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Capital Punishment: How Should a Christian Respond?

Malone University will host the Worldview Forum, "Capital Punishment: How Should a Christian Respond?" on Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in the Worship Center of the Johnson Center. Proponents are Richard Land, Ph.D., President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Stephen Dear, Executive Director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty. Moderator is Malcolm Gold, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at Malone University. 

View online on or after March 18 at 7 p.m.

Stephen Dear Stephen Dear has served as the executive director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty since September of 1997, where he has organized more than 500 community events; led efforts to generate 1,500 church, corporate, and government resolutions for stopping executions and repealing the death penalty; organized the first large-scale act of civil disobedience against an execution; and raised more than $4 million in funding for community organizing for the abolition of the death penalty.

He has earned a master's degree in international studies from Claremont Graduate University, a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Richmond, and studied theology at the MaryKnoll School of Theology. 

As executive director of the NC Rural Communities Assistance Project in the 1990s, he organized $25 million worth of water and sanitation improvements in rural, low-wealth communities. Stephen has also worked on the staff of the Center for the Study of Responsive Law (Ralph Nader’s office), the Coalition for a New Foreign Policy, the Columban Fathers Justice and Peace Office, and served in the Peace Corps in Malawi with his wife, Dr. Janet Dear. 

Richard LandRichard Land, Ph.D., is 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 and their faith. He has served in this position since October 1988.

He earned a doctor of philosophy degree from Oxford University in England, a master of theology (honors program) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as student body president and received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the outstanding graduating student, and a bachelor's degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. He was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister in 1969.

Dr. Land was the vice president for academic affairs at the Criswell College from 1980-1988, and professor of Theology and Church History since 1975; and while on leave of absence at Criswell, was administrative assistant to William P. Clements, Jr., governor of Texas, where he served as the governor's senior adviser on church-state issues and areas relating to "traditional family values" as well as anti-drug, anti-pornography and anti-abortion legislation. In addition to these issues, he had senior staff responsibility in the areas of public higher education, mental health and development, people with physical disabilities, and AIDS. In October 2007, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary established the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement, a research center to study ethics, public policy and other cultural and philosophical issues. In 2005, Land was featured in Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America; in 2004, he was recognized by the prestigious National Journal as one of the top 10 church-state experts. He served five terms with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, first selected by President George W. Bush.

Dr. Land has spoken on college campuses, in churches, and in other forums across America on the crucial issues facing the American family in the twenty-first century. He is a prolific author, and his most recent book is entitled, The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives Get Wrong About Faith and Politics.

A native of Houston, Texas, he has been married to Dr. Rebekah Land (a psychotherapist) for more than 35 years and has three adult children, Jennifer, Richard, Jr., and Rachel.

Malcolm Gold


Malcolm Gold, Ph.D., is professor of Sociology and chair of the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences at Malone University. He earned a bachelor's in Social Sciences at Birmingham University, and a master's and doctorate at the University of Warwick.