One of my congregants once pondered after attending a conference, “I wonder if these folks run to the front of their churches every Sunday to get a seat the way they do here.” Is there a “rock star” culture amongst evangelicals, especially evident in its conference machinations? My reasoning is that if we’re even entertaining the question then the answer is probably “yes.” I believe this is all Carl Trueman, professor and dean at Westminster, is attempting to say.
I have seen the VIP seating, the special dinners, and the perks for speakers reach gross proportions. I have watched “great expositors” who can’t carry a conversation with an average Joe be heralded for their communication abilities. Yes, Trueman overstates a few points but this easily excusable once one discovers that he’s British (this is where you usually find the obligatory “just kidding” remark). The question remains as to whether we are stuck with the status quo or will this celebrity culture ever be seen for what it is. For your reading pleasure, Phil Gons does a nice job of rounding up the relevant posts on the subject.