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For-Profit Prophets: Christian Cultural Products and the Selling of Jesus

For-Profit Prophets: Christian Cultural Products and the Selling of Jesus

Chapter:
(p.17) Chapter One For-Profit Prophets: Christian Cultural Products and the Selling of Jesus
Source:
Shaking the World for Jesus
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226326801.003.0002

This chapter highlights some of today's typical products—youth-targeted straight-to-video series that take secular media genres (the cartoon, the sitcom) and respin them to suit evangelical purposes. These videos have made numerous accommodations to secular culture, ranging from toning down their salvation message to adapting themselves to nonevangelical attitudes toward child rearing. Evangelicals know how to manipulate the conventions of popular media, but a completely isolated culture could not be evangelical, could not reach out to share “the good news” of the Bible with others. This holds true today, as it was a hundred years ago that evangelist Dwight L. Moody took out advertisements for revivals in secular newspapers, and when Moody's musical accompanist, Ira Sankey, caused a scandal by introducing modern hymns.

Keywords:   secular media genres, secular culture, nonevangelical attitudes, Evangelicals, popular media

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