David A. Noebel
David A. Noebel (born August 27, 1936) is an American religious leader and writer. He is the former director of Summit Ministries, in Manitou Springs, Colorado in the United States. Since the 1960s, he has written widely on the relationship between religion and popular culture, and is an outspoken critic of secular humanism, which he describes as unscientific and a religion.
He was a former Associate Evangelist of Billy James Hargis's Christian Crusade. Noebel served as vice-president and president of American Christian College, which Hargis had founded in 1971 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It closed in 1977, three years after Hargis resigned following a sexual scandal. Noebel was a member of the Council for National Policy beginning in 1984, and a candidate for Congress against Rep. Robert Kastenmeier.
Noebel was educated at the Milwaukee Bible College (now Grace Bible College), Hope College (Holland, Michigan, B.A.), and the University of Tulsa (M.A.). He studied philosophy in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was ordained a minister in 1961. He was pastor of Grace Bible Church, Madison, Wisconsin.
In 1962 he founded Summit Ministries, a Christian leadership training organization designed as an educational Christian ministry. He believes that countless Christian youth have fallen victim to the popular ideas of our modern world, and that most have adopted these ideas into their own worldview, while still others go on to renounce their Christian faith altogether. Summit views its role as a catalyst to enable youth to stand strong in their faith and defend truth, while having a positive influence on the society in which they live. He has directed the Summit Youth Ministries since 1964. The ministry grew in size considerably after being mentioned on James Dobson's radio show.
In 1965 he wrote a pamphlet, "Communism, Hypnotism And The Beatles." It was followed in 1966 by Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, which added to the debate about the presence of Communism in music, especially folk and folk-rock. He saw contemporary popular music as a Soviet plot to brainwash American youth. Unlike other religious critics of popular music, he backed up his analysis with references outside the Bible, using scholarly footnotes and quotations. His work was influential and widely adopted by later critics of rock music.
From 1971-1977, he served as vice-president and president, as well as professor of Biblical Studies, American Christian College, founded by the evangelist Billy James Hargis in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association and the Southwestern Philosophical Society. He joined the John Birch Society in the 1960s, but left in 1986.
Over the next several years, Noebel wrote about the dangers of popular music, homosexuality and AIDS. Christian Crusade Recordings of Tulsa released a spoken word album, The Marxist Minstrels (1973). Its back cover promotes the book by the same name. Published in 1973, it expanded on Noebel's theories about Communist intentions in rock music. Noebel wrote The Homosexual Revolution (1977), dedicated to Anita Bryant. He says that "homosexuality rapidly is becoming one of America's most serious social problems." He later co-authored AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: A Special Report (1986), and contributed frequent articles against homosexuality to The Journal.
In 1991, he wrote Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth, a textbook interpreting current intellectual movements, including biblical Christianity, secular humanism, Marxism-Leninism, the New Age Movement, Islam, and postmodernism. It is widely used among Christian schools, churches and colleges, either in its unabridged or abridged formats. Ministry Watch described it as his most notable book. The author DJ Grothe cited it as changing his life, inadvertently, by introducing him to humanism.
In 2000, Noebel co-authored Mind Siege: The Battle for Truth in the New Millennium with Timothy LaHaye, a generalized attack on secular humanism. Paul Kurtz, editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry, noted that the authors claim that
"[T]he secular humanist ideology dominates the major institutions of American life-including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the major television networks, the major foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, etc.), the National Council of Churches, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, the United Nations, UNESCO, Harvard, Yale, and two thousand other colleges and universities!"
Noebel has also created numerous educational materials, including textbooks (with teacher's guides) and video curricula.
Legacy and honors
He was awarded an honorary doctorate from American Christian College.
- Communism, hypnotism and the Beatles, 1965
- Rhythm, riots, and revolution;: An analysis of the Communist use of music, the Communist master music plan, 1966
- Does the National Council of Churches speak for you?, 1969
- The Beatles: A Study in Drugs, Sex, & Revolution, 1969 (pamphlet)
- The Marxist Minstrels: A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music, 1974
- The Homosexual Revolution: End Time Abomination, 1977
- The Slaughter of the Innocent, 1979
- The Legacy of John Lennon: Charming or Harming a Generation?, 1982
- AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1986 (with Wayne C. Lutton and Paul Cameron)
- Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of our Day and the Search for Truth Harvest House, 1991; 2nd edition 2006
- Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism, 1995 (with J. F. Baldwin and Kevin J. Bywater)
- Mind Siege: The Battle for Truth in the New Millennium, 2000 (with Timothy LaHaye)
- The Battle for Truth, 2001; republished as Worldviews in Collision, Harvest House, 2008
- Thinking Like a Christian: Understanding and Living a Biblical Worldview (with Chuck Edwards) B&H, 2002
- Countering Culture: Arming Yourself to Confront Non-Biblical Worldviews (and Chuck Edwards) B&H, 2004
- You Can Still Trust the Communists...to Be Communists (Socialists and Progressives too) (and Fred Schwarz) Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, 2010
- The Marxist Minstrels. Tulsa: Christian Crusade Recordings, 1968.
- Mind Siege: The Battle for the Truth (with Tim LaHaye)
- Paul Kurtz, "Secular Humanism Faces a New Attack", Free Inquiry 21:3, 2001
- Noebel and LaHaye. Mind Siege. Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000
- Member biographies for the Council for National Policy, accessed 2008-02-21
- Summit Ministries: Resources - The Christian Worldview Radio Program
- Andy Presler. He is editor of their monthly journal, The Journal.
- D. Lankford, Jr., Ronald (2005). Folk Music USA: The Changing Voice of Protest, New York: Schirmer Trade Books. ISBN 0-8256-7300-3. P. 129.
- Johnny Marr, "Christ, Communists, and Rock'n'Roll: Anti-Rock and Roll Books", WFMU, 1997, Accessed 2007-02-21
- Morton, Tom (July 1, 1990). "The Summit/ Conservative ministries program basks in national prominence". Colorado Springs Gazette — Telegraph. p. F.1.
- Jean Hardisty. "Constructing Homophobia: Colorado's Right-Wing Attack on Homosexuals" , Public Eye magazine, March 1993
- DJ Grothe. "Responding to the Religious Right", Free Inquiry 22:3, 2002.
- Summit Ministries Website
- Page on the Christian Worldview Network, including biography and article index