Reformation 21 is the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. This article by Carl Trueman appeared in the April issue. In it he points out the problem of celebrity in the "Evangelical Industrial Complex." He writes as though imaging a problem (i.e., "a little thought experiment") that doesn't really exists according to those celebrities in the "Evangelical Industrial Complex." Of course he is being facetious
C.J. is one of the "high profile and charismatic leaders" that dominant "a symbiotic network." He has "branded" himself with the help of other celebrities and "owns the copyright" to "gospel centered." These men are "answerable to nobody but themselves and with no transparent accountability." From their positions of power "criticism [is] effectively stymied." I agree with Trueman, "it is a "bleak and disturbing scenario." There are many other outstanding points in this article.
What if Life Was Complex?
ARTICLE BY CARL TRUEMAN APRIL 2013
This month, I thought I would use this column to indulge in a little thought experiment. What, I wonder, if the conservative evangelical church world came to be dominated by a symbiotic network of high profile and charismatic leaders (think more Weber than Wimber), media organizations, and big conferences? What if leadership, doctrine, and policy were no longer rooted in the primacy of biblical polity and the local church? What if, in other words, all of this became a function of an Evangelical Industrial Complex?
It is an important question. It is probably a year or so since I raised the question of the impact of celebrity on evangelicalism. As I was told then, celebrity either does not exist in the evangelical subculture or is of no real importance there. Thus, I suspect the Evangelical Industrial Complex either does not exist or exerts no influence; but it is entertaining to imagine what would the signs be that it was a real issue (which, I am sure you will agree, it is not).