Roger Marsh: Welcome back to Family Talk, the listener-supported broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Roger Marsh. Today we are sharing the second half of a thought-provoking and uplifting conversation that Dr. Dobson had with Fox News Correspondent Lauren Green.
In 1996, Lauren became one of the first reporters to be hired at Fox News Channel and is now one of the longest-tenured correspondents there. She is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill school of Journalism and currently serves as Fox News Channel's chief religion correspondent. Outside of her career as a journalist though, Lauren is also a concert pianist with a degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota.
Lauren is married to Ted Nikolis, and they make their home in New York. Back in 2017, Lauren Green and Dr. Dobson sat down to discuss Lauren's then brand new book called Lighthouse Faith: God As a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog. Let's get to the second half of that conversation right now here on Family Talk.
Dr. James Dobson: Talking about Lauren Green's book, Lighthouse Faith: God As a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog. Boy, that says it all. Let me role-play with you a little bit, okay?
Lauren Green: Okay.
Dr. James Dobson: Lauren, how nice that you have a relationship with God. Obviously, I have not had that experience. I'm role-playing. I don't know Him. I'm grown now, and I have never experienced Him. How do I find what you've got?
Lauren Green: Well, first of all, I'm glad you asked because it's so important because it shows that you have a longing inside of your heart for something greater than what you've got. I would ask, also, when you get up in the morning, what do you think about? What is on your mind? What gives you pleasure, right?
Dr. James Dobson: Not a lot.
Lauren Green: Not a lot.
Dr. James Dobson: I'm living and I'm going through life, but something's missing there. I don't know what it is.
Lauren Green: Exactly. At some point, you thought that job, or that marriage, or that relationship was going to be the joy in your life.
Dr. James Dobson: That's right.
Lauren Green: Right?
Dr. James Dobson: Yes.
Lauren Green: It didn't turn out that way. Why do you think it didn't turn out that way? Because you used it as a substitute for the living God, you see? It's not that you don't have faith. You've been putting the faith in the wrong place.
Dr. James Dobson: Do you suppose He knows me?
Lauren Green: He knows you better than you know yourself.
Dr. James Dobson: I mean, by name, apart from you or anybody else, does He know me? Does He see me when I cry?
Lauren Green: He has seen you when you were knitted together in your mother's womb. He has seen all of your hurts, all of your sorrows, all of your hopes and dreams. He has loved you even when you messed up. He has been there. He's been longing for you just to give Him one-
Dr. James Dobson: You have to understand, I'm not a perfect person. I've done things that I'm embarrassed about.
Lauren Green: We all have. We all have. We've all been imperfect people, but that's who we are. That's been the way for millennia. That's the story of the Garden of Eden. We are descendants of Adam and Eve who messed up.
Dr. James Dobson: How do I talk to Him?
Lauren Green: Like you talk to me. Just say, God, where are you? I need you to come into my life. I need you to fix this. Show me who you are.
Dr. James Dobson: Do you know the number of people around us every day who could have this conversation with you, and they don't know who He is? They long for it, but they don't know where to start. This is such a valuable conversation because He is there. He does know us.
Lauren Green: This is why my friends and I from church... We rent. We like to rent a house in the Hamptons, which is a really great magnet for people in New York. We invite anybody and everybody, people, non-Christians, some nominal Christians.
They come out. We have great conversations like this, without pressure. We go in the pool. We have dinners. Then on Sunday morning, we pile into a couple of cars, in a van or so and go off to church. You're welcome to join us if you want, or you can stay here and have a cup coffee.
Then they realize the house is empty without... Everybody's gone. They pile in the car, and they go to church. It may have been their first church visit in a long time. That happened. I'll tell you with one woman, young woman, that happened with. She was so impressed with the level of joy that was in all of these Christians who were intelligent, who were just enjoying life. They were friendly. She just said, "Wow, I never knew they could be like this." That same woman is now in seminary.
Dr. James Dobson: Really?
Lauren Green: Yeah.
Dr. James Dobson: Have you had the opportunity, specifically, to win a person to Christ, to talk them through this, and watch them make that acceptance and that understanding, and begin to get it? Their eyes begin to change. They begin to sparkle. Have you had that experience?
Lauren Green: In our community groups, this is what happens too, because-
Dr. James Dobson: There's no greater thrill than that. That's why I'm here, Lauren. That's why I care.
Lauren Green: That's the thing that is so important. When people ask me, "Why are you working in the secular media? Why don't you go work for Christian media?" I said, "One reason is that I know there are a lot of people out there who are wounded." They are the walking wounded. We talk about Tommy Nelson. He calls them walking wounded. They are propped up by their wealth, propped up by their beauty, propped up by the accoutrements of success, but they're hurting.
Dr. James Dobson: They're in the fog of culture.
Lauren Green: They're in the fog-
Dr. James Dobson: That's right.
Lauren Green: ... thinking that this is what's going to save me. This is what's going to make me okay. At some point, some of those walls break. I had a woman in my office. She came to me, and she said, "They're taking me off my show. I'm okay. I'm okay about it. How do you handle that sort of thing?" I was beginning to have a conversation with her. See, these things don't happen in one instance.
Dr. James Dobson: No.
Lauren Green: They think, "I can fix this if I just get this," right? I don't need the God thing. Being the person who's going to consistently say, "Maybe you need something else besides focusing on this. Maybe this is not the thing," because whatever you focus on, as your reason for being and your salvation, whatever that is, that is what you're worshiping, right?
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.
Lauren Green: Not only is it what you're worshiping, but that's your master. You're bowing down to that thing. That's what's leaving you empty because it doesn't give you-
Dr. James Dobson: Now Jesus said, "You can't serve two masters."
Lauren Green: Right. It doesn't feed you. In the long run, it doesn't feed you. It keeps taking. It keeps wanting you to have more, and more, and more, and more success. If you fall short, it judges you. It judges you. That's when the depression comes in.
Jesus will never judge you like that, never. "You are my child. You are my own. I love you no matter what." Put all your deadly doing down, down at Jesus feet. "You are complete in me."
Dr. James Dobson: There's so many stresses in life. Just living brings stress, scary things, disappointment, sorrow, loss. I don't know what people do when they don't have Christ to turn to, do you?
Lauren Green: It's a hard thing because I remember one of our Bible study people. She was talking about how she was trying to minister to a friend of hers who was going through a trauma in her life. Either was a divorce, or a death, or something like that. She wanted to talk with her about it.
I don't think she was a believer. She might have been a nominal Christian, but certainly wasn't of the faith in a strong way. She said to her, "Well, talk me through this. Don't give me any Jesus thing though. I don't want to hear that."
My friend says, "I don't know how to minister to her without bringing Jesus into it." That's kind of the New Yorker kind of... Okay, I need comfort, but I just... Don't give me Jesus right now. It's like, well, Jesus is all I got. That's going to be it. If you don't want Jesus, well, listen to this, and just maybe, it might make some sense.
If there is a Jesus, if there is a God who repaired the breach between Himself and humanity, it means He loves you so much. He's willing to die for you so that you don't have to be out of His presence. If there's a God and you have this pain, I know that it doesn't mean that He doesn't love you, right?
I don't know the purpose behind this particular pain. God may have a purpose for it in 10 to 20 years or 10 to 20 decades. I don't know. Or, it could be something that's going to happen in three weeks. I have no idea. It doesn't mean that He doesn't love you, He doesn't care about you. Put yourself in His arms and say, "help me get through this."
Dr. James Dobson: Oh boy, that's so good. If you can get across to a person that He made the whole universe... There's nothing that was made that He didn't make, and yet He cares about us. Are you kidding? David said, "What is man that you should care about him, that you would be mindful of him?" I can't figure that out. I have nothing to give Him. There's nothing I have that He needs except me.
Lauren Green: One of the things that blew my mind is I heard about... Think about that God controls the universe, and He holds everything on his pinky, right? Right?
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.
Lauren Green: Most of us just kind of treat God like our personal assistant. "I'll call you when I need you. I might get some advice- "
Dr. James Dobson: Until then, don't bother me.
Lauren Green: "I might get some advice from you, but I may not take it." Until then, I control you, right? That's God as a concept. That's the way kind of most of us live. It's God in this gray area where I take what I want, and I leave behind what I don't.
God is a living reality, which is why that book is called, The Living Reality. It's an objective truth that exists outside of me, that it exists whether I believe it or not. I'm living in God's world. He's not living in mine. That's the reality of God. When you understand God as a living reality, whether you feel the truth or not, the reality of God is still there.
Dr. James Dobson: Oh yeah. You have a glow about you, Lauren. It's obvious that you know the God of the universe personally. That comes through not only in a conversation like this but in the work that you do at Fox. You've been there, by the way, 20 years.
Lauren Green: 20 years. Yes, I was the first on-air person hired at Fox News Channel.
Dr. James Dobson: Really?
Lauren Green: I remember sitting there in the interview. 20 years ago, cable was like the shirt tail relative of network TV. Oh my goodness. You don't want to work for cable back then.
Dr. James Dobson: Fox is changing a little, isn't it?
Lauren Green: Well-
Dr. James Dobson: I don't want to take you far in that direction.
Lauren Green: That's a good way to put it, I guess. I've seen a lot of changes at Fox. I've seen probably every change there has been. It saddens me on a lot of levels, especially since I've been there from the very, very beginning. I was doing mock news shows two months before we actually went on the air-
Dr. James Dobson: Really?
Lauren Green: ... getting ready to go on the air. In fact, the producer that I worked with just recently passed away. All of this that has happened in the last few months, in the last year, has been very, very hard for me.
Roger Ailes leaving, that was very difficult for me. The day he left the building, a lot of us sat and cried because we just knew what he meant to us. He hired me, and now he was out of the building. I don't get involved in the legal aspects of this because I basically do a lot of reading in my office. I'm just thinking.
I say, I see these people all the time. I see them as human beings. I think that's why it's so hard because, like I was saying before, if I were to get information about another organization and hear the reports of similar things happening over there, I would never have as much compassion for those individuals. I would be what everybody else is saying about Fox.
Because I work with people, I know them as people, I know that people are not always the best that they could be. I'm not the best that I can be, but I also don't know what happened because I'm not privy to that. No one's talked to me.
Dr. James Dobson: How do you get your assignments?
Lauren Green: I pitch stories through the bureau, and then they go up the chain. Someone decides, on another level, if they want to do it or not. Then other stories just come to me. That level comes down and say, "Lauren, can you cover this?"
I do more than just the stories. I occasionally do overnight anchoring. Also, I do lot on the digital now because we have what's called "Spirited Debate" where we take both sides of religious issue. We have one issue, and then we debate that for four or five minutes. It's on demand. I also do a radio weekly, a radio piece, Fox on Faith.
Dr. James Dobson: Do you? I didn't know about that.
Lauren Green: Yeah, we syndicate it. It's called Fox on Faith. It allows us to kind of create content that's not on the news channel. I think the news channel is covering a lot more politics than it did before.
Dr. James Dobson: You're probably one of the only prominent person in news who gets to talk about God, right?
Lauren Green: Oh, I feel incredibly blessed. I was talking on Easter. I was trying to explain because they had me on for about five minutes, so you've got to get all your theology on in five minutes, trying to explain, what is Easter? Why do we celebrate Easter?
Easter has nothing to do with bunnies, and colored eggs, and that sort of thing. I mean, it's certainly things that have grown up out of it, but theologically speaking, there's really nothing to do with Easter outfits and things like that, and try to explain the theology behind Easter.
The thing that I wanted to get across... I said, "Every religion makes truth claims, but only one religion, only Christianity... The founder actually claimed He was God."
Dr. James Dobson: Is that right?
Lauren Green: Buddha never made the claim. Muhammad never made that claim. Christianity has an exclusive truth claim that is unique in religious truth claims. Why is that? Basically, it's saying that God in the form of Jesus Christ took the wrath of His own judgment so that we didn't have to.
Dr. James Dobson: You talk at some length in your book about the blood of Christ and the power of the blood.
Lauren Green: It's an old spiritual that I used to hear my mom saying and my aunt sing, "The blood of Jesus will never lose its power. It reaches to the highest mountain. It flows to the lowest valley."
Dr. James Dobson: There's an old hymn about that.
Lauren Green: "The blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power." I started to think, "What is this power in the blood?" Then I started analyzing what blood is. The Bible talks about the life of the creature is in the blood. Do not eat the blood with the creature, right? Pour out the blood because the life of the creature. You know when Cain slew Abel. Why? Because Abel gave a better sacrifice. Abel gave the blood sacrifice, and Cain didn't.
I always thought that was just so harsh. Why would you not accept his sacrifice? Then realizing it was the blood, because there is a sin debt that existed in the world. It had to be satisfied.
Dr. James Dobson: That's why none of the martyrs... No one else who ever died in a sacrificial way can satisfy our sin guilt.
Lauren Green: Right, right.
Dr. James Dobson: It had to come from the sinless one.
Lauren Green: It had to. It had to. This is why all of the sacrifices up until that point were just temporary fixes. It was to carve that path straight to Jesus who is going to be the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate Lamb of God. No lamb's blood above the doorways at their escape from Israel.
Now at the Passover meal, instead of having lamb at the Last Supper the apostles ate, it was Jesus Himself who was the Lamb who would take away this sin. "This is my body. This is my blood."
Dr. James Dobson: Fox allowed you to talk about that on Easter. You actually could discuss?
Lauren Green: In five minutes, I didn't discuss all of that, but-
Dr. James Dobson: You got into it.
Lauren Green: I got into a lot of, why is it this? If you were talking about a fog, one of the fog things... I probably will do that in the next book. What are the fogs, the wrong things that secular media will try to make you believe?
One of the biggest ones is that all religions are the same, except that they are not the same. There are many similar elements to them, many similar elements to them. I mean, if you are good to your wife or good to your children, and lead a good life, or honest in your business-
Dr. James Dobson: It's not good enough.
Lauren Green: ... these are all great things. Most religions will have you kind of in that zone, but that's not what Christianity is about. That's by works, salvation by works. That has nothing to do with what we're talking about.
That's why I tried to say, is the Christian faith is the only faith where God is reaching to us. We don't have to do this to achieve God. God has already done the work of salvation.
Dr. James Dobson: Once and for all.
Lauren Green: Once and for all. Now you can enjoy your job. You can enjoy your marriage. You can actually look at that faulted human being you're married to and say, "Well, I know that in God's eyes, we're both flawed as human beings. I need to love him or her the way God sees them, and understand, and forgive, and move to the next."
This is why you can enjoy your life so much more. I can forgive because God has forgiven me. I know it's in my past. Not only I know it's in my past, I know it's in my heart. That's where the real stuff is going on, right?
Dr. James Dobson: That's right.
Lauren Green: I'm a child of God, and yet I still have this sort of darkness that kind of creeps in. That's why I need my daily nutrition of my Bible, of God's Word.
Dr. James Dobson: Going back to the power of the blood and back to our conversation, our role-playing about finding a relationship with Christ, it is a relationship, but the blood plays a very key role because if He hadn't died on that cross, we would have no remedy.
Lauren Green: Right.
Dr. James Dobson: The person that I was playing in that conversation who's done terrible things... There are people listening to us now who have hidden sins that are breathtaking, and yet you go back, and you look at David. He took-
Lauren Green: Killed.
Dr. James Dobson: Took a man's wife.
Lauren Green: He took a man's wife and killed him.
Dr. James Dobson: Killed her husband, and God forgave him. He said he was a man after God's own heart. He will forgive. There's no sin that He can't or won't if you repent and give yourself to Him.
Lauren Green: The Old Testament is just filled with flawed human beings.
Dr. James Dobson: They all are. It seems like they go out, the Bible goes out of its way to say, "And then Hezekiah messed up."
Lauren Green: Moses, Abraham, David, Sampson, Saul. Well, of course, all of them are flawed human beings who messed up royally.
Dr. James Dobson: Joseph and Samuel are two that... They must have something there.
Lauren Green: Samuel... It's hard for me to see there's something wrong there, but I'm sure in God's eyes, there's probably something. Joseph was a spoiled, young kid.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, he was.
Lauren Green: He was just spoiled by the family situation, and his brothers hated him for it. He was a little egotistical, but God worked that out of him through how many years of prison. The purging of our pride is one of those things that is so hard for us to take.
I love Handel's Messiah. One of the choruses is, "And he shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto God an offering of righteousness." That is powerful to me because the Levites were the priestly tribe. They did not get an inheritance. They got God, right? When the Scripture says, "And He shall purify the sons of Levi," that to me is powerful, absolutely powerful.
Dr. James Dobson: You don't sing, do you?
Lauren Green: I have sung, and I accompany a lot of singers. I love my Christmas caroling party every year, but I don't sing in public.
Dr. James Dobson: Do you play the Messiah?
Lauren Green: We try, attempt the Hallelujah Chorus every time. One of my greatest inspirations in the third chapter is the Hallelujah chorus but also Handel's Messiah because George Frideric Handel was a broken man by the time he composed Messiah. He felt that he was at the end of his career. He had had a stroke. He was financially in ruin.
He had gotten a score, a libretto to Messiah from his friend. It was all like a Cliff Note version of the Bible's narrative of redemption. All Bible verses, nothing else but God's word in Messiah. Handel wrote the music to Messiah, which is a three and a half-hour oratorial. He wrote it in three weeks.
Dr. James Dobson: Did it in three weeks.
Lauren Green: Three weeks.
Dr. James Dobson: Unbelievable.
Lauren Green: One of the stories... It may be an urban legend. I don't know if it is or not. It makes sense to me. When he was in the midst of composing the Hallelujah chorus, which is the pinnacle of this oratorium, his manservant came to the door and found him weeping. Handel's reportedly said, "I do believe I've seen the gates of Heaven."
Dr. James Dobson: Really?
Lauren Green: He only performed Messiah for charity. He would never take any money for it. It always was to raise money for a charity. The piece was actually commissioned to raise money for the founding hospital.
Dr. James Dobson: We've got to go, Lauren. If you're ever in the Denver area or anywhere near, I'd love to hear you play.
Lauren Green: Oh, I would love that. I would love it.
Dr. James Dobson: You let us know.
Lauren Green: I will, absolutely. I will, absolutely.
Dr. James Dobson: It's been a real pleasure talking to you.
Lauren Green: Thank you so much. It's been my pleasure as well. Thank you.
Dr. James Dobson: You made a long trip out here. Thank you for coming. I trust the Lord will bless this book, continue to bless it, and that you will see great benefits from it.
Lauren Green: Thank you so much.
Roger Marsh: Well, that was such a heartfelt conclusion to Dr. Dobson's conversation with Fox News Channel's chief religion correspondent and reputable concert pianist, Lauren Green. If you'd like to learn more about Lauren or if you'd want to find out how to get a copy of her book, Lighthouse Faith: God As a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog, visit drjamesdobson.org/familytalk.
Or, remember, you can also email our team with any questions about Family Talk, today's program, or the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Address your correspondence to email@example.com. Those words again are firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep an eye out for Lauren Green on Fox News Channel. Her stories and segments are always so thoughtful and very, very well-produced.
Well, thank you for your prayers and your continued financial support of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. It's because of your generosity that we can continue in our work of equipping families to stand for righteousness and bring the truth of Christ into that fog of relativism we've been talking about the past couple of days.
Remember, you can donate securely online when you go to drJamesdobson.org, or give us a call at (877) 732-6825. I'm Roger Marsh. I hope you'll join us again next time right here for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. Till then, may God continue to richly bless you and yours as you grow deeper in relationship with Him.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.