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Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church

Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church

by Katelyn Beaty

Narrated by Nan McNamara

Unabridged — 5 hours, 19 minutes

Katelyn Beaty
Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church

Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church

by Katelyn Beaty

Narrated by Nan McNamara

Unabridged — 5 hours, 19 minutes

Katelyn Beaty

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Overview

Many Christian leaders use their fame and influence to great effect. Whether that popularity resides at the local church level or represents national or international influence, many leaders have effectively said to their followers, "Follow me as I follow Christ." But fame that is cultivated for its own sake, without attendant spiritual maturity and accountability, has a shadow side that runs counter to the heart of the gospel. Celebrity-defined as social power without proximity-has led to abuses of power, the cultivation of persona, and a fixation on profits.



In light of the fall of famous Christian leaders in recent years, the time has come for the church to reexamine its relationship to celebrity. Award-winning journalist Katelyn Beaty explores the ways fame has reshaped the American church, explains how and why celebrity is woven into the fabric of the evangelical movement, and identifies many ways fame has gone awry in recent years. She shows us how evangelical culture is uniquely attracted to celebrity gurus over and against institutions, and she offers a renewed vision of ordinary faithfulness, helping us all keep fame in its proper place.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 05/09/2022

Celebrity worship has inundated the evangelical church, journalist Beaty (A Woman’s Place) warns in this biting critique. Using case studies of scandal-ridden celebrity pastors—including Bill Hybels, Ravi Zacharias, Mark Driscoll, and Carl Lentz—Beaty suggests that wealth and narcissism are “tearing up the house of God from the inside out.” Starting with Dwight L. Moody and Billy Graham, she looks at the history of “megapastors,” chronicling, for example, how Bill Hybels built the “most influential” megachurch in the U.S. only to be forced out after allegations of sexual misconduct made national news in 2018. The author points to three temptations that lead pastors astray—abusing power, chasing platforms, and cultivating a persona—and argues that church leaders who fall into these traps are effectively turning themselves into idols who compete with God as the object of followers’ devotion. To end the obsession with celebrity, Beaty recommends that evangelicals emulate Jesus’s humbleness and “return to the small, the quiet, the uncool, and the ordinary.” Her trenchant analysis expertly lays out how greed has plagued the evangelical church and offers hope and guidance on how it might mend. This is a must-read for anyone invested in the fate of evangelicalism. (Aug.)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175589819
Publisher: EChristian, Inc.
Publication date: 08/16/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

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