It seems like Christians are the CNN spotlight tonight: Sarah Palin critiqued on AC360. Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House Church, was also on CNN’s Larry King Live for an hour and gave him the opportunity to promote his new book “The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times”. However, his book was not the attention grabber–at least not for me. As I watched Jakes, I was very impressed with how he handled himself with Larry King. King certainly seemed to carry different tone when interviewing pop culture stars; he seems more human with them, but King does not seem as personable with Jakes and other conservatives and evangelicals. Nevertheless, Jakes gave his honest opinion and expressed them directly and with a sense of firmness, yet while showing his compassionate human side. Bishop Jakes has previously been on Larry King Live so he knows what kind of questions to expect and how to respond with clarity and grace.
While King asked him potential time-bomb questions that would make many evangelicals squirm in their seats, Bishop Jakes remained positive. You should have seen Larry – he kept his eyes on his sheet of questions and didn’t hold back on the tough time-bomb questions. King fired away, one provocative question after another, as if trying to see what might evoke a certain response from Jakes, e.g., President Barack Obama and his faith, gay marriage and gay unions, health care and abortion, prosperity gospel, the economy, Islam and the Ft. Hood massacre, war, Sarah Palin, death penalty. I strongly sensed King was trying to get a sense of Jakes’s religious and political positions and fired them with machine gun speed. King asked Jakes tough questions that could potentially evoke controversial responses from other evangelicals but Jakes handled King’s questions honestly and adeptly. Through it all, Jakes remained very gracious and carried with him a clear set of moral values. He is a great clergy-interviewee. I can see why King would invite Jakes back to his show. Way to go Bishop Jakes!