A true story:

In the middle 1980s, I was doing field research on the struggle for power within the Southern Baptist Convention. It was the self-identified "Fundamentalists" against the self-identified "Moderates."

As part of my ethnographic research I attended a conference for very conservative evangelists at which Jerry Falwell preached.

Some of his sermon was highly political, and he made the usual snide remarks. (For example, he referred to the National Organization for Women as the National Organization of Witches).

But another part of his sermon was devoted to texts from the Book of Job. Much to my surprise, he had some amazingly cogent points to make about what it means to suffer and what it means to trust God. I, a liberal Jew (though attending as an impartial observer), was floored to find this Fundamentalist Christian was enhancing my spiritual life. A good thing, too - because shortly thereafter I had to face a family crisis and his insights served me well.

I did not get saved, then or later, but I felt (and continue to feel) a certain kind of gratitude and respect for him.