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Salvation on the Small Screen?: 24 Hours of Christian Television

by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Salvation on the Small Screen?: 24 Hours of Christian Television
Publication date: 2008-09-01
Number of pages: 180
ISBN: 9781596270862
A book for everyone who’s ever flipped past the religious channel and thought, “I haven’t the faintest clue what’s going on there,” or “That church doesn’t seem like my church at all,” or even, “Wow, so that’s what happened to Kirk Cameron.”

With the personalities of Christian broadcasting constantly talking about every major issue from abortion to culture to war, and given the amount of influence they have on the political discourse in this country, the more one understands about religious television, the more one understands America’s religious landscape.

On an average day, the largest religious broadcast channel in the country reaches millions of viewers, featuring programming from figures such as Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jesse Duplantis, Joel Osteen, and others. Yet, despite its presence in well over 50 million households, many people have little concept of what kind of faith happens there.

The author, a Lutheran seminarian and former stand-up comic who had never before watched religious broadcasting, spent 24 hours immersing herself in the messages and culture of religious television. Joined by guest viewers at various points in the day, including a rabbi, Unitarian minister, her 8-year-old daughter, and others, and augmented by running count of all of the biblical verses used and total cost of various donations solicited and products shilled through the day, the author chronicles this huge—but unknown to many—area of religious culture.Nadia Bolz-Weber