August 10, 2015
WORLD Asks Leaders Whom They Favor for 2016 Presidential Election and Which Social Issues Are Most Pressing
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), participated in the recent World Magazine survey, which polled nearly 100 top Evangelical leaders about whom they favor for the 2016 presidential election and which are the top societal issues for the nation.
“The WORLD Magazine survey of Evangelical leaders, in which I was privileged to participate, reveals that at least at the leadership level, the American Evangelical movement is still deeply concerned about moral and social issues such as the sanctity of human life (56 percent) and the looming threats to religious freedom right here at home in the USA (69 percent),” Land said.
After Thursday’s GOP debates, Land added, it is clear which candidates are committed to matters that are of most importance to people of faith and which ones are likely to merely pay lip service to such convictions in pursuit of political advantage.
“Consequently, the GOP candidates these leaders most favored, by in large, are the ones who have spoken out most forcefully on these issues,” Land continued. “Evangelical leaders, and the people they represent, will continue to closely monitor the political dialogue as they seek to identify those candidates who endorse them and their convictions and beliefs, rather than endorsing the candidates themselves.”
To conduct the poll, WORLD surveyed 103 Evangelical leaders and insiders, as numerous 2016 GOP candidates have identified Evangelicals as a key part of their road to the White House. Ninety-four responded to the survey—among them, Dr. Land.
The survey found that 39 percent of respondents named Marco Rubio as either their first or second choice for President. Jeb Bush ranked second as the first or second option for 32 percent of respondents. Scott Walker came in third at 28 percent.
But when asked to choose their favorite from among the top four GOP candidates in current polls (Donald Trump, Bush, Walker and Rubio, prior to the debate), Rubio at 40 percent and Walker at 33 percent were the clear leaders. Trump, who has claimed to have Evangelical support, received only 4 percent of those votes, and 75 percent of those polled said they absolutely would not vote for him in the primaries.
Another important aspect of the survey was the Evangelicals’ take on the top issues they will consider when deciding on a candidate, with 69 percent citing domestic religious freedom; 56 percent stating abortion; 27 percent foreign policy; and 25 percent Supreme Court nominations.
Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.
SES’s 22nd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics will be hosted by Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C. onOct. 16-17, 2015, with the theme, “Ideas Have Consequences: The Bigger the Idea, the Bigger the Consequence.” In addition to Land, confirmed speakers include Josh McDowell, Michael Brown, Jay Richards, Hugh Ross, Norman Geisler, Paige Patterson, Derwin Gray, Gary Habermas and Richard Howe, along with many others. To register, visitconference.ses.edu/registration.
Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on 235 stations on the American Family Radio Network and 100 stations on the Bott Radio Network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, debuted in January on the NRB Network, and airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For more information about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.
Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”
Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.
Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”
For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu.