Posts Tagged ‘celebrity’
Challies calls it “humble celebrity” but I think it’s more anti-celebrity:
Doug was working for Operation Mobilization and was stationed in London during their big annual conference. He was assigned to the clean-up crew. One night at around 12:30 AM he was sweeping the steps at the conference center when an older gentleman approached him and asked if this was where the conference was being held. Doug said that it was, but that just about everyone had already gone to bed. This man was dressed very simply and had just a small bag with him. He said that he was attending the conference. Doug replied he would try to find him a place to sleep and led him to a room where about 50 people were bunked down on the floor. The older gentleman had nothing to sleep on, so Doug laid down some padding and a blanket and offered a towel for a pillow. The man said that would be just fine and that he appreciated it very much.
Read it all for a lesson.
Tim Challies with some insightful comments on the way celebrity works, especially among Christians.
Who are these narcissistic, self-expansive celebrities “leaders?” You’ll know them by how they set up mini-empires around themselves (with dot coms, conferences, etc.) and (and this is an important “and”) how they respond to criticism and challenge. In an age of celebrity Christianity, narcissistic leaders are running wild and free while being supported by others who care more about their topical content than their narcissistic affects on others.
Why do think [sic] narcissistic leaders are so appealing to young conservative Protestants in the 20s and 30s?
Read the whole insightful piece (which could do with a touch of editing) here.
I met a “celebrity” pastor at T4G yesterday.
Find out what happened next, and what David thinks about the phenomenon, at HeadHeartHand.
The other day someone sent me this quote from William G. T. Shedd:
It is a dark day for a church and it betokens great spiritual decline when the people cease to be content with thoughtful, devout, and scriptural teaching, and clamor for celebrated preachers. The demand will create the supply, and the church will be filled with declaimers and ecclesiastical charlatans. There will be no truly great men produced; and what is far worse no truly good men.
Notice Shedd’s thoughtfulness. Celebrated preachers are not in themselves the problem; the issue is when we are not satisfied with anything else, when the messenger is elevated above the message. It creates a climate of mere performance in which the church suffers immeasurably.
I was pleasantly surprised and genuinely stimulated by this interview. Paxo is on good form, and in Russell Brand he has an interviewee who, rather than revealing his hidden shallows, actually manages to uncover depths that I imagine many of us might never have imagined he has.
Now, to be sure, Mr Brand is deconstructing fame and celebrity and consumerism from a humanistic viewpoint, but it’s still a pretty brutal and intelligent desconstruction. It gets the more interesting toward the end when Mr Paxman begins to ask about sustaining his brightness, and Brand speaks of death, meaning, and substance in life. As this section develops, and Brand attests that fame is nothing but “ashes in my mouth,” I was powerfully reminded of Augustine’s dictum, that God has made us for himself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in him. How I would love to speak to Mr Brand and explain the good news to him! If God were pleased to save him, and take that insight, that passion, that intelligence, and sanctify it, we might have an Augustine for the 21st century. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?
Disclaimer: it is a pretty blunt interview at times, and some will find it crude at points, as they discuss some of Brand’s better-known misdemeanours, and how they are like and unlike other crudities and cruelties. I should also point out that I am not seeking to excuse the substance of Brand’s public persona and proclamations.