In first thought, many Christians would conclude that a lawyer and the media would spell double trouble for Christianity. Herb Titus, a Harvard graduate, has a different idea. The noted constitutional lawyer and author uses his hour-long weekday radio program to discuss and advance a Christian world view as well as Christian thinking in the field of law. The program, "That's the Law," is aired on almost 20 stations from Florida to Wisconsin and New York to South Dakota. For those with a sound card, it can be accessed on the Internet at www.vcyamerica.org.
In a recent interview, Dr. Titus stated that his desire to do this program originated in 1997. As he studied Scripture, he was particularly impressed with Paul's words in Ephesians 5:16, "making the most of your time, because the days are evil." Staring at a plate full of responsibilities, he realized the great commitment for an hour-long program, five days each week. Yet his appetite was whetted as he saw this tremendous opportunity to apply Christianity to current legal issues. Looking back from a year's vantage point, he is very thankful that he seized the opportunity the Lord gave him.
Regular listeners are well acquainted with the program's format: Each broadcast is devoted to a particular theme. A guest who has some involvement or knowledge with that theme is interviewed. The interview is followed by calls from listeners. The program closes with a two and one-half minute summary by Titus as he brings a Christian world view perspective to the subject discussed that day.
A prolific writer of articles and books, including God, Man and Law: The Biblical Principles, Titus recognizes the advantages and hindrances of this electronic media. Radio broadcasts make an immediate impact on listeners and reach people who would not sit down and read a book, in addition to reaching travelers and busy housewives. Some people are motivated to read material and think through issues they otherwise would not touch. On the downside, messages conveyed through the radio are fleeting. The audience cannot rewind the program to better understand and reflect on what they have just heard, nor underline portions to which they can later refer.
Recent programs have focused on numerous wide-ranging subjects. Naturally, the impeachment process has received necessary attention. Titus worked as a legal consultant for Congressman Bob Barr in 1997, aiding the Congressman in those early months when he was one of the lone voices calling for the president's impeachment.
The program has also addressed international issues such as the legality of Chilean dictator Pinochet's extradition from England to stand trial under a Spanish judge in Spain. Closer to home, the program has addressed individual fault and hate crimes. On every broadcast, Titus seeks "to bring a Biblical common law understanding to these legal issues" and "show how practical that understanding is in resolving these questions." Some topics extend outside law and politics, such as a recent discussion of C. S. Lewis' writings; a variety of cultural issues have also been discussed. However the essential emphasis is on God's law as set forth in God's word.
When asked his assessment of opportunities for Christians to influence the judicial system, Titus stated that Christian lawyers can make an impact, "if those lawyers are properly trained and properly grounded in a Biblical world view of law. There are precious few Christian lawyers who have that training." He believes there is an opportunity "to influence judges through educating them after they come on the bench, but we have not yet penetrated that particular arena very effectively as a Christian community. The education of judges is pretty much in the hands of people who do not subscribe to the Scriptures as truth. I am afraid that we have not taken advantage of the opportunities we might have through such organizations professionally as the Christian Legal Society to do precisely that."
Titus has been pleased with response to "That's the Law." He has received written encouragement as well as telephone calls from listeners who express deep appreciation for these broadcasts. He said, "Primarily our listeners tell us that they have not heard this kind of information before. They have not heard how the Bible relates to law and politics in America. We have had a number of people express great thanksgiving for the thought-provoking nature of the program. It really opens up their minds to see how Scripture applies even in modern American law and politics. For many people this is the first time they have ever heard anything like this."
Readers interested in getting Dr. Titus' program aired on an area station can call 1-800-729-9829 for further information. Tapes of past programs can be obtained to allow station managers to become acquainted with and interested in broadcasting this daily program.
While VCY/America, a non-profit foundation, provides technical and engineering support, the production support is supplied by the Forecast Foundation (2400 Carolina Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322), also a non-profit educational organization. Gifts to both are tax deductible. The program celebrated its first anniversary on March 2.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.