Today’s Table Talk is by our friend Janet Denison. I asked if she might be willing to share her thoughts on the competitive nature of life these days – especially as it relates to parenting. She landed on eternal issues and posted it here. But I have to say.. I love what she posted recently wrote on Angela Merkel. So I’m going to share that instead. Please check out her blog: Janet’s Blog And if you’re like me, a tiny bit behind in current events and the daily topics of the world, check out her husband’s blog and web site: Denison Forum.

Thanks for sharing, Janet. And, thanks for walking the road with me.


Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes Magazine.  She is the first female chancellor of Germany and a member of the Christian Democratic Union Party.  According to, Angela Merkel “is the backbone of the 27 member European Union and carries the fate of the euro on her shoulders.” My question today is this:  how much do you know about Angela Merkel?

Truthfully, I didn’t know very much about Angela Merkel until a recent Reuter’s article caught my interest.  I wanted to learn more about her and decided to share what I learned with you all. But, it wasn’t what I learned that I found most interesting, it was what I couldn’t learn that intrigued me.

Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg, West Germany in 1954.  Her dad was a Lutheran pastor and teacher who served a church in East Germany.  There are many questions about their associations with the Socialist party, but not many answers. Her father was able to travel with freedom between East and West Germany, which means he had found favor with both governments.

Angela Merkel is a brilliant human being.  She has a doctorate in mathematical physics, speaks fluent Russian and earned numerous awards in mathematics.  In 1989, Merkel became involved in the growing democratic movement after the fall of the Berlin Wall and quickly became involved in the political transformation of her country.  In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Angela Merkel has been compared to “The Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, and has been referred to as “The Iron Frau.”  Her list of credits and criticisms is vast, varied and surprisingly objective.  One of the things I found most interesting about Angela Merkel is that after reading about twenty articles, I know what she has accomplished – but I know very little about her.  Her personal life seemed almost a mystery.  Her relationship with God was a mystery until our very capable co-worker found a small, obscure article on the internet titled, ‘Merkel: I believe in God, religion is my companion.’

The article quotes Angela Merkel as saying, “I am a member of the evangelical church. I believe in God and religion is also my constant companion, and has been for the whole of my life.”  In this rare moment, she responded to a theology student and spoke of her faith.  What do you think of her apparent choice to be silent about her personal and spiritual life?  This will probably surprise most of you – but, as I mentioned before, I think she is brilliant!

The most important woman in the world is working to bring Europe together, make them think, and make them do what is right for the good of the nations and she has been elected three times now because of her competence.  I honestly don’t know if I would agree with her choices – I am not a student of European politics.  This is what has given me pause, and what I hope to get all of us to think about: Would America vote for Angela Merkel?

Angela Merkel is quoted in an obscure article stating she is an evangelical Christian.  She has been elected three times because of her abilities – not because she used her faith as a political platform.  Americans might want to give the most powerful woman in the world a second look.  Why do you cast your vote for a candidate?  Is it because you know that person to be the most capable, intelligent choice or because he or she sounds “Christian”?

My nephew, David Denison, recently wrote an article for Relevant magazine titled, ‘Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?‘  His article has been shared on Facebook more than 28,000 times at the time of this writing.  It is a great article that bruised my own toes and made me think.  But that is the point.  Christians are at a crucial place in human history.  Do we value intelligence over likeability?

Christians have the most important message this world can hear.  We have been given the highest standards for our character and behavior from God.  Christians know the way to make our world a better place for every living soul.  Why don’t we have that reputation?  Are we presenting biblical facts in an intelligent way?  Do we preach the highest standards, but then live with something less?  Do we vote for the intelligent, capable candidate or for the one who looks and sounds most like us?

Why aren’t evangelical Christians the smartest, most powerful people in the world?  After my research on Angela Merkel, something tells me she might know that answer.

Janet Croswhite Denison grew up in California and moved to Texas during her college years. She is a graduate of Houston Baptist University where she majored in Elementary Education and English. Janet met her husband, Jim, at HBU and they married in 1980. They have two sons. Jim and Janet have been privileged to pastor four churches, including Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. Jim is now the Founder and President of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture and Janet is the Director of Spiritual Formation for that ministry. The Denison Forum exists to address cultural issues with moral and biblical truth. The goal is to equip the Church, nationally and internationally, with biblical resource and perspective so they will be “prepared to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15).

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