A Movement of Personalities

From The Gospel Coalition:

Big personalities have always played a big role in the American church. Some celebrity preachers (like George Whitefield and John Piper) encourage us with their faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Others (like Charles Finney and Joel Osteen) raise serious concerns. The latter make you wonder if there is any hope for an evangelical movement that fills their churches and buy their books.

Earlier this year I [Collin Hansen] discussed these issues of celebrity evangelicalism and more with my friends and fellow writers Owen Strachan and Justin Taylor. We live in a time when God has evidently blessed the ministry of many godly teachers. For that we can give thanks! But we also know form history that movements dependent on personalities rises and fall with them. So we discuss the differences between speaking at conferences and leading in the local church according to biblical guidelines.

Hansen, Taylor and Strachan offer some terrific insights in this video, particularly the need to evaluate carefully what we hear from these men that are really leaders of certain movements within Evangelicalism, but not to do so in such a way that you’re seeking to tear someone apart. I’d highly encourage giving this a thoughtful viewing.

(HT: Michael Krahn)

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  • http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com/ Amber

    Good thoughts, touching on a lot of being thinking about. Thanks for sharing. The video seems to get stuck at 5:13 on your site and Gospel Coalition. I wanted to hear the rest!

  • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

    Odd- I didn’t have a load issue; maybe it’s the connection?

    • http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com/ Amber

      The video worked today. Interesting thoughts. I didn’t fully agree with the sentiment around 5:15 that this is just inevitable human nature, so try work with it. There are many things that are inevitable human nature that we shouldn’t just go with. I say this having lived through the fall out of two (local) celebrity pastors falling – one which resulted in the church splitting in two and one which resulted in many leaving Church altogether, because the churches were to some degree centered around a pastor figurehead, not Christ. I think we need to be more cautious than just working with it. It is inevitable human nature, but it is dangerous – as 1 Corinthians 1:11-20 makes clear.

      BUT I did really appreciate the return at the end to the importance of the focus on the local church.