“What most intrigues Hendershot about the $4-billion-per-year “Christian lifestyles industry” is how the evangelicals in it negotiate the injunction to be “in the world but not of it.”
– A quote from Marketing the Messiah, a review of 2 new books about “Rapture Culture” and evangelicals.
“Neither Frykholm nor Hendershot is an evangelical, but both seem disappointed that evangelical media are so bad at making new Christians. “I searched in vain,” Frykholm writes, “for a person who could testify to a life changed through the reading of Left Behind.” And Hendershot, rather than analyzing with care the tendency of evangelical media to preach to the choir, seems content simply to lament it. Neither author seems to notice that this same tendency is rife in virtually all didactic entertainment, from Michael Moore’s films to Rush Limbaugh’s radio schtick. Why should evangelical media be any different?”
RAPTURE CULTURE: Left Behind in Evangelical America
By Amy Johnson Frykholm. Oxford Univ. 224 pp. $29.95
SHAKING THE WORLD FOR JESUS: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture
By Heather Hendershot. Univ. of Chicago. 256 pp. $27.50