Friday, May 03, 2013

Carl Trueman on the depressing observation that evangelical supermen employ the aesthetics of power

HT City of God
http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2013/05/the-emperor-is-not-naked.php

After a depressing afternoon hearing about the upfront speaker-fee schedules of men with well-paying day jobs, along with the need to pay for their personal assistants/wives/whatever to travel with them when away from home for a couple of nights, it was good to go back home, feel appropriately dirtied by it all and then think about the Psalms.  If I ruled the world (a most unlikely prospect, I admit) I would make sure that no man with a fee schedule or a minimum attendance requirement ever spoke in any church or Christian gathering anywhere; only those who never raise the issue of 'How much?' or "How many?' (distinctly un-Pauline concerns, I would suggest) are worth listening to.  There are well-known men like that.  But not as many as there should be.  The Emperor is not naked but actually has clothes: tailor made silk suits from Savile Row.

That the aesthetics of power have moved from the televangelists of the 80s to the orthodox evangelical Ubermenschen of the present day is most depressing.  It is also perhaps the greatest example of postmodern irony, given how oddly and obviously deconstructive it is: at least the televangelists preached an upfront message of worldly aspirations in an idiom which was only in the vaguest sense Christian.  We use the aesthetics of power to preach the theology of the cross.

There's a little more but this is the core stuff.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem is that this evil will not be rooted out until names are named and amounts/details published. As long as it's put out there without any specifics, then Christians of all stripes will simply assume "must be THOSE Christian leaders, not the ones I follow"...

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

And it's possible an equally big problem is how few people even consider the advance fee/minimum attendance praxis to even be evil these days. Trueman's not likely to name names or amounts, though.