185: Katelyn Beaty | Celebrities For Jesus

Katelyn Beaty | Celebrities For Jesus

Katelyn Beaty | Celebrities For Jesus

Katelyn Beaty is a writer, journalist, editor, and keen observer of trends in the American church. She has written for the New York Times,
the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Religion News Service, Religion & Politics, and The Atlantic and has commented on faith and culture for CNN, ABC, NPR, the Associated Press, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also cohosts the Saved by the City podcast (Religion News Service).

Beaty previously served as print
managing editor at Christianity Today and is the author of A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World.

Katelyn Beaty and Amber discuss her book Celebrities for Jesus: How Persona, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church

Celebrities for Jesus Questions Discussed:

  1. (1:5) Share a little of your faith journey with us. When did you begin walking with Jesus?
  2. (6:05) As a writer, journalist, previous print managing editor at Christianity Today, and current acquisitions editor for Brazos Press you have spent your career observing trends in the American church. One of which you write about in your newest book Celebrities for Jesus. Share about some of the observations in recent years that led to your desire to write this book.
  3. (10:01) Share your views on ghostwriting acknowledgment and author personas
  4. (18:42) Something I appreciate about this book is how you address the issue head on, but you’re also very hopeful. You write about is social power, without proximity and the difference between fame versus celebrity flesh that out for us a bit.
  5. (26:05) You share 3 temptations, one being the abuse of power. What are some ways we see this play out in the church and how are church members often complicit to it?
  6. (35:45) Being a member of the Christian publishing world I appreciate your boldness in writing a chapter dedicated to the Christian publishing industry’s complicity in the creation of celebrities. Do you see a better way forward where publishers are profitable without requiring their authors have 50,000+ social media following/email lists?
  7. (44:28) You close out the book with some profound thoughts on ordinary faithfulness How would you encourage those listening who have been negatively impacted by celebrity Christians to press into ordinary faithfulness?

Celebrities For Jesus Quotes:

When I think about the people who most strongly and brilliantly model Christ, to me… I’m not thinking about writers, pastors, ministry leaders, influencers, it’s not to say that they don’t have a place or that their words aren’t impactful. But there’s something about seeing someone in the flesh, and observing how they move through life, that is such a powerful teaching tool.”

“The role of celebrity in the church: This idea that celebrity is tricky and dangerous, because it is a form of social power, the ability to influence other people without the proximity that we all need in order to stay grounded, and rooted and humble as fallen human beings bearing the image of God.”

“IT’S REALLY DANGEROUS TO PUT ANYONE ON A PEDESTAL, BECAUSE IF THEY FALL THAT CAN SO OFTEN AFFECT OUR UNDERSTANDING OF FAITH.”

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes

When I think about the people who most strongly and brilliantly model Christ, to me... I'm not thinking about writers, pastors, ministry leaders, influencers, it's not to say that they don't have a place or that their words aren't impactful. But there's something about seeing someone in the flesh, and observing how they move through life, that is such a powerful teaching tool.
The role of celebrity in the church: This idea that celebrity is tricky and dangerous, because it is a form of social power, the ability to influence other people without the proximity that we all need in order to stay grounded, and rooted and humble as fallen human beings bearing the image of God
It's really dangerous to put anyone on a pedestal, because if they fall that can so often affect our understanding of faith.

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