PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities

Ben Kirby, Thomas Nelson, $18.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7852-3883-6
Ben Kirby, the once-anonymous author behind the PreachersNSneakers Instagram handle, which is dedicated to chronicling the extravagance of celebrity pastors’ lifestyles, raises worthy questions about the church’s entanglement in “capitalism, consumerism, and celebrity culture” but offers few answers in this underwhelming analysis. Is it appropriate, the author wonders, for a pastor to be a celebrity and have an entourage, or for a celebrity who becomes a Christian to be treated as a pastor? In all cases, the author diffusely answers: “maybe, but it’s hard.” The author suggests Christians need to strike a balance between using social media and displaying humility, and seek wisdom “from scripture... and wise counsel” to achieve that balance, but never expounds on what that means or where to learn. Perhaps the most insightful chapter is one dedicated to expensive sneakers and the resale market for them: “When a hobby becomes your god or causes others to envy or feel less than, it’s time to ask tough questions about its place in your heart.” While the author aims to address both non-Christians and Christians, this cursory analysis doesn’t provide enough context for outsiders to follow the critiques. This strident complaint that the pursuit of fame is diluting the gospel falls flat. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 04/01/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Religion
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-371-46831-6
Paperback - 452 pages - 978-1-363-58190-0
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-1-371-46833-0
Paperback - 446 pages - 978-1-276-59816-3
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-7852-3890-4
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