harshly to a fellow believer to make a point.

    I would add Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church, to that list. Noble’s church is estimating that by 2020 they expect to share the gospel with 250,000 people during their Easter and Christmas services. Noble’s church is growing through conversion growth. That is what we would all hope for and pray for, I assume.

    • Dan Lay says

      It’s very interesting to peruse this list and note the apostasy of nearly every name here, though I am not familiar with numbers 2 and 3, so I cannot claim this for them. If this is what Evangelicalism truly is then I’ve been identifying with the wrong group. If alive today, I am certain Luther, Calvin and Spurgeon would disapprove of the majority, if not all, of these folks.

  21. Trevor Huber says

    Nice informal list. My #1 would be Ed Young, I am obviously biased because I attend Fellowship Church and he is my pastor but his C3 conference has been the launching pad for many influential churches including Steven Furtick who will be speaking at the conference in 2015.

    My extremely biased list:
    1. Ed Young- Fellowship Church
    2. David Hughes- Church by the Glades
    3. Bob Coy- Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale
    4. Steven Furtick- Elevation Church
    5. James MacDonal- Harvest Bible Chapel

  22. Brenda Bowman says

    I agree that, right or wrong, all of these listed are very influential in American evangelical circles…but I would have thought Chris Tomlin would have topped out over Lecrae….Tomlin’s music has spanned more generations than Lecrae’s. My parents (in their 70’s) could sing several Tomlin tunes!

    • Mark Dance says

      I agree with you Brenda about Tomlin. He currently has a strong multi-generational influence on evangelicals, much like Gaither, Crosby & others have had in their prime.

      I will say that Lacrae is a legit influencer for Millennials.

  23. Michael Porter says

    Solid list, although it is quite heavy with Reformed folks. May I suggest some Pentecostal/Charismatic names:

    George O. Wood (superintendent of the Assemblies of God)
    Jentezen Franklin
    Chris Hodges (Church of the Highlands)
    John Hagee
    Perry Stone
    Dr. Michael Brown

  24. says

    John MacArthur definitely, as well as Bill Craig, D. A Carson, Ed Stetzer, Mark Driscoll, John Blanchard, Donald Whitney, Tim Tebow, Timothy George, Henry Blackaby..

  25. Tim Tolosa says

    I would definitely add long-standing men of influence (by televised media) Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, and David Jeremiah to this list, but also these teachers who are influencing on a more intimate (personal or small-group study) level David Platt, Francis Chan, Kyle Idleman, James MacDonald, and Mark Batterson.

  26. Michael Porter says

    Some other Pentecostals worth mentioning:

    Carl Lentz
    Judah Smith
    Bill Johnson (Bethel Church)
    Christine Caine (technically Australian, but very influential)
    Mike Bickle (IHOP)

  27. Kathy G says

    While not in the same category as most listed or suggested, the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame has created quite a stir lately. Unsure of the scope of their evangelical influence.

  28. says

    You must include Chris Tomlin. He’s the Barry Manilow of the Church. He writes the songs that make the whole church sing. Just reference CCLI for evidence.

  29. Michael says

    Some of these names I don’t believe are evangelical, though sadly they do hold an influence on some evangelicals.
    With four of those, I didn’t even recognize the name.
    Only five have had any influence on me personally (i.e. I have read/heard them at least once with general agreement and edification). Some of those five have had more than others. From the list Mohler and Piper have had the greatest influence on me personally.
    Others whom I have been influenced by who are not listed would include Mark Dever, Paul Washer, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, G.K. Beale, Kevin DeYoung, Voddie Baucham and D.A. Carson.

  30. Mark Dance says

    This has been an interesting and refreshing discussion. As I think about these influential evangelicals, I am compelled to lift them up in prayer. They are servants not celebrities, like Abraham who was blessed to be a blessing. Thank you Dr Rainer for blessing us daily through your blog.

    “I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2 HCSB).

  31. Josh says

    All these names and no mention of Russell Moore? I certainly think he merits a spot on the list. (And if someone did mention him and I missed it, my apologies.)

  32. says

    Although not widley mentioned within any of the previous comments, Mark Driscoll has been among the most influential evangelicals over the last ten years. While some objections may be raised as to his character and/or methodology, his influence in evangelicalism, especially among the young and reformed, is undeniable. I have seen some of the residual effects of his ministry impacting many of young church planters and pastor/teachers.

    R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg, and Wayne Grudem ought to be added to the list as well. They have certainly impacted my life, helping me to see more clearly the glorious grace of God in Christ Jesus.

    I also think that it is interesting that people began to “bash” T.D. Jakes. Did he not renounce modalism and attest to a classic trinitarian perspective concerning the Godhead? I do agree that the travesty of the health, wealth, and prospertity gospel (the false gospel that it is) has been a tremendous detriment to evangelicalism. However, that does not negate the influence that these border-line heretics, if not full-on heretical, have on Christianity at large. Alas, the call for more Gospel-centered living, within, and without the church.

    Thanks for the research Dr. Rainer.

    – Troy

  33. says

    Your list is incomplete without Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. Alistair Begg, Dr. Michael Horton, and Dr. Steve Lawson.
    All these reformed pastor/teachers have a great influence in spreading the truth of God’s Word and have written numerous books.

  34. John Pipes says

    I think this list says more about the state of America Evangelicalism, just because they are influential doesn’t automatically mean they are a good influence. Just curious, but did anyone mention their own pastor? I know that my pastor is one of the most influential evangelicals in my life.

  35. Tim Smith says

    I haven’t read all of the comments to see if they’ve already been mentioned, but in a discussion of influential evangelicals I would mention Chris Hodges and Rick Bezet, who pastor large churches and are also leaders of the Association of Related Churches.

  36. says

    I noticed you specifically didn’t include a definition of “evangelical”. That says it’s up to the respondents of the survey to include their own definition of what an “evangelical” is. The survey is an interesting one, and it shows a varied response as to what defines “evangelical”. What one person includes, another excludes.

  37. says

    I wouldn’t give Osteen and Meyers credit for being evangelical. Evangelicals themselves reject their teachings. I question whether or not they are even believers…the phrase “false teachers” comes to mind.

  38. says

    I would have REALLY clarified what you mean by “influential”. A rapper is far more influential than an accademic, at least on the street.

    If you’re talking “who has the voice of the masses”, I’d add some names like Ken Ham (His name is synonymous with the most polarizing issue in American Christianity), Mark Driscoll (like it or not, he sells a lot of books and almost has half a million people following him on Twitter), Marcos Witt (former worship pastor at the Spanish Ministries at Lakewood and HUGE presence in the Spanish speaking community), Kim Walker Smith/Jesus Culture (Jesus Culture is easily becoming as influential as Lecrae), the folks from Duck Dynasty, Carl Lentz (Hillsong NYC – Anyone who suggests that the pastor of Justin Bieber, Vanessa Hudgens, June Ambrose and Tyson Chandler doesn’t have massive influence is kidding themselves).

    I’d probably subtract Al Mohler and Tim Keller and Matt Chandler and Priscilla Shirer. They’re popular and influential, but Tim Keller isn’t influential on the same level as Ken Ham…not even close. Just looking at their respective Alexa rankings, TimKeller.com and Redeemer.com combined get around 240,000 visitors a month with 1.2 million page views, but AnswersinGenesis.org gets 2.3 million visitors a month with 11.6 million page views.

    A whole LOT more people are paying attention to Ken Ham than Tim Keller; the numbers don’t lie.

    In the same way, Duck Dynasty has an exponentially greater number of ears than Al Mohler does.

  39. Ryan Reveley says

    I do not agree that Osteen, Jakes, and Meyer belong on this list. Jakes should not be considered evangelical due to his views on the Trinity. Osteen does not belong because he does not preach the Gospel, which is a big requirement to being an evangelical. Meyer’s teachings are questionable at best. I’m not saying these people do not love Jesus, but they do not teach His Gospel. If they are allowed on this list, then we need to rethink what evangelical means. If evangelical means to simply love Jesus, then evangelical becomes a much broader classification than it has been in the past. This is not a matter of being politically correct; Jesus was not politically correct. This is a matter of representing Christ and His Gospel. When we change His Gospel, it no longer is the Gospel.

  40. Brad says

    I would hope someone would suggest the name of those challenging the church to rethink its nature/essence in light of a drastically changing context; someone like Alan Hirsch or Michael Frost.

  41. pearl says

    I am not evangelical and I don’t know who qualifies, but one thing I’m sure of, the first name on that list should be Billy Graham. Even today, if he says anything, people listen.
    The other evangelical preacher that has a huge influence OUTSIDE of the evangelical community and wasn’t named ONCE is Jack Van Impe.

  42. Cecil Underwood says

    Dr. Rainer, having looked through the whole list of comments, it would appear a valid “survey” is in order as to a consensus of definition for “evangelical.” Today’s conclusion may differ greatly from the definition of the 1940’s.

    Your list of influence should give credence to the results.

    The Lord bless you.

  43. Andy Graham says

    This list would not be complete without Richard Land, Paul Pressler, Paige Patterson, and David Dockery. These four great Christian leaders have impacted so many lives through their ministry and work.

  44. says

    I can’t help wondering if a top twenty list is just a hair’s breadth away from a top twenty chart.
    And said chart would beget another chart.
    And then we’d be tracking whose stars are rising and whose are falling.

  45. Michael Banak says

    I would add John MacArthur without a doubt. I think several of your names are unfortunately, influential in a detrimental way, pushing Word-of-Faith heresy, etc., but none the less influential in the “American Scene” as you say. I think MacArthur is very influential to a multitude of faithful evangelicals who are not conforming to the world or “American Scene.”

  46. Mark says

    Some may not classify him as an evangelical, but Pope Francis is showing a lot of people how to be a Christian.

  47. Wesley Forbes says

    The issue isn’t whether they “love Jesus” (whatever that means), it’s whether they preach sin, righteousness, and judgment. Do they preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins? Do they confront people with their sin or claim that that’s not their style of “ministry”? Do they tell people that they are sinners deserving of God’s wrath and judgment for their sins and that they can be reconciled to God only through Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross?

    Influential? How about fidelity to the Cross and Scripture? And, yes, determining that does include harsh Biblical criticism of false teachers. And, yes, many of those false teachers are on this list.

  48. says

    These people may exert great influence over the laity in the church but no one and I repeat no one influences more leaders and thereby more of the church as a whole, than Pastor John MacArthur. If you just took a brief glance at the number of worldwide radio programs in so many languages (GTY), worldwide training centers, worldwide missions program, hundreds of books, best-selling Bible worldwide, software, best selling commentary set, President of one of the most conservative and highly-rated colleges in the U.S. which bears his theology, President of one of the most conservative seminaries in the U.S. that also bears his theology and cranks out hundreds of pastors every year nationwide, keynote speaker at a multitude of yearly conferences at his home church including NANC conference, 4000 pastor- strong Shepherd’s Conference, add to that the recent Strange Fire conference/controversy with multi-faceted responses that it has generated and you still haven’t scratched the surface because the church alone in 10,000 strong. How do you miss that?

  49. Gene Brock says

    I would have to say Adrian Rogers was so good and honest with his messages, I will never forget him.

  50. Mary Ellen says

    Interesting. I would add to the Pentecostal evangelical list of influencers Jack Hayford and Wayne Cordeiro

  51. Larry says

    “Most influential” the survey was not stated as sound teaching or false teaching, etc. Seems this is part if the issue – what is truly evangelical according to scripture and do people actually know truth from falsehood. As has been pointed out a few in the list are questionable at best, yet they are influential to thousands. Influential for scrtiptr truth or falsehood ? They are influential.

  52. says

    How about at least one person in a science field, such as Francis Collins? (Or, God forbid, maybe even a YEC person like Ken Ham? He speaks to and for a fair portion of Evangelicals/fundamentalists.)

  53. Ron says

    Dr. Rainer
    I’m not an American so I thought your list was very informative. I’m kind of gobsmacked that Billy Graham’s name is not on the list. Is he not one the most influential American evangelicals of all time?

    Also I was surprised not see David Jeremiah, Max Lucado or H.B.James on the list.

  54. Joelene says

    The posted responses are just as interesting commentary on the contemporary American church culture as the original article. Mr. Ranier, is this part of your research as well?

  55. DJ says

    The theologians and thinkers in the “academy” and seminaries may not be known by the masses, but their insights influence and trickle down to the Sunday pastors, and the pastors, the flock who work it out around the kitchen table. And kitchen table theology hits the streets.

    To that end, I’d add:

    Miroslav Volf
    Lamin Sanneh
    Richard Hays
    Stanley Hauerwas
    J.I. Packer

    Of course, outside of the U.S., it’s Conrad Mbewe.

  56. says

    Here is my alternative list of 40 living American influential evangelicals: B. Graham, Sider, Perkins, Foster, Peterson, Hybels, Piper, Guder, Fee, Vanhoozer, Plantinga, Carson, Dobson, Coleman, McLaren, Keller, A. Stanley, Crabb, Sanneh, Yancey. Noll, Hauerwas, McKnight, Mouw, Warren, Ortberg, H. Robinson, Willimon, Witvliet, Dawn, L. Anderson, Bock, Moo, Yong, Moreland, Jenkins, Olson, Horton, C. Hall, Hays.

  57. says

    This is sad in a way as it shows how little the typcial respondent understands the word “Evangelical.” I know it has become a complex word with various meanings to different people, however, Jakes, as a Oneness proponent, is not evangelical, nor are Meyer or Osteen for other reasons. Some names I’m not familiar with so I can’t speak to those, but these three are clear examples of individuals who are not truly evangelical.

    With that said, us preachers not only love to hear ourselves talk we also clearly enjoy reading our own words (or at least typing them), I always enjoy lists like these just for the “fun of it.” A simple list like this is also informative as to give us an indication of what the views are out there.

    And of course I must add a few I would have like to have seen included: Tullian Tchividjian, Mark Driscoll, Francis Chan, Ed Stetzer, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, etc.

    Fun read though!

    Jeff

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  1. […] Today, Al Mohler has posted an article (predictably) challenging the church’s new views and leveling charges of unclear and contradictory reasoning by claiming (A) homosexuality is not sinful and (B) the church isn’t taking a side in the matter. Of course, as Mohler rightly points out, Cortez and his church are taking a side. With the Bible-believers leaving his congregation after losing the vote, Cortez has divided the sheep and goats and clearly picked a team. And Mohler is 100% correct in everything his article asserted – as always. Mohler is dependable asset to the SBC, a gift to our Convention, and he is a legendary and metaphoric machine when it comes to articulating a Biblical worldview on behalf of Southern Baptists. It’s no wonder that he frequently makes lists of the most influential evangelicals in America […]

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