- The Washington Times - Monday, October 25, 2021

Daniel Darling, the former National Religious Broadcasters spokesman fired Aug. 27 for telling evangelicals they should get COVID-19 vaccinations, has a new job.

Mr. Darling, 43, will direct the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and serve as assistant professor of faith and culture at Texas Baptist College, Southwestern Seminary’s undergraduate school, seminary President Adam Greenway announced. The schools are located in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The appointment of Dan Darling to lead the Land Center underscores our commitment to provide the very best theological education for men and women preparing to serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Mr. Greenway said in a statement.

“Dan is the right person to elevate Southwestern Seminary’s work in cultural engagement, and in God’s providence now is the time,” the seminary chief added.

In response, Mr. Darling said, “Our desire is to build at the Land Center for Cultural Engagement a place where Southern Baptists and the broader evangelical movement can both engage in substantive and thoughtful conversations that help equip Christian leaders and to train a new generation of robustly gospel-centered men and women to engage the world.”

A noted evangelical writer and public thinker, Mr. Darling was terminated from the NRB post he‘d held since May 2020, purportedly for insubordination after he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Aug. 18 endorsing vaccination against COVID-19. The group’s president, Troy Miller, later told The Washington Times that Mr. Darling was let go after violating a “directive” to avoid public comment on vaccine acceptance.

Mr. Darling had written an Aug. 2 op-ed in USA Today supporting vaccinations for evangelicals and others, to which the NRB apparently did not object.

Mr. Miller said he’d recruited Mr. Darling to the broadcasters’ group from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, where Mr. Darling had served for six years as that organization’s spokesman.

Mr. Darling hosts a popular podcast called “The Way Home,” and has written several bestselling books, including “The Original Jesus” and “The Dignity Revolution.”

The Southwestern announcement noted that the Land Center was established in 2007 to honor Richard D. Land, ERLC president for 25 years until his retirement in 2013.

“The center focuses on the study and research of ethics, public policy, and other cultural and philosophical issues,” the statement noted.

Mr. Land said, in a statement, “Dan is well-equipped by calling and experience to carry on the mission of challenging Southern Baptists and other believers to engage the culture, preserving against decay and dispelling spiritual darkness.”

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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