How Church Became Theater & the Evangelical Imagination


A new survey of worship leaders finds that four megachurches have cornered the worship music market. Should we care who is writing the songs we sing in church, and what gets lost when market forces influence local ministries? A sermon clip has gone viral showing a megachurch pastor scolding people who arrive late or leave early because they are treating the “church like it’s a religious show instead of a welcoming family.” But are people acting like church is a show because that’s the model church leaders have created? We explore the history of how churches came to copy theaters and its impact on the church’s mission and power. Then, Phil talks to Karen Swallow Prior about her new book, “The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis.” She explains how the current crisis in evangelicalism finds its roots in trying to preserve Victorian values rather than biblical ones. Also this week: a celebrity bear is above the law.

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