“Celebrity Church” As An Artifact Of A Narrowing Culture

Over the past year or so I’ve followed a number of pieces on the growth of celebrity-driven church. This is the sort of language that a number of writers would apply to those handful of (mostly) men at the top of American evangelical culture. You know the ones I mean: Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Al Mohler, Mark Dever and so on. There has been some concern about the power that these people wield, especially as it derives more from popularity than theological rigour or innovation or scholarship. What if this is nothing more than a symptom of a wider cultural phenomenon, that is of our unlimited access to media actually narrowing – not broadening – our culture? If you can’t get onto Google’s first page of search results, forget about it. How many people have an internet experience that is now dominated by a mere handful of sites? Culture makers know this, so they know to do the things that get the big hits. Why would someone setting up church conference think any different than a record producer or a web-savvy advertiser. Driscoll et al are just the cat videos of the Christian subculture.