Have you ever heard of Elmer Gantry??? Neither had I before I was asked to participate with several other students in an interview with National Public Radio. Elmer Gantry was the lead character in a novel by the same name written by Sinclair Lewis in the 1920’s. As a charlatan revival preacher, Gantry traveled the country peddling the gospel for personal profit rather than eternal rewards. The novel was turned into a film in the 1960’s that garnered several Academy Awards.
So, why did National Public Radio want to speak with students like me about a fictional character like Gantry? They wanted to hear the perspective of people preparing for ministry on someone who was using the pulpit for personal gain. It was an excellent experience.