Orange County Bodes Ill For The Evangelical Future

…the future of the evangelical church as glimpsed from Orange County might be no church at all. Robert Schuller’s brand of worship might just turn out to be nothing more than a spiritual fad. As the generation that embraced it—middle-class, baby-boomer whites flocking to car-based suburbs—dies off, their spirituality dies with them.

—Jim Hinch, “Where are the People?” (HT: Kim Riddlebarger)

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  1. Spiritual fads usually revolve around self and congregational flattery. However, not everyone can start a spiritual fad because, for the listener to feel flattered, the preacher must have some credibility. When that credibility wears down, the fad fades.

  2. What was the appeal of the Crystal Cathedral? I heard a couple of Schuller’s sermons, and guess I’ve heard a dozen in either English or Chinese that were more sound and profound from men preaching to little groups of people.

    • We were there a few years ago. It was quite an experience. He was retired but he preached that Sunday. It took him a few minutes to get oriented and warmed up but once he did one could see the attraction. He was a very good communicator and there was a kind of charisma and honesty that people found attractive.

      Of course he was preaching a kind of prosperity gospel that fit in perfectly with a growing suburban, affluent area. He captured the spirit of the automobile culture of Southern California too.

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