Thursday, March 16, 2006

Who died and made Dr. Dobson God?

Who are the real power brokers in the Evangelical culture? It's certainly not the local pastor - I was one - and no one listened to me. Denominational leaders have, long ago, lost any viable position in the cultural dialogue. I've come to the conclusion that the true power brokers are the Christian publishers and the authors they promote.

A good friend of mine recently finished his doctoral dissertation on the "Dictionary Wars" of Europe. Basically, it's about how, a few hundred years ago, different factions in the European sacred and secular communities battled to control whose dictionary would be used. The idea was that whoever controlled the language controlled the culture. Hmmmmm.

Those who control the language control the dialogue - dictate the discourse and thus influence the culture. Isn't it the Christian publishers who control the dialogue in our culture? Over the years, for example, I've watched scores of men and women who seriously idolize Dr. James Dobson. He told them what to think, what to believe and how to raise their children. They read every book and listened to his daily radio program. I would daresay that these little Christian lemmings knew the works of James Dobson better than they knew scripture. They followed wherever he would lead them - even to the picket lines and the voting booths.

And can I just rant for a moment? The man sounds like a squirrel.

And it's not just Dr. Dobson - though he is, perhaps, the ultimate example. It's really any one the publisher wants to market as the latest, greatest purveyor of truth for our culture. We hear the interview on our Christian radio station, we march out to our local Christian book store and buy the book - do the study - pass it along, then shell out a few bucks to hear the author speak at a seminar. But make no mistake - the publishers are in it to make money - and along the way they get to decide whose book we'll read - what message we'll hear - and what we're talking about in our Sunday school classes.

Just something to ponder today over your "Divinity Decaf" at the local Christian coffee house and bookstore.


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Jerry said...

I'm enjoying your blog. On this post I have to say simply, "Just don't listen, and just don't buy it."

I vaguely understand what you refer to because I observe other people taking their cues from Dr. D, but I suppose those people would take their cues from someone else if Dr. D was not around.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This appears to be and old blog site, but I have a dictionary question if you are still publishing.

What is an Evangelical?
Who is not an Evangelical?


Post a Comment

<< Home