Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-03-30
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group
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What has become of the Christian Church? Once devoted to molding Americans into better people, in recent years the Christian Church has gotten a corporate makeover. In a desperate attempt to bolster membership rolls, ministers have begun to treat their churches more like companies, and their congregations more like customers.As a minister in a small church, religious journalist Jeffrey MacDonald witnessed firsthand this lapse into consumerism. He realized that in an effort to cast a wide net for souls churches have sacrificed their authority to transform Americans' self-serving impulses for the better. In the headlong rush to operate more like businesses, churches are sacrificing their moral authority, perhaps permanently. The result is a crisis for the American conscience.Based on boots on the ground reporting from America's churches, as well as the author's personal experience and Christian theology,Thieves in the Templeis an incisive critique of today's movement away from true religion, showing how desperately America needs a new religious reformation.

Author Biography

G. Jeffrey MacDonald is a journalist and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, he is a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the Religion News Service. He lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
The Rise of the Consumer-Driven Churchp. 3
On a Mission to Entertainp. 29
Church as Therapyp. 59
A Bumper Crop of Weak Moral Characterp. 89
Redeeming Religious Consumerismp. 117
Signs of Hope in the New Religious Marketplacep. 147
Epilogue: Fixing the Imminent Futurep. 181
Acknowledgmentsp. 193
Notesp. 197
Suggested Reading from the Authorp. 213
Indexp. 215
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